Downtown Santa Monica Inc. Shapes Future of World-Class Third Street Promenade

Downtown Santa Monica Inc. Shapes Future of World-Class Third Street Promenade

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM), has embarked on a process to develop a comprehensive private space plan to revitalize Third Street Promenade. The Third Street Promenade Stabilization and Economic Vitality Plan (Vitality Plan) will endeavor to build upon the Promenade’s legacy as an enthralling, dynamic and inclusive city center by focusing on the use of private properties and the development of new zoning elements that will create opportunities for modern and attractive uses like experiential retail, live entertainment, nightlife, museums, small scale manufacturing, and more.

The last year brought unprecedented challenges to our community and business owners and while there are still difficult days ahead, we stand at the precipice of reinvention today,” said DTSM, Inc. CEO Kathleen Rawson. “The pandemic only exacerbated the impacts of online shopping on brick and mortar retail, we have been working on how to best counteract these effects for some time now. This new Vitality Plan concentrates primarily on private uses and creative zoning that will spark the change we need.

 

DTSM has enlisted the help of world-renowned experts in public space environments and retail strategy from MIG and Streetsense to work with the City of Santa Monica, private stakeholders and a Project Advisory Committee, composed of longtime property owners and professionals in the fields of architecture/urban design, marketing and hospitality.

 

Over the next three months, the partners will be meeting with stakeholder focus groups, and the Santa Monica City Council to develop the Vitality Plan. The first City Council study session is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9. A draft plan of action is expected to be delivered in March with final adoption by the DTSM board of directors in April of 2021.

 

For more information on the Vitality Plan, visit downtownsm.com/promenade. For the latest resources and information, follow @DTSantaMonica on Instagram and Twitter or DowntownSantaMonica on Facebook.

The Best Lockdown Experience in SoCal Happens “Off-Road” – Polaris Adventures

The Best Lockdown Experience in SoCal Happens “Off-Road” – Polaris Adventures

Even with a backyard full of adventure, Southern California has been significantly affected by strict lockdown guidelines due to the overwhelming rise of Covid-19. The overall impact of the virus has severely limited the types of socially distant activities we can partake in – and while we encourage everyone to remain at home and limit interaction with outside members of your household, we thought we’d share at least one excellent option of escape during this time.

If there is nothing truer about Southern California and its great weather, is that SoCal has a landscape of beauty that can truly be appreciated in a variety of ways, especially “off-road”. Yes, that’s right, imagine yourself on an off-road adventure on the most top of the line all-terrain vehicles available, cruising through an incredible desert and mountain trail. That’s exactly the type of experience Polaris Adventures offers with the Glamis North Hot Springs Resort

 

Located in Glamis, CA, Glamis North Hot Springs Resort has been able to create one of the most effective, minimum to no-contact experiences in the region by providing a completely contact-less booking and check-in procedure to one of their many themed lodges and cabins. Booking was easy, and the digital door check-in makes the process so convenient. It’s what helped make SoCal Mag’s experience even more reassuring in the first place.* 

(*Establishment note: Keeping riders and customers safe is our top priority. Each of our individually operated Outfitter locations adheres to local and state laws. Glamis North Hot Springs is currently open for business with outdoor activities such as off-roading, while all food and beverage services are closed. Our business is strictly following social distancing, mask-wearing, sanitizing and keeping up with all California health and safety regulations.)

Our team at SoCal had the chance to embark on the full experience first hand from lodging to off-road adventure. We knew we were in store for something different and exciting, but we had no clue that the entire experience would highly exceed our expectations. 

We checked into what they call the “Route 66 Motor Lodge” with an interior completely decorated in homage to the iconic highway accented with Americana styling and road paraphernalia. The walls are lined with license plates from all over the country and the living room is even decorated with an impressive and very real motorcycle as one of the standout pieces in the room. Each lodge includes a full kitchen with utensils and kitchenware, along with furnished rooms and bathrooms. You only have to provide your own bedding and towels.

Now, the most exciting part of the entire experience was of course the RZR Rentals for our off-road excursion. RZR’s are top of the line all-terrain vehicles that were designed to navigate all kinds of environments – and the self-guided tours and trails at Glamis North offer it all. 

