Diva Discovers Diva-delightful 2 for 1 Deal at Four Seasons Westlake Village

Your Diva On the Go just had to check out the Double the Fun special at the Four Seasons Westlake Village Hotel. I mean spa treatments, dinner and assorted services  for two people for the price of one.

How could I resist. The spa offering was enough to get me packing my bags.

I mean this is one of  the prestigious Four Seasons chains, a swank property with a world class spa and diva-delights galore. A hotel where even Internet discounted room rates start at $239 a day for “moderate” accommodations and rise to $429 for a Premier spread.

The ongoing “Double the Fun” promotion works like this: one person books spa treatments, the second person gets the same treatments FREE. The two of you go to dinner, one meal is complimentary (excluding alcohol or gratuities). Whatever service you pay for is free for the other guy or gal–quite the recession buster.

We opted for a superior king which is $250 a day on Friday and Saturday and $339 during the week, which, on this promotion amounted to $125 daily. 

We also booked “Therapist Choice” massages that would normally cost $145 a person and amounted to half that.  The 40,000 square foot spa at the hotel is a-one and so are the therapists. Mine was Lora who despite her diminutive size managed to pummel and pamper me to my taste for a deep massage–ditto for Richard’s masseuse, Mae.

“Organic Protection Facials”, normally $165 a pop, cost that for both of us, as did any salon or spa service we opted to book.

Spa facilities include steam, Jacuzzi, amenities, fluffy robes, lockers, showers, and gorgeous relaxation lounges stocked with assorted beverages and fruit. There’s also an indoor pool nearby and a top notch fitness center with all the latest equipment.

We managed to rack up about a $120 tab in the Asian Restaurant, ONYX, which was reduced to $60 since one of us got to eat “free.”

The 270-room Four Seasons provided a welcome addition to the burgeoning Westlake Village area when it opened four years. Nestled near the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains it rests roughly 35 miles northwest of LAX and about 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles.

Don’t let the rather drab exterior deceive you, once you get past the entrance you walk into all the opulence that is Four Seasons—marble, wood,  signature Four Seasons floral arrangements,  fine art and upscale furnishings and appointments.

Its claim to fame is the California Health & Longevity Institute, which sits adjacent to the Spa and offers medical, dietary and life style training and screenings. Many house guests are participants in the program, but you don’t have to stay at the hotel to enroll.

Guest rooms are well put together with the obligatory flat screen TVs, fine linens, coffee makers,  mini-bars, marble bathrooms stocked with plush robes and towels, but not lots of toiletries. There was one bar of soap and one hand lotion on the sink,  a bar of soap on the tub, and a bottle of shampoo, condition and body  wash in the shower.

In addition to the Asian restaurant, the hotel hosts Hamptons, a fine dining experience offering healthy gourmet cuisine or regular menus. The setting is warm and elegant the food’s usually good and fairly pricy.

I loved the Lobby Restaurant where we had healthy breakfasts. I opted for the tofu scramble; Richard had the buckwheat pancakes, both tasty. We truly appreciated the waitress who obliged our request for strong coffee with just that.  Business people on the go can also take out food  from a little area at the entrance of the Lobby Restaurant that offers assorted whole fruit ($1.50), pastries ($2), granola with yogurt ($6.50), bagels for $2 (add $8 for salmon), fresh juice $6 and espressos or coffee ($3.50).
And if you’ve booked the Double the Fun Deal, you get one free of anything you order.

In addition to the Spa the hotel sports two pools (one indoor, one out).   Gorgeous gardens, on the back grounds, add a transcendental ambiance enhanced by 25,000 varieties of flora, 50-foot high sequoia trees surrounding the waterfalls, boulders imported from the River Kwai and an original Chinese poet’s house pagoda for meditation or special events.

The hotel serves as a pleasant getaway for Angelenos craving a quick escape, especially during the Double the Fun promotion.  Basically there’s no limit to how many spa treatments, meals, etc. you can enjoy for half the price when there are two people participating.

