Monday, March 30, 2009

Morongo


My husband surprised me with two nights at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa and it was truly a surprise. I loved it. I was jonsesing for gambling but didn't feel like flying to Vega$ baby so he found a special Player's Package on line (came with free gambling money, some meals, room and a few extras), he also booked me an afternoon of spa treatments and voila the perfect solution. It was one of the best birthday celebrations. I became a member of the Winner's Club where you get cash back and/or perks for your play. I'm happy to report that I actually left a winner. Got a payoff on the $1 slot.
The hotel has a friendly, non-Vegas-like ambiance. Our room was huge, spanking clean and had an awesome view of the mountains from a large window.
There's two large pools, great sunning deck area, cabanas, a nicely equipped gym and super spa with steams, saunas, whirlpool and cold plunge. My massage was excellent and also part of the package, and after looking at the prices, I highly recommend getting a package. Massages at the Sage Spa run from $85 to $205!
The food was better than expected, especially the breakfast buffet. The penthouse restaurant has awesome views of the desert but since it was so warm out and the room is enclosed we decided to go into Palm Springs where we ate outdoors at Kaiser Grill, which turned out great because a street fair was in progress and we had front seats. It felt like a major celebration with hunderds of people, live music, and revelry. Kaiser Grille, an inexpensive indoor/outdoor has a swinging bar and excellent barkeep and wait staff. I had a glass of top Chard at the bar for only $3.50, can't beat that these days (the wines by the glass at Morongo were nearly 3x that).
Morongo is located at 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon, CA 92230--it's on an Indian reservation. http://www.morongocasinoresort.com/.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Archie Comics Presents Betty and Veronica at the Rivieria, No Joke


BETTY AND VERONICA” STOP IN AT THE RIVIERA RESORT & SPA
Palm Springs Showcased in New Archie Comic Strip

The popular teen duo, Betty and Veronica hit one of my favorite Palm Springs spots: The Riviera Resort & Spa--with the debut of a zany new comic on April Fool's Day.

The ultra-glam resort is the perfect place to launch the new Archie comic strip according to Kevin Herbst, Riviera’s director of sales and marketing. The recently refurbished mid-century resort's “Palm Springs Weekend at The Riviera Resort & Spa” – is featured in the Betty & Veronica Digest #193. “We are thrilled to be showcased in one of the world’s most enduring and appealing comics,” said Herbst. “Like the Archie series, Riviera – with its rich history, 1960s roots and iconic design – offers a vibrant snapshot of American culture.”

The colorful comic could also be a bbonanza for Palm Springs tourism, thinks Hollywood columnist and pop historian Hal Lifson, who penned the comic, working in tandem with illustrator Rex Lindsay. “In addition to spotlighting Riviera, Betty and Veronica’s latest adventure truly showcases the best of Palm Springs, and will be sold in hundreds of high profile stores across the country.”

In the strip, BFFs Betty and Veronica leave the bucolic town of Riverdale to embark on the weekend trip of their young lives – ultimately experiencing all that Palm Springs has to offer, including breathtaking scenery from the Aerial Tram, magnificent celebrity homes and the famous Indian Trails. The friends stay at the newly upgraded Riviera – a legendary Palm Springs hot spot – indulging in lavish spa treatments and poolside fun amidst the resort’s uber-hip, 1960’s-style backdrop. They are later joined by the rest of their famous gang: Jughead, Archie and Reggie.

Launch Party Set
Hosted in conjunction with the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism, Riviera’s lively “Comic Book Launch Party” is set for Wednesday, April 1, and will feature Victor Gorelick, editor-in-chief of Archie Comics, with rockin’ entertainment by Ron Dante, longtime lead singer of the popular bubblegum pop band, “The Archies,” and the familiar voice behind the group’s blockbuster hit from 1969, "Sugar, Sugar."

Local Archie aficionados and area dignitaries will receive complimentary copies of the Betty & Veronica Digest (with the “Palm Springs Weekend at The Riviera” images and title emblazoned on the cover), imbibe in icy Victoria Lodge martinis and Betty Cooper shots, and take in color-splashed Archie comic clips as they flash across the flat-screen TV in the resort’s swank Starlite Lounge.