You can choose between either a 2-seater or 4-seater RZR so that you can share the experience with others. Each rental includes a self-guided trip with built-in GPS navigation system for easy traveling. To note, the driver must be 18+ and show a driver’s license when retrieving the vehicle. Once all of that is squared away, it’s just you and the land ahead. The views throughout the Red Canyon, Chiriaco Summit, Bat Caves, Bradshaw Trail, and Hotel California were stunning. The only real way to experience that type of terrain is through these vehicles. The guided GPS makes exploration secure and safe, while still feeling the rush and excitement of discovery in this environment.

After the excursion, guests can enjoy the more relaxing experience Glamis North has to offer through its all natural hot spring pools and tubs. This water is naturally composed of minerals with a variety of healing benefits. Coming out at searing 160 degrees, the healing waters are cooled just enough before entering one of two therapeutic pools and an additional 14 individual hot tubs to choose from. Keep in mind, there are no chemicals in this water, so you can allow yourself to simply bask in its essence without heavy chlorine or sulfur smells. There’s nothing like it, really, and it certainly made us feel relaxed after our riding day. 

Overall, Glamis North Hot Springs Resort is a great escape during these times. We’ve never experienced anything like it and hope our readers get a chance to experience it as well. The ability to explore the vast trails in this way was incredible. Imagine, these all-terrain RZR’s were designed to maneuver all types of ground. The way you can travel on these vehicles can’t ever compare to something you’d experience in your own car. It’s the opportunity to really explore the lay of the land and unite yourself with this environment that really makes it the exciting experience that it is.

To learn more and make a reservation, visit Glamis North Hot Springs.

And to learn more about other Polaris Adventures locations and experiences, Click Here.

 

(Photography by: ProView Imaging)

Orbitz Teams Up with LGBTQIA+ Influencers & Stars to Highlight Top Queer-Friendly Destinations In Their Hometowns

Orbitz Teams Up with LGBTQIA+ Influencers & Stars to Highlight Top Queer-Friendly Destinations In Their Hometowns

This year has been a whirlwind, with many of the things we’re used to being cancelled, delayed, and still up in the air as we move nearer to a year since the pandemic began. One of the big yearly in-person events that many people in Los Angeles look forward to every June, PRIDE, never really happened this year. Thankfully, in honor of October’s LGBTQIA+ History Month, Orbitz alongside leading LGBTQIA+ Influencers, including Lance Bass, Todrick Hall, and 5 others — are highlighting the best queer-friendly destinations and businesses in their hometowns via Orbitz’s new LGBTQIA Microsite. Unlocking hidden hometown gems, these creators take us on a journey from boutique hotels to LGBTQ+-friendly churches, and everywhere in between. 

While we are still at home, navigating travel’s new normal, these local tours will inspire new places to fall in love with in your backyard, and help support LGBTQIA-friendly business. Finding new ways to celebrate this community during the month and throughout the year, Orbtiz’s #HappyPlace works to transport people to destinations, businesses and important points of interest that rally the community and remind us what’s at stake this year.

Feeling inspired? In honor of customers who refer a friend to book future travel on Orbitz during the month of October, Orbitz will make a donation of $5,000 to support The Trevor Project’s life-saving work. “There’s something really uplifting in sharing your ‘happy place’ with the world and reminding us all what’s at stake this year – now more than ever,” says Marketing Director, Carey Malloy. “Despite these unsettling times, Orbitz remains committed to finding new ways to celebrate this community, during LGBTQ History month and throughout the year.”

Below, are some of the most unique LGBTQIA+ favorites from Orbitz’s partners’ must-visit lists, to check off your bucket list. For Orbitz’s and their partners’ full lists and city itineraries, visit Orbitz’s new LGBTQIA Microsite!

Must-Visit List

  • Lance Bass, Los Angeles, California

    • Vanderpump Dogs –  There is nothing that I love more than dogs. My favorite place to get my puppy fix is at Vanderpump Dogs. They have rescued well over 1,000 dogs including my own two Chip and Dale!

    • Mondrian Los Angeles –  It has been my go-to place to host friends and family that visit for years. My husband Michael and I are regulars at the open air SkyBar which has the most amazing views of the city. If you need an oasis in this big city, this is definitely it.

