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Spotlight on Tacoma

07.18.14

On a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, we visited Tacoma which doesn’t get the same tourist love as its better known cousin, Seattle, but it’s loaded with beauty, charm, a great artsy boutique hotel and some world class museums worth checking out.

Whether you’re a car enthusiast or not, you shouldn’t miss the LeMay Museum, hands down one country's best auto museums, as well as the world largest, with up to 350 cars, trucks and motorcycles from private owners, corporations. It also houses the renowned LeMay private collection which achieved a Guinness Book of Word Records of more than 2,200 vehicles in 1997.  

There’s also the fantastic Museum of Glass, a whopping 75,000-square-foot art museum dedicated to the medium of contemporary glass. It celebrates the studio glass movement like no other, by nurturing artists, offering education, and allowing creativity with a state of the art  7,000-square-foot hot shop amphitheater where you can watch the art of live glass blowing demonstrations.

With the Tacoma Art Museum's mission of connecting people through art you can find  a variety of glass works from Tacoma native Dale Chihuly, Japanese woodblock prints, nineteenth-century European and twentieth-century American art, Native American Indian portraits and a vast collection Northwest art.

We were fortunate to stay at the luxury boutique Hotel Murano, which is right where you want to be in Tacoma. You can walk to the area’s best restaurants and museums; it’s only minutes from downtown Seattle and breathtaking areas like Mount Rainier and Snoqualmie Falls. The hotel is also close to Chambers Bay, the 2015 home of the U.S. Open.

And if you’re an art lover, you’ll appreciate the museum-worthy collection of glass displayed throughout the hotel. Each floor is dedicated to a particular glass artist, with fifty glass artists featured in all including Costas Varotsos and Murano artist Massimo Micheluzzi. The rooms are modern and chic, plus you can get ultra comfortable by choosing the exact pillow you prefer from their pillow menu. And with the choices in dining at the hotel, you can just dine in.  We loved Bite, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Hotel Murano is currently offering three great specials to make your Tacoma stay even better.  

Artsy Fartsy. Overnight accommodation, plus you can explore Tacoma’s booming arts scene with museum tickets for two to the Tacoma Art Museum, the Museum of Glass, and tickets to the Washington State History Museum. Museums are closed on Monday and Tuesday

Spa La La La. An art-filled getaway and spa escape? This includes overnight accommodations; two massages at and facials at Savi Day Spa; and lunch for two at the Spa. A 48-hour advance booking is required.

Hot Piece of Glass. you can immerse yourself in the art form that Tacoma is known for and try your hand at glassblowing, too. It includes overnight accommodations, two tickets to the Museum of Glass, hands on glassblowing lessons for two at Tacoma Glassblowing Studio – you keep the glass art you create; valet parking. A 48-hour advance booking required; Museum is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Hotel Murano is at 1320 Broadway in Tacoma. 253.238.8000.



Stay in Beverly. Hills, that is.

05.16.14

When it comes to a getaway to Beverly Hills, you’d be hard pressed to find a better location with more to offer than the Montage Beverly Hills. It’s already been 10 years since the luxurious resort opened on South Canon Drive, right in the epicenter of Beverly Hills’ finest shops, restaurants and just steps to the world-renowned Rodeo Drive.

The grand hotel is a vintage Hollywood meets modern style that boasts 201 well appointed guestrooms, including 55 suites and 20 residences, two signature restaurants, afternoon tea, live entertainment nightly at Parq bar, a 20,000 sq. ft. spa, and Rooftop Grill next to the Rooftop pool and private cabanas, among a long list of premium amenities. 

 Among it’s top of the line service for its guests, the Montage Beverly Hills is also equally concerned for the environment. It boasts the recognition of being the first resort in SoCal luxury to earn the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s New Construction rating. It ensures that the resort follows a strict guideline of sustainable design, construction and operations, and is a responsible, efficient and healthy environment to reside and work.

The sophisticated Montage Beverly Hills is also home to one of our favorite Italian restaurants in Los Angeles, Scarpetta, thanks to celebrity Chef Scott Conant who consistently creates some of the best Italian cuisine we’ve tasted.

His simple, yet addictive homemade spaghetti with tomato and basil is considered a signature Scarpetta dish, and with less than ten ingredients involved, it’s hard to believe it’s that amazing. Conant’s famous spaghetti even made NY Times, Frank Bruni swoon. In his three star-review “On Top of Spaghetti”  Bruni says, “He’s getting a roundness of flavor and nuance of sweetness that amount to pure Mediterranean bliss.”

Must haves from the menu also include the braised short ribs of beef with vegetables and faro risotto, Mary’s organic roasted chicken with forest mushroom puree, Zuckerman Farms’s asparagus and Parmigiano froth, the dry aged sirloin of beef with smoked potato puree, braised escarole, and cremimi mushrooms atufato; and the Tuscan kale and bean ragu with Clabrian chiles and Pecorino Romano is a favorite side dish. Save room for the warm chocolate tart with sweet potato butter and coconut sorbet or the vanilla caramel budino with gianduja crumble and chocolate sable cookies.

Scarpetta’s is also perfect for outside dining, it overlooks Beverly Canon Gardens, a perfect Mediterranean-inspired setting. 

During a stay at Montage Beverly Hills, you’ll also want to advantage of the ultimate and pampering Spa Montage, or book an appointment in the Kim Vo Salon, where Vogue Magazine hails Kim Vo as the “best blonder in the business.” You can also relax in private, poolside cabana on the rooftop with incredible views of the Hollywood hills.

The ideal package for treating yourself to a rejuvenation spa treatment is the Relax & Revive special starting from $595 per night.

It includes a daily $100 spa credit towards a treatment of your choice, elegant accommodations and a sumptuous breakfast for two served gardenside or in the privacy of your own room. For further details on this package visit here.

There’s also a great Montage Memories package in honor of the resort’s 10 year anniversary, priced from $695 per night. You can enjoy luxurious accommodations, access to all hotel amenities, a daily $50 breakfast credit and complimentary valet parking. Shop along world-renowned Rodeo Drive, just steps away from Montage Beverly Hills with this special and enjoy:

City or garden view accommodations, daily breakfast for two, complimentary consultation and excursion in the house car to one retailer of your choice with in-house Fashion Stylist Joseph Katz for an exclusive hour preview of fashion collection in boutique VIP room, special gift from a Beverly Hills retailer. For further details on this package visit here.

225 North Canon Drive in Beverly Hills. 888.860-0788



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