Come Relax at Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto

Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto

*Special thanks to Villa del Palmar for hosting my stay. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.*

By Erin

If you’re searching for a place of beauty that defines luxury and true relaxation, look no further than Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto. Filled with quiet beaches, scenic vistas, rich history and an astounding natural habitat that offers every modern amenity and a truly exceptional experience for every guest, making this a prime vacation spot to go to. Villa del Palmar is the perfect getaway for friends, couples, honeymooners, friends and families.

Off the Sea of Cortez lies a very magical place, one that hasn’t turned into an overpopulated tourist trap.  Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto  is just south of Loreto, Mexico along the eastern coastline of the Baja peninsula overlooking Danzante Island. It is the perfect escape from Los Angeles. Loreto is a quaint little fishing village with a small population with a large desire to preserve its astounding beauty. A very peaceful and quite town that you can relax in and take in all of the beauty surrounding you. Less than a two-hour flight from Los Angeles and featuring an abundance of activities for the mind, body and soul. Upon arrival you can have some welcome drinks. You will never want to leave this paradise!

The resort is set within Danzante Bay and the indigo waters of the Sea of Cortez once dubbed “The Aquarium of the World” by Jacques Cousteau. Featuring 4,447 acres of unspoiled beauty, both stunning ocean and mountain views, three outstanding restaurants, five swimming pools, a 39,000-square-foot luxury spa, beautiful beaches, tennis courts, miles of hiking trails, glass-bottomed kayaks, sport fishing, and a soon-to-open Rees Jones-designed golf course, Villa del Palmar has something for everyone to enjoy. Here’s some of my favorite things to enjoy during your stay that everyone must experience!

Whale & Dolphin Watching

The Sea of Cortez is swimming with sea life, I have never seen so many whales and dolphins all in one place! Whale watching in Loreto is a must, you will be entertained for hours and make memories to last a lifetime. Marine animals can be spotted here throughout the year including the humpback whale, the blue whale, the California gray whale, killer whale, along with different kinds of dolphins. Our small boat that we took from the hotel glided over the waves as we watched and followed the whales surface to the top.

Later we encountered dolphins by the thousands! We watched with glee as dolphins surrounded our boat in the middle of the sea, flying and jumping in all directions, around and under our boat, leaping and catching themselves a good dinner.

Dining

The dining options here offer many delicious sensations for your taste buds to enjoy. The cuisine completely compliments the splendor of the magnificent views that surround you. Dining options here are created with so much passion and everything is so fresh!

  • Danzante Restaurant: Fine dining steak house and seafood with Mexican fusion, offering a large wine selection and a variety of cigars.
  • The Market Restaurant: A brand new concept where you will be able to make your own dishes! Just imagine being home & prepare your own lunch or dinner with the help of our chef. Open for breakfast and dinner.

  • Casa Mia Restaurant: Authentic Italian food with fresh pasta and pizza. Open for lunch & dinner.
  • Room Service: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight menu featuring international cuisine & snacks. 24 hour service.

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5 Reasons to Make a Trip to Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa

5 Reasons to Make a Trip to Renaissance Indian Wells Resort

By Erin

Located in the heart of the prestigious desert community of Indian Wells is the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort and Spa. 13 miles from Palm Springs and nestled at the foot of the majestic Santa Rosa Mountains, makes for an easy getaway weekend for those in Southern California. For those outside that area, Palm Springs International Airport is a quick 16 miles away. I was invited to come and stay here for the weekend to check it out, share my thoughts and show you my favorite spots. I hope you enjoy this beautiful property as much as I did!

 

Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa

The Pools 

One of the biggest draws for me to want to stay at a hotel or resort has always been the pools! As soon as I saw what the pools here looked like at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa , I could not wait to get here. The resort boasts the largest hotel swimming pool complex in the desert region including three distinct pools, a pool bar, cabanas, a waterfall and hot tubs. A poolside sandy beach entrance is perfect for traveling families–It is a special favorite among families/children and beach lovers. An amazing pool cabana experience featuring flat-screen TV’s, sofas, loungers, ceiling fans, personal coolers and refreshments.

Our cabana for the day and refreshments. It was so relaxing to just sit by the pool and enjoy the beautiful day with family.

The pool is just as beautiful at night and perfect for some hot tub time!

Room with a View

Very spacious, modern, upscale guest rooms – among the largest and most comfortable in the area. The best part I think is, those VIEWS! How amazing is it to wake up in the morning or go out at night and see THIS view from your room???

The rooms are very spacious and comfortable. As you can tell by the views above, I especially loved our patio!

Star Suites, featuring specially commissioned celebrity artwork and retro decor inspired by legends of Hollywood including Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Bing Crosby to name a few. Our room had some neat artwork in the bathroom on the wall.

The bathrooms were very spacious as well, more than one person can get ready at a time. All the amenities you could possible need are here.