    • Rocco’s WeHoRocco’s WeHo is the newest and most popular edition to the neighborhood. What I love about it is the most inclusive bar and restaurant on the planet!

  • Toddrick Hall, Dallas, Texas

    • Cathedral of Hope – A vibrant, inclusive and progressive congregation, it is the largest predominantly LGBTQ church in the world. Everyone is welcomed and greeted with warmth and acceptance. 

    • Round Up Saloon – Round up saloon is the epitome of Texas and was the first place I saw gay men line dancing. 

    • Pink Dolphin Monument – Located in R.A. Apffel Park/East Beach on Galveston Island, Pink Dolphin Monument is dedicated to celebrating gender and sexuality minority communities. 

  • Chris Rhodes, Austin, Texas

    • Austin Motel – Queer-woman owned, this is a super cute boutique hotel with rainbow photo-ops at their shop, neon lights in the carport driveway area, iconic signs and a retro pool area. 

    • Cheer Up Charlies – Cheer Up is not located off of 4th street, but it’s still one of the most fun and most queer spaces in town. If you ever happen to be in Austin on a night that they’re having their Neon Rainbows event run by DJ Boi Orbison (a local queer/trans DJ), you are in for a 90’s country night you didn’t know you always needed. 

    • Pennybacker Bridge (360 Bridge) – Also known as the 360 bridge, this landmark is located atop a short hike with an overlook that is breathtaking. This is a very Austin-y place to get outdoors, take your pup, and snag a photo to show all your friends the endless Texas skies. 

  • Allie + Sam, Miami. Florida 

    • A Drag Show at The PalaceA Drag Show at the Palace is a must-see! You’ll be laughing until you cry! We loved going for dinner, too.

    • Biscayne Bay – There’s nothing like sailing along the waters, cruising by all the fancy homes, and sipping on some rosé at sunset! The perfect activity to relax and get a totally unique view of Miami. 

    • Holi Vegan Kitchen – This is a must-stop spot for any plant based travellers out there! Get ready to have the best lunch ever that could fool any meat-eater; I wish we could have ordered one of everything on the menu.

Trending: WorkAways  Take Time Out while Staying Tuned In 

Trending: WorkAways Take Time Out while Staying Tuned In 

WorkAway (def):  1. The unique opportunity to take advantage of an extended travel window, working and playing remotely from a new destination/location. 2. The chance to learn/explore a new culture/way of life 3. Redefining your life balance in a new context.

Quarantine fatique is real and staycations are so last month. With many Californians working and learning remotely, a new concept, the “WorkAway” may provide welcome relief from unprecedented amounts of time at home.

Elevate Destinations, a luxury travel company with an altruistic footprint, is organizing stays for a month or more in vetted destinations that provide the services and systems clients and their families need to thrive.

Designed as a welcome hiatus from life at home, a WorkAway package includes custom accommodation, recreational touring and any educational and medical options that might be required. 24/7 concierge assistance is available upon request.

Elevate’s initial WorkAway destinations include Barbados and Mustique in the Caribbean, Belize, Croatia, Hawaii and Kenya.

“So many folks are yearning to get away but need guidance about health and safety protocols.  As a trusted travel advisor, we can provide that and introduce clients to a spectrum of possibilities as they look to take advantage of working and learning remotely,” says Dominique Callimanopulos, Founder of Elevate Destinations. “This is a unique window for many clients to immerse in a new culture or landscape.”

Since 2005, Elevate has facilitated bespoke trips to Africa, Asia, Central and South America and Europe and is drawing on its rich network of global travel partners to curate WorkAways for clients looking for a change of scene.

For more information, visit https://elevatedestinations.com/custom-trips/workaways/

Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Teams Up with Steep LA for Chinese New Year

Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Teams Up with Steep LA for Chinese New Year

In celebration of Chinese New Year, five-star property Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills is teaming up with the modern traditional Chinese teamakers Steep LA (located in Chinatown) for a special tea offering on Saturday, January 25th.
 
 
Steep LA founders Samuel Wang and Lydia Lin will be on property to meet with guests and visitors during two different complimentary tea ceremonies (at 3:00 and 5:00) located by the fireplace in the Avec Nous lounge. Wang and Lin will share the tea drinking experience and showcase their specialty artisanal premium black and oolong tea and cold brew tea paired with a Wu Xiang (five spice) cookie by Chef Nicholas Loncar.
 
