Business Travel: Pullman Style

13 Aug

As we enjoy our way through summer vacation, plans for fall business travel start to fill the calendar. I learned early on never to leave hotel booking to someone else. Flights, fine. But never the hotel. Especially during NY Fashion Week! You know who you are.

As a writer, I spend a lot of time working in the room when I travel. Spotty wifi, lack of outlets, charging stations & designated work space, scratchy linens, no Q-tips or bathtub — Just some of the things that guarantee I won’t be returning.

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Pullman San Francisco Bay

On the flip side, I recently spent a few nights at the Pullman San Francisco Bay. At first site, it seems like your average hotel for the weekday traveler. And it is. But there’s something that sets them apart: an all-new wellbeing program.

I got to celebrate the North American kickoff of this elaborate Pullman program with brand wellness coach & fitness guru Sarah Hoey. From poolside yoga to WAFF training to exclusive healthy menus—the program is designed to support travelers’ healthy lifestyles and help others who are interested discover a healthier way to travel.

Taking a break from your laptop to stretch out or lift some weights makes a world of difference. Physically, it’ll help prevent back and neck pain. Psychologically, it’s regenerative.

The program is built on 4 pillars: Sleep, Food, Sport, Spa. Pullman hotel guests can request a special Fit Bag be put in their room–packed with free weights, a yoga mat, resistance bands, and 10-minute workout suggestions. You can even request a DREEM experience, which consists of a headband that reads your sleep duration, rhythms, heart rate, and more. As a notoriously terrible sleeper I wasn’t surprised to learn I changed positions 27 times one night.  

If you visit this specific Pullman property, I highly recommend visiting the Bay Club Spa. Ask the concierge about it. And leave time to stay as long as you can! Just the massages and outdoor pool area make this spa like a mini vacation in its own right.

TOWN Sparkling Rose SangriaIt should also be said that I had the best sangria of my life at Town restaurant. I believe it’s known for the steak—and the food was wonderful—but I’d go back simply for another sip of Sparkling Rose Sangria.

Coming back to the Pullman San Francisco Bay after a huge dinner is really nice. I took a relaxing walk around the bay, watched the ducks swim, and the sun go down. Then I retreated to my room for some resistance band-style stretching. Because I could.

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PULLMAN SAN FRANCISCO BAY | 223 Twin Dolphin Dr. | Redwood City, CA 94065 | 650.598.9000

xo

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives – On NOW!

21 Jul

Every July Nordstrom holds its big Anniversary Sale. Store devotees wait for it all year long. If you’re a Beauty enthusiast, today is the day to go and check out in-store events. That said, you can find the deals online as well, today through August 5th.

Expect to find over 450 beauty exclusives. Kinda like Christmas in July.

I won’t list them all, but here are a few standouts…

 

Happy Shopping!

xo

O-jai, you’re back!

2 Jul

IMG_9369If you’ve followed my travels for a while, you know I love a good weekend trip to Ojai. There’s always less traffic than driving south–from LA. It’s a prettier drive, and you can stop for some outlet or antique shopping along the way.

I’ve been visiting Ojai for over 20 years now. The Ojai Valley Inn has always been my go-to. A quick escape away from home. I’ve loved it since my first rose petal treatment… which I believe they’ve stopped offering. I will always savor my stays there. But it’s changed over the years. The pools and shops for better; the customer service for worse.

I should clarify actually – the onsite service and staff still remain as lovely as ever. It’s the Reservations team and pre-arrival customer experience that has felt cold and unaccommodating the past few years. But, as I’m admittedly picky about hotels and not a huge B&B lover, the resort has always been my first choice in Ojai.

I hadn’t been back to the area since before the 2017 fires, and actually didn’t even know what was still standing. So when I got an invite from the town’s PR team to come visit for a summer solstice shopping event, I was all about it.

Turns out there are plenty of other lodging accommodations in Ojai – camp sites, lodges, B&Bs, and intimate hotels.