Hard to beat that.

The Four Seasons Westlake Village,  Two Dole Dr., Westlake Village, 818-575-3000, www.fourseasons.com/westlakevillage.com.

Hawaii Happenings It’s all Good


The Divaonthego’s Hawaiian Discoveries

Deals, News & More about the Islands

What’s new on Oahu– The Island of Oahu, known as the Heart of HawaiiÒ, sets the rhythm of the islands and leads by example with new improvements, changes and additions on an ongoing basis. Below is a glimpse of what’s new on Oahu: Hotels & Resorts The island of Oahu has fabulous hotels and resorts for people of all ages and budgets. Oahu’s hotels are constantly updating and adding an array of activities and packages that are sure to make any trip to Oahu unforgettable.

The Divaonthego’s Hawaiian Discoveries

Deals, News & More about the Islands

OHANA_Beachcomber_Exterior1 Amazing package from  OHANA Hotels & Resorts’ “OHANA Room & Meals Deal” – $149  at any of  four Waikiki properties includes  daily breakfast and dinner (with tax and tip included) for two at seven participating Waikiki eateries: Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber,  Keoni by Keo’s, Round Table Pizza and Giovanni Pastrami , American IHOP, the Shore Bird; and Kani Ka Pila Grille.

Rates:    start at an amazing  $149 per night plus tax   now through December 21, 2010. 

Stay at any  OHANA Hotel & Resort and enjoy a wealth of amenities such as:

  • Free Internet access, which includes free wi-fi in the lobby and most common areas of all OHANA hotels in Waikiki. Additionally, wired access is available in OHANA Waikiki East, OHANA Waikiki West and OHANA Waikiki Beachcomber guestrooms.
  • Free local phone calls
  • Free U.S. and Canada phone calls (for the first 15 minutes)
  • Free use of the in-room safe
  • Free in-room coffee and tea
  • Free daily local newspaper at the reception desk
  • A free OHANA drawstring beach tote (one per room) perfect for toting sunscreen and a towel to Waikiki Beach
  • Free rides aboard the Waikiki Trolley’s Pink Line which takes travelers throughout Waikiki and to Waikiki Beach Walk and Ala Moana Center.

Check it out at: www.ohanahotels.com, email: reservations@ohanahotels.com, phone: 800-462-6262. 

Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk –the 38-story, 462-room hotel is scheduled  to open in early November 2009. Decor  highlights include  Koa wood and granite and marble finishes,with many units sporting  full kitchen with Bosch, Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances.  For wining and dining:  BLT Steak, famed chef Laurent Tourondel’s first restaurant in Hawaii, as well as The Lobby Bar and an outdoor café. The Spa at Trump will offer signature and island-inspired services and treatments, and the Trump Attache will offer personalized guest services, including a Beach Attache to attend to guests’ needs while they enjoy ocean activities and Baby Attache who will address the wants and needs of younger guests. Additional amenities include a library, waterfall and infinity plunge pool, and fitness center.