 
In-room turndown service on Chinese New Year will also include loose leaf black tea bags by Steep LA along with the cookie offering as well. With winter’s cool grip on Southern California, it’s a great way to warm your spirit — and an even better way to ring in the Lunar New Year!
 
Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills is located at 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
Ask the Experts:Travel

Ask the Experts:Travel

If you’re travelling with a budget in mind, KAYAK offers a great service: find locations for travel based on location and price worldwide. Here’s how it works: Go to the flight section, under “anywhere” click and you wil find explore your options with anywhere search. Click on any price and it will give you the current price AND a forward look at upcoming prices. Deal of the day would appear to be Kahului, Hawaii. Also known as Maui, a roundtrip today would coast $338, roundtrip. If you like adventure and can afford it, you might take an expensive flight to Tolinaro in Madagascar for $3343.

https://www.kayak.com/

 
 
 
 

Meet Zuke Oshiro

Zuke Oshiro was born in raised in Hokkaido, the north island of Japan, and moved to Los Angeles in 1999. While he had his own educational agency business, Zuke has continuously traveled around world, and writes for numerious publications and journals.
info@socalmag.com

Journey Up the Nile River

Journey Up the Nile River

TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE
July 2019

There are many kinds of vacations—the relaxing, island vacation, the adventuruous trip up the mountains of Peru, the majestic splendor of old churches throughout Europe, and then there is the Middle East. A term coined in 1850s by a British India official, it is composed of 18 countries, 60+ languages and nearly four million people. It is the birthplace of most of the world’s religions and “has been a major center of world affairs; a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive area.”

So, let’s just say, it’s not Hawaii.

The river Nile. The view of the river as seen in Aswan.
Photograph by Zuke Oshiro
“What you can expect from a Nile River cruise is the adventure of a lifetime.”
DAY ONE we board the Santuary IV. The Sanctuary Sun Boat IV is a contemporary chic, sleek boat with heavy art deco influences. There are 36 standard cabins, two presidential suites and two royal suites. We are greeted as enter the plank by the entire staff offering refreshments and introductions. We are divided  into groups and assigned an English-speaking tour guide, who will accompany us to the various temples along the way. Afternoon tea will be served. Everynight an activity is planned—tonight, after a gourmet dinner is served, we watch as traditional fokloric music and a “whirling dervish” perform.

As one look about it becomes clear that this journey invites all kinds of people—local Egytians, A London-based Sufi businessman with his family, and elderly couple from Scotland, a couple from Cape Cod, a Brazilan opera singer and her daughter, and Egyptian family with their California-based son-in-law. The staff is attentive, ocassionaly too attentive, but the dinner, which is buffet-style, is a nice start to the this ride up the Nile.

A felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in protected waters of Egypt. Its rig consists of one or two lateen sails.
Photographed by Zuke Oshiro
DAY TWO a large buffet breakfast is served each morning. Groups gather on the first deck and we head out for adventure.  We journey to the majestic Philae Temple on the Island of Agilika. We begin to make friends with some Egytian locals and their California-based relatives. The temples are surreal. Over three thousand years old, the preservation is impressive. We are to dress like and Egyptians for a post-dinner party. We bargain with the locals to buy a “galabeyya”, the traditional Egyptian outfit. Each night, at dinner you are seated in the same place. We are seated next to a Brazilian opera singer and her daughter. The after-dinner party is a chance for everyone to mingle and dance into the wee Egyptian hours. This is the requisite fun of travelling by boat—it’s a small party, you get to know everyone, and their stories.
DAY THREE we set off the visit the Temple of Horus. We begin to understand some aspects of the Egyptian pharoah culture. The mythology is deeply complex. For example Horus, is the sky god and there are two, Horus the Younger and Horus Elder. There is a surprising lack of sexuality in these temples, and everyone is quite fit. The drawings are impeccable and rarely vary in form.

