Thursday, March 30, 2017

Celebrity taking the 'edge' off new ship with unique mobile cinema tour (video)

Luxury cruise line initiates another 'first'
Patti Pietschmann

With the much ballyhooed Celebrity Edge under construction, Celebrity Cruise Lines is ramping up the anticipation with a  a unique  cross-country mobile cinema tour called  the story of Celebrity Edge.SM The ‘Leading Edge Mobile Cinema’ will make 48 stops over 12 weeks, beginning today, March 29, at the Sonoma International Film Festival Screening and lasting through June 20, and travel more than 10,000 miles while sharing the story of the ship designed to leave the future behind with more than 20,000 people.

The public will be welcomed on a red carpet as they enter Celebrity’s state-of-the-art, custom-built 91-seat high-definition mobile cinema for the  15-minute cinematic experience that includes a 3-D animatic reveal of Celebrity's newest class of ships in nearly a decade - Edge Class. Inside, guests will enjoy beverages and gourmet truffle popcorn, and have the opportunity to win one of more than 50 modern luxury giveaways with Celebrity. See vibrant visual slide show here on my Cruiseable page.

“The feedback on Celebrity Edge has been incredible and the ‘Leading Edge Mobile Cinema Tour,’ allows us to show even more people across the country how transformative the ship is,” said Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president, Sales, Trade Support and Service, Celebrity Cruises. “By partnering with festivals and special events nationwide, we’ll be able to show the world what we mean when we say Celebrity Edge is designed to leave the future behind.”

Some other tour stops include: California Jazz & Wine Festival, California Wine Festival, 50th Houston International Film Festival, SPAC Rock & Run, CitiCenter DC, Arlington Heights Promenade of Art, and the Toronto Wine & Spirits Festival on Sugar Beach. At select tour stops, Celebrity’s own Marine Research Naturalist Brent Nixon will provide an "Oceans Alive" experience featuring high definition 4K under water filming encounters with sharks, turtles, stingrays, and majestic humpback whales, allowing guests to feel the "pulse" of the living oceans Celebrity sails around the world.

For a full  listing of cinema tour stops visit

The transcendental, outside-the-box, over-the-top Celebrity Edge will be based  in Fort Lauderdale, where she'll make her debut on  December 16, 2018. Bookings are now open at, or through a travel agent, for the ship’s two seven-night Caribbean itineraries. Celebrity Edge will be joined by three sister ships in 2020, 2021 and 2022. announces major updates to reservation service

Changes could prove good for consumers as well as restaurants
Patti Pietschmann

OpenTable, just revealed details of major updates to its flagship restaurant management product GuestCenter that will focus on availability and customization. and provide restaurateurs greater control over the number of diners requesting reservations and where they seat them. Including when they accept large parties and how they structure specific times within service, meaning they can seat more diners more efficiently. This could be a good thing for consumers. The update also enables restaurants to show availability for non-traditional seating. Opening up bar-side, high-top, counter and outdoor areas for reservations, giving maximum choice to diners over where they are seated. (Watch video for more details).
"The latest product enhancements to GuestCenter increase the value that restaurants can gain from working with OpenTable to more effectively manage their availability and streamline operations to seat more diners, control party sizes and accommodate those looking for a more unique dining experience," said Christa Quarles, CEO, OpenTable.
Quarles added, "We understand that restaurateurs are constantly juggling competing priorities and our goal is to help them operate more efficiently. They know when they want to make tables available, when they may receive more walk-ins, when they can accommodate large parties and when they have bar-side or outside space available. The enhancements to GuestCenter ensure these options can be easily implemented and made available to diners. Our technology ensures that operations are tailored to each restaurant's specific needs so that they can deliver great hospitality night after night."  
Updates to restaurants will include:
  • More control over the diner flow through each service period
  • Categorization of table types to create additional availability by making bar-side, counter, high-top and outdoor seating bookable
  • Define large party size seating times for bigger groups at times when the restaurant can best accommodate them
  • Customization of shift periods within a service to offer different availability by peak and off-peak times
My husband Richard and I use frequently and  have been very content with the service which should get even better after these changes. "I like to tinker a lot with my dining room setup and the new features in GuestCenter have been great for me. We've seen an increase in overall covers and we've been able to accommodate many more requests for large party sizes, while still keeping space open for walk-ins when we want it," said Ben Rogers, General Manager atThe Promontory. "The product is intuitive and I've been able to give my host team more leeway and freedom to optimize availability."
GuestCenter is OpenTable's flagship cloud-based hospitality product for global restaurants that provides restaurants with marketing and table management tools, enabling them to take round the clock, real-time reservations from diners across the world.
OpenTable is part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), and  the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations that helps seat than 21 million people for their dining pleasure via online bookings across more than 40,000 restaurants. T

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

West Coast premier of politically-charged drama at Odyssey Theater

What to do on spring nights in Los Angeled

Go see the West Coast premier of Kiss--Damascus, Syria 2014/.