Serenity Spa Hawaii, located at the newly remodeled Outrigger Reef on the Beach, has re-opened following a multi-month renovation. The 45,000 square-foot spa’s rebirth includes newly decorated treatment rooms, the addition of a men’s changing room, and a new menu of services utilizing the environmentally conscious line of Aveda products. Couples treatments, kids packages and full salon services are also on the menu. Guests at the Sheraton Waikiki can now enjoy Oahu’s first hotel infinity pool, which opened on Sept. 3, 2009. The Infinity Edge Pool is 128 feet in length and features unobstructed views of Waikiki and Diamond Head. The pool will also feature its own bar, the Edge of Waikiki, which will offer live daily and nightly entertainment beginning on Oct. 15. The Infinity Edge Pool is considered an adults-only pool, while Sheraton Waikiki’s other recently opened Helumoa Playground pool is ideal for families with children. The first of its kind in a resort environment, Link @ Sheraton Waikiki combines the functionality of a business center with the activity of an entertainment center to provide guests with a place to interact with each other and connect with their friends and families while on Oahu. Link @ Sheraton Waikiki provides free 24/7 Internet and wi-fi access to its guests in a cozy, at-home setting that encourages guests to relax. Nightly rituals, such as Game Night, provide additional opportunities for guests to interact and have fun with one another while on Oahu.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort recently completed a $52 million renovation to its guestrooms, suites, spa, meeting spaces, and porte cochere. The guestrooms and suites epitomize the resort’s signature “Kahala Chic” design. Amenities include silky heavy thread count Egyptian cotton linens custom designed by Frette of Italy and Floris of London bath amenities with the signature Kahala fragrance. Two newly refreshed signature beachfront sister suites, the Kahala Beach suite and the Kahala Kai suite, are in the most private area of the resort. The Kahala Beach Suite features Nicole Miller furniture and is large enough for formally entertaining up to 50 guests. The second-level Kahala Kai suite has a cozy beach cottage feeling with decor from the Ralph Lauren Polo Collection.

 Aston Waikiki Sunset is set to complete a $13.5 million makeover. Renovations will include: a fresh color palette, redesigned kitchen with granite countertops and new appliances that include refrigerators with ice makers and glass-top stoves, a combination microwave oven/range hood, new furniture including a desk and a taller bedroom dresser, Hawaiian-themed artwork by local artists, and new energy-efficient air conditioning units. Other renovations include a 6th floor hospitality lounge where guests have access to free wi-fi, a 52-inch flat screen TV, private shower and dressing area, retiled pool and resurfaced tennis court. In celebration of its 25th anniversary this fall, the Aston Waikiki Beach Tower, a condominium resort, is conducting improvements to its suites. As part of the renovations, the suites will receive upgraded kitchens, new bedding and new paint. The Wyland Waikiki officially reopened as Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach, the first Courtyard property on Oahu. The hotel is operating under a franchise agreement with Lodging Capital Partners LLC, owner of the property, and will be managed by Outrigger Hotels and Resorts. The 400-room property features two swimming pools, Spa Pure day spa, a 24-hour fitness facility, entertainment room, business center, small boardroom, and dining at Spada Restaurant & Bar and Kimobean Hawaiian Coffee Company. Previously known as Honolulu Prince Hotel, Aqua Waikiki Pearl recently completed a $5 million refurbishment into a boutique hotel. Aqua Waikiki Pearl offers some of the largest rooms in Aqua’s inventory, as well as options for families and extended stay guests. The Ilikai Hotel reopened to guests on July 24. Hotel Management Services, LLC will manage the hotel and receive a variety of support services from Aqua Hotels & Resorts. www.visitoahu.com.

The Diva Loves LA

I Love LA

Which is why I write and update ACCESS Los Angeles (Harper Collins Publishers) — the 13th edition is in bookstores and available online at sites like www.amazon.com.  It pretty much guides you through the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area from downtown (and yes there really a thriving area in that part of the city now) through mid-town, Beverly Hills, WLA, and down to Orange County and across the sea to Catalina Island.  So order a copy now. In the meantime my friends at the Los Angeles Visitor’s Bureau put together

The  “Top 100 Vacation Deals.” for summer available through August 31, 2009.  For a complete listing of hotel offers, visit www.discoverLosAngeles.com/vacationdeals.  This is the Bureau’s recommendations:

            Stay in the middle of the action and save up to 40 percent with a Hollywood Getaway at Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel or Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa.  Choose from online exclusive getaway packages including two nights of accommodations, a seven-day unlimited ticket to enjoy all the new entertainment at Universal Studios Hollywood, complimentary breakfast for two, complimentary parking and roundtrip transportation between your hotel and Universal Studios Hollywood.

