Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong Turns 50

IMG_3252In 1963 a new type of hotel was built in Hong Kong. It was 26 stories tall and offered 650 guest rooms. Best of all, it offered stunning views of one of the world’s most exotic harbors.

Fifty years later, the General Manager, Jonas Schuermann and Director of Communications of the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, and the lovely Nina Colls, invited a group of people to attend a luncheon at Spago’s Beverly Hills to learn how the hotel will be celebrating its 50th Birthday.

While nibbling on slices of Spago’s signature house-cured salmon pizza with dill creme fraiche and slices of chicken, caramelized sweet corn and roasted peppers pizza, we learned that the hotel is still 26 stories tall, yet they now have 3 Mandarin properties in Hong Kong. The flagship hotel, overlooks Victoria Harbour and is a forty minute drive from the airport.

In 2005, the hotel spent $150 million to renovate its 501 guestrooms, 10 restaurants, and numerous public spaces, as well as to construct the Mandarin Spa. Now there are 71 individually-designed suites and 430 guest rooms with either exciting city or lovely harbor views.

When our second course at Spago’s arrived, Jonas told us about the ten restaurants and bars at the Mandarin Oriental. Jonas has been working at the property for 24 years. He loves the property so much, that he resides there with his two poodle.

Culinary Options

There are two Michelin starred restaurants from legendary French chef Pierre Gagnaire at Pierre and Mandarin Grill +Bar serving classic grill dishes and seafood.

Alaskan Halibut at Spagos

Alaskan Halibut at Spagos 

At Man Wah they serve Cantonese dishes. Krug champagne is served with tasting menus at The Krug Room. During 2013, Executive Chef Uwe Opocensky will offer exciting adaptations of 1960s’ dishes with a 21st century twist in the exclusive Krug Room. He has created the “Fruit Loops 2013,” Julia Childs-inspired “Beef Bourguignon”, “Baked Alaska” and “Ich bin ein Berliner”.

When the spectacular Alaskan Halibut arrived at my table setting at Spago’s, it was served on a bed of sweet corn, braised pancetta, maitake mushrooms and mushroom nag. Nina Colls sitting nearby shared with the table the Mandarin Oriental’s Spa and Wellness facilities.

Ahhh, the Spa

The multi-level retreat offers 8 treatment rooms. There are two couples suites with private steam showers and a jucuzzi. Treatments at the Spa range from around the world to traditional Chinese Medicine. For those who enjoy a gym, there is a 24-hour fitness center with Hong Kong’s first Kinesis studio. Guests who enjoy swimming laps, can in the indoor pool. There is a salon for hair styling, manicures and pedicures. Men may go to the Mandarin barber for traditional male grooming.

IMG_3253As we were finishing our lunch with a refreshing sorbet and berry plate, Jonas said, “80% of Hong Kong is green.” That surprised many of us. We all picture the harbor with a multitude of high-rise buildings dotting the landscape. “There are hiking, biking and walking trails throughout the International Cosmopolitan City,” he said.

Fantastic and 50

Guests staying at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong during the 50th Anniversary will be met on arrival at the airplane and escorted to one of the luxurious Oriental Suites. This special package includes

This special package will include many of the 1963 highlights, offering guests the ultimate 50th celebratory stay. Included in the package are:

–       Two nights in the Oriental Suite

–       Airport transfers

–       “Meet & Greet” service

–       A welcome bottle of chilled champagne

–       One Champagne Breakfast for two, served in the privacy of your own suite

–       Special 1963 dinner menu, with a 21st century twist for two at the Mandarin Grill + Bar

–       Golden Sparkling body spa treatment for two

–       1963 Port Flight for two in The Chinnery

–       Two keepsake silver tankards engraved with your initials

–       Breakfast for two at Clipper Lounge the following day

This special two nights’ package will be available between 1 September and 29 December 2013, with rates starting from HKD19,888 for the first night and HKD9,888 for the second night, for a minimum of two nights. This offer is subject to availability. For further information click here.

For further information or bookings, please call +852 2522 0111, email: mohkg-reservations@mohg.com or visit our website: http://www.mandarinoriental.com/hongkong

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Amtrak’s Surfliner ride from Santa Barbara to LA

IMG_1796After a relaxing stay at the exquisite El Encanto Resort, the thought of getting into my car for a two-hour drive home, possibly in some traffic, didn’t excite me. I was thrilled to be taking the Amtrak Surfliner  home.

