The Sunset Marquis’ New Cavatina Restaurant

Crunchy Egg with Mushrooms, Sweetbreads, and Crushed Cashews... WHAT? Yes!
Crunchy Egg with Mushrooms, Sweetbreads, and Crushed Cashews… WHAT? Yes!

Between Beverly Hills and the beaches, and mere steps from the world famous Sunset Strip, The Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, CA has been an institution since before I happened upon their scene. With over 150 luxe suites and villas intertwined within a 3.5-acre oasis of gardens and private retreats, since opening its doors in 1963, the hotel has served as a home-away-from-home to rock legends, filmmakers, writers, actors and discerning guests from around the world. The 2008 expansion introduced several new amenities too, and now features indoor and al fresco dining in its world-class restaurant, two heated outdoor pools, the iconic BAR 1200, and a full-service spa that’s open to local and out of town guests. Additional guest amenities include Nightbird Recording Studios, home to many Grammy winning artists, and Morrison Hotel Gallery, featuring a collection of some of the most renowned celebrity photography, of which more than $1 million worth lines the walls and corridors of Sunset Marquis.

Yellowtail Crudo with Uni and Caviar
Yellowtail Crudo with Uni and Caviar

Now they have Cavatina, which officially opened about two weeks ago and features interesting, yet uncomplicated dishes prepared by renowned Chef/Restauranteur Michael Schlow. As a huge fan of the Sunset Marquis, Schlow was enlisted to create the restaurant’s vision. “It is one of my favorite hotels in the world and… getting to cook with all of the beautiful products California has to offer, is a dream come true. We want to cook the foods and products that are local, then present them with a fresh and full flavored approach. Mother Nature has done most of the work, all we need to do is add a little acid, salt, and chiles, to make the food sing.”

Duck and Green Chile Hash with Poached Eggs and Chipotle Hollandaise
Duck and Green Chile Hash with Poached Eggs and Chipotle Hollandaise

PS. Schlow, a decorated chef and restauranteur whose accolades include The James Beard Award of Excellence For Best Chef, Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in America, and Sante Magazine’s Best Chef in America, is considered to be one of the most respected culinary professionals in the U.S.

Michael Schlow
Michael Schlow

Dinner will set the bar high with a menu that is broken into four categories, offering guests snacks, a crudo section, small-plates, and entrees. Highlights include Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Lobster and CaviarBeef Tongue with Lentils, Rosemary, and Salsa VerdeCrunchy Olives with Cabrales and Speck Powder; and Simply Prepared Mediterranean Sea Bass with Shaved Vegetables.

For lunch, Schlow and his team will prepare fresh, delicious salads, fantastic sandwiches, simple fish dishes, and Schlow’s award-winning burger. Cavatina will offer breakfast seven days a week, and will continue the hotel’s tradition of a fabulous brunch on Sundays as well as provide room service to the hotel and poolside dining.

So book your room, bring your geetar, and have some yellowtail crudo, will ya?

Looking for Om in 2014? Here are some Yoga Trips for You


We all know yoga based vacations are gaining popularity with travelers looking for a balance between wellness and exploring a new place and intriguing culture. Our readers love ’em! Rachel Quinn, Head of Group Sales for Holidays for Humanity, also states that over 35% of their enquiries now include requests for yoga, alongside some other vacation “must haves” like white sandy beaches, water sports, and tropical encounters.

So, we thought we’d share several new ideas of yoga trips to kick off the new year right!

Yoga Vacations for Sailors in Turkey

This sailing journey is an exclusive one-of-a-kind voyage that offers guests a chance to practice yoga among the enchanting blue waters of the Turkish Mediterranean coast. The striking coastline, with its pristine beaches, idyllic villages, picturesque coves and remote ancient civilizations is waiting to be explored. This is an excellent opportunity to experience a taste of traditional Turkey in the unhurried pace of staying aboard a sailing yacht. Sit back, relax and let their experienced captain, crew and chef take you on an unforgettable journey. Rates start at $1399 per person based on seven-nights shared accommodation.