About Archie Comics
Archie Comics is an American comic book publisher, known for its enduring series featuring the fictional teenagers Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and “Jughead” Jones. The Archie characters first appeared in an Archie comic book published in 1941. Nearly 70 years later, the teen friends remain a staple of entertainment for readers the world over – chronicling the trials, tribulations and triumphs of teenagers – and representing the fads, fashions and attitudes of contemporary youth.

Betty & Veronica Digest #193 is available at retail outlets and supermarkets stores across the country, as well as at the Riviera Resort & Spa gift shop. Suggested retail price: $2.49.

About Riviera Resort & Spa

Following an extensive $70 million modernization, Riviera Resort & Spa – a legendary 24-acre property that was once a playground for the likes of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Elvis Presley – reopened to the public in October 2008. The restored resort, originally 475 rooms, now features 406 masterfully-revamped guest rooms and luxury suites – outfitted with handsome retro furnishings; chic marble bathrooms; flat-screen plasma TVs; wireless Internet access and private patios or balconies – set amidst lushly-landscaped gardens with intimate courtyards. Other resort highlights include: SpaTerre, an 11,000-square-foot retreat with cross-cultural and global treatments; and an array of inventive food and beverage offerings, including the signature Circa 59; the outdoor Bikini Bar adjacent to a spectacular pool; the swank Starlite Lounge; and sidebar, offering tantalizing cocktails in an atmosphere of sleek sophistication.

Riviera Resort & Spa is located at 1600 N. Indian Canyon Dr. in Palm Springs. For further information, visit www.psriviera.com or 760.327.8311.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It Happened in Monterey--New Flight from Los Angeles

