7 Great Escapes in Spring 2021

Ready to celebrate Spring now that you are vaccinated? Here’s some of the best So Cal and Vegas escapes.

Santa Monica

1. Casa del Mar Beachside Bliss Picnic
The iconic Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica and its sister property, Shutters on the Beach, are offering an oceanfront picnic experience to hotel guests. Wiggle your toes in the sand during this new culinary services. Beach setup by the picnic concierge team comes complete with a chic low table, comfy plush pillows, linens, blankets, and sun umbrellas. The delicious picnic menu includes lobster rolls; Thai lettuce wraps; and charcuterie. Just in time for Spring, the hotel is offering a new Beachside Bliss Package that includes a 2-night stay in an luxurious ocean-view room, welcome amenity, daily valet parking, and the new oceanfront picnic experience. The package starts at $875+ per night with a two-night minimum stay. Hotel guests are also able to purchase the beach picnic offering a la carte during their stay. Go to: www.hotelcasadelmar.com, 1910 Ocean Way (310)581-5533.

2. Newport Coast

The Resort at Pelican Hill – For a true Mediterranean experience, stay overnight at The Resort at Pelican Hill. Enjoy sitting outside overlooking the largest round swimming pool at the Coliseum Pool & Grill. The chefs prepare fresh, seasonal ingredients in their culinary specials and have them served in one of the most magnificent settings. Fun Fact: There are over one million glass mosaic tiles, each of them meticulously laid by hand inside the pool. The views beyond the pool is the Pelican Hill Golf Course and sparkling Pacific coast. This luxury resort offers a truly relaxing, vacation experience. Self Parking is available at the Main Estate. Coliseum Pool & Grill menus: BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER POOL KIDS

3. Palos Verdes

Terranea Resort – Fresh air, fire pits, culinary delights with craft beers and cocktails while taking in the scenic views of the Pacific are available at multiple dining venues at Terranea this Spring. Indoor and al fresco experiences are available at each restaurant. Fine dining at mar’sel is open for a coastal Easter Brunch on April 4 starting at 10am to 3 pm. A four-course menu showcases traditional Easter specialties with a twist, including lamb omelet, rack of lamb, halibut, brisket as well as vegetarian options. Pair with Champagne and accompanying fresh juices. Other dining venues: bashi, catalina kitchen and Nelson’s offer seasonal specials. Right now Terranea is offering guests an extra savings with the third night free. Restrictions may apply. Promotional code: 3FREE. https://www.terranea.com/offers/third-night-free. For more information call (866) 261-5873.

4. Laguna

The Ranch Laguna Beach – Those looking to play golf, take beach walks, practice morning yoga, listen to live music in one of the most beautiful canyons while dining al fresco will enjoy their stay at The Ranch Laguna Beach. Take a road trip with one of the resort’s specials that include

  • $25 Chevron gift card
  • Waived resort fee
  • Farewell snack box, choice healthy or “kind of healthy” assortment
  • Laguna Beach road trip playlist

Valid for select Sunday – Thursday nights through May 27, 2021.

5. Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach – When guests reserve a stay at least 21 days in advance they receive a 15% savings on the best available rate at this luxury resort on the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Other special offers include Montage Memories with deluxe accommodations, complimentary nightly valet parking and a daily $60 breakfast credit. For those seeking to Linger Longer arrive early and stay late. It’s a special weekday stay offering the opportunity for more pool time and extra hours to enjoy breathtaking ocean views with an early check-in and late check-out, along with complimentary valet parking. Read more about The Montage Laguna Beach

6. Dana Point

Blue Lantern Inn in Dana Point offers a cozy bed and breakfast vacation, The Blue Lantern Inn is one of the best So Cal destinations. Sitting up on a bluff overlooking the Dana Point Harbor and Pacific coastline, the staff present guests with a wine, cheese, crackers and fruit picnic bag. Guest can enjoy this on their patio, balcony or Inn’s viewing terrace. Also at check-in guests are presented a menu to check off what items they desire for breakfast. The next morning a multi-course hot and cold breakfast tray arrives at your guest room door. After breakfast, take one of their cruiser bikes for a spin around Dana Point or go for a nature hike above the Inn. Read about specials here.