My family and I were invited to experience the Orient Express’ newest 5 star resort, the newly renovated El Elcanto. We drove up on a Sunday together. After enjoying a decadent afternoon-tea on the Terrace, swimming in the 85 degree infinite pool and touring the grounds of the resort, my family needed to drive back home, due to work and school obligations. As I watched them leave the driveway, I went back to my cottage and slept well.

The next morning I ate a dazzling California-style breakfast prepared by Executive Chef Patrice Martineau. Later I enjoyed a marvelous facial by Kelsey Webb at the El Encanto Spa. Afterwards, El Encanto staff members arranged for a car to take me down to the Santa Barbara train station. It’s only ten minutes away. The staff happily printed out  my boarding pass for me for my 2:04 p.m. departure.

The train was eight minutes delayed due to a freight train trying to pass. At 2:10 p.m. it arrived. Everyone IMG_1757in the train station, built in 1904, walked onto the platform and into the various train cars. I followed other passengers up the stairs and found a window seat to admire the Pacific Ocean views. There was a foot rest, fold out tray and my comfortable chair reclined back.

The conductor scanned my e-ticket before we rolled up to the Carpenteria station 15 minutes later. Along the way, I took photos of beaches, multi-million dollar Montecito homes and the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel.

We smoothly stopped in Carpenteria and picked up a few people, before we continued on our journey to the Ventura station. Kids waved to us as our train went by. The 20 minute journey to Ventura was mostly all ocean viewing. Everyone in my train car was quiet. We all enjoyed hearing the horn sound out every few minutes.

IMG_1769Passing oil rigs in Carpenteria and wonderful nature trails along the cliff, as waves gently crashed along the shore. Couples stopped along their beach walks to admire the beauty and length of the train.

We clickety-clacked along the 101 freeway before passing Mussel Shoals. Workmen were working in the center of the freeway. We passed flocks of seagulls standing in shallow water and a long line of RV’s parked along the coast. Trees of every species passed by my window: California pines, Queen palms, Nobel fir.

A motorcyclist kept pace with our train right before Ventura. He turned and waved.

The ride was fairly smooth and so picturesque. I’ve never appreciated the California coast line as much as I did riding the train. When driving on the freeway, cars, trucks and motorcycles pass by and distort your view. On the train, it’s a moving picture of California’s quintessential lifestyle.

Flocks of pelicans soared overhead as we approached the Ventura Fairgrounds and train station. After a brief stop we slowly rolled out of beachIMG_1777 viewing Ventura to the more inland route to Oxnard. The conductor said it would take us 12 minutes. With the ocean in the far distance, we passed the Pierpont Tennis Club. Next fields of green cabbage, lettuce, and orchards of citrus fruit. Workers were harvesting the fresh produce for the local farmers.

There is a Café on the train, however I brought my own food and didn’t want to miss the view. Restrooms are on located near the stairway.

At Oxnard, the sign stated Elevation 61 feet. There is a large bus depot next to the train station. Oxnard’s annual Strawberry Festival is May 18 and May 19th. We passed a lot of strawberry fields on our way to Camarillo in ten minutes.

Next stop, Moorpark in 10 minutes. Now we cruised by industrial parks  and then fields of beans, groves of lemons into the Santa Rosa Valley. Horses in corrals rested under tall eucalyptus trees. More lemon and orange groves and workers harvesting acres of crops. Arriving into the Moorpark station we passed a skateboard park and elementary school.

IMG_1787As the doors closed we were headed to Simi Valley. Arrival time about 15 minutes. The views weren’t as pretty as earlier on the journey. We passed a batting cage, Law offices and cars lined up at a signal along Los Angeles Ave. Passengers boarding the train started talking on their cell phones and others blared music so loud into their earphones, that I could hear the heavy metal music six seats away.

The Southbound train’s next stop was Chatsworth, ten minutes away.  The topography is beautiful rolling through the Santa Susana pass.  Rocks and boulder are dominated by high, narrow ridges and deep canyons. The rugged natural landscape was a striking contrast to the developed communities of Moorpark and Simi Valley. We even went through our three tunnel. Inside the car the lights remained on, yet outside was pitch black. According to a website, the first tunnel is 7,369 feet long. It was constructed in 1900 by the Southern Pacific Transportation Company and completed in 1904. Construction of the tunnel began in 1900 by the Southern Pacific Transportation Company and was IMG_1789completed in 1904. It made it easier to transfer crops and livestock to market.

