VISIT CALIFORNIA: The Latest in the Lap of Luxury

Experience the ultimate in class, comfort and one-of-a-kind luxuries with the latest upgrades and happenings throughout California. Savor an elevated culinary experience at new Los Angeles hotspot 71Above, or escape the city at newly-opened boutique hotel Shade, the first luxury hotel in Redondo Beach. Overlook the iconic Torrey Pines Golf Course at The Lodge Hotel’s newly upgraded restaurant, then sample the flavors at Santa Barbara’s Angel Oak, which recently opened doors at the ultra-luxurious Bacara Resort & Spa. Heading north, visit the famous Hearst Castle to be one of the first to see exclusive curated art pieces, or rejuvenate in a majestic natural setting with a personalized guided tour of Sonoma Wine & Redwoods.

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Read on to learn more about the latest happenings for exquisite experiences throughout The Golden State.

 

DINING DEBUTS

SOMERSET RESTAURANT OPENS IN DOWNTOWN SANTA BARBARA 

Lauren Herman, the acclaimed former chef de cuisine of A.O.C. and Lucques, is now at the helm of newly opened, Somerset Restaurant, in downtown Santa Barbara. Offering high-end fine dining with a casual, but sophisticated atmosphere, Herman has crafted a menu of California seasonal cuisine with Mediterranean and French influences. The former Arts & Letters Café was extensively renovated by designer Steve Hermann to create inviting indoor/outdoor seating. The romantic outdoor courtyard features a canopy of transplanted 160-year-old olive trees, fountains and gas lamps. The indoor decor transports visitors to another era, with a wrap-around walnut bar, mid-century-modern tufted velvet sofas and white Calacatta marble walls.

SKY-HIGH DINING AT LA’S CHIC NEW RESTAURANT 71ABOVE

Perched on the 71st floor of the tallest building west of the Mississippi (the U.S. Bank Tower), you will find LA’s hot new restaurant, 71Above. Step into the ultimate experience and overlook stunning views of Downtown Los Angeles while sipping on handcrafted cocktails. The lustrous hotspot’s chic design ushers guests into a Golden Age of glitz and glamour. Savor the elevated modern American cuisine offerings by Chef Vartan Abgaryan. For a more refined experience, semi-private and private dining options are available in addition to a Chef’s Table – a unique journey curated by Chef Abgaryan himself – that begins with a seat in front of the open kitchen, allowing diners a close view of the workings of an extraordinary culinary team.

THE LODGE AT TORREY PINES UNVEILS $2.5 MILLION RESTAURANT UPDATE

The Lodge at Torrey Pines, an elite AAA Five Diamond hotel, has reopened its popular longstanding eatery The Grill after a $2.5 million renovation. Now more guests can gaze out at the vast land of polished greens on the newly expanded patio that overlooks the iconic Torrey Pines Golf Course. The sweeping deck now features five outdoor fire pit tables, an alfresco lounge, overhead wooden trellis and artisan teak furniture. Executive Chef Jeff Jackson has spiced up their culinary offerings with brand-new menu items that proudly incorporate a variety of global influences into a classic Santa Maria-style of slow cooking over an open fire.

NEW SIGNATURE RESTAURANT OPENS AT BACARA RESPORT & SPA

Recently opening its doors, Angel Oak, the new signature restaurant of Bacara Resort & Spa, features Executive Chef Vincent Lesage at the helm. A classically trained chef from Michelin-starred restaurant L’Astrance in Paris, Lesage celebrates reimagined steakhouse offerings along with refined seafood dishes, including everything from certified Kobe beef to locally sourced Uni, seasonal side pairings and more. This oceanfront restaurant boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and gorgeous panoramic views. Inside the 162-seat restaurant is nothing short of classically stunning décor, ranging from large, living bonsai to a 25-seat bar top made from striking blue Amazonite quartz. This culinary experience certainly takes a modern approach to the traditional steakhouse.

 

DESTINATION HIGHLIGHTS

FIRST LUXURY BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN REDONDO BEACH

Newly opened luxury boutique Shade Hotel is situated along the coast for breathtaking views of the majestic Pacific Ocean. This intimate three-story waterfront hotel underwent a $22 million construction that resulted in 54 rooms spanning 34,390 square feet, including an executive suite, bridal suite and penthouse. For ultimate relaxation, each room is equipped with a chromatherapy lighting system to help guests slowly unwind as they step into a personal spa tub. The hotel’s culinary offerings are in a league of their own – a stand-alone, three-level building spanning 9,034 square feet includes a kosher kitchen; the farm-to-table restaurant, Sea Level, helmed by Executive Chef Aaron Robbins; and of course small bites and handcrafted cocktails for lounging around the rooftop pool. With yoga classes offered exclusively for guests, this property is the place to forget about your worries and simply relax.