7. Las Vegas – See a show!

The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino excitedly announced that on Thursday, April 22 Penn & Teller will perform a new content and magic show, plus a selection from Penn & Teller’s extensive catalog of fan favorites. “We are so excited to go back to doing what we do, where we do it, for the people we do it for,” said Penn Jillette. “Teller and I are both more than two weeks out of our second shots, and in the same bubble, so we can stand unmasked on our stage. We will give up seeing what we hope are smiling faces so our audience can stay masked and safe.” Additionally, Penn shared, “We haven’t been on stage in over a year, so we don’t know whether the audience will be coming to see us do miracles, or just to see if we remember which way to face on stage. But no matter what, we’re excited to return to our home at the Rio!” Deals are amazing at this hotel right now with suites starting at $29 on certain dates when available. Click here to read more.

Recharge this Spring at Terranea Resort


Renew and Recharge at Terranea Resort

The last time I stayed at the Southern California Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island, I heard seals barking near my room. This 102-acre outdoor destination offers guests plenty of space to relax, recharge and renew in a safe environment. The resort offers nature walks for individuals, couples and families to learn more about the history, beautiful plants and wildlife in the region. Those seeking a quick weekend getaway or an extended stay can enjoy watching whales pass by as they migrate up to Alaska, or play a round of golf, paint by the sea, kayak to see seals and dolphins, enjoy morning yoga, and evenings by a firepit at Nelson’s.

During Spring Break, Terranea is welcoming guests of all ages with the following activities:


Ask the reception desk for a self-guided nature walk map featuring the 18 stops along the easy to follow pathways. Learn about Catalina Island 22-miles across the sea, stop at The Spa to admire Aleppo pines and Sago palms, and stop by Nelson’s for a beverage, snack or meal.


The Terranea Kids Club has specially curated boxes of activities designed for children age 4-12. Each kit celebrates the beauty of Terranea, including en plein air painting project, nature journal, design your own beach ball. There is also a Terranea’s Tot arts and crafts box offering a Lil’ Architects Lesson, sailboat craft, design your own Puzzle with artist markers, a sun visor sticker project, and jumbo bubble magic wand. 


Paint from your patio or balcony a large rock or wooden Easter eggs while taking in the ocean views. There is a self-guided instruction sheet, the art of mandala meditation guide and the Terranea beauty is your inspiration to create your own unique work of art keepsake. 

Photo courtesy of Terranea


Fresh air, fire pits, culinary delights with craft beers and cocktails while taking in the scenic views of the Pacific are available at multiple dining venues at Terranea. Indoor and al fresco experiences are available at each restaurant. Fine dining at mar’sel is open for a coastal Easter Brunch on April 4 starting at 10am to 3 pm. A four-course menu showcases traditional Easter specialties with a twist, including lamb omelet, rack of lamb, halibut, brisket as well as vegetarian options. Pair with Champagne and accompanying fresh juices. Other dining venues: bashi, catalina kitchen and Nelson’s offer seasonal specials. 


The Lobby Bar & Terrace is the spot to take in a sunset and Catalina Island views. Sit cozy around one of the Lobby Terrace fire pits, and enjoy specialties including a fizzy bunny mimosa, ambrosia strawberry mint truffle, and sweets from Chef Perry’s Bake Shop.


Swin at one of the resort’s three swimming pools, or relax on a lounge chair and take in the tranquil views. 


Kayak in the morning with Bob or Anthony on a guide led kayak adventure to Abalone Cove. Friendly and curious seals may swim near you, and dolphins will gracefully slide by. 

Right now Terranea is offering guests an extra savings with the third night free.  Restrictions may apply. Promotional code: 3FREE. Please visit https://www.terranea.com/offers/third-night-free. For more information call (866) 261-5873.

This article is featured in Luxe Beat Magazine.

Tickled Pink About Breast Cancer Awareness at Terranea Resort

Driving up to the elegant Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, I noticed three large pink ribbons above the entrance of the lobby doors. This was one of many pink enhancements the Destination Hotels resort included during October to honor Breast Cancer Awareness month. Each year it serves as a reminder of how the disease can affect both men and women, their families and friends.

Pink Ribbons above the entrance of the lobby doors at Terranea - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Pink Ribbons above the entrance of the lobby doors at Terranea – Photo by Jill Weinlein

Terranea and Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology and Knowledge) raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

Play for P.I.N.K. began in 1990 when Founder Laura Lassman raised money for her friend battling breast cancer. As an avid golfer, Laura rallied fellow members at her local country club to play in support of the cause. In 1996, Lassman met Evelyn Lauder, founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) and their friendship led to create – Play for P.I.N.K.  The organization now has more than 30,000 volunteers across the nation and has raised $43.4 million for  Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For more information or to become involved, visit www.playforpink.org.