Two couples meet for dinner to take their minds off the war raging around them. An unexpected profession of love, an untimely proposal and one kiss later, one of the foursome lies dead on the floor. What starts out as a Syrian melodrama quickly takes an unexpected turn. Is anything really what it appears to be? Intersecting the personal, political and theatrical, Kiss breaks open cultural barriers, challenging us to confront the limits of our own understanding and exposing the suffocating effect of an oppressive, omnipresent regime.

• Written by Guillermo Calderón
• Directed by Bart DeLorenzo
• Starring Kristin CoutureMax Lloyd-JonesNatali Anna OrtizKevin Matthew Reyes
• Produced by Beth Hogan
• Presented by Odyssey Theatre EnsembleRon Sossi Artistic Director

Dates--April 29 thru June 18

• Wednesday at 8 p.m.: May 17 and June 7 ONLY
• Thursday at 8 p.m.: May 25 ONLY
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: May 5, 12, 19*, 26; June 2, 9, 16*
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: April 29 (opening night); May 6, 13, 20, 27; June 3, 10, 17
• Sundays at 2 p.m.: May 7, 14, 21, 28; June 4, 10, 18 (no 2 p.m. matinee on April 30)
• Sunday at 5 p.m.: April 30 ONLY
*The third Friday of every month is wine night at the Odyssey: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and mingle with the cast after the show.

Odyssey Theatre
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles

• (310) 477-2055 ext. 2 or
• Visit us on Facebook:
• Follow us on Twitter: @OdysseyTheatre_

• $25$34 (reserved seating)
• Discounted tickets available for students at select performances
• Two “Tix for $10”: Friday, May 5 and Friday, May 26


Friday, March 24, 2017

Bye Bye Virgin America Airlines hello Alaska

Alaska absorbs the little airline that was
Patti Pietschmann reporting

An Elevate member and avid fan of Virgin America I was disheartened to learn that it soon will be eaten up by its newish owners Alaska Airlines. This was really surprising especially after Alaska awarded Elevate members generous extra miles to convert from Virgin to it (which I did).
Below is a First Class meal I enjoyed from LAX to Newark.
That's me using the free WiFi in the Loft, VA's lofty LAX lounge, before the flight hope Alaska keeps its.