            Wind down with a midweek or weekend stay at a choice of 16 Westside hotels.  Escape to The Sofitel Los Angeles, where visitors who book a guestroom by July 5, 2009 get their fourth night free, in addition to a picnic basket.  If performing arts or a studio tour is on your travel itinerary, visit Inter Continental Los Angeles Century City, where guests who stay a minimum of two nights receive breakfast for two, complimentary parking and a tour of Sony Studios or two tickets to Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  Rates start at $269.  In Beverly Hills, The Residence Inn treats travelers to an American Express gift card valued at $50, complimentary AMC movie tickets for two, free WiFi and complimentary breakfast for two starting at $229.  At the Holiday Inn Century City, travelers who book two nights obtain the third night free.

For the ultimate ocean-side retreat, take advantage of beachside getaways at Hotel Casa Del Mar with rates starting at $395 per night based on space availability, Le Merigot, A JW Marriott Beach Hotel & Spa highlighting two Swedish massages with guestroom rates starting at $459 based on space availability, or Shutters On the Beach which offers a $50 hotel credit and guestroom rates starting at $525 per night based on space availability.

            Discover culture in the heart of downtown Los Angeles with Millennium Biltmore Hotel’s “I Love (Downtown LA)! Package for two which highlights a one night stay priced from $179 per night based on space availability, breakfast and tickets to the Museum of Contemporary Art, tickets to the Grammy Museum and vouchers to visit the ESPN Zone.  Other attractive downtown hotel deals include Wilshire Grand Los Angeles’ “Beat the Heat,” whereby the guestroom rate is based on the high temperature of the day of your stay with a $20 room upgrade and 20 percent off hotel dining.  At the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & 

Suites, guests relax in a deluxe guestroom, savor a three-course pre-fixe dinner for two at LA Prime Restaurant and obtain complimentary overnight parking.

In addition to these exclusive packages, travelers can obtain up to 50 percent off on LA’s top cultural, dining, entertainment and other top attractions.

            Head to Hollywood for a night at the theatre with 35%-50% off theatre tickets to Dirty Dancing at the Pantages Theater, Hollywood. While in the area, enjoy $5 off regular Adult/Child admission to Madame Tussaud’s Hollywood Wax Museum, or treat yourself to a complimentary dessert with the purchase of an entrée when dining at the renowned Geisha House on Hollywood Boulevard.

While in downtown, embark on a larger-than-life feature film adventure with $2 off Adult admission and $1 off Children’s admission to an IMAX movie at the California Science Center IMAX Theater, or enjoy $3 off admission to the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live. Stop for lunch at Zucca Ristorante, an upscale Italian establishment, currently offering a $19 lunch special and $5 parking for guests of the restaurant.

Chill out on the Westside with a complimentary appetizer while dining at Crustacean, one of Beverly Hill’s finest eateries, or experience 2-for-1 general admission to the Skirball Cultural Center.

Soak in the sun at the city’s top seaside eateries with offers including 15% off the total bill at I Cugini’s in Santa Monica, or a complimentary dessert with the purchase of an entrée at Geoffrey’s Malibu. Take in the sites and sounds of the Santa Monica Pier boardwalk with 15% off an unlimited-ride wristband at the popular weekend beachside destination, Pacific Park. 

The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit business association whose primary mission is to market and promote Los Angeles as the premier site for leisure travel, meetings and conventions. Though not part of city Government, LA INC. is recognized as the city’s official tourism marketing organization.  For more information about “Los Angeles Top 100 Vacation Deals,” visit the official visitors information website of Los Angeles at www.discoverLosAngeles.com

Deep Discounts Hit Travel Industry Big Time

On  Land, Sea,  and Golf Course

And so it begins….
Deep discounts to lure money strapped travelers like $9 Golf promo at La Costa & Cool Specials in Santa Ynez 



La Costa Resort and Spa is offering  $9 golf fees from now through February 28, 2009, to in-house guests. FYI: green fees typically begin at $175 per person.


Room rates begin at $259 per night for a plaza room plus  $22 daily resort charge. The $9 golf fee includes green fees and cart rental. Reservations can be made at 1-800-854-5000 or at www.lacosta.com.