Even the floral arrangements offer touches of pink - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Even the floral arrangements offer touches of pink – Photo by Jill Weinlein

Here 10 festive “Pinkilicious” touches throughout Terranea to raise money and support Breast Cancer Awareness this month:

  1. When guests arrive to check-in, the staff offers a bottle of water or elegant flute of pink champagne to hydrate guests.

    Pretty pink flowers throughout Terranea. Photo by Jill Weinlein
  2. The accent flowers throughout the grounds and floral arrangement inside the resort are various hues of pink.
  3. During the month of October The Lobby Bar, mar’sel and Nelsons overlooking the Pacific Ocean are offering guests a specialty pink cocktail to toast to all the strong women battling cancer. A portion of each sale will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

    Pink Ribbons above the entrance of the lobby doors at Terranea – Photo by Jill Weinlein
  4. All the restaurants at Terranea are offering a pink strawberry lemonade cupcake on their menu during the month of October. Terranea with donated proceeds from this sweet treat to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
  5. In the evening the tranquil front fountain is bathed in a glowing pink color, as is the main swimming pool.

    Pink ribbons a throughout the Terranea resort. Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Pink ribbons a throughout the Terranea resort. Photo by Jill Weinlein
  6. Golf carts that take guests around the property have a pink ribbon attached to the front. The pink ribbon represents a sign of support and strength for Breast Cancer survivors, patients and their family and friends.
  7. The reception staff wear silky pink ribbon scarves and customized pocket square pink ribbon design handkerchiefs to show their support.

    Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra with Pastry Chef Piero Jermonti and sous chef. Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra with Pastry Chef Piero Jermonti and sous chef. Photo by Jill Weinlein
  8. The Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra, Pastry Chef Piero Jermonti, Jin Lee and sous chefs at the special Wine Harvest Chefs dinner on October 13, all wore pink chefs jackets while preparing a special Breast Cancer fundraising dinner at one of the Terranea Villas. The evening offered financial support to the Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach.

    Even the sky is pink every night at the Terranea Resort. Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Even the sky is pink every night at the Terranea Resort. Photo by Jill Weinlein

    9. Inside the go-to spot sea beans – the napkins and straws are pink. Guests and locals can also purchase an array of edible pink items to take away.

    Even sea bean offers pink treats, napkins and straws. Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Even sea bean offers pink treats, napkins and straws. Photo by Jill Weinlein

    10. Guests who book a Play for Pink stay package in October (Promo code: PINK16) will have 10% of the Terranea proceeds donated to Play for P.I.N.K. to benefit Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Guests will be welcomed with a plate of pink macaroons and bottle of Chardonnay by ONEHOPE, the resort’s choice of wine that fundraises for breast cancer research. When a guest reserves a recreation activity or round of golf in October at Terranea a portion of the fee is donated to Play for P.I.N.K. and Susan B. Komen.

Terranea Chef’s Table Dinner

DSC_0850Last month, I experienced a Chef’s Table Spring’s Bounty Themed evening featuring Justin Winery and benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Located on the patio of one of Terranea’s villas atop a bluff on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, it was an intimate and interactive farm-to-Terranea communal dining experience with a seasonally-themed menu, celebrating locally and sustainably grown and foraged ingredients found in Chef Bernard’s garden and a nearby garden in Palos Verdes.

The Spring’s Bounty menu began with a cocktail or glass of Justin wine with a hors d’oeuvres reception. Chef David Tarrin prepared Japanese confit of chicken Yakitori; pepper crusted toro Nicoise with olive tapenade and a crisp sunchoke. My favorite were the baby hard boiled quail eggs. There were exquisite truffle tater tots, lumpia of Kobe beef and langoustine with a sweet chili garlic sauce. I sipped a cool glass of Justin Sauvignon Blanc (Paso Robles) offering an essence of DSC_0877apple and lemon pie.

Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra prepared the first course of smoked spring lamb tartlet and a small glass of first crop snap peas chilled soup.

This dish was followed by swordfish paillard prepared by Terranea Chef Andrew Vaughan.

We finished the meal with a beautifully displayed Meyer lemon panna cotta with candied pineapple and sea salt roasted pistachios.

Additional dates for the bi-monthly Chef’s Table Dinner Series include: DSC_0917Thursday, June 11 with a Peninsula Harvest theme and wines from Villa Oneiro in Rolling Hills. The charity that will benefit from this dinner is the Peninsula Committee Children’s Hospital.

