The Glamorous World of California
A luxury travel experience that includes soaking up the West Coast and indulging in the finer things in life.
Nestled along the coast of the vibrant state of California lives a bustling metropolis famously known as the City of Angels. That is where we began our week-long adventure in the Sunshine State, graciously hosted by Visit California in partnership with Dolce. We got to experience West Hollywood, Temecula and Dana Point, each with their own rich history and unique takes on glamour and luxury.
Around 1984, this 500-hectare plot of land located in the heart of Los Angeles was born as an independent city, founded on the values “of inclusivity and respect. Largely achieved by members of the LGBT+ community and those who shared the same ambition, West Hollywood was conceived as a place where creative minds would be nurtured. Now known for its hip culture, up-and-coming denizens and highly sought-after talents, WeHo — as it referred to by the locals — is a place cultivated with love. It is home to the famous Sunset Strip, historically known for its unparallelled link to California’s creative industries, from music and entertainment to architecture and the arts. Otherwise known as “The Creative City,” it generates some of the most impactful cultural changes in the U.S. and the world.
During my stay, the London West Hollywood hotel became home for three days. This tranquil urban oasis, winner of an impressive array of hospitality awards, epitomizes modern luxury and prides itself on its class and elegance, to which its many discerning guests can attest. The London has created an environment that epitomizes the height of laid-back California luxury, in keeping with the kind of “Hollywood allure” that the whole world recognizes.
Visit West Hollywood curated a praiseworthy itinerary from restorative workouts out at celebrity gym, DOGPOUND, to red-carpet pamperings fit for a star at the Bamford Wellness Spa, located in the 1 Hotel in WeHo, to happy hours with celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, I had settled into a life full of five-star meals and a life charmed with luxury, everything from walking the streets of WeHo to chartering private flights with the professionals at Maverick Helicopters. The days went by like Scenes in a blockbuster movie, highlighting the endless possibilities and vibrant culture that lies within such close quarters within the greater city.
“West Hollywood is the hub of the artistic community with the most extraordinary people who live here.” – Martyn Lawrence Bullard
Temecula Valley, a rolling-hills landscape adorned with more than 40 vineyards, inns and other guest accommodations plotted on 3,000 acres of picturesque land, is a wine-lover’s dream getaway and a delightful change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the city. There is a magic to this region of Southern California amid the Temescal Mountains. It was as if Temecula was destined to yield some of the most highly acclaimed wines, given its temperate climate and gentle breezes.
Visit Temecula Valley welcomed our arrival with a wine-pairing luncheon at Avensole Winery. Hosted by its local staff, we were educated on the science of blending flavours and notes to craft the ultimate pairings.
Ponte Winery Inn, a quaint boutique hotel that has won awards for its charm and hospitality, became the next stop on our travels. This slice of paradise offers a wake-up call like no other — countryside in the midst of vineyards that seemingly extend beyond the horizon, serene sounds of nature and Temecula’s charms; floating hot-air balloons decorating the Californian skies.
With a variety of unique activities set in this community, you can enjoy guided tours, indulge in wine tastings and even participate in crafting your own wine-bottle label. Aside from wineries, Temecula Valley holds a plethora of allure just waiting to be discovered. Old Town Temecula is a charming community filled with historic buildings, boutique shops and restaurants serving up delicious food. You can stroll through the streets, enjoy live music and sample local cuisine, feeling as if you are starring in a western film.
For the thrill-seekers I highly recommend venturing out in a basket at the crack of dawn to reach new heights, soaring the skies in one of the region’s professionally captained hot air balloons. Ahead of my travels, I could not have pictured myself taking a ride in one of these mammoths, but the ingenuity of this historic means of flight charmed me beyond my wildest dreams as we rose over 5,000 feet above the ground.
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, history buff, nature lover or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Temecula Valley has something for everyone. It’s a community that offers serenity and charm, indulging all the senses while nurturing unforgettable memories.
Just an hour aways lies Dana Point, a coastal beauty known for its laid-back atmosphere and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Situated in California’s Orange County, this surf-culture city prides itself on having picturesque views and a connection to its aquatic life that can only be described as supernatural.
Visit Dana Point hosted an unforgettable experience upon our arrival. Just when I thought I had witnessed it all, Dana Point showcased a special side of California’s glamour, proving itself to be the gem of the OC. Beginning with a gourmet lunch perched above the sea hosted by the Ritz- Carlton, we checked in to our final destination on this dream trip, the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club.
The Waldorf is famously known for its hospitality, treating each of its guests like royalty. It sits on a 70-hectare oceanfront property that is home to breathtaking greens — including the famed Monarch Beach Golf Links — and is rimmed by lush vegetation, a wonderful location that guests are sure to be unceasingly charmed by. During my stay, I had the privilege of indulging in some of the many amenities that the Waldorf has to offer, including dining experiences at some of their top-rated restaurants, a restorative massage in the property’s spacious spa, crafting activities and so much more.
If you are someone who enjoys outdoor activities, Dana Point is the place to be. Its white- sand beaches and numerous marinas make it the perfect place for any waterfront lover’s staycation. Visitors and locals alike often take part in whale- watching tours on the surrounding waters in hopes of spotting the breathtaking creatures breaching the water just off California’s coast. Perhaps a pod of dolphins will pay you a visit like they did us.
California boasts an allure like no other, whether it’s the draw of Hollywood, or the serene landscapes of Temecula Valley, or even the coastal energy of Dana Point. It is home to a vast array of cultures and experiences fit for any style of dreamer. I have had the absolute honour and pleasure taking you along on this dream road trip throughout Southern California, which is beyond a doubt a hub of luxury and of exciting experiences — one that I recommend that you add to your travel dream list.