We traversed through another shorter tunnel before seeing more Rocky peaks. In fact, the third highest point is called Rocky Peak. It gets its name from the many large craggy boulders that dot its surface. It’s quite beautiful and unique to another landscape we rolled past. Rocky Peak has been prominently featured in many classic films.

IMG_1792Cruising through the last tunnel, we saw Equestrian estates and track homes in Chatsworth. It was the first time another train passed by my window. The Chatsworth station had the nicest arrival sign. The depot offers passengers a Transportation and Movie History museum to explore.

Next stop, Van Nuys with a 15 minute travel time. We passed the Van Nuys airport and watched the private jets, small planes and helicopters take off and land.

We saw a lot more cars, trains and billboards. We were told the train might fill up with commuters, so place our bags and items in the overhead shelf.

The conductor came by to tell me my stop at the Burbank airport was next and would take about six minutes. I packed up my things and got ready to leave my relaxing journey. The train only stops for a minute or two, before closing its doors and heading out to its next depot and final destination, San Diego.

I longed for the tranquil and serene views of pulling out of the Santa Barbara Train Stations and rolling along the coast, yet enjoyed the unique views that each city offered along the train tracks.

10 Dandy Father’s Day Destinations in LA

Picnic with Dad

Picnic with Dad

Your Daddy might want to sit home with his remote, drink a few beers and watch television all day long for Father’s Day, but DON’T LET HIM. This is a day to organize something fun for Pop! Here are some fun dining destinations and overnight hot spots.

Your Beer Loving Dad Will Enjoy the Following Destinations –

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

The family-run spot is offering $3 big pints for Pop.  The special includes 16-ounce Lazy Dog house beers and Firestone DBA. Every dad who dines at Lazy Dog on Sun. June 16 will receive a free limited edition pint glass while supplies last.  Pair the beer with Lazy Dog’s famed BBQ Baby Back pork ribs with housemade BBQ sauce, or a prime steak like the garlic-butter glazed Flatiron or bacon wrapped coulotte. 3525 W. Carson. St. (310)921-6080.

Golden Road Brewing 

Los Angeles’ largest craft brewery is boasting beer and burritos for Dad. For $12, dad will score a crisp Cabrillo Kolsch with a vegan or non-vegan breakfast burrito. The Cabrillo Kolsch is the perfect summer beer. It’s a Kölsch-style brew.  The style originated in Cologne, Germany and is hybrid, drifting somewhere between an ale and a lager.

Dad loves craft beers

Dad loves craft beers

Ale yeast is fermented at cooler temperatures, much like a lager, to create a clean, refined, smooth lager finish.  German Tradition and Opal hops lend the beer a slightly peppery aroma and flavor, lightly accented by a citrus aroma.Dad will also receive a special piece of Golden Road swag.  Dad will enjoy games on the lawn, sports on the flatscreens and a beer in his hand. 5410 W. San Fernando Rd. (213)373-4677.

Simmzy’s

Dad will want to swing by the Manhattan Beach or Long Beach location to receive a pint of beer for a penny. On Sun. June 16, Simmzy’s opens at 10 a.m. and closes on 11 p.m. 229 Manhattan Beach Blvd. (310) 546-1201 and 5271 E. Second St. (562) 439-5590.

Father’s Day with Sausage and Beer

Treat Dad to a BierBeisl’s sausage sampler platter with their five best-selling sausages: Kasekariner, Debreziner, Bratwurst, Weisswurst and Wiener, served with specialty mustards, sauerkraut and fresh horseradish for $28 per person. Chef Mairinger’s is also offering a special five-course sausage and beer tasting menu for $45. He also is preparing a 3 course lunch or dinner menu for $35. Each homemade sausage has a unique presentation and is paired with a specialty beer. 9669 S Santa Monica Blvd. (310) 271-7274.

Al Fesco Dining

Father’s Day Brunch at W Los Angeles Westwood

The W Los Angeles Westwood invites all dads to  The Backyard from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Guests can enjoy “Hair of the Dog” cocktails, signature brunch and lunch dishes, and two Father’s Day specials from Executive Chef Dakota Weiss – the Short Rib Stuffed Burger with spicy BBQ sauce, smoked cheddar, and crispy onions on a brioche bun ($18), and an Everything but the Kitchen Sink Sammy with smoked turkey, bacon, ham, salami, pickled peppers, provolone, swiss, gouda, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and red onions ($16). Reservations are recommended and can be made by visiting http://www.wlosangeles.com/thebackyard. 930 Hilgard Ave. (310)443-8218.