It Happened in Montery....
NEW NON-STOP JET SERVICE FROM LOS ANGELES AND SAN DIEGO ALLEGIANT AIR LAUNCHES MAY 3
Monterey County "Smile Recovery" Packages Sport 150+ Value Packages for Travelers- Starting May 3 Allegiant Air, LLC, is offering flights to the Monterey Peninsula Airport from San Diego and Los Angeles international airports.
This marks the first and only air service offered between these two markets; the carrier celebrates with introductory one-way fares as low as $39.00*. Allegiant Air will operate three flights weekly, departing Los Angeles and San Diego on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Total flight time is approximately one hour and 15 minutes. Reservations: 702.505.8888; www.allegiantair.com. The May 3, 2009 launch coincides with Monterey Convention and Visitors Bureau’s new "Smile Recovery" packages, available through May 31, 2009. More than 150 steals and deals are available county-wide including rock bottom rates at seaside inns, up to 30 percent off lodging at world class resorts, golf bargains and tasty savings on a hot list of local restaurants. Dive in, the water is just fine at www.SeeMonterey.com/deals. Power to the Pocketbook In picture-perfect Pacific Grove, the newly-renovated Anton Inn steps up with a $100.00 off the best available rack rate. Just blocks from the 17-Mile Drive and Asilomar Beach, this quaint inn is the perfect respite for a romantic retreat. Nearby, Asilomar Conference Center puts California State Parks in the spotlight with overnight accommodations, a box lunch for two and parking pass to four local gems including Point Lobos State Reserve and Julia Pfeiffer State Park for $169.00/dbl. In Monterey, the newly-renovated Spindrift Inn lures guests with a rock bottom $149.00/dbl. rate. Perched on the Pacific along Cannery Row, this hideaway is ideal for active travelers who want tap into kayaking Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, biking the Recreational Trail or taking in the new Secret Lives of Seahorses exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (April ’09). Nearby, Portola Hotel & Spa offers overnight lodgings and two two-day passes to the aquarium for just $149.00/dbl. If a little more luxe is in line, pop into Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa for a gracious stay in a deluxe guestroom and two rounds of golf with transport to Poppy Hills Golf Course for $258.00/dbl. Other great bets include the 50 percent off rack rates at the Chateau Coraline Retreat & Spa on the verdant River Road wine tasting trail when guest book two night's lodging and two spa treatments. Carmel Valley's luxurious Bernardus Lodge kicks things up a notch with a complimentary third night for guests who book two nights. The added carrot -
$100 food and beverage credit toward the lodge's award-winning Marinus or Wickets Bistro. In Big Sur, the newly-renovated Ventana Inn & Spa puts things in perspective with a gracious 40 percent of best available rates. Check in and check out with expansive views of the Pacific coastline, co-ed Japanese tubs and stellar Allegia Spa. Seaside’s Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center is another sure bet with suite accommodations and dinner and breakfast for two for just $147.00/dbl. midweek. Golfers looking to sharpen their handicap can tee up at Laguna Seca Golf Ranch, a Robert Trent Jones Sr. & Jr. signature course in the heart of Monterey, for $65.00/round including golf cart, Cobra golf club rental, and range balls.+
Rules of the Road
* Seats are limited. Fares are one-way and not available on all flights. Must be purchased by March 11, 2009 for travel completed by Sept. 30, 2009. Offer not available May 22-25, 2009 and July 2-6, 2009. Prices do not include PFC, segment tax or Sept. 11 security fee of up to $10.60 per segment. A segment is one take-off and one landing. A convenience fee of $13.50 per passenger will apply when booked on allegiantair.com. A convenience fee of $13.50 per passenger, plus $10.00 per segment, will apply when purchased through Allegiant Air call center. Purchases made at any Allegiant Air Airport Ticket Office will not incur a convenience or call-center fee. When purchased at time of booking, a fee of $15 for first checked bag and $25 for second checked bag will apply per person, per segment. If purchased at flight check-in, a fee of $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second checked bag per person, per segment will apply. In all cases additional higher fees will apply for three or more checked bags. Fare rules, routes and schedules are subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply. +Packages based on availability, restrictions and black-out periods apply.
VISITOR INFO
Monterey County is located 120 miles/192 km south of San Francisco and 345 miles/552 km north of Los Angeles along the classic California corridor. The region boasts 99 miles of prime Pacific Coastline, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, three historic missions, 40,000 acres of premium vineyards, 25 golf courses and over 200 lodging properties. Monterey County includes the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur, North County and the Salinas Valley. The Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY), just three miles from historic downtown Monterey and minutes from the area’s major attractions, is served by non-stop flights to and from Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN) and San Francisco (SFO). http://www.seemonterey.com/.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Travel Diva Does RH at Andaz




The Travel Diva just had
a fantastic dinner at a new place in WeHo called RH at Andaz (Andaz is the spiffy, remodeled Hyatt on Sunset) and RH is Chef Sebastien Archambault's innovative, neighborhood eatery. The handsome, modula style , high design room provides the perfect stage for this master chef, with its open kitchen and tables situated for seeing and being seen.
Bound to be the hottest "it" restaurant in LA
We sampled lots of tasty dishes beginning with a tangy tuna tartare, roasted forest mushroom tart with hazelnuts, and shrimp ceviche, moving along seared diver scallops, seared yellow fin tunaa perfectly prepared filet mignon, and short ribs. We shared lots of healthy veggies like field and enoki mushrooms, baby carrots, organic wild ricem mashed potatoes--and more. Hey a dining diva does what she has to. It was all good, great, really.
Hip vibes, young attitude
and a friendly, welcoming wait staff combined with recession-friendly prices-- starters from $12-$18 and entrees $15 to $30 (for the filet mignon)--makes this the perfect date night spot or a place to go with a bunch of riends. You can actually eat cheap or splurge. Wine prices by glass are alittle high,but the quality's great.
They could add more choices. Brunch lovers should check out weekend offering served 10:30 to 3 PM and ranging from $10 to $18. Creative choices include breafkfast salads, chile poblano and cheddar egg wite frittata; diver scallops Florentine with bacon and more.

RH at Andaz, 8401 West Sunset Blvd., WeHo, Califoria, 323-785-6090. http://www.westhollywood.andaz.com/.