Golf at La Costa

La Costa Resort and Spa has enjoyed an international reputation as the place for championship golf. It is the only resort in Southern California that boasts two 18-hole tournament-caliber courses on property, both designed by legendary golf architect Dick Wilson. Golfers who play La Costa’s courses walk in the footsteps of the greats – Nicklaus, Woods, Palmer, Trevino, Player, Miller and Crenshaw. Both North and South courses feature lush fairways, flawless greens and plenty of challenges, including large, high-lipped bunkers on many holes, expanses of water and sneaky streams with fast bent grass greens.  The North Course is 7,094 yards, par 72, with a slope of 141, while the South Course is 7,077 yards, par 72, with a slope of 140. Extensive practice facilities and an attractive club house complete the golf experience.


About La Costa Resort and Spa

Nestled among the  coastal foothills of Carlsbad, Calif., north of San Diego, La Costa Resort and Spa boasts the 43,000 square-foot Spa at La Costa, 552 spacious and well-appointed guestrooms and 76 deluxe one- and two-bedroom suites, a Clubhouse with a fitness center, two acclaimed restaurants – Legends and BlueFire Grill and two championship golf courses. The entire resort, linked by walkways and washed in color by lush vegetation and gardens, enjoys a village-like ambience. For more information on La Costa Resort and Spa, call (800) 854-5000 or visit www.lacosta.com.


 Visitors to California’s Santa Ynez Valley Get 2 for 1 Savings
The Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association (SYVVA) has announced a new offer today rewarding winter visitors with “two-for-one” savings at a dozen area businesses. “Winter is one of the best times to visit the Santa Ynez Valley,” says SYVVA president Douglas Ziegler, owner of the Santa Ynez Inn, “Our weather is warmer, skies clearer and hills greener than most of the country—and we’re only two hours away from LA. People need a break. This ‘Double Your Pleasure’ promotion is a great excuse for a getaway.”

          To obtain a copy of the “Double Your Pleasure Santa Ynez Valley Savings Certificate,” go to www.SantaYnezValleyVisit.com and click on the icon to view and print the savings. “It’s incredible to get two guest rooms or two wine tastings or two food items for the price of only one,” says SYVVA Executive Director Mary Harris, “It’s easy to click and print out the PDF that describes all the savings offered and visitors can print out as many savings certificates as needed to use throughout their stay.”

          These SYVVA members are offering “Two-for-One” savings Sunday-Thursday through March 19, 2009. 


          FOLEY ESTATES VINEYARD & WINERY TASTING ROOM www.foleywines.com; LUCAS & LEWELLEN VINEYARDS TASTING ROOM www.llwine.com; MANDOLINA TASTING ROOM; www.llwine.com; SANFORD WINERY www.sanfordwinery.com; and WANDERING DOG WINE BAR www.wanderingdogwinebar.com


          RANCHO OSO GUEST RANCH & STABLES www.rancho-oso.com (Two nights in a cabin, covered wagon or full-service cabin for the price of one night—valid any night except February 13-15; subject to availability, reservations required); SANTA YNEZ INN www.santaynezinn.com (Two hotel nights for the price of one (subject to availability, not valid for existing reservations); SOLVANG INN & COTTAGES www.solvanginn.com (Two nights for the price of one OR two rooms for the price of one (subject to availability, not valid for existing reservations).


          HADSTEN HOUSE RESTAURANT www.hadstenhouse.com  Two desserts for the price of one dessert.

OLSEN’S DANISH VILLAGE BAKERY www.olsensdanishvillagebakery.com Two Danish pastries for the price of one pastry of equal or lesser value. RED VIKING RESTAURANT Two entrees for the price of one entrée of equal or lesser value.


          PERFORMANCE FITNESS SOLVANG  www.PerformanceFitness.biz Two All-Day Fitness Passes for the price of one pass—includes use of 17,000-sq ft premier fitness facility & group exercise classes.