Red meat and wine

Red meat and wine

The Hunting Dad Will Want to Dine at Saddle Peak Lodge

Dad will enjoy a three-course brunch at a timbered hunting lodge with game trophies adorning the walls. On June 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef Kufek prepares a manly brunch is $55 per person and $30 for a two-course meal for children under 12.  The menu includes for Starters – Ahi Tuna Salad with peanut sesame dressing, almonds, scallions, bell pepper, oranges, carrots, cilantro, Napa cabbage, Bibb lettuce, fried wontons, House-Smoked Scottish Salmon on a bagel, dill cream cheese, capers, red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers or On The Vine Tomato Salad made with arugula, burrata cheese, shallot marmalade, pumpernickel croutons, basil vinaigrette

Main Entrée

Saddle Peak Lodge “Eggs Benedict” poached eggs, smoked bacon, sautéed spinach, shallots, country potatoes, hollandaise

Pan Seared Salmon with roasted beets, pistachios, sautéed beet greens, oranges, tarragon buerre blanc

Sliced Leg of Lamb Sandwich with focaccia, crispy onions, caramelized onions, brie, arugula, garlic aioli, sweet potato fries

Thick-Sliced French Toast topped with toasted hazelnuts, strawberry compote, whipped cream, Nutella, Vermont maple syrup

Roasted Prime Rib accompanied with brown butter mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, sautéed spinach, horseradish cream

Dessert – Dulce de Leche flan macerated berries or caramelized white chocolate pot de crème blackberries, pistachio, white fudge or apple bread pudding peanut butter ice cream

419 Cold Cyn. Rd. (818)222-3888.

IMG_1594Spa Dad

Give Dad a day to remember at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey with one of Spa Nautica’s Father’s Day packages.

Soothing sounds of the water, picturesque views of the marina, and the fresh air of the Pacific provides a healthy balance and the ideal backdrop for your city escape. Spa Nautica offers 7,000 square feet of serenity featuring eight treatment rooms including one couple’s suite. Customize your experience in a refreshing eucalyptus steam room, sample Mediterranean figs while curled up in our tranquility lounge, stretch out and bask in the sun on a comfortable lounge chair by the pool with an ice-cold beer. Immerse yourself in the latest spa therapies designed to stimulate your senses and cleanse your mind body and soul. His tension-relieving Therapeutic massage with a fitness gel of menthol and eucalyptus is $155. You will get a $25 voucher for yourself with every 60-minute or longer treatment purchased. 4375 Admiralty Way (310)823-1700.

GENTLEMEN’S SPA TREATMENTS

Spa Montage introduces new packages and treatments designed specifically for men. Indulge Dad with a Gentlemen’s Deep Tissue Massage or a Gentlemen’s Executive Facial. To reserve, call 310.860.7840. 225 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills

Enjoy Father's Day at The Montage Beverly Hills

Enjoy Father’s Day at The Montage Beverly Hills

GENT’S TEA

Take Dad to Parq Bar at the Montage Beverly Hills for a Gent’s Tea which includes house scotch, sliders, pie and cake for $60/person. Available Friday through Sunday from 12-3pm. Call 310.860.7886 to reserve. 225 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills

SHAVE & SCOTCH AT GORNIK & DRUCKER

For the month of June, reserve Dad any shave at Gornik & Drucker at Montage Beverly Hills and he will enjoy a glass of The Macallan while he is pampered. Starting from $75. Call 310.860.7819 to reserve. 225 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills

Museum Dad

Take Dad to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and afterwards enjoy a meal at Ray’s & Stark Bar. Helmed by Executive Chef Kris Morningstar, the popular Mediterranean dining destination is offering specialty brunch items that include Joe’s quiche with caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese and lettuce sourced from the restaurant’s onsite garden. Morningstar’s slow cooked eggs come with house cured ham, fingerling potatoes, ramps, and cracked black pepper. A la carte items range from $15- $29 for entrée. Doors open at 11:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. for brunch. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. (323)857-6180.

