Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ocean Escape at The Inn at Laguna Beach

Located just steps from Main Beach, The Inn at Laguna Beach offers guests a seaside escape with views of the Pacific Ocean and the quaint town of Laguna Beach, California. Whether you want to soak up the sun poolside, frolick in the ocean, walk to dinner at one of Laguna's one-of-a-kind restaurants, or shop at the boutiques on Forest Avenue, The Inn at Laguna Beach has something for just about everyone looking to enjoy the charming town.

Ocean-Front Rooms at The Inn at Laguna Beach
With 70 rooms, The Inn at Laguna Beach is a boutique hotel with a modern beach vibe. The rooms are crisp and clean with white plantation shutters, earth-toned stripes, and rattan furniture. Select rooms include a private balcony, perfect for watching the sunset over the ocean.

Guests can choose from a variety of rooms (rates vary):
  • Ocean View
  • Balcony Ocean View
  • Top Floor Ocean View
  • Poolside
  • Village
  • Distinctive Suites

Most room include the following amenities:
  • Complimentary in-room, high-speed wireless Internet access
  • In-room coffee maker and Starbucks coffee
  • Umbrellas, beach chairs and towels are available for use during your stay
  • Refrigerator and honor snack bar
  • Hair dryer, iron and ironing board
  • Cotton robes
  • In-room safe
  • Private balcony or patio
Guests staying at the Inn at Laguna Beach don't have to leave their dogs at home. With pet-friendly accommodations, dogs are welcome to accompany their owners.

Dining Options at The Inn at Laguna Beach
Although the hotel does not have an on-property restaurant, they do partner with nearby Las Brisas restaurant to offer in-room or poolside dining. Guests can also choose to dine at Las Brisas, located right nextdoor to The Inn, and charge to their guest room. Las Brisas offers patio dining with stunning views of Laguna's coastline.

Nearby Activities at The Inn at Laguna Beach

Just steps from the hotel are a variety of activities:
  • Beach: The hotel provides all the amenities for a relaxing day at the beach -- beach chairs, umbrellas, towels. The Inn can also reserve a standup paddle board for guests wanting to explore the ocean. Main Beach also has amazing tide pools worth exploring. For those that don't want to get sandy, spend a day relaxing at the pool instead.
  • Art: Laguna Beach is known for it's art. Stroll to a number of art galleries located within walking distance, including the Laguna Art Musuem right next door. On the first Thursday of the month, the town celebrates with Art Walk -- most galleries offer free appetizers and champagne, and a chance to meet local artists.
  • Hiking: Just a short drive away, is access to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Crystal Cove State Park, both with miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.

Guest Services at The Inn at Laguna Beach
Guests are treated to a complimentary wine reception each evening. They can enjoy it on their balcony or patio, or on the rooftop lounge area. There is no service, but guests are welcome to eat their in-room dining there or just relax and enjoy the view.

Conservation Efforts
The Inn at Laguna Beach, part of Classic Hotels and Resorts, is committed to protecting the environment through the following practices:
  • Recycling paper, glass, plant-based bio-degradable plastics, and cardboard toner cartriges
  • Flourescent lightbulbs
  • Bio-degradable cleaning products
  • Encouraging carpooling and public transportation
  • Low VOC-emitting construction materials
  • Partially renewable energy resources
  • Reduced water usage
  • Reusable water bottles available (for purchase)
The Inn is also a sponsor of the Plastic Pollution Coalition and partner of Clean the World.

Contact Information

The Inn at Laguna Beach
211 N Pacific Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, California 92651

Celebrate Christmas at the Orange County Zoo

​Betty the Beaver decked out for the holidays

By The Ace Agency

Join OC Parks and the animals of the OC Zoo to celebrate the Christmas season on Saturday, December 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Christmas at the OC Zoo invites children to a special story time with Mrs. Claus and a visit with Jolly Old St. Nicholas. Guests will enjoy seasonally inspired crafts and holiday face painting. Watch the animals of the OC Zoo receive treat-filled gifts hidden inside of Christmas trees and inside gift boxes throughout the day. Reservations are not required to enjoy Christmas at the OC Zoo. The holiday activities are free with paid zoo admission. 

While at the OC Zoo, take a ride on Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train through Irvine Regional Park. The Christmas Train runs November 28-30, December 5-7, and 12-23.

The holidays are upon us so gather the family and ring in the winter season in celebration with OC Zoo and OC Parks!

December 13 – Christmas at the Zoo
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: OC Zoo (inside Irvine Regional Park)
1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
Cost: $2 per person, ages 2 & under are free
Parking: $5 per vehicle 
Contact: (714) 973-6847

November & December - Christmas Train
Location: Irvine Park Railroad (inside Irvine Regional Park)
1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
Cost: $12 per person (children under age 2 ride free) 
Parking: $5 per vehicle and free after 5 p.m.
Contact: (714) 973-6835 or (714) 973-3173

OC Parks manages nearly 60,000 acres of parks, historical and coastal facilities and open space for the County of Orange as part of OC Community Resources. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Relax at Burke Williams Day Spa in Mission Viejo

Step into a world of relaxation at the Burke Williams Day Spa in Mission Viejo, California. Located just off the busy I-5 freeway, Burke Williams offers guests an escape from the hustle-and-bustle and stresses of everyday life by offering a serene environment with soothing sights, sounds, and therapies. With 26 treatment rooms, this location has a wide range of options, including massage, spa baths, facials, signature treatments, nail care and more.