We head to The Temple of Esna. The Temple of Esna, which was buried beneath its own debris for many centuries, is located in the center of the town, close to the River Nile and only a short walk from your boat through the local market. We are given passage by way of carriage. The remains of the Temple contain a hall of columns with 24 pillars beautifully decorated with lotus and palm capitals. Also notable is that while looking up, astrological symbols can be seen, 12 of them.

To suggest that it is overwhelming is an understatement. One has to pinch themselves to remind themselves of the reality—you are in Egypt, in the MIddle East and these are the temples that Hollywood has been in love with for so long.

So that evening, as entertainment, they have set up a projector to show the 1978 film, “Death on the Nile”. This version features Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian sleuth. Actually filmed along the same route we are on, this two hour and twenty minute film runs late into the Egyptian night—we all retire early for our last day.

DAY FOUR The east and west banks of Luxor. This is the big one, the grandaddy of temples. We’re suddenly seeing more people at these temples.  First stop, Temple of Luxor, dedicated to the god Amun. We have had a change in our tour guide! The people in our group requested a new guide. Welcome Medhat, looking like something out of a central casting for Indiana Jones, he is informative and affable. We move onto the Temple of Karnak.
After lunch, visit the Valley of the Kings or The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh, Life, Strength, Health in The West of Thebes, as it was once known. We will have the chance to visit at least one tomb in the Valley of the Queens, and visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. On the way back to the river Nile, you will pass by the famed Colossi of Memnon, known in Ancient Greek times for their haunting voices at dawn.

 

It’s over. We arrive at our final moments on board the Santuary IV — saying goodby the ship is abuzz with activity. Rooms are quickly seen to. We head to the Luxor airport to head back to Cairo. We have made friends. We travel over vast stretches of desert, broken by the sudden appearance of a great lake, which seems to run for miles. We are back in Cairo for 12 hours.

There was something about this trip, that for the well-worn traveler speaks to that ocassional need for danger—not physical danger, but to be somewhere where your native language is foreign, the landscape, the people, the culture is vastly different than anything previously experienced. Bali was one of those places, The Maldives certainly. Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, all spoke to a distance of things known, flavors never tasted, history seen in terms of thousands instead of hundreds. Dangerous? Sure—you’re in the Middle East—you cannot get to Israel easily from Egypt though it is under 500 miles away. But it’s Egypt, it’s Cairo. It’s the Pyramids! It’s everything you ever imagined and more. To be sure, there was a moment, leaving the hustle of Cairo in a taxi and the Pyramids suddenlhy appear in the distance—it’s a moment. Crusing up the Nile via a five star luxury boat, that too, was many moments.

https://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/egypt-holidays

The Iconic Mondrian L.A. on Sunset Continues Summer Reign with Full Redesign

The Iconic Mondrian L.A. on Sunset Continues Summer Reign with Full Redesign

Earlier this Summer, Sunset Boulevard destination staple, The Mondrian L.A., unveiled it’s complete redesign after a whopping 19 million dollar renovation. The level of luxury exuding from this West Hollywood location fits in perfectly with the beautiful days of an L.A. Summer. There’s a unique direction in design specific to the 236 rooms and hallways of the hotel bring in an essence of imagination through the Alice in Wonderland inspired decor. Take into account the floor-to-ceiling windows, marble touched bathrooms, and 24 Hour room service.

           

The renovation came in at a whopping 19 million dollars to create the ever-inspiring luxury hotel’s re-imagined aesthetic. It’s the perfect place for a local getaway while being able to also step outside and enjoy California-inspired cuisines at Ivory on Sunset and play at Skybar’s iconic sun-drenched pool deck by day, star-studded nightlife hotspot after sunset.

  

 

For Reservations and Calendar of Events, Check out Mondrian Los Angeles Online.

Wisdome: an immersive art park

Wisdome: an immersive art park

Left: Leon Hendrix, Jimmy Hendrix’s younger brother and Randy Hanson

Legendary writer/photographer Belissa Cohen goes psychedelic to experience L.A.’s hidden gem of an “immersive art park,” Downtown L.A.’s Wisdome

If you haven’t yet been to downtown L.A.’s Wisdome, we suggest putting it on your nightlife bucket list, and maybe stock up on your favorite psychedelics beforehand.