FREE Burger for Dad

This Father’s Day show your dad how much you appreciate all the big and little things he has done for you with a free burger. The Counter Burger will buy your dad a burger, when you tell the server, “My dad is a BFD.” Offer valid for one standard 1/3 lb. burger (excluding bison and market select burgers), additional and premium toppings are extra. One per Dad with a paying guest. 5779 Wilshire Blvd. (323)932-8900, 7919 Sunset Blvd. (323)436-3844 and 725 West 7th St. (213)228-7800. For other locations, go to http://www.thecounterburger.com/.

Mother’s Day Destinations

Colorful and Cheery Mom

The Saguaro offers the most kaleidoscope of vibrant hues throughout the hotel and pool in Palm Springs. I call this the “end of the rainbow” resort. There are 16 bold colors throughout this 245-room hotel, that was once a Holiday Inn.

Now managed by Joie de Vivre Hotels, renowned architects Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat infused the colors of indigenous flowers found in the desert  with the lines of the mountain range next to the expansive pool and inviting courtyard area. The grounds and gardens were renovated in Feb. 2012. Hummingbirds flit around the brilliant purple blooming Mexican sage.

The property offers an on-site spa featuring indigenous treatments that Mom will adore. She might enjoy relaxing around the outdoor, heated Olympic-size pool or in the evening, soak in one of the two outdoor hot tubs and enjoy the twinkling stars.

Ready to play bocce ball? Croquet? of Ping Pong? This family friendly property offers lot’s of fun games to keep you entertained. At 8 a.m. they offer yoga to help you start your day.

After a swim, dress for dinner at Tinto’s located on-site. Tinto, is an expression in Spain, used to describe red wine. Executive Chef and Iron Chef Jose Garces creates an intimate restaurant at The Saguaro serving Basque food. Take a seat and order Mom a fruity white sangria paired with plates of charcuterie & cheeses. Be sure to try the large prawn brochettes with shrimp and chorizo, grape tomato and espelette chile. The dates wrapped in bacon are heavenly.

1800 East Palm Cyn. Drive, (877) 808-2439 – http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/california/riverside-hotels/the-saguaro-palm-springs.

IMG_2071
Kick-back at the Viceroy

The Elegant Mom 

Originally a 1930s Inn called Estrella Resort & Spa, the Viceroy Palm Springs has a wonderful history of old Hollywood stars such as Bette Davis and Joan Crawford swimming in one of the three pools. Designer Kelly Wearstler took the 74 room Inn and designed the suites to resemble Old Hollywood Regency style into a more modern and  fabulous look.

Don Devine, the Manager of Guest Services runs the Viceroy seamlessly. With a hospitality degree from Toronto, Canada, Devine is extremely personable as he strolls around the property greeting guests with a “Cheers”.

There are three revitalizing outdoor pools – including a family pool and adults-only tranquility pool. All are  surrounded by citrus trees and manicured gardens. Two large jacuzzis and nearby poolside cabanas offer extra shade and comfort.

Fine dining inside Citron Restaurant or Poolside offers guests a multitude of culinary options. Executive Chef Warren Cordoba makes a terrific Watermelon French Feta salad with wild mint from his on-site garden topped with preserved strawberries.

For an entrée, the grilled Tamarind marinated shrimp is served Cuban-style with rice and black beans, a little cilantro and dressed with a preserved lime and butter sauce. Both are light, fresh and ideal for a light summer meal.

Afterwards hop on one of their complimentary bicycles to tour around downtown and uptown Palm Springs. It’s only one block away. 415 S Belardo Road, (760) 320-4117 – www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/palmsprings

IMG_2173
Ace offers 2 chlorine free pools

 Bohemian Mom 

If Mom went to Woodstock or now goes to Coachella, she will love ACE. This mid-century 170 room hotel, spa & resort is located near the heart of  Palm Springs. Built on the foundation of a 1965 Howard Johnson hotel, Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs offers two chlorine free pools and hot tub soakings everyday til 2am.

The fully decked-out gym is open to hotel guests 24 hours a day. Mom will have full access to regular poolside events, including DJs, bands, yoga classes, impromptu dance parties, Bingo and a large amount of lounging.

Mom may never need to leave the property with two dining options from the old Denny’s restaurant — now King’s IMG_2172Highway and the Amigo Room. Chef Brian Kiepler redefines roadside diner fare with his Farmers menu. He use local, seasonal and organic ingredients and sustainably raised meats wherever he can. Try the chilaquiles, Parmesan hash browns, brioche French toast and healthy Tofu and veggie scramble.