Alaska made it official yesterday sending out press releases that read, "Alaska Airlines and Virgin America today shared their vision for the future of the combined carrier, as the company solidifies its status as the West Coast's premier airline"
"After careful consideration, the combined company will adopt Alaska's name and logo, retiring the Virgin America name likely sometime in 2019. However, the combined airline will adopt many of the brand elements that Virgin America enthusiasts love about their favorite airline, including enhanced in-flight entertainment, mood lighting, music and the relentless desire to make flying a different experience for guests. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming West Coast-inspired vibe."
"Our goal from the very beginning of this merger was to become the go-to airline for people on the West Coast, with low fares, convenient flights, a premium product and genuine, caring service," said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Air Group. "Three months in, we've dramatically grown our presence in California and are united behind a new purpose: Creating an airline people love."
Alaska has been actively growing the airlines' newly combined networks since closing the merger in December. Earlier this month, the airline announced 21 new markets with 25 new daily departures out of San FranciscoSan DiegoLos Angeles and San Jose, California – marking the largest addition of routes in the company's history.
"We spent the last 10 months conducting extensive research and listening carefully to what fliers on the West Coast want most," said Sangita Woerner, Alaska Airlines' vice president of marketing. "While the Virgin America name is beloved to many, we concluded that to be successful on the West Coast we had to do so under one name - for consistency and efficiency, and to allow us to continue to deliver low fares."
 Alaska said it  will spend the next few years making major enhancements and incorporating favorite elements of the Virgin America experience.
Enhancements include:
  • Modern, warm and welcoming vibe – Music from fresh new artists will be featured on planes, in airport lobbies and at gates. In 2018, Alaska will debut an entirely redesigned cabin with new seats and amenities, and has already started to retrofit select Boeing aircraft with expressive blue mood lighting. Modern, stylish uniforms by fashion designer Luly Yang will roll out in mid-2019 for flight attendants, customer service agents, pilots, mechanics and ground crew.
  • Satellite connectivity – Alaska's entire fleet of Boeing 737 passenger aircraft will be equipped with high-speed satellite Wi-Fi beginning in fall 2018, with the remainder of the Airbus fleet to follow. Both fleets are expected to be fully satellite-equipped by the end of 2019.
  • More premium seats –Premium seating will be expanded across the Airbus fleet beginning in the fourth quarter of 2018. The number of First Class seats will increase by 50 percent (going from eight seats in the Airbus First Class cabin to 12) and are customized for enhanced comfort, featuring 41 inches of pitch, improved seatback storage pockets, cup holders, footrests and personal power outlets throughout the cabin. The redesigned Airbus cabins will also feature 18 new Premium Class seats with 35 inches of pitch and complimentary beer, wine and cocktails.
  • The country's top-ranked frequent flier program – In 2018, Alaska Mileage Plan will become the sole loyalty program for both airlines, offering guests more rewards, an expansive global partner network and the only major airline loyalty program that still rewards a mile flown with a mile earned on Alaska and Virgin America flights. Members of Alaska Mileage Plan enjoy some of the most generous benefits in the industry including complimentary upgrades, award travel starting at 5,000 miles one-way (plus taxes and fees) and a faster path to elite status compared to other airlines. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, members can earn and redeem miles to more than 900 destinations worldwide.
  • Complimentary upgrades – With 50 percent more premium seats being introduced to the Airbus fleet, elite loyalty members will enjoy the most generous complimentary upgrades in the industry. Mileage Plan MVP Golds and above are upgraded to First Class or Premium Class 75 percent of the time (based on average historic system wide rates of upgrade) on Alaska Airlines flights. Complimentary upgrades on Airbus aircraft will debut for the first time ever in late 2018.
  • Free movies – In January, Alaska launched a temporary promotion offering its entire catalog of more than 200 movies and TV shows for free. Starting now, free entertainment on guests' own devices will be a permanent feature on its Boeing fleet and the same free library of movies and TV shows will expand to Airbus aircraft via Red entertainment system in August 2017. Guests on Airbus aircraft will continue to enjoy access to early release movies for purchase.
  • Free Chat™ – In January 2017Alaska became the first and only U.S. airline to offer Free Chat onboard and will expand Free Chat to Airbus-operated flights in August 2017. Guests can stay connected to friends and family on the ground via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and iMessage.
  • West Coast-inspired food and beverage – Alaska and Virgin America continue to enhance their fresh, healthy, West Coast-inspired onboard food and beverage menus. Both airlines will sell y craft brews, premium wines and imroved food options. By June 2017, Alaska First Class passengers will be able to pre-select meals before they fly, and by early 2018, Alaska's Main Cabin passengers will be able to pre-pay for their meals before they fly. Food pre-ordering will be extended to Airbus flights sometime in the future.
  • Lounge expansion – By early 2019, there will be expanded airport lounges in SeattlePortland and Los Angeles, as well as new lounges in San Francisco and at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. The expansion plans will double the square footage of Alaska's airport lounges. Members also currently enjoy access to more than 60 partner lounges throughout the United States and around the world.
Fans of Virgin America still have time to enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

1 Hotels offering spring breaks on South Beach (Video)

Chic Miami strand sizzles in spring

Patti Pietschmann

The air and water temps normally stay in the 80s,  the strip of glitzy hotels buzz with beautiful bikini-clad celebs and ordinary people who go for sun fun and partying especially in spring.  We're talking super chic South Beach and while room rates there are often astronomical 1 Hotels is offer a spring break on the tab:

 1 Hotel South Beach
  • Spring Offer: there's  an adult-only rooftop pool and three others with cabana service. Spring rate breaks can be as much as 35 percent off ‘Book Now’ reservations along with a donation to Million Trees Miami, an organization dedicated to the community-wide effort to plant one million trees by 2020.
  • Use Rate Code: SPRING
  • Spring Starting Rate: $379
  • Valid for stays now through June 30, 2017.
Be sure to view the YouTube video for some sizzling virtual reality.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Delta Airline moving into new LAX terminals some disruptions expected