Upon Arriving at Burke Williams Day Spa

It is recommended that guests check in at least an hour prior to their appointment time, so as to take advantage of the amenities that the spa has to offer. Upon check in, guests will receive a key to a locker, and a robe and slippers to change into prior to treatment. Swimsuits are optional in the spa areas.

The Waiting Area at Burke Williams Day Spa

While waiting for treatment, guests can relax in the co-ed lounge area. There is flavored water, tea, and fresh fruit available, magazines to read, soft music and lighting, a flickering fireplace, and the subtle scent of Eucalyptus. The soft neutral palette is accented with touches of turquoise, natural wood and decorative mirrors with plush couches to lounge on.

Spa Amenities and Facilities at Burke Williams Day Spa

There are separate spa amenities for men and women that include:
  • Whirlpools, steam room, dry sauna, cool misting room (something not often found at spas), private showers, and cold deluge. The area is decorated with large living plants and water, lemonade, and fresh fruit is always on hand. Aromatherapy towels, soaked in geranium and mint, are available, as well as ice cold towels conveniently placed outside of the sauna.
  • There are separate quiet rooms for men and women, where reading, relaxing, and silence prevail. Guests can curl up in the large reclining leather lounge chairs with a cozy blanket and enjoy the serenity of the space.
  • Vanity areas equipped with all of the necessary amenities needed after treatment, including hair products, shaving goods, blow dryers, curling irons, brushes, mouthwash, sunscreen, razors, moisturizer, deodorant, and more.
Treatments at Burke Williams Day Spa

The spa offers a full-range of treatments including the following:
  • Massage: Burke Williams Massage, Pure Relaxation (includes warm booties during the treatment!), Deep Tissue and Sports Massage, Deep Tissue & Firm Swedish Combination, Shiatsu, Swedish & Shiatsu, Pregnancy Massage, Specialized Modalities. Most massages are offered in 25, 50, or 80 minute appointments. Prices range from $95-$219.
  • Massage Enhancements: Aromatherapy, Hot Stones, Detox, and
  • Spa Baths: These private therapeutic herbal baths are a wonderful accompaniment to any spa treatment. 20 minutes; $40.
  • Skin Care (Facials): Anti-Aging, Spa Style, Acne, Men's, Teen, 4-Layer Resurfacing, Nourishing, Enzyme. 25-80 minute appointments range from $119-$205.
  • Skin Care Enhancements: Vitamin C or Pumpkin Peel, Skin Brightener, Stem Cell Activator, Age Defy.
  • Signature Treatments: Wet Room, Hunter's Retreat, Savannah's Surrender, Emilee's Intrigue, Parafango Treatmemt, Salt or Sugar Glo. 40-80 minute appointments range from $89-$189.
  • A Day at the Spa: Spend an entire day being pampered! A Day Beyond, A Day of Beauty, The Spa Experience. $460-$900.
  • Nail Care, Waxing, an Chiropractic Care
Membership at Burke Williams Day Spa

For those anticipating frequent visits to the spa, a membership is available to save money on each visit.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fun with Minions at Universal Studios Hollywood

The newest experience at Universal Studios Hollywood, California is the new Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem 3-D ride. The audience joins Gru and becomes minions on an adventure that starts at Gru's home, goes through the super villain lab and ends with a dance party. The theme park does an amazing job at recreating the street that Gru and his adopted daughter live on and the film’s memorable seaside carnival, Super Silly Fun Land. Visitors will be thrilled to climb, jump and slide in a dry zone, ride on the Silly Swirly Fun Ride, or get soaked in the more than 80 different water-play features. Guests can also have the chance to meet and get their photo taken with a life-sized minion. Guests can also vie to win a replica of Agnes' lovable stuffed unicorn.
Guest Services at Universal Studios Hollywood
To avoid the frustration of waiting in long lines, the best way to experience Universal Studios Hollywood is by paying extra for the Front of the Line pass for $139 per person (ages 3 and older). The pass will enable you to cut the line for rides and attractions. You actually have a good chance at seeing the entire park in one day. However, be aware that the park does not move at a fast pace. The service at restaurants, shops, and rides can take longer than anticipated. Another feature parents will appreciate is the Child Switch feature that will cut down on wait time for those without the Front of the Line pass.
Thrill Rides at Universal Studios Hollywood
Some of the rides at Universal Studios Hollywood are not best suited for young children, but are thrilling for adults. Here are some of the thrill rides that the park features:
  • House of Horrors
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • Jurassic Park
  • The Simpson’s Ride
  • Transformer's: The Ride-3D
  • King Kong 360 3-D
  • Shrek 4-D
Live Shows at Universal Studios Hollywood
See Hollywood in action at the live shows the park has to offer. Feel Donkey sneeze at the Shrek 4-D ride, watch a ramshackle city catch on fire at the WaterWorld show, see how movie magic is made at the Special Effects Stage, or witness highly intelligent animal actors strut their stuff. For a true taste of Hollywood, take the behind-the-scenes Studio Tour with action-packed fun that features King Kong, Jaws, a flash flood, and an earthquake. May not be age-appropriate for younger children. For an even more in-depth look, choose the VIP Experience, which includes guided access to working sound stages, famous sets, a VIP lounge and a gourmet lunch for $239.
While visiting the park, keep your eyes open for familiar movie characters, such as the following:
  • The Grinch and Max
  • Shrek and Princess Fiona
  • Donkey
  • Sponge Bob
  • Curious George
  • The Simpsons
Whether you're a movie buff, a thrill ride seeker, or just want to have a family fun adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood is bound to be a good time for all.