Checking out a few of the bohemian-style rooms, Levi Strauss made the denim headboard in the Desert safari suite. All rooms are earth-friendly with sustainable elements. Vintage furniture, old record players and clipped on wall art give the rooms an organic feel. Some have a garden patio and others a fireplace.

This place is dog friendly, so don’t leave spot home. 701 E. Palm Canyon Dr. (760)325-9900 – http://www.acehotel.com

 

IMG_2139
The Parker has a South Beach Whimsical Vibe

The Eclectic Mom

Parker Palm Springs has an interesting history. It first was built as a Holiday Inn in 1959. Later, “the singing cowboy” Gene Autry purchased the property and created Melody Ranch. He built a house and after purchasing the California Angels baseball team, built a Spring Training facility for the team.

The Givenchy took it over years later and Merv Griffin eventually ran the resort. Remember the Robert Downey Jr. arrest in 20o0?

You can reserve the Gene Autry two-bedroom/two-bathroom home with an enclosed patio. It offers a large living room dining room, terrace and kitchen.

Nearby is the Gene Autry “Adults Only” pool. Mom may enjoy a swim in the completely chlorine-free. It is family friendly.

They offer a body-temperature indoor pool for Mom when the Palm Springs sun gets too hot. There is also an indoor whirlpool if she simply wants to enjoy a good soak.

In 2004, The Parker Palm Springs was remodeled with the help of designer Jonathan Adler and the grounds by Judy Cameron. One doesn’t feel as if they are in the desert with the lush and overgrown vegetation.

Be sure to book a spa treatment at the onsite spa. The onsite restaurant Norma’s offers an eclectic menu and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 4200 E. Palm Canyon Dr. (760) 770-5000 – http://www.theparkerpalmsprings.com/

The Glitzy and Glamourous Mom

Lot's of Bling at the Riviera
Lot’s of Bling at the Riviera
Here is where modernism meets South Beach, Florida. Original architect and visionary, Irwin Schuman fashioned the resort after major Vegas hotels like The Sands, The Flamingo, and The Stardust.
Opened in 1959, the Riviera Resort immediately became the Palm Springs’ go-to hot spot for celebrities and sophisticates like Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin. Recently, the Riviera received a $70 million dollar rejuvenation.
Driving up to the friendly valet to enjoy a facial at the spa, I was instantly wowed with the jewel colors used throughout the property. Purples, reds and yellows pop with color.
Walking past the opulent outdoor playground with elegant pool side cabanas to enter the spa, I admired the oversize pool. The Riveria has one of the largest pools and two poolside bars. Guests float on rented Signature Pool Pillow floats.
Peeking into a guest room most offer garden, mountain or pool views. The Riv signature beds (300-thread count linens layered between a pillow top mattress, featherbed, down-filled duvet and down-filled pillows) will guarantee Mom a good night’s sleep. She will enjoy breakfast on her private patio or balcony, and “Jack Packs” (iPod/DVD/computer docking station and digital alarm clocks).
If the desert is too hot during the day, let Mom escape to The Spa Terre with its 18 treatment rooms, a rare and expansive pool, and Exotic Balinese, Thai and Indonesian treatments. The Royal facial is worthy of any Queen.
1600 N. Indian Canyon Drive (760) 327-8311 – http://www.psriviera.com/

Movie Star Mom

IMG_2378Desert Modernism at its finest is located in Uptown Palm Springs. Iconic architect Albert Frey designed The Movie Colony Hotel in 1935. It was one of the first buildings Frey designed in Palm Springs, during a blossoming time for architects to build mid-century architecture.
The 16 rooms have been renovated in 2012 with white plantation shutters, refrigerators and luxurious bedding. It’s simple in decor with comfortable private patios and terraces with lounge chairs and tables.
The staff strives to make guests feel at home. They offer a lovely continental breakfast with baked goods from Aspen Mills, fresh fruit, granola and beverages. Around sunset, guests gather around the outside bar for complimentary red and white wine hour.
This hotel became a relaxing getaway for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jim Morrison. The pool is private with views of the mountains. There is also a bubbling jacuzzi. 726 N. Indian Canyon Dr. (888) 953-5700. http://www.moviecolonyhotel.com/amenities.html