Posts Tagged ‘Monterey’

Last Minute Holiday Gifts

Friday, December 19th, 2014
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Have you made your list and checked it twice?  I don’t know about you, but even though my list is made and I’ve checked it a million times over, it seems there is always someone I’m forgetting, or that “one last thing” that I still need to buy!

Sooo…with just a week to go, I’m getting it done, all in one shot – you guessed it, at the Portola Hotel & Spa!

Check out these cool items I was able to purchase, perfect for everyone left on my list!

  1. Peter B’s Brewpub Ugly (yet amazingly awesome) Holiday Sweater
  2. Spa Treatment Gift Certificates to Spa on the Plaza
  3. Festive Candy & Sweet Treats (perfect for stocking stuffers) at Candyland
  4. Guided Kayaking Tour Gift Certificates & Cool Outdoors Gear from Adventures by the Sea
  5. During Next Visit to the Portola, Surprise the Family with Monterey Bay Aquarium Tickets (you can purchases via our Concierge’s Desk)
  6. Unique Gifts and Monterey County Wines from Wines from the Heart
  7. Natural Health & Beauty Products at Spa on the Plaza
  8. A Phone Case with Bottle Opener or Cool Trucker Hat at Peter B’s Brewpub
  9. Monterey-Themed Souvenirs for All Ages from Monterey Swag
  10. The Gift of Travel & Dining – A Portola Hotel & Spa Gift Card; Good for Overnight Stays and Dining at Peter B’s Brewpub & Jacks Restaurant & Lounge

Happy shopping and don’t forget to take a break to re-energize (you must maintain your shopping strength) – perhaps lunch (and a glass of champagne) at Jacks. Ready, set, SHOP!

Tis’ the Season for a Little Me Time

Friday, December 12th, 2014
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Between holiday parties, shopping, decorating and cooking, this time of year is can be anything but relaxing. BUT, that can all change with a little “ME” time.  Whether it’s cozying up with a great book and a latte at home or your favorite coffee house or taking that much needed run, it’s easier than you think to escape the hustle and bustle of the season.

Personally, I have been dreaming of a spa day over the past month or so.  Massage, facial, mani, pedi – you name it, I want it all, and of my favorite places to decompress is Spa on the Plaza in Monterey, at the Portola Hotel & Spa.

The menu of services at Spa on the Plaza, is so diverse and with a ton of unique packages and treatments, you will not be disappointed. To my pleasant surprise, they are offering a bevy of holiday specials, including an aromatherapy massage and private tub for just $95*.  If you’re in a time crunch and looking for a little rejuvenation, their anti-again facial and collagen eye treatment is on special also for $95 and will leave you feeling like a million bucks.

After, treat yourself to lunch poolside in a private cabana, and don’t forget to take advantage of their Jacuzzi and sauna! So whether you have an hour or an entire day, make sure to carve out some time for YOU this holiday season!

Check out the Spa Holiday Video Here!

 

*December 2014 special offer and pricing.

Winter-time Wonderland at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Saturday, December 6th, 2014
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In case you hadn’t noticed, winter has arrived. Yes, for most of the country, Winter means weather, but in California and specifically on the Monterey Peninsula, Winter is more about the holidays and wondering why scarves and gloves look cool, but are actually uncomfortable in 65 degree weather. Most importantly, however, winter and the holiday season mean family. Whether you are entertaining guests from out of town or spending time with your own, there are many options around the Monterey Bay, but none excite the group as much as the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Beyond the world-wide reputation and overall greatness, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is offering several recently new and exciting exhibits and that are sure to awaken the wonder in everyone. Tentacles, the Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes debuted to much fanfare a few short months ago and has been enchanting guests ever since. Featuring giant rooftop tentacles and multiple tanks filled with 9 types of cephalopods, the exhibit will immerse you into a whole new world of these ever-changing sea creatures.