Attention flyers new terminals in the wind for Delta
Patti Pietschmann

As a Delta frequent flyer I was happy to hear that the carrier is relocating into new chic digs at LAX. Together with  Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) they will orchestrate one of the largest terminal moves in the history of commercial aviation when Delta relocates from Terminals 5 and 6 to Terminals 2 and 3 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) T.he move is scheduled to start on May 12. It will impact 21 airlines during a one-week period and is a precursor to the Delta Sky Way at LAX, Delta’s $1.9 billion plan to modernize, upgrade and connect Terminals 2, 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX over the next seven years.

Big wager
“Delta is betting big on Los Angeles with a $1.9 billion plan for Terminals 2 and 3 at LAX, representing the second-largest infrastructure investment in the region,” said Ranjan Goswami, Delta’s Vice President – Sales, West. “Our relocation to Terminals 2 and 3 is a major milestone for LAX and an even bigger step forward for the future of LA as we continue work on the Delta Sky Way at LAX. ”Delta’s move is one more element of LAX’s massive modernization effort which continues  the transformation of the airport and will improve the guest experience,” said Commission President Sean Burton. “While moving 21 airlines over three nights is a monumental task, Delta and the LAWA team have been planning and preparing for months to ensure a smooth transition.”
Terminal satisfaction for passengers includes 
  • Faster and more convenient connections to flights operated by Delta’s joint venture and SkyTeam partners in Terminals 2, 3 and TBIT via an airside bus that prevents customers from having to leave and re-enter the secure area
  • Less ramp congestion upon arriving and departing LAX
  • $332 million in recently completed upgrades at Terminal 2
  • New location closer to the LAX entrance for faster and easier access into and out of  the airport
  • New concessions in Terminals 2 and 3, including popular spots like Shake Shack and Angel City
  •  Brewery will have 23 gates at LAX immediately following the move and will operate alongside many of its airline partners, including 
Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic and WestJet. Later, a secure connection to TBIT will enable seamless access to additional partners, including Air France-KLM, Alitalia, China Eastern, China Southern, Korean Air and Virgin Australia. The new space will provide all the amenities Delta’s customers have come to expect at LAX, including a private Delta One check-in lounge, new state-of-the-art Delta Sky Clubs, and an integrated in-line baggage system. Once completed, the facility will offer convenient passenger flows, more gate-area seating, and a world-class concession program featuring local chefs and restaurants in partnership with Westfield Corporation.
LAWA’s Board of Airport Commissioners approved a terminal facilities lease and license agreement in July 2016 and the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved in August to enable Delta’s relocation to Terminals 2 and 3.
The terminal change will continue with additional overnight moves on May 14 and May 16, with a scheduled completion of May 17. Delta flights will operate from as many as four terminals (2, 3, 5 and 6) on certain days of the move, so the airline will be in constant communication with customers, providing real-time information on departure and arrival terminals and gates through the Fly Delta app, text messages, emails and additional channels.
“We don’t take lightly the responsibility of caring for our customers and employees before, during and after the move,” said Goswami. “A relocation of this scale is unprecedented, so we’re putting all our resources into planning, preparing, communicating and executing this move as flawlessly as possible.”
"This move furthers our progress towards our vision of a Gold Standard Airport," said Los Angeles World Airports Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint. "The coordination and cooperation amongst the airlines involved has been impressive and mirrors the importance that we all place on the guest experience at LAX. The immediate result is more efficient airline operations amongst partner carriers, and facility improvements that will be made in Terminals 2 and 3." 
The airline's  Fly Delta app is a must download that helps you navigate LAX. Additionally, LAWA will update terminal information in real time at and through social media using the hashtag #LAXontheMove. Delta and LAWA will also have hundreds of employees stationed throughout the impacted terminals to assist customers with wayfinding. Customers are strongly encouraged to arrive early and to check their terminal and gate information before arrival to the airport using the Fly Delta app and digital signage in the terminals.
 Delta is organizing customer and partner town halls to raiseg public awareness through out-of-home advertising in and around the airport, and meeting frequently with all airport stakeholders, including impacted airlines. Delta is also working closely with ground transportation operators and rideshare services to ensure drivers are aware of the move and is creating digital banners for Waze to remind customers to check their terminal on the Fly Delta app. Learn more at
 Photos courtesy of Delta media relations.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ultima Gstadd: picture perfect deluxe getaway for summer, spring,winter or fall