Yoga Vacations for Surfers in Costa Rica

Founded in the spirit of adventure, Rip Jack Inn in Playa Grande, Costa Rica is known for tropical bliss and friendly ambiance. They are just steps away from Playa Grande’s main surf break, and offer daily yoga classes in their beautiful shala. If you love to surf, practice yoga, and love great food, you’ll feel right at home here. Rip Jack Inn is also a member of Pack for a Purpose, and supports local community outreach programs. Expect prices around $170 night/based on double occupancy.

Yoga Vacations for Purists in India

Shreyas is dedicated to promoting the authentic spiritual tradition of yoga in a holistic manner and is recognized as one of the finest yoga retreats in the world. What makes Shreyas unique is that, whilst yoga is taught in traditional ashram style (daily yoga, meditation sessions, chanting classes, a strict vegetarian, no alcohol policy and community service), their guests live in a luxurious environment normally associated with a star rated hotel. They enable their guests to integrate the ‘manifold facets’ and benefits of yoga into their daily lives without the austerity and rigor usually associated with ashrams. Expect prices around $550 night/based on double occupancy.

Yoga Vacations for Beginners in Mexico

With personalized yoga, pranayama and meditation classes the Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita is a great place for beginner wellness travellers. Set on 14 acres, including a picturesque sugar sand beach, the resort is perfectly positioned along Cancun’s famed Riviera Maya. Intimate in design, with only 90 luxury suites, they offer a completely new kind of vacation experience focused on wellness, serenity, and romance, balanced by a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Expect prices around $750 night/based on double occupancy.

Yoga Vacations for Nature Lovers in Nicaragua

Aqua’s explicit vision statement is to “lead luxury sustainable development in Nicaragua” and as such, they built, and operated their resort in close partnership with the local communities, and in complete concert with nature. Additionally, they are completely committed to sea turtle conservation, and encourage their guests to join along. They provide opportunities to work with trained staff in caring for the turtle eggs, protecting them in the nursery, and for those fortunate enough to be there during hatching, to help release them back to the ocean. Daily yoga takes place on their palm-thatched open air, ocean-side platform. Expect prices around $280 night/ based on double occupancy.

About Holidays for Humanity:

Holidays for Humanity connects travellers with vacation options that appeal to their self, as well as their soul. By working with partners that promote sustainable and eco-friendly practices they offer a range of travel options including eco resorts and hotels, health and wellness, volunteering abroad, cultural and culinary and expeditions and tours.

How to Get Vacation Hair… is Here

Healthy Sexy Hair's
Healthy Sexy Hair’s Soy Renewal Beach Spray

It may be winter, but there’s no reason that I can’t have summer vacation hair. So, recently, we decided to put some products to the test and here are our picks for the best sea salt hair sprays on the market. Not only do they smell delicious, but a little goes a long way to reviving our curls and making flat frizz look like tousled sea hair. After all, if we can’t escape to the tropics, we’d like our hair to look and smell like we have.

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray

First and foremost, Healthy Sexy Hair’s Soy Renewal Beach Spray smells delicious and you’re tempted to just keep spraying, but you only new about 3-4 spritzes to liven up your do. It provides all the body and light hold you need to nourish and heal hair damage with the power of our favorite hair oil: Argan Oil.  It creates that undone texture that looks and feels like you¿ve spent a day by the sea.

Retails for $10-$21

Healthy Sexy Hair’s Soy Renewal Beach Spray

John Masters Organics
John Masters Organics Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender

John Masters Organics Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender 

One word: organic. Okay, three more words: sea salt & lavender. This spray is one of your lighter sprays and leaves the hair with a mist of low salted lavender that smells like a shower and a day in the Hamptons. We like it because the quality is high, it’s organic, and the effect is light and natural.

Retails for $15-$26

John Masters Organics Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender 

Not Your Mother's
Not Your Mother’s

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray

What can we say? This one is the sleeping giant. Not only is it a complete steal, but we’ll admit that we love the branding and every time we spray it on our curls we feel fresh, alive, and so hip it’s like we just stepped off the beach in Tulum after listening to DJ Tiesto. We also included a shout out for their Beach Babe Texturing Hair Cream as it complements the spray nicely. With this product a little goes a long way. All we needed was a dime sized dollop and with 2-3 sprays we were good to go!