One of the other recent exhibits is the Jellies Experience. Gain a whole new appreciation of this beautiful mysterious and sometimes dangerous ocean dweller. Eight different types are featured and their graceful water-ballet amidst black-lit rooms is something to truly behold. Their simplicity and complexity are on display all at once in an almost surreal experience.

The Aquarium’s favorites are of course on hand with Penguins, Sea Otters, the Kelp Forrest, the Splash Zone and daily feedings and classes available for everyone’s enjoyment. Most recently, viral videos of rescued sea otters have made the rounds on YouTube and Twitter, but now you can see these cuddly kits in person!

If your guests are from out of town, the Portola Hotel & Spa offers a very special Monterey Bay Aquarium Family Getaway for $199 (now through January 31, 2015). Guests will receive accommodations in a nautically inspired guest room, a warm homemade chocolate chip cookie, 25% Off* on Food & Beverage for Dinner in Jacks Restaurant and two adult tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium which are good for two consecutive days. Book Now!

This winter, if the parkas and scarves have not made it out of the closet, but you are looking for a great experience for the family, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They’ll thank you for the best present of all, quality family time!

 

Book now and stay December 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015.  Terms and conditions apply.  Based on availability. Not applicable to groups. Blackout dates apply.
*Not valid during holidays.

Celebrate All Season Long at the Portola!

Monday, November 24th, 2014
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Nothing beats the holiday season, especially California Coast. Although, the only white Christmas you may experience are white sand beaches, the cheer of the season is everywhere, especially in Monterey at the Portola Hotel & Spa.

If celebrating the holidays at home is a family tradition, then what do you do to work off Mom’s turkey, Grandpa’s eggnog or the hors d’oeuvres from the holiday party at work? Why, ice skating in Monterey of course! With views of the Pacific Ocean, Ice Skating by the Bay returns to bring the feeling of the season to the historic Custom House Plaza November 22, 2014 -January 4, 2015. The rink is open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 10pm and on Sundays from 12pm to 8pm. Tickets can be purchased at the rink but if you are visiting family or friends, the Portola offers a package that includes tickets! Book Now!

If the knees can’t take a session on the ice, the Portola offers a range of packages perfect for getting rid of those holiday blues. Take the family on an artistic adventure on New Year’s Eve with Portola’s First Night Package. First Night offers a family friendly lineup of dancing, music, singing, artistic creation and excitement. Book Now!

If a leisurely morning is more your speed, then check out the Winter Breakfast for Two package. Bottomless Mimosas will start your day off right while the European-style buffet will give your taste buds the gift they have been missing. Book Now!

And finally, no list of holiday themed packages in Monterey County would be complete without some of the region’s award-winning varietals! The Winter Harvest Package allows you and a guest to experience a bottle of the County’s finest wine along with a guide to Monterey Wine Country, a logoed wine bag and corkscrew. You can take the wine up to your room, with you on a picnic or enjoy it at home while toasting the memories or a wonderful experience. Book Now!

Each one of these packages includes a one night in a nautically inspired guest room, a warm homemade chocolate chip cookie on arrival and use of the 24-hour fitness center and heated pool, Jacuzzi and poolside cabanas.

A crispness may be in the air, but in Monterey the weather is always fair, so get out of the cold and come to the coast this holiday season!

Favorite Holiday Cookie Decorating Tips

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
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Sprinkles, frosting, icing and love – all important components of decorating holiday cookies!  Our Portola Team has offered a few tips to help your cookies sparkle and shine!

 

  • always make sure your cookies are cool and at room temperature before decorating to ensure your decorations don’t melt or run
  • instead of using a colored frosting, drizzle cookies with melted chocolate
  • layer on the frosting; let your base coat of a confectioners sugar glaze completely dry, then begin piping a design over with royal icing to give your cookie dimension
  • using parchment paper, cut out a shape and use it as a stencil on top of the cookie; make sure to have buttercream frosting base, then lay down stencil and apply sprinkles; remove your stencil carefully
  • personalize cookies with a name or special message
  • most importantly have fun!