Picture yourself in a dreamy, little luxurious Swiss chalet anytime of the year
by Patti Pietschmann

Photo of the chalet courtesy of Ultima Gstadd

Discerning travelers  looking for a summer, fall, winter or spring getaway should think Switzerland. And if you particularly enjoy quaint villages that also offer luxury accommodations, consider the Ultima Gstadd. The new boutique hotel houses just 11 gorgeous suites where you can hole up in style complete with a private chef if you so choose (and who wouldn't). 

This is as close to a fantasy vacation as it gets especially during snow season when the area becomes a winter wonderland but also during the rest of the year if your bent is more to ground than slopes.

The rustic beauty of Gstaad literally took my breath away on my first visit.

Watch the YouTube video below  to get an idea of just how charming Gstadd gets.

The property sits in the storybook town of Gstadd where jet-setters go for skiing, hiking and wellness--there's also some good shopping if so inclined.  The stylishly-crafted suites are appointed with stunning  marble bathrooms, walk-in wardrobes and state-of-art technology (if you must stayed plugged in). If you're planning a friends or family getaway Ultima Gstaad has six special Residences that provide  privacy and comfort along with the conviviality of shared living space. Guests can opt for total privacy or enjoy the full suite of hotel services including a private chef to prepare bespoke menus.

For you dining pleasure there's the exquisite  Duchessa Gstaad restaurant  where the chefs use fresh Alpine ingredients to create gourmet delights infused with the fragrances of Italy. Three unique bars offer a variety of organic juices, herbal teas and house spirits to refuel energy or unwind for relaxation.

When it comes to 'aah' time there's a  hammam, sauna, swimming pool, massages and a spa offering treatments in collaboration with La Praire®, which is renowned for its anti-aging cellular therapy. Perfect wouldn't you say.  The s spa's additional collaboration with Aesthetics Clinics® enables guests to identify strengths and weakness through DNA testing, which helps to prevent serious disease.

Rates begin at $562 during low season and $2,208 in high season.

Photos courtesy of Ultima Gstadd for your viewing pleasure:

Don't these pictures just make you want to book a flight and a room and go, they do me.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Unbelievable $5 tickets to movie at TCL Chinese Theatre on March 12

Promotional consideration for iconic theatre's 90th birthday
Patti Pietschmann

Okay you'll have to get up early this Sunday (March 12) to catch the 9 a.m. movie but grab a date and go to brunch somewhere in Hollywood or WeHo after (how about Canter's on Fairfax). But you can't beat a $5 movie ticket  ffor the Majestic which is offered by The TCL Chinese Theatre in celebration of  its 90th birthday on May 18, and, with its billing as the largest IMAX® theatre in the world, the TCL Chinese Theatre is the preeminent venue to Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. The landmark theatre is running  series of screenings of major motion pictures over the years that have featured the theatre. It is also placing in the forecourt its newest handprints-footprints, from recent ceremonies for Oscar® nominees Jeff Bridges, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. 

Other upcoming titles include that feature the iconic theatre are “Cat’s Don’t Dance” (animated) in April, “The Aviator” (Leonardo DiCarprio) in May, “A Star is Born” (1937 version) in June, “Escape from L.A.” (Kurt Russell) in July, “Rush Hour” (Jackie Chan) in August, Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles” (Gene Wilder) in September, “Hollywood Homicide” (Harrison Ford) in October, “The Italian Job” (Mark Wahlberg) in November and “Day of the Locust” (Donald Sutherland, Karen Black) in December.  (Check the theatre website for specific dates and ticket availability).

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Support your local theater, "Jefferson's Garden' opening March 23

Topical play by Timberlake Wertenbaker premiers at UCLA's James Bridges Theater

Reported by Patti Pietschmann

Bound to be a moment of Zen for everyone following the latest happenings in the rather bizarre new administration led by Donald Trump, the American premiere of Jefferson’s Garden  is a gripping, powerful and timely play by internationally acclaimed playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker (Our Country’s Good) brings a fresh slant and theatrical inventiveness to the story of the American Revolution. 