I stayed at the Lavender Inn—an historic B&B that my sister told me was charming. And it was! Late afternoon wine and cheese offering. Complimentary wifi. Morning breakfast buffet. Multiple outdoor and indoor spaces to sit and chill. Or work in my case. Lots of little touches to make you feel at home.

I’ll always prefer a luxe hotel stay, but it’s easy to be charmed by the pride of a well-maintained landmark B&B. Built in 1874. It was originally Ojai’s first schoolhouse! Like the Inn keeper at Lavender Inn, the local shop owners we came across all upheld an attitude of gratitude. It’s a town that’s endured disaster and has come out the other side.

I even spotted groups of chairs set up randomly along Ojai Avenue. When I asked what they were for, I was told that the older locals secure their spots weeks in advance for the annual 4th of July parade… and it’s well-known not to mess with these chairs. Amazing! Such small-town spirit is completely foreign to a city girl. I laugh thinking what would happen if people set chairs out prior to a Laker parade, or the like. If LA ever gets another Championship parade, I’m going to set up chairs the night before and see what happens.

If you visit Ojai (and you should!), I recommend stopping in at these charming shops:

#shopojai  #ojailove  #ojai

xo

 

 

HotBoxing is a (different) thing.

29 Jun

IMG_9456When HotBox was first mentioned to me, I laughed so hard a little spit came out. If you ever had a boyfriend who retaliated for your chick flick choice by holding your head under the covers after Mexican food, you too might have a different definition of hot boxing.

Turns out it’s more of a private sauna experience. Or “an infrared sauna studio,” as founder Jessica Mortarotti describes it. And it’s awesome.

HotBox is in downtown LA (with easy garage parking!) and houses eight private suites – each stocked with a state-of-the-art infrared sauna, mood-enhancing color chromotherapy, tablet with audio/visual options (even guided meditation!), and vitamin C rain shower.

The technology used in infrared saunas is said to support better wellness from the inside out. Each 45-minute sweat helps cleanse your pores, improve radiance, smooth fine lines, and create healthier cells. It also boosts your heart rate (burns up to 600 calories!) and human growth hormone (HGH) levels –crucial to breaking down fat and building muscle.

Building up this kind of sweat and raising your body temperature can help reset your circadian rhythm—enabling a deeper and more rejuvenating sleep.

All enough to pique my interest.

But learning that infrared heat boosts dopamine & serotonin levels, while also reducing cortisol (yes please.) got me to book an appointment.

Full transparency, it’s not inexpensive. Having said that, taking an hour to unplug from the world and come away feeling healthier, calmer, and a touch more radiant makes the price seem pretty reasonable.

I recommend treating yourself to a HotBox session (or three!) asap. Or you could be that cool friend who thinks to give one as a gift. We like that friend.

xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

CityWalk Appeals to Beauty Shoppers

15 Jun
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Nectar Bath Treats | Razzle Dazzle Donut Soap

Last I visited Universal CityWalk, it was all food and tourist shops. Which makes perfect sense for the locale. That said, I was presently surprised when I popped by this week to discover some new beauty-tailers.

First, there’s the mother ship: Sephora moved in! And it’s a good one. Many coveted collections line the walls. Picture brand new, untouched rows of BITE lipsticks, Pat McGrath palettes, Huda, Anastasia & Dior glosses, Tatcha eye brighteners, MILK sticks, Kate Somerville serums, and more. Heaven for an unapologetic product lover like myself. Stop by!

Then I discovered what can only be described as the love child of LUSH and Sprinkles. It’s a natural body shop called Nectar Bath Treats—just diagonal from Sephora. Wall to wall popsicle soaps, milkshake soaks, and handmade fruit smoothie scrubs. For bath lovers, it’s a dizzying experience. Crumbly Ice cream soaps, fizzy bath bombs, and macaron bathing treats. A one-stop gift shop—perfect (and safe!) for kids, too.

There’s even a make-your-own fragrance bar. I opted for a blend of vanilla and sugar body butter. Because when in Rome.

Now that I think about it… these locations are genius. By the time you leave Nectar, you want to get your hands on a treat you can actually eat. And whatdya know…there’s are about 6 candy stores within a stone’s throw. Brilliant!