Marilyn Monroe Spa Review

Wednesday October 15, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 0 Comments

I love everything about a trip to the spa; from the aromatherapy scents that hit my nostrils upon entering the spa, to soaking in a hot tub after a deep tissue or hot stone massage and the sense of calm that envelopes my body at the end of a treatment. When the folks at Marilyn Monroe Spas offered me a facial, I only hesitated for a second. That’s because I always opt for a massage over a facial. In this instance, I’m glad that I went for the facial treatment.
 

"Marilyn Monroe Spas"

Aromatherapy scents hit your nostrils at Marilyn Monroe Spas. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

Marilyn Monroe Spas

Marilyn Monroe, while a tragic figure, knew what made her happy. “Beneath the makeup and behind the smile, I’m just a girl who wishes for the world,” said Monroe. There’s no denying that name recognition works when it comes to branding the Marilyn Monroe Spas chain. The first Marilyn Monroe Spa opened in northern California at Hyatt Regency Monterey and continues its expansion with luxury nail salons, hotel spa resort locations and Glamour