Called an “immersive art park,” this enormous 35,000 sqare foot space houses a collection of five huge interconnecting domes, one of which hosts nearly continuous showings of a 360 degree short film called Samskara by innovative experimental artist Android Jones. The other domes host other immersive art installations, live music events in 10.1 surround sound, and are surrounded by a commodius grassy outdoor area for hanging out on glorious summer nights with bars, ethnic food and drink purveyors, and trinket vendors selling wares of a vaguely spiritual nature —  it’s the whole enchilada in one place, with enchiladas. It’s both comfortable and hella trippy!

We experienced the Wisdome when Randy Hanson, who is considered arguably the best of the Jimi Hendrix tribute performers among those in the know about such things, did the first of his spot-on two-night performances in the largest of the Wisdomes, while psychedelic art in the form of constantly morphing mandala images were projected on the walls and ceiling of the dome, and many audience members took in the multimedia show from reclining seats. Like them, we found ourselves gazing ceiling-ward during the show, mesmerized, as the images changed organically, all the while absorbed in the expertly executed music.Randy, who is in demand all over the world for his Jimi Hendrix realness, and is, like Jimi, a Seattle native, played and sang all the hits note for note, from “Foxy Lady” to “Purple Haze” to the Bob Dylan-penned “All Along the Watchtower,” on what just so happened to be Dylan’s birthday.

As happens in L.A., we found ourselves Ubering to the Wisdome with the famous-adjacent:  Leon Hendrix, Jimi’s younger brother and an edgy blues musician in his own right, who sang with Randy and his band very appropriately  on “Castles Made of Sand,” a song Jimi had penned back in the day about his family’s dysfunction. Leon’s own show the very next weekend at The Mint in West L.A. was a sold out success.


The world-renowned Randy Hanson brings his Jimi extravaganza back to the Wisdome at the end of June. For all of us who missed Jimi’s legendary L.A. performance at the Hollywood Bowl in 1968, we now have a second chance to Be Experienced!

5 Best Westside Spas for Mother’s Day

5 Best Westside Spas for Mother’s Day

What do Mothers want for Mother’s Day? Short answer: Relaxation and me time… Or, as we like to call it, a spa day. If you’ve been scrolling through Yelp wondering which is the best Westside spa for Mother’s Day, or if you’re simply scratching your scalp trying to find the perfect gift for your Mom, then you are in the right place.

This year we got together a group of Moms and asked them “which are the 5 best Westside spas for Mother’s Day?”. Below we’ve listed them.

Burke Williams

Mom will feel: Serene, peaceful
Perfect if she loves: Quiet, nurturing, European style spas
Price Range: $$$
Treatment time: All day

Burke Williams Spa is the classic Day-Spa choice for many women in the Westside. This European, dimly-lit space has various baths (both silent and social), private massage rooms, and a reading nook with coffee and fruit too. You can enjoy just a massage, or indulge in the the all-day Spa facilities too. Though this place is on the more expensive end of the Spa spectrum, it is absolutely worth it for the many hours of luxury and relaxation that is on offer here.

Learn more about Burke Williams here.

Hideko Spa

Mom will feel: elegant, pampered
Perfect if she loves: Japanese hospitality, luxury, grace, Japanese tea
Price Range: $$
Treatment time: Typically 1.5 hours

A Japanese luxury spa, Hideko is a modest yet elegant space that offers unparalleled hospitality and grace. With a deluxe Japanese massage experience, the spa uses only organic products and materials, including oils, woods, scrubs, wraps, and refreshments. After your massage you can enjoy your own private bath in a luxury tub adjacent to your massage room, as well as warm cup of herbal tea and a selection of Japanese cakes.

Learn more about Hideko Spa here.

Cryo Healthcare

Mom will feel: Energized
Perfect if she loves: Fitness, Biohacking, a less traditional wellness experience
Price: $
Treatment time: Typically 1 hour

Notoriously loved by Mom of three, Demi Moore and Mom of five, Tori Spelling, the Cryo Healthcare facility provides a uniquely elegant Cryotherapy experience on the Westside. Originating from Japan, Cryotherapy has quickly gained popularity with the ever-expanding biohacking community. Known for its immediate energizing effects Cryotherapy is the perfect gift for any Mom who likes keeping up with trends, and trying new things.

