Archive for March, 2013

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Friday, March 29th, 2013
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Photo By Patrick Tregenza ©

Not since the days of Bacchus, has a feast so sumptuous, splendid and stupendous been laid out as will be gracing the grounds of Pebble Beach for the 6th Annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine, April 4-7, 2013. Each year, the event seems to top the previous year’s offering and this year will be no different. Take over 100 of the world’s top chefs, mix in world class food and wine, a liberal dash of glitz and glamour and you’ve got the PBF&W. The event, which started as the rebirth of the Masters of Food and Wine, brings food and drink to the forefront through a series of interactive seminars, tastings, dinners, receptions, screenings and demonstrations. From the most revered names in the industry, like Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud to chefs with a style all their own, like Guy Fieri and Morimoto Yamaguchi, Pebble Beach Food & Wine packs more into four days than most people can experience in a lifetime. With events numbering more than weeks in the year, 54 in total, your every need and want can be met and then some, why not take a break from the gastronomic action enjoy a casual walk or bike ride along the Coastal Recreation Trail and breathe in the rejuvenating salt air of the Monterey Bay. Or, if something more relaxing is needed, book a day at the award-winning Portola Hotel’s Spa on the Plaza or tee it up on one of the Peninsula’s many golf courses. This is an amazing event, set against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful places in the world. Make sure you reserve your place at the table!

Sea Otters

Thursday, March 21st, 2013
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Of all the wonderful and exciting things to experience on the Monterey Peninsula, perhaps one of the most cherished and beloved is the Sea Otter. Standing (well, laying, really) only three and a half feet long and weighing in at about 75 pounds, the Sea Otter is the Monterey Peninsula’s furry mascot, welcome wagon and tourist attraction all rolled into one.

A part of the weasel family and owner of the densest coat of fur in the animal kingdom, the Sea Otter makes it home in the fish rich kelp forests of the Northern Pacific Coasts. A veracious eater, the Sea Otter is widely recognized for their use of tools, using rocks to break open shellfish and crustaceans. Although still an endangered species, the Sea Otter population has rebounded since the early 1900’s making it an important success story for marine and ocean conservation.

One of the greatest joys of visiting the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is the many ways to observe our furry fish eating friend. There is of course the Monterey Bay Aquarium where you can not only observe, but learn about this important member of our ecosystem (re-opening their Otter Exhibit March 23!). For the more adventurous, Adventures By The Sea offers kayak and stand up paddle board rentals for individuals and  groups which bring you close enough to see the Otters in their natural habitat without disturbing them. You don’t have to go out of your way, however, to catch a glimpse of the Sea Otter. Simply stroll along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, just outside the Portola Hotel & Spa and with a pair of binoculars or even a sharp pair of eyes, chances are you’ll see an otter or two playing or dining in the kelp beds just off shore. It’s truly an amazing experience and one ALL visitors to the Monterey Peninsula should not miss.

Get Fit, at the Portola!

Thursday, March 14th, 2013
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Whether you are visiting or a local looking to improve their fitness, the Spa on the Plaza at the Portola Hotel & Spa has got the answer for you. Introducing “Fitness for Body and Soul”, the new fitness program from former world-class athlete and Exercise Physiologist, Janel Willette.  Fitness for Body and Soul is an innovative outdoor fitness class that integrates a full cardiovascular, strength and flexibility workout with the beauty and natural terrain of the Monterey Bay.

At any point you may find yourself doing push-ups off the boulders overlooking the Bay, using sea rocks as weights or utilizing a physio ball on the beach. Willett’s program combines her passion for life and nature with creative movement that highlights safe, yet effective methods of stretching and strengthening, empowering her students with natural, confidence-building energy.

Fitness for Body & Soul classes are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00am-8:50 am and cost $20 for a single class or $100 for a month-long pass. The Spa on the Plaza is also offering a special package that features $20 discount on any 50-minute spa service with a class on the same day. Classes meet in front of the Spa on the Plaza and walk-ins are welcome. So if you are looking to invigorate yourself heading into the holiday season, call the Spa on the Plaza today!

Aquarium for Two Package

Thursday, March 7th, 2013
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Photograph Monterey Bay Aquarium©

It’s easy to find adventure when you are traveling by yourself, with your significant other or with friends, but finding something exciting to do with your family that keeps your interest can become an adventure in and of itself. That’s why the Monterey Bay Aquarium is such a great choice. Not only is it located right on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, on historic Cannery Row, but it is chalk full of amazing and educational exhibits and interactive activities for kids and adults alike.

The fabulous Jellies Experience is now open and there are countless other interesting this to experience and explore. There is the Splash Zone that allows kids of all ages to engage with ocean inhabitants and feedings at each of the exhibits and countless other things to do. The Portola Hotel & Spa offers a wonderful Aquarium Package for Two. Not only is the Portola within walking distance to the Aquarium, but this package has it all! With the Portola Hotel Aquarium for Two Package, you get a nautically inspired and elegantly appointed guest room of your choice, two adult Aquarium tickets good for two consecutive days and the Portola’s famous warm homemade chocolate chip cookie upon arrival. Additionally, you also receive a delicious breakfast buffet for two at Jacks Restaurant and complimentary use of the fitness center. Guests can also purchase additional tickets right at the front desk and the Portola’s friendly and knowledgeable staff has a host of other activities and family-friendly things to do. It’s important to remember that the Monterey Bay Aquarium is more than just a place to look at the creatures of the ocean. They are one of the foremost research facilities in the world and are the stewards of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® Program.

So the next time you are looking a fun-filled family getaway that gives back, look no further that the Portola Hotel & Spa’s Aquarium for Two Package. You’ll be glad that you did, and so will the fish!