There will be five performances of the action-packed  play under the direction of Martin Jarvis, OBE that traces elusive nature of freedom that was a smash hit at England’s Watford Palace Theatre. Each performance at UCLA’s state-of-the-art James Bridges Theater will be recorded live in front of an audience for future radio broadcast, distribution on CD, digital download and online streaming. L.A. Theatre Works' syndicated radio theater series broadcasts weekly on public radio stations across the U.S. (locally, in Southern California, on KPFK 90.7 FM), can be heard daily in China and around the world world on the Radio Beijing Network, and can be streamed on demand at

• Written by Timberlake Wertenbaker
• Directed by Martin Jarvis, OBE
• Produced by Susan A. Loewenberg

When and where

• Thursday, March 23 at 8 p.m.
• Friday, March 24 at 8 p.m.
• Saturday, March 25 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
• Sunday, March 26 at 4 p.m.
James Bridges Theater
UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, 235 Charles E. Young Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095
(enter UCLA from Hilgard just south of Sunset Blvd.; park in Lot 3 on the lower level)

Ticket information ($15 to $60)
by calling 310-827-0889 or going to Check it out on Facebook at
or Twitter @latheatreworks.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Whimsical 'Alice in Wonderland' staged in dance at LA's El Portal Theatre

Bellydance Evolution puts its take on this magical fable

Reported by Patti Pietschmann

If you're looking for some fun entertainment, consider attending the the 21st century, Los Angeles-based Bellydance Evolution presentation of  Alice in Wonderland at El Portal MainStage Theatre in North Hollywood on April 1, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. or April 2 at 4:30 p.m. 

The group is launching a west coast tour that will move on up to  Everett and Tacoma, WA and Portland, OR. Founded in 2009 by world renowned choreographer, Jillina Carlano, the style created a revolutionary approach to the whimsical and magical tale, re-imagining the colorful, iconic - and dare some say, "mad" - characters through the language of world fusion dance. The theatrical dance shows feature  a storyline, much like a ballet,performed by 20 international dancers who are passionate about their art in the fields of Middle Eastern dance and music, break dance, theatrical hip-hop, contemporary, tribal and fusion dance, each bringing their own unique vision to the production.

Based on the Alice in Wonderland book, the shows are ppropriate for all ages. “I am so excited to perform in my hometown of Los Angeles again with the return of Alice in Wonderland. We have performed this show throughout Asia, Europe, South Africa and Morocco and are thrilled to share Alice in Wonderland in Los Angeles, Oregon and Washington State this April,”says Carlano.

Alice in Wonderland stars Jillina Carlano (Queen of Hearts), Heather Aued (Alice), Sharon Kihara (The Caterpillar), Rin Ajna (The Mad Hatter), Ellyott Colon (The White Rabbit), and Ozzy Ashkenazi (The Chef).

Alice in Wonderland has two performances: at 7:30 p.m.on April 1 and 4:30 pm. on  April 2, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. Tickets range from $13$39. El Portal MainStage Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. For tickets and information, call (818) 508-4200 or go to

 Like them on Facebook: or check in on Twitter @BDEvolution

 Bellydance Evolution will also be hosting  several Workshops “I Follow Rivers: A Tribal Fusion Lovely with a Hint of Jazz!,” “Mystery in Movement,” “Performance Skillz: The Emotional Exploration of Dance,” “The Art of Playing the Darbuka,” and “Thunder Drum.” These classes are available individually or as an entire package. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mandarin Oriental Hotels news and videos 2017

The upscale hospitality chain continues to add MO for 2017-2020

Reported by Patti Pietshcmann

Okay this is nearly copied from a press release but fans of Mandarin Oriental might really want to know what's happening with the high end chain.

For starters its opening in Oahu --a new luxury hotel and branded residences set in the Ala Moana area of  Honolulu will be ready for business in early 2020 and will  anchor of Mana`olana Place, a 36-story mixed-use tower with gardens and public plazas, currently being developed by Los Angeles-based Salem Partners. Mandarin Oriental, Honolulu will host a rooftop restaurant, terrace and bar with awesome views of Diamond Head (view video above), Ala Moana Beach and Downtown Honolulu. It is envisioned as a modern, vertical urban resort epitomizing the Hawaiian tradition of the "lanai" with its seamless indoor-outdoor sense of place. The Group will also manage 107 Residences at Mandarin Oriental, located on the Mana'olana tower's upper floors, which will provide some of the most luxurious private homes on the island. 
Las Vegas (March. 8th) - Dining in the Dark, a new dinner series is being offered by Pierre Gagnaire's Twist at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. Guests will embark on an interactive culinary experience and indulge in unknown, yet delectable ingredients with only the lights of the city to guide them on a sensory journey. Featuring five courses with five wine pairings, each course will be served without revealing the ingredients. Instead of a traditional 'Dining in the Dark' setting, guests will NOT be required to wear blindfolds or sit in a pitch-black room. $225 per person.