The Spa

Spa Esmeralda, features both indoor and outdoor treatment and spa pool offerings, as well as a salon and fitness facilities. The spa is beautiful and the perfect place to get away to relax and enjoy a facial, massage, body scrub or wrap, waxing and nail care. I enjoyed a luxurious facial during my time here and enjoyed every second of it.

One of my favorite places at the spas was outdoors. Such a beautiful outdoor spa. Very private, quite and serene.

The Food

There are numerous food and beverage locations and dining experiences throughout the resort – including amazing sushi, SPC serving casual, modern Italian cuisine, and Cava – serving a broad menu of American and family favorites. Vegan and gluten-free options are available.

During my stay here we tried the seafood buffet that they serve at Cava on Friday nights. We also had breakfast here both mornings during our stay.

Just a few of the many options to enjoy at the seafood buffet. Everything is served up super fresh and was oh so delicious.

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Carmel by the Sea: a Foodie Paradise #LLBlogNotAConf

By Erin

*I traveled with a group of talented writers to Central California. We spent a few days in Carmel by the Sea, the Carmel Valley and Monterey for #LLBlogNotaConf.*

Carmel-by-the-Sea-LLBlogNotaConf

Taking a vacation up the Central Coast in California is one of my all time favorite destinations. Enjoying family vacations in this part of California has always been a favorite. So much so I have been there countless times again and again on my own with friends as an adult. When I heard that there was a trip being planned to head up this way with some of my favorite writers and fellow foodie friends for LLBlogNotAConf, I could not pass the opportunity up.

Carmel by the Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a beautiful little European-styled village, sitting above a picturesque white-sand beach that has inspired artists, sparked romances, and attracted celebrities for decades with its charm. One of the top-10 destinations in the U.S. year after year, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a place you will want to vacation at too. Everything is within walking distance from your adorable hotel or inn. Activities range from the performing arts and cultural activities to hundreds of Carmel shops, restaurants, wine tasting, art galleries, and so much more, with tons of other options nearby as well. Food is a huge part of traveling for me, so I will share some of my favorite spots with you here and in the surrounding areas nearby.

Right now the city is in the midst of their Centennial Celebration, with lots of events all year-long culminating in a special parade on October 29th. You can find a list of upcoming events here.

Now, on to the FOOD right? Here are some of my top picks for places to stop along your drive up to Carmel from Southern California and while you are in and around Carmel.

The Apple Farm

A childhood favorite of mine, I always have to stop at The Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo for breakfast on my way through the Central Coast cities. Not only is the food amazing, but so is the atmosphere. There are so many things to see, you will want to make sure to leave a little time to wander around a bit before or after your meal here.

Apple Farm Breakfast LLBlogNotAConf

Jocko’s Steak House

If you LOVE steak as much as I do, then you MUST stop here on either your way to or from Carmel (or both if possible!) Located in Nipomo, CA they serve some of the most delicious steak around for a very unbelievable price; $24 for the Small Spencer (ribeye) pictured below, which was more than I could eat by myself. There was so much food with dinner.  The steak was perfectly done, the pinquito beans were amazing, and the garlic bread was super garlicky.  It also comes with a baked potato, salad, a relish tray that has a bunch of pepperoncini and sweet cherry peppers, dessert and coffee.  Some of my favorite stuff, all included in one price. Such a crazy good deal right?

You don’t eat here for the ambience – that leaves much to be desired. It’s pretty plain and simple. You walk in to see a variety of animal heads plastered all over the walls and then walk into a very non-descript dining room. You come here for the food. It gets insanely busy here (since it’s that good) so it is best to make a reservation in advance if you know you will be coming up this way.

Jocko's Steak House

Wine Tasting

If you’re  looking for a little wine-tasting before your meal, or you want to spend a relaxing afternoon strolling around town while sipping on some wine, make sure to get yourself a Wine Tasting Passport (The passport costs $65 and is a $90 value)! Sip and savor some wine in one of the many super friendly and pet-friendly tasting rooms. With your Passport you get 9 tasting tickets, so you will get to sample a wide variety of wine from many different tasting rooms.

Wine-Tasting-Carmel-By-the-Sea

Carmel Belle

Once you have made it to Carmel and you’re ready to have an amazingly delicious lunch (or breakfast or dinner) then make your way over here! We joined our group here for lunch after doing a little bit of wine tasting, and it really hit the spot. From salads, soups, to sandwiches and comfort foods, you are sure to find something that will make your taste buds happy. I tried the Mozzarella and Prosciutto La Quercia Sandwich with Tomato Bisque soup, both were delicious and very satisfying. Their soups are made by scratch daily. And dessert?  Carmel Belle has plenty of options to make your sweet tooth happy too. 🙂

Carmel-Belle-Mozzarella-Prosciutto-La-Quercia

Mozzarella and Prosciutto La Quercia Sandwich with vegetables on country toast.

Carmel-Belle-Tomato-Bisque-Soup

Scrumptious made from scratch Tomato Bisque Soup.

Carmel-Belle-Desserts-LLBlogNotaConf

An assortment of delectable desserts to choose from. I’m in heaven! 🙂

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