          The Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association is a non-profit membership organization formed in 2001 to conduct marketing activities promoting tourism in the communities of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang. For further information: contact Mary Harris, Executive Director at mary@SYVVA.com or call 805-686-0053; toll-free 1-800-742-2843 or www.SantaYnezValleyVisit.com.

Silversea Cruises Sweetens the Pot

$1,000 shipboard credit ain’t hay

Silversea Cruises sweetens the pot with a $1,000 per suite “Onboard Spending Credit” promotion on select voyages in Alaska, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean this summer.  

The  limited time $500 per person (or maximum $1,000 per suite) Onboard Spending Credit offer is food on bookings  made on or before March 31, 2009.  The special promotion is available on the following:

ALASKA:   Silver Shadow cruises departing May 28 through September 12 (Voyages 3912 – 3923).

NORTHERN EUROPE:  Silver Cloud cruises departing May 30 through September 19 (Voyages 1911 – 1923).

MEDITERRANEAN:    Silver Wind cruises departing April 15 through June 26 (Voyages 2911 – 2920) and Silver Whisper cruises departing May 19 through June 20 (Voyages 4912 – 4916).

To take advantage of the Onboard Spending Credit offer, the guest or travel agent must request promotional code WWSBC500 at the time of booking. 
The promotional offer  allows guests to apply the Onboard Spending Credit toward their onboard purchases without limitations; this includes any spa treatments and shore excursions (none are excluded).  In addition, the offer can be combined with other available discount promotions, including Early Booking Incentive, Advance Payment Bonus, Silver Sailing, and Free Air programs.  

For example, the Onboard Spending Credit is available on Silver Wind’s May 14, 7-day Mediterranean cruise (#2915) sailing from Barcelona to Nice with calls in Valencia, Corsica, Livorno (overnight stay) and Antibes.  Promotional cruise fares start at $3,196 per person — a savings of 50% — plus free roundtrip economy air transportation is also available from select U.S. and Canadian gateway cities.

“This new summer promotion is designed to reward travelers with an extra perk that provides added value and flexibility,” said David Morris, Silversea’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. “With the Onboard Spending Credit they have the freedom to apply the savings toward a rejuvenating spa treatment, a sumptuous gourmet dinner in our Relais & Châteaux Wine Restaurant or an enriching shore experience — the choice is theirs.”

The Onboard Spending Credit is being launched simultaneously with the introduction of new branding and other enhancements to the line’s shore excursions.  The changes have been created to emphasize the new flexibility, unique qualities and personalized service that characterize the tours.  Under the new umbrella name of “Silver Shore,” the optional tour programs include:

** Silver Shore Excursions — intimate and rewarding small-group touring.

** Silver Shore Collection — unique and exclusive in-depth explorations of local history and culture.

** Silver Shore Expedition — adventurous and educational tours for the active explorer.

** Silver Shore Concierge — during the cruise, the Tour Manager and, on many sailings,  the new Destination Specialist (a position created in conjunction with the upgraded Silver Shore programming) are available to assist with knowledgeable suggestions, personalized planning and hassle-free coordination of all private, independent touring, including sightseeing, sporting activities, and securing behind-the-scenes or after-hours access to exclusive designer shops, museums, cathedrals, and more.

Starting in the next few months, the Silver Shore Concierge service will also be available in advance of sailing.  The company will announce more details about this enhanced service at a later date.

** Silver Shore Privato — private car service that can be reserved on board or in advance of sailing via Silversea.com/MyVoyage.

Guests might choose to apply their Onboard Spending Credit toward a “Silver Shore Privato” tour of fascinating St. Petersburg.  They’ll spend the day exploring the city’s history, opulent palaces, and museums at their own pace, in a private, air-conditioned car with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide. Or, in Alaska, they might use their credit toward an exhilarating “Silver Shore Collection” air adventure over the spectacular Misty Fjords by private aircraft, or use it to explore Juneau’s glacier-carved fjords at their own leisure aboard a private catamaran with personalized itinerary.  These are just a few of the exciting optional Silver Shore adventures that await guests this summer.