Gay Paree-- - Guests at Mandarin Oriental Paris can enjoy recipes that its Michelin starred chef has created for astronaut, Thomas Pesquet, to taste during his six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The European Space Agency, Thierry Marx and Sur Mesure restaurant's recipes comply with strict health and safety rules developed by the French Food Innovation Centre, directed by Thierry Marx and chemist, Raphael Haumont. Now, each Tuesday in March, a gastronomic version of the dishes prepared for Thomas Pesquet will be presented at Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx. With the restaurant transformed to resemble a spaceship for these events, guests will be able to choose from a six-course menu that contains many surprises, including the three recipes created by Chef Thierry for the French spaceman: Lucullus' ox tongue, Chicken supreme with morel mushrooms, and Apple gingerbread. March 7, 14, 21 and 28th

Warhol at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong during Art Basel Hong Kong (March 23- 25)
Hong Kong - located in the heart of the city, is just steps away from Art Central at the Central harbour front and a short distance from Art Basel at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. "Warhol in China" photography exhibition will be showcased at the hotel and open to the public (March 20 - April 2), as a rare set of over 200 photographs taken by Andy Warhol during his visit to Hong Kong and China in 1982, including Warhol's stay at the hotel. This collection of works will be auctioned by Phillips at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong on 28 May, 2017. The Warhol Art Package includes overnight luxury accommodation and a three day pass for two guests to Art Basel Hong Kong, a VIP pass and unlimited access for two guests to Art Central Hong Kong (between 20 and 25 March, 2017), as well as, invitation for two guests to the Phillips' "Warhol in China" opening reception at the hotel on 20 March, 2017. In addition, complimentary buffet breakfast, a welcome bottle of Ruinart Brut Champagne and Art-inspired welcome amenity on arrival. From $733  per night from March 19 - April 2, 2017.

It's cherry blossom time in Washington D.C.  at Mandarin Oriental with a special spring package that includes a view guestroom or suite, gourmet picnic for two, daily breakfast and parking starting at $595 per night (2 night minimum. From March 24-April 16, 2017. The picnic is also available a la carte in varying options from $35 per person to the Presidential Menu at $275 per person. It includes Royal Ossetra Caviar, buckwheat blini and condiments, smoked salmon lettuce wraps, truffled chicken salad on mini brioche bun, foie gras terrine with candied kumquats, selection of charcuterie with local and imported cheeses, baguette bread, as well as, assorted chocolate bon bons and macaroons.

Asian delights at Mandarin Oriental Tokyo's there's a digital wellness retreat designed to help guests become unplugged with mobile devices.  The Deluxe Room Plan is priced at $1,304 for two guests. Through 3/31.

In Hong Kong the Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong  is launching its s first-ever line of machine-based beauty treatments, including a DNA Rejuvenation Facial (1.5 hr.), Illuminating City Perfection Facial (1.5 hr)), Luscious Hydration Facial (1 hour) and the Profound Deep Cleansing Facial (1 hour). The Aromatherapy Associates DNA Rejuvenation room experience from $786 per night, and includes the L600 Deluxe guest room and an exclusive DNA Rejuvenation Facial for one person. Through April 30, 2017.

Back in Boston there's  a spa party at the Five-Star Mandarin Oriental Boston with sensory wellness experiences designed to restore overall health and well being. Sound therapy, inspired by the ancient healing art of Himalayan singing bowls, uses vibrations and audible sounds, to restore balance and reinstate the natural energy flow within the body. The resulting echoes release blockages within the mind and body inducing a state of absolute serenity; the experience generates a deep sense of mindfulness, reducing stress through deep relaxation and endorphin release. The Himalayan Singing Bowl Therapy is available as a 50-minute treatment for $138 on weekdays and $150 on weekends; or 80-minutes for $200 or $220.
That's all folks, book your spot and happy travels.