On Thursday, August 13 the Chef’s Dinner theme is honey bees. Summerland Winery will be enlightening guests with their wines and pouring with each course. Proceeds from this dinner will benefit the American Red Cross.

On October 29th the wine harvest theme offer dishes from the wine regions paired with Catalina View wines. This dinner’s proceeds will go to Meals On Wheels.

The last dinner of 2015 is on Thursday, December 3 offering winter harvest traditions. Margerum Wines from Santa Barbara will pourDSC_0836 some of their signature favorites. Proceeds will be benefit City of Hope.

Tickets for this special multi-course dinner paired with wines is $225 per person and must be purchased in advance. Guests who purchase two tickets will receive a complimentary ocean view room for the night of the event.

A package of four dinners is available for advance purchase at a special rate of $995. Guests must be 21+ years to attend. To learn more, go to http://www.terrenea.com. 100 Terranea Way, (310)265-2800.

10 Great Easter Brunch and Dinner Festivities in Los Angeles

Terranea--300x200This Sunday is Easter. A great way to celebrate this holiday is to hop over to one of these 10 dining destinations and enjoy the festivities.

1. Spring into the Terranea

Celebrate Easter Sunday with family-friendly activities and brunch options at Terranea Resort. The Easter “Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt” will be held on the Palos Verdes Meadow and features an Easter wonderland with eggs and prizes for children. Complimentary access to all Easter activities, including the Egg Hunt, will be provided to diners and resort guests.

Family-friendly activities include the Pointe Discovery underwater egg hunt and rubber duck races, a petting zoo with bunnies, baby chicks and sheep, and a family activities station with crafts and Easter card and egg decorating.

Guests dining in the Palos Verdes Ballroom will enjoy multiple cooking stations, including an omelette and egg station, specialty cinnamon roll and waffle station, an Asian-inspired kitchen, a sauté kitchen, seafood table and dessert section.

The Easter Ballroom brunch will also include a buffet for children ages 5 to 10. Brunch is available from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is $90 for adults, including gratuity and champagne; $45 for children.

Mar’sel, Terranea Resort’s signature dining destination, will also serve an Easter brunch with an appetizer, breakfast, lunch and dessert options.

At the resort’s Catalina Kitchen, guests can enjoy a brunch buffet with an ocean view. A farmers’ market fruit cart, crepe station, candy station, and waffle and dessert bar will also be available.

The resort’s restaurants Nelson’s and Bashi will offer Easter Sunday specials, as well as their regular menus. Reservations are required for Easter Brunch. 100 Terranea Way. (310)265-2836.

2. Seasonal Spring Easter Brunch Specials at Cecconi’s29437-2

Cecconi’s offers an a la carte brunch menu, and Spring-inspired Easter specials like stuffed zucchini blossoms, poached eggs with white asparagus and truffles, and wood-fired pizza with green asparagus and stracchino.

Diners gathering for brunch or dinner can enjoy pappardelle with lamb ragu and artichokes. Brunch Specials: Stuffed zucchini blossoms with ricotta and parmesan ($10); Poached eggs with white asparagus and truffle ($14); Wood-fired pizza with green asparagus and stracchino ($18). All Day Special: Pappardelle with lamb ragu and artichokes ($24.)

8764 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90069 http://www.cecconiswesthollywood.com – (310) 432-2000. Click here on OpenTable for reservations.

3. Easter Brunch Redefined at Culina, Modern Italian1699

Four Seasons Executive Chef Cyrille Pannier and Pastry Chef Federico Fernandez give the time-honored tradition of Easter Brunch new meaning with a holiday-inspired spin on the restaurant’s famed Sunday Brunch buffet.

Diners can indulge in an extensive array of offerings that include freshly prepared eggs made to-order from a selection of organic hen, duck, goose and quail eggs; carving board savories like Honey Glazed Easter Ham, Roasted Prime Rib, and Leg of Lamb; a selection of Santa Monica Farmers Market produce in various Market Salads; Shrimp and Tequila Ceviche; fried Dim Sum; fresh seafood including Alaskan Crab Claws, Seared Tuna and Cambridge House Smoked Salmon; and entrees like Muscovy Duck Leg Confit and Braised Beef Short Ribs.

A Children’s Buffet with everything from Mini Cheese Burgers to Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches will also be available. Sweet teeth can cap off their experience with Pastry Chef Federico’s “Chocolate and Candy’s Factory” featuring a spread of Easter chocolate delights.

