Archive for February, 2013

Refuge

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
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As previously mentioned in this blog, the wild and wonderful treatments available at spas are something out of this world. Most of the newest treatments are based on the healthy and beneficial powers of different natural ingredients. Whether animal, vegetable or mineral, one might think they are at a restaurant rather than a spa when looking over the menu of services.

Refuge, in Carmel Valley bucks that trend with one of the most unique spa experiences seen in some time. Quickly becoming a hot, new activity on the Monterey Peninsula, the Refuge Experience is based on the European practice of Hydro-thermal Therapy. The practice of exposure to a hot environment, immediately followed by immersion in cold water has been around for centuries, but Refuge has created an entire spa around the experience.

The grounds are tucked away amongst the Santa Lucia Mountains and winding roads of Carmel Valley with the various features set amongst large natural rocks and forest trees creating truly serene environment. The hot to cold benefits can be experienced in several degrees with hot tubs of varying temperatures and large steam and sauna rooms to be followed by the cold water pool of your choice.  Guests can then relax around outdoor fire pits or indoors on zero gravity chairs.

Trip Advisor has ranked Refuge at the #3 experience in Carmel, but the location is spa only, so a great lodging option is just over the hill at the Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey. The hotel is offering a Refuge Package deal that includes two passes to Refuge and a night on one of their nautically inspired, elegantly appointed guest rooms. The package also includes breakfast for two at Jacks Restaurant and a warm homemade chocolate chip cookie upon arrival. The package is a great call for a couple or for a couple of friends looking to get away from it all.

Stars on the Monterey Peninsula

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
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With the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am now over, the celebrity count on the Monterey Peninsula may have fallen…but that does not mean that celebrity has left the Peninsula entirely. In fact, the area has been a stomping ground for entertainment’s biggest stars. From movies and music, to the arts and professional sports, the biggest names often use the Peninsula for escape, inspiration and even invention.

Star wattage on the Central Coast starts and stops with John Steinbeck. One of America’s most famous and most respected writers, many of his novels were based in and around the area. From Salinas’ East of Eden, Of Mice and Men and Monterey’s Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, Steinbeck lived and breathed the Monterey Peninsula, as did other noted authors and poets including Robert Louis Stevenson, Robinson Jeffers and Henry Miller.

Movie stars have also made and continue to make their homes on the Peninsula. It’s no wonder with the area’s proximity to Los Angeles and slower pace of life, Monterey County and beyond, has played host to a number of notable movies, television shows and numerous commercials. If you want a closer look, check out Monterey Movie Tours Highlights include the locations from scenes in From Here to Eternity, Turner & Hooch and Play Misty For Me, just to name a few. Doris Day, Clint Eastwood and George Lopez call Pebble Beach home and let’s not forget that most of old Hollywood were at one time or another, residents or frequent visitors to the area.

How about our friends in the music industry? Well, since the 1950’s, the Monterey Jazz Festival has graced our area with the biggest names in jazz and at the time, popular music holding court at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. The popularity of that ongoing musical masterpiece let way to the seminal music experience that started it all, The Monterey Pop Festival.  Big names will often grace the more intimate venues of the area as they travel between the arenas in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The Sunset Center in Carmel, the Golden State Theatre in Monterey and the Rodeo Grounds in Salinas have all seen world famous acts and rocker Frank Zappa, the Eagles and jazz musician Kenny G have called the area home.

If sports are your “game”, the Peninsula has plenty of high powered athletic residents. NFL coaches and referees, Jim Tunney, Herm Edwards, John Madden and Ron Rivera along with Hall of Fame Member James Lofton live here, as do Olympic athletes, Nick Cunningham, Gary Figueroa and Blake Russell. Professional baseball and softball residents include: Reggie Jackson, Pete Incaviglia, Mike Aldrete and Monica Abbott. As always, golf plays a big part of the culture of the Peninsula with many notable PGA & LPGA players either growing up here or now making their home here including Bobby Clampett, Johnny Miller and Julie Inkster.

So, if it’s star power you want without the traffic and smog of Los Angeles or the chaos of New York City, the Monterey Peninsula may just be what you are looking for – beauty and just the right amount of glitz and glamour.

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Thursday, February 7th, 2013
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Chris O’Donnell, Josh Duhamel, Bill Murray.

Golden Globes attendees?

Red carpet guest list?

How about some of the many celebrity players at this year’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am going on right now through Sunday?!

Now I know what you are thinking, a golf tournament, you can’t be serious. Stuffy golf fanatics in mismatched outfits craning for a view of no-name players chasing a little white ball around for hours. Well friends, this is not your father’s golf tournament. These are some of the biggest names in Hollywood, playing at one of the best resorts in the world. Fantastic food and people-watching all while soaking up the multi-million dollar views of the Pacific Ocean from the Pebble Beach Resort.

The AT&T Pebble Beach is of the premiere weekends on the Monterey Peninsula and is always a good time. Want an inside tip? Head out to Pebble early on Saturday and then retire to the Tap Room overlooking the 18th green for a bit. It’s a great opportunity to put your feet up and you may even see a celebrity or two relaxing after their round.

After your time out at the tourney, make sure to head on over to the Portola Hotel & Spa, where you can kick-back in their Grey Goose Lounge.  The lower atrium of the Portola, beginning this Thursday will be transformed into a swanky, cool lounge, where you can sip and savor fabulous cocktails among fellow AT&T guests, fans and if you’re lucky you might even have a celebrity sighting!