Before booking make sure you check out the list of medical conditions that determine your Mom’s suitability to the treatment.

Find out more about Cryo Healthcare here.

Raven Spa

Mom will feel: Healed and opened up
Perfect if she loves: Thai Massage, acupuncture
Price Range: $$
Treatment time: 1.5 hours

The Raven Spa is a sweet oceanside spa that is nestled in the side streets of Santa Monica. It specializes in Thai massage yet also offers an impressive menu of alternative treatments like acupuncture, infrared saunas, and Reiki. If your Mom prefers deep tissue massages with a focus on relieving tension and muscle soreness then this is the place for her!

Learn more about The Raven Spa here.

Willow Spa

Mom will feel: Grounded
Perfect if she loves: Soft touch, energy healing, Asian-inspired spaces
Price Range: $$
Treatment time: Typically 2 hours

Willow Spa offers a tropical Spa experience for any Mom who wants to indulge in soft healing. Nestled in a renovated home, WIllow Spa is the perfect haven-away-from-home for any Mom who wants to experience massage with a spiritual focus. There are a number of specialized treatments at Willow Spa–from their Blooming Lotus Massage (a treatment specifically designed for pregnant women), to their Reiki practice (an ancient healing technique used by the Tibetans to enhance the flow of life-energy), to Shiatsu (a Japanese method of unlocking energy in your body by using the meridians of your body).

Learn more about Willow Spa here.

14 Experience-Worthy Valentine’s Day Gifts

14 Experience-Worthy Valentine’s Day Gifts

It’s probably one of the corniest holidays in existence, because without fail, February becomes a month filled with heart-shaped balloons and candy, endless amounts of chocolate boxes and bouquets, and stereotypical nods to cheesy eroticism through red silk boxers paired with bow-ties. Seriously, give it a rest. Now, I’m not trying to be completely cynical, but when I think about Valentine’s Day and how commercially warped it is, I quickly lose interest. I want to celebrate Love everyday of the year, but if I’m going to dedicate a specific day to demonstrate it, then I’m going to do it in a very special way.

Typically, Valentine’s Day gifts are more novelty in nature: We’re talking teddy bears, rose bouquets, themed underwear, and dinner at either a too fancy or too crowded restaurant. I think it’s time we step it up and not only think smarter about these gifts but also add the element of an experience that you and your special someone can share together. (Sidebar*, Love doesn’t have to only be celebrated romantically. Your friends and family can share this day with you too.) Here’s a list of 20 experiential Valentine’s Day gifts that will help create memorable moments rather than forgettable, novelty riff-raff.

In no particular order:

1. Atlas Coffee Club

      

Atlas Coffee Club, is a travel-themed coffee club that explores the world of coffee and culture!  From Papua New Guinea to Peru, Burundi to Brazil, each month they highlight a new country! (Retail: Gift Subscriptions starting at $60)


2. Nostalgia Electronics Waterfall

       

The Nostalgia Electrics Chocolate Waterfall creates a steady fountain of edible chocolate. Perfect to dip cakes, fruit and marshmallows. A great addition to your dessert spread for your and your valentine to enjoy together. (Retail: $49.99)


3. LATHER Sweet As Honey Kit & Road Warrior Men’s Survival Kit

      

Indulge in a collection of face, bath, body and gourmet treats, made with nature’s candy – honey – an excellent source of nourishing antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. And for the guys, Lather created a survival kit for men on the go, with travel sizes of their favorite face, body, and hair care essentials. (Retail $48-$58)


4. Feast Laguna

            

Flowers and jewelry are always romantic gestures but what’s more fun, entertaining, and memorable than spending a delightful afternoon or evening with your significant other, enjoying delicious food and being immersed in stunning works of art and beach culture? Feast Laguna is a culinary/food tour operator based in the beautiful beach community of Laguna Beach, CA. They offer tasty and entertaining food tours that are expertly led by knowledgeable and friendly Laguna local guides. (Retail: $75-$79)


5. LOVE Gem Water Bottle by Vitajuwel

For the crystal lover in your life, Vitajuwel has updated their original Love Gem Water Bottle to include garnet and clear quartz. If you’re a deeply romantic soul looking to inspire love, and deepen devotion, this latest incarnation of the Love gem-water blend awaits… (Retail: $98)


6. Basic Outfitters’ Create-a-Drawer

      

As seen on season 8 of Shark Tank – Basic Outfitters‘ Create-a-Drawer allows guys to ditch their worn out attire and replenish their wardrobe with up to 17 pieces of high-quality basics in under two minutes with a collection of high quality and fashionable socks, underwear, tees, and joggers delivered right to their door for only $60 (a $120 value).