Golden Door Springs into Savings



My mantra: everybody deserves at least one week in a lifetime at the Golden Door--simply the best full-service health resort in the world. A Japanese-style sanctary providing pampering, fitness, nutrition and spiritual awakening for 40 or so guests who bond, hike, exercise and grow healthier together.

More Affordable at Least for Now



Spring at the Golden Door is the essence of renewed balance. Green, blooming, fragrant and filled with a hopeful energy. Peaceful gardens, quiet rooms, and joyful staff will restore the harmony that keeps your life in balance.

Balance in mind – regain your ability to clear away the clutter using the quiet power of your mind to focus on what is truly important.
Balance in body – maintain your health with a stress-releasing exercise program custom-tailored to fit your daily schedule.

Balance in spirit – sustain your serenity by reconnecting with nature and learning again to trust your own inner wisdom




* May not be combined with other offers.




Other spring weeks are available at our 2007 rate of $7750 and, if you bring a friend
during one of these weeks, receive an additional $500 off.

Summer Weeks at $7,495.

3- or 4-Day Spa Interlude
offered during selected weeks starting at $3,625.

800-424-0777
e-mail reservations@goldendoor.com
or visit our website at www.goldendoor.com























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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spring Fling Special at MGM Grand in Las Vegas

The Travel Diva loves Las Vegas. So decadent, so debauched so diva-liscious.
She especially enjoys specials like the MGM Grand's Spring Fling.

The Signature’s SPRING FLING package includes rates from $129 and



· $50 Resort Credit towards dining, entertainment, spa, or nightlife.

Dining at restaurants like Tom Colicchio, Michael Mina, Wolfgang Puck, and restaurateur Stephen Hanson. Not available at Rainforest Café, Emeril’s and Starbucks.

The credit can also be applied to entertainment options such as Cirque du Soleil’s KÀ and MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris. May only be redeemed after check-in. Guests must charge tickets to their room.

Spa Fling
The credit can also be used at the Grand Spa-(I've been there and love this facility all 30,000 square-feet of it.
$50 Credit
for Walter’s Golf Courses. Spend your day on the course and soak up the sun in this tropical golfer’s paradise located right on the Strip.
Golf credit redeemable only at Bali Hai Golf Corse, Royal Links Golf Club, or Desert Pines Golf Club (please note, Desert Pines Golf Club is a $35 credit from June 1 through August 31 only).

Book by March 17, 2009.
No minimum stay is required. Restricted dates will apply.



HOW TO BOOK: Call The Signature at MGM Grand at 1-877-727-0007 and use booking code “SPR009”.





Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Welcome to the Travel Diva






Hi, welcome to my newest blog site where you'll find all the latest, hottest, hippest information about travel.



Travel Diva's Rules of the Road
I only fly First Class



I only do luxury



I do upscale spas



I do luxury cruises



I live large



And so my first entry is Eau Spa, a new facility worth checking out at the The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach, 100 South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan, Florida.



A new concept, that doesn't sound like your typical, clichéd spa experience. I haven't been yet, but it's on my calendar. It's represented by my favorite PR agency and whatever Vicky King PR handles is always right up your Travel Diva's alley. The facility boasts large,inviting socializing spots with connecting treatment rooms that lends itself to a friendly communal spa-going atmosphere. Check these out...
Scrub & Polish Bar – for as little as $75, guests create a custom blend of herbs, salts and oils with an onsite mixologist and also receive full access to the spa’s facilities
Outdoor Self-Centered Garden with hanging chairs over an ankle deep wading pool and cabanas for all-day lounging
His and her Bath Lounges enhanced with oversized whirlpools, rain showers and heated loungers
19 treatment rooms (including several larger Couple’s Spa Villas), 12 of which have private outdoor gardens with showers and soaking tubs
Full-service salon with a communal manicure table and pedicure banquettes for women and a hot-shave station for men
Eau Fitness, with a yoga studio, spinning rooms and panoramic ocean views