Retails $6-$12

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray

Santiago, Chile: The Best Neighborhood, The Top Hotel Finds

Ismael 312 Swimming Pool
Ismael 312 Swimming Pool

Bet you didn’t know that Chile, a country with more than 2,600 miles of incredibly diverse landscapes, is seeing a hotel boom in its capital in 2014. In recent years, Santiago has blossomed as a destination, establishing itself as one of South America’s top travel cities. Selected by the users of TripAdvisor as a Travelers’ Choice destination in November, Santiago is now sixth on the list of the top 25 travel spots in South America. 

In addition to its museums, events, theaters, restaurants, bars and other entertainment and cultural opportunities, Santiago’s central location makes it a convenient gateway to further explore Chile. Due to its proximity to both mountains and the Pacific Ocean, it’s also possible to ski in the nearby Andes in the morning and hit the beach in the afternoon.

What’s not to love? So here are a few tips of key neighbors and hotels that will have you saying, “Mas!”

Barrio Lastarria

One neighborhood of Santiago that has particularly bloomed over the last five years is Barrio Lastarria. The area as a whole has led a renaissance for the capital and continues to develop into a melting pot of elite European styles mixed with chic bohemian influence. Restaurants, bars and nightclubs play host to global travelers while boutiques, bookshops and innovative art museums illustrate the district’s creative roots and intellect. A sought-after area for visitors, the artistic center has three new hotels on the horizon.

Ismael 312 Dining Room
Ismael 312 Dining Room

Ismael 312

Centrally located in up-and-coming Lastarria, the 44-room Ismael 312 welcomed its first guests in September. Close to lively bars, cafés, museums, theaters, Santa Lucia Hill, the Parque Forestal, and Museum of Contemporary Art, the hotel brings a modern contrast to the Art Deco area with its geometric facade and its triangular balconies.

The Singular Santiago, opening April 2014, will be a 63-room state-of-the-art, “sophisticated urban retreat” which will blend new luxuries with charm of the building’s original European facade. The five-star hotel will feature a spa, a “high gastronomy” French-style restaurant, bar, rooftop outdoor pool and lounge and six meeting rooms outfitted with the latest audio-visual technology.

Opening spring 2014, the five-star Cumbres de Lastarria will be a “design hotel” featuring sophisticated, modern décor in its common spaces and 73 rooms. The new property will have a rooftop pool and restaurant, and a wine bar and lounge where cultural and artistic events will be held in line with the profile of the neighborhood.

Barrio Bellavista

Bellavista is another hip neighborhood beating with culture. The Greenwich Village-type area is home to theaters, avant-garde galleries and boutiques specializing in local arts, crafts and authentic Chilean jewelry. It boasts a park almost twice the size of Central Park, and La Chascona, the house of the famous poet Pablo Neruda. The bohemian ambiance and great nightlife fill its streets with people enjoying friends, live music and a mélange of restaurants, cafés and bars.

Castillo Rojo Room
Castillo Rojo Room

Though the Hotel Castillo Rojo just opened its doors in October 2013, the edifice has been in use for almost 100 years. One of the most iconic buildings in Santiago, the former private castle has undergone a complete restoration with 19 exquisitely designed guest rooms, a lounge and two restaurants. The elegant architecture of the abode has been kept intact, and some of the original details like fireplaces, moldings, and furniture have been restored to provide guests an atmosphere of classic, vintage and modern sophistication in one.

Nuevas Las Condes

Nuevas Las Condes is part of Santiago’s business district. Development here over the last few years has been strong, with the neighborhood becoming ultra-modern and very exclusive. Home to Chile’s economic elite, the area is also a commercial hub. Its two very large shopping malls, Parque Arauco and Alto Las Condes, have exclusive boutiques, expensive international stores, restaurants and movie theaters. Most of the area’s activity is situated along Apoquindo Avenue, which locals call “Sanhattan,” a portmanteau of Santiago and Manhattan.

Opening March 2014, Plaza El Bosque Nueva Las Condes Hotel will be located in the heart of the business and commercial neighborhood, just steps away from Manquehue subway station and the Parque Araucano, a well-known green spot in the district. A 30-minute drive to the airport, the 276-room hotel will feature a restaurant, heated pool, gym/spa, business center and 20 meeting rooms.