7. ISlide

           

ISlides are the only fully customizable, sought-after slide sandal sweeping the world on the feet of athletes and celebrities like Madonna, Dwyane Wade, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Diddy, and many more. Maker of DJ Khaled‘s famous “Bless Up” and “Another One” slide sandals, ISlide fuses fashion with athletics and has partnered with Neiman Marcus, the NBA, and a number of other teams, brands, and organizations for custom designs. ISlides can be designed to match anyone’s personality with pictures, phrases, emojis and more – or choose from hundreds of pre-designed collections from French Montana, Nickelodeon, NCAA colleges and more. (Retail: $49.99)


8. PediPocket

      

As seen on Good Morning America, PediPocket is 6 feet of super soft microfiber fleece that has a clever foot pocket to keep your toes toasty. Use it at home, at the office or take it while traveling. Plus, it’s machine washable and dryer friendly. Perfect for cold winter days spent snuggling up on the couch with your Valentine. (Retail: $39.99)


9.  Tell It Well Cards

      

Among all the texts and tweets, send your Valentine a meaningful handwritten message with the original line of modern photo greeting cards from Tell It Well Cards! Each card is 4 x 4 square (Polaroid size) and is printed on sustainably sourced and recycled paper that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. 10% of sales go to provide small business microloans to women in poverty in the US and around the world for the Whole Planet Foundation. (Retail: $4 – $20)


10. Gratitude Glass “Love” Jar

Show your friends and family how much you care with the Gratitude Glass Love Jar. Fill the jar up with love notes that can be enjoyed all year long! Named “the gift that keeps on giving” by Oprah and featured among the 102 gifts of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2017 List, the Gratitude Jar from Gratitude Glass Jars has driven a movement – inspiring others to love themselves and the people around them. (Retail: $45)


11. HelloFresh Sweetheart’s New York Strip Steak

      

During Valentine’s Day week (Feb. 10-16) we’ll be offering a special Sweetheart’s New York Strip Steak with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Blood Orange Sauce. The recipe takes only 35 minutes to make and fool-proof for even the most novice home cooks. As one of HelloFresh‘s Premium recipes, this dinner is undeniably special. With strip steak, brown sugar mashed sweet potatoes, and roasted Brussels sprouts, this dish has tenderness, sweetness, and warmth—just like any solid relationship. It’s topped off with cranberries and a sauce based on blood orange—two fruits that have a romantic red hue. (Retail: $59+ for a 3 meal box for 2 people)


12. BOXFOX

      

Do Valentine’s Day differently this year with BOXFOX and their limited edition 2018 collection of pre-curated themed boxes. Available online until Feb. 18, each box is a thoughtful assortment of gifts that allows you to show you care on the most romantic holiday of the year. If you want to really show your creativity, you can curate your own custom BOXFOX with their BUILD A BOXFOX platform and and select whichever items your heart desires. (Retail: $30 – $200)


13. SouFeel

      

Customized gifts are always a great idea. Soufeel Jewelry’s personalized pieces are your easy solution. For once, you can find the perfect gift for everyone on your list without having to sacrifice meaning or thought! (Retail: $19.95 – $49.95)


14. The Mondrian Staycation

Being in love never felt so good. Celebrate your romance with this package that includes an in-room couple’s massage and dinner at the Doheny Room ($150 sbe gift card provided). Followed by a nightcap for two at Skybar. Then end it all with a turndown service including champagne and rose petals. Price point for the hotel stay plus the package is ($800)


BONUS:  Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato & Brut Rose

           

Think Pink this year for Valentine’s Day with Barefoot Wine’s Bubbly Pink Moscato & Brut Rose selections. Everything is better with wine, and Barefoot is trusted and true for this occasion. This is one of SoCal Mag’s favorites!