SYCAMORE SPA NOW OPEN AT NEWLY REMODLED THE RANCH AT LAGUNA BEACH

Soothing breezes and sublime surroundings submerge guests at the Sycamore Spa, a peaceful canyon bungalow now open at luxurious The Ranch Laguna Beach. Embracing both earth and sea, this spa resort harnesses Laguna’s ethereal healing powers to quiet the mind, dissolve stress and restore health and well-being. Release stress with a signature Swedish massage or facial treatment. Indigenous herbs and plants—many that can be found in our canyons and Harvest Garden—are blended together to detoxify, ground and balance your mind and body. The unique blend of botanical oils, marine salts, vitamin-rich organic seaweed, minerals and trace elements deliver powerful antioxidants to protect, rejuvenate and hydrate the skin and illuminate a youthful glow from within.

TAKE A PERSONALIZED TOUR OF SONOMA WINE & REDWOODS

Beginning in 2017, Evergreen Escapes will be offering an exciting new tour departing from San Francisco to experience Sonoma Wine & Redwoods. Intimate groups of 10 guests or fewer will be immersed in a personalized excursion with an experienced guide. Begin the day exploring the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, a redwood forest with enormous trees over 300 ft. high and more than 1,400 years old! While taking in the serene surroundings of California’s natural beauty, sample Sonoma County’s exceptional fine wine from local boutique wineries in the Dry Creek Valley. Along the way, learn about ecosystems that spring up in the shade of the redwood, how climate and soil conditions produce distinct varietals of wine, and of course techniques to identify the characteristics of a wine, all while heightening your tasting experience! The tour costs $249 per person and includes wine tastings, transport in a luxurious Mercedes vehicle (pick-up/drop-off from downtown San Francisco hotels) and a fresh lunch from the historic Dry Creek General Store.

INTRODUCING TESLOOP: RIDE SHARING SERVICE FEATURING ECO-FRIENDLY TESLAS

Sustainable, Convenient, Amazing. On the cutting edge, Tesloop is the latest city-to-city shared-car transportation option. Now servicing Greater Los Angeles and Greater Palm Springs, this network continues to grow with upcoming service in San Diego, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. All rides with Tesloop are manned by a certified driver and offer amenities like charging stations, neck pillows, snacks, headphones and Wi-Fi. As Tesloop is connecting cities, they are leaving a light carbon footprint. Tesloop’s goal is to utilize autonomous/electric vehicle technology for its maximum societal and environmental benefits, without sacrificing style, comfort and convenience.  

CLUB SPORTIVA’S EXOTIC CAR TOUR COMING TO SAN JOSE IN SPRING 2017

Team San Jose has partnered with Club Sportiva to offer Exotic Car Tours through Silicon Valley’s top attractions. The Exotic Car Tour allows guests to experience six exotic and luxury cars over 120 miles of touring attractions like the campuses of Apple and Google, the historic garages of HP and Steve Jobs and the Rosewood Sands Hotel.  With an average horsepower rating north of 400, each vehicle is capable of inducing bouts of adrenaline the moment you slip into the driver’s seat and fire up the engine. Each driver gets the chance to experience a fleet of several different vehicles including the Tesla Model X P90D, Tesla Model SP85D with Autopilot, Ferrari 458, Audi R8 V10, Mercedes-Benz SLS, Nissan GTR, Lamborghini LP-560 Gallardo and other vehicles from the collection. Tours will begin in Spring 2017.

HEARST CASTLE ADDS LIMITED TIME SEMI-PRIVATE ART TOUR

Add Hearst Castle to your must-visit list in early 2017 because for a limited time only you can experience the newly launched, semi-private tour: The Art of San Simeon Tour. This specially curated journey will take guests on an immersive experience of media mogul William Randolph Hearst’s estate that aims to have patrons see it as he would have liked it to be seen, as a museum of the best things that he could secure. The tour provides a unique look at the famous estate, now a state historical monument, with a knowledgeable guide and intimate groups of eight participants or fewer. Highlights on the tour will include how Hearst acquired his remarkable paintings, tapestries, sculptures, antiquities and furniture. The two-hour tour costs $100 per person and will run once daily from Nov. 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017, then run twice daily May 1 through June 30, 2017. After the tour, guests are free to stroll the gardens and terraces at their leisure.

For more information about California, please visit www.visitcalifornia.com.

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