The cost is $98 for adults, $49.00 for children ages 5-12, and free for children under 4. http://www.culinarestaurant.com -300 South Doheny Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Click on OpenTable for a reservation.

securedownload-154. Easter Porchetta Dinner at Blue Plate Oysterette

Chef Paolo Bendez’u will be showcasing his culinary versatility with a Porchetta dinner special at Blue Plate Oysterette, complete with a Spring farmers market vegetable au gratin and lemon citronette.The Menu Specials include Porchetta with Spring Farmers Market Vegetable Au Gratin & Lemon Citronette for $23.

Blue Plate Oysterette – West Hollywood -8048 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048 http://www.blueplatesantamonica.com/bpo/los-angeles – (323) 656-5474. Click here for reservations OpenTable 

5. Meet the Easter Bunny at Montage Beverly Hills

Diners can celebrate Easter at a Sunday brunch at the Montagesecuredownload-16 Beverly Hills’ Scarpetta and The Rooftop Grill. Guests will begin with a seafood buffet and imported and domestic cheeses and charcuterie.

Entrées include eggs Benedict and ricotta pancakes, slow roasted rib eye of beef and whole roasted striped bass. Scarpetta will also offer spaghetti with tomato and basil, and housemade lasagna. A medley of desserts are also available.

Brunch is priced at $108 for adults; $35 for children ages 6 to12. Bottomless mimosas, bellinis and bloody Marys are available for an additional $22 per person.

Young guests can also enjoy a visit with the Easter Bunny, Paintbox activities, spring crafts, Easter bag and cookie decorating, face painting, balloons and the annual “Golden Easter Egg Hunt”. The Easter Bunny will fill eggs with sweet treats, hotel stays, spa discounts and other surprises. Guests may choose from a morning hunt at 11 a.m. or an afternoon hunt at 2 p.m.

225 N. Canon Dr. (310)860-7970. Reserve on OpenTable

6. Easter Brunch at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village


Families can bring their children to an egg hunt with the Easter Bunny, and enjoy a decadent brunch on Sunday, April 5 at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village.

Guests can start with the raw bar and sushi, and then head to the carving station. Signature brunch dishes and a dessert bar will be available.

A complimentary egg hunt will be held at 10:15 a.m. on the Waterfall Lawn. Treat-filled eggs will be hidden with surprises. Complimentary coffee and hot chocolate will also be offered on Easter morning.

“Staycation” specials are available through Sunday, April 12, starting at $269 per night. 2 Dole Drive. (818)575-3000. Click here on OpenTable. 11170

7. Easter Bunny Hops to InterContinental

Visit with the Easter Bunny while enjoying an Easter brunch at the Park Grill on Sunday, April 5. Guests over 21 will receive a complimentary cocktail upon arrival, and bottomless mimosas are available for $15.

Children will enjoy live music and treats, a visit by the Easter bunny and a special surprise. Signature breakfast selections include fresh pastries, smoked salmon with traditional accompaniments, seasonal fruit, French toast bread pudding, short rib hash, an egg station, seafood bar, lobster truffle mac and cheese, grilled steak, lamb ribs and ethnic cuisine options.

The cost is $73 for adults; $35 for children. 2151 Avenue of the Stars. (310)284-6536. Click on OpenTable.

8. Church & State19081

Located in the heart of the Arts District in Downtown LA, this French restaurant will be featuring an Easter-esque “Church on Sunday” dinner menu created by Executive Chef Tony Esnault.

Menu highlights include frisée salad with poached egg and bacon lardons, navarin d’agneau primeur (lamb and spring vegetables), and a decadent trifle. Dinner is available from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., reservations are recommended 213-405-1434 or click on OpenTable.  93433

9. Salt’s Cure

Located in West Hollywood, Easter they will offer brunch and dinner with locally sourced menu items curated by Chef/co-owners Chris Phelps and Zak Walters. Brunch is available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with dinner service from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., reservations are available for dinner only. 7494 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, (323) 850-7258. Click on OpenTable.

10. The Beverly Hilton’s CIRCA 55

The Easter menu at CIRCA 55 includes a traditional holiday brunch buffet with a sushi and seafood bar, salads, antipasti, breakfast items, a carving station, entrées, pastas, soups, fruit/cheese and desserts. Adults can create a bubbly cocktail from a bellini cart. The buffet runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is available for $79 for adults and $29 for children. Guests can start with chef Thomas Henzi’s breakfast pastries and finish with desserts such as cheesecake, macaroons, mini cupcakes and warm bread pudding.

9876 Wilshire Blvd. (310)887-6055. Click on OpenTable.

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