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Linda-Marie Singer is...THE LIVEWIRE

Linda-Marie Singer - Click to Enlarge


in Beverly Hills, Napa,
and Pebble Beach, California
Click to Enlarge

By Linda-Marie Singer

Beverly Hills, California: We’ll never know whether Elvis Presley sang his hit song “One Night With You” when he stayed at the REGENT BEVERLY WILSHIRE.

What we do know is that he always chose The Presidential Suite, fit for any king with a royal price tag of $4,500 per night. [click on images to enlarge]

The Regent Beverly Wilshire ..pampering and primping to all guests

In fact, the 4000-square foot showcase has been crooned over by the likes of Prime Minister Thatcher and the Prince of Wales to superstars Elton John, Mick Jagger, and of course Elvis.

Located at the corner of Wilshire and Rodeo where the words shopping and mecca go together, the Regent Beverly Wilshire’s distinct address is close to top talent agencies and mansions of the rich and famous. But it wasn’t always that way. Not until 1928 did the city acquire its sophistication and personality. For that year marked the arrival of the Beverly Wilshire Apartment Hotel with its unrivaled Italian Renaissance style and French neoclassic influence. Proving it had what it takes, even the suites set a new standard in distinction with Corinthian columns and glass mosaic skylights.

More than a half-century later, the hotel still has what it takes. “Ooh, this is the life!” cries out television actress and former New York City restaurateur Touki Smith, as she dabs her face in the steamroom of The Health Club. Smith, along with her two children by actor Robert DeNiro, is a frequent guest of the service-oriented hotel adding: “Honey, where else can you have all this AND Rodeo Drive facing you?”

Facing you at any moment could be show business legends Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman and Julia Roberts all lunching on Crusted Hudson Foie Gras in The Dining Room. Winding around The Lobby Lounge could be broadcaster Larry King, a hotel regular, while a film crew might be shooting a movie in The Presidential Suite. (“Wag The Dog” and “Pretty Woman” were filmed there)

But don’t think that elite treatment is limited to celebrities. Imagine checking in with your dog and having him dine on a silver tray with some Evian on the side! Throw in a linen napkin, squeaky toy and a long-stemmed rose, and you’ll get a clue as to how well the staff treat everyone whether they’re on two legs or four legs. Wow? you say. No, make it bow wow.

For more information:

9500 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: 310.275-5200
Phone: 800-421--4354 (Outside California)
Phone: 800-427-4354 (Inside California)
More on Beverly Hills: e-mail: http://www.ci.beverly-hills.ca.us 
Silverado's stately mansion - Photo:  Linda-Marie Singer
Napa, California: Ten years ago when my Aunt Rose arrived in California from Philadelphia, all she wanted to see was FALCON CREST, the exquisite 1,200-acre resort in the Napa Valley where the television hit series FALCON CREST was filmed.
[click on images to enlarge]

It didn’t take long to realize that she meant the Silverado Country Club & Resort, a unique hideaway featuring junior suites and condominiums clustered around hidden courtyards and secluded pools.

Silverado is also well known for the PGA’s Transamerica where golfers undertake the two challenging 18-hole courses designed by Robert Trent Jones. For tennis players, Silverado Country Club has 23 courts making it the largest facility in all of Northern California. And speaking of numbers, when was the last time you stayed anywhere that had 8 swimming pools? Obviously, there’s little crowding in the water. Add that together with 3 appetizing restaurants - The Vintner’s Court, the Royal Oak, and Silverado Bar and Grill, and you won’t have to wander far from the premises.

Except...there are hundreds of wine tastings throughout the Napa Valley, not to mention the thrill of floating above the vineyards in a hot air balloon. Hike, bike, horseback ride. But don’t forget the nearby town of Calistoga for their signature mud bath and dip in the refreshing mineral waters.

All aboard the Napa Wine Train! - photo: Allen Singer All aboard! did I hear you say? Plan now to book a relaxing ride and gourmet meal on the popular NAPA WINE TRAIN (800-427-4124).
Travel back to an era when rail was the height of luxury.
[click on images to enlarge]

Step into the “Bubble Car” and sip a glass of Napa wine as you watch the 36-mile three hour journey amble languidly past 26 wineries between Napa and St. Helena. Just remember that when you want to settle in for the night, come back to Silverado Country Club and tell them that Aunt Rose sent you.

For more information:

1600 Atlas Peak Road
Napa, CA. 94558

Phone: 707-257-0200

Pebble Beach, CA.: When I told my Scottish friend about the bagpiper who plays nightly at THE INN AT SPANISH BAY (130 miles south of San Francisco), she didn’t believe me. When I urged her to wear her kilt for the occasion, she gave me one of those “Are you crazy?” looks. The derision stopped when at twilight, a lone bagpiper appeared in the Pebble Beach mist and began playing “Loch Lomond.” A lone kilted Scot salutes the setting sun with his bagpipes

While we were not exactly on the bonnie, bonnie banks, we were at THE INN AT SPANISH BAY, a favorite American resort located in the Del Monte Forest of California’s Monterey Peninsula.

What about doing a Highland Fling? My friend rolled her head from side to side in cadence with the bagpiper who circled the links and then disappeared into the foggy night. Scotland in America? Why not. All you need is the roar of the Pacific, rich forests, dunes, cliffs, mist, and windswept trees to feel that you’re back in the Scottish Highlands.

With one exception. It’s doubtful that any hotel there would have mauve suites decorated with Italian marble, oversized sofas and chairs, long wet bars, cozy living rooms, separate dressing areas, and marble fireplaces. No wonder the property was awarded the #1 mainland resort by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler.

Step onto your private deck and you’re bound to see golfers on the Scottish-style “linksland” course they call challenging, frustrating, but always thrilling to play. Just ask the readers of Golf Digest who voted The Links At Spanish Bay one of “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.” While a guest there, you also have access to the acclaimed courses of Pebble Beach Golf Links, Del Monte, and Spyglass.

Dine at The Bay Club and savor the light Northern Italian Cuisine. It’s a relaxing setting where you’re not rushed or made to feel that you have outstayed your welcome. As luck would have it, the night we were there a wedding reception was in progress and the gentle sounds of chamber music accompanied us all through dinner.

By breakfast, there are deer scampering around the lawns and golfers in their carts already crisscrossing the rolling fairways. A perfect time to explore the 17-Mile Drive through Pebble Beach, one of the top tourist attractions in California with its rugged Pacific coastline and opulent homes.

But I’ll excuse you now as you ready for your whirlpool bath where all your cares will disappear into the bubbles. Just remember to remove the kilt and put down the bagpipe.

For more information:

2700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA. 93953

Phone: 800-654-9300
Phone: 408-644-7955
Email: http://www.pebble-beach.com

#  # # 

Linda-Marie Singer "The LIVEWIRE" for Travel Watch. Former President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association, and created the national writers conference, "The Days of Wine & Proses." She is a travel and entertainment reporter living in the San Francisco Bay Area. (More about this writer.)

Email: lindamari@aol.com - Web: http://www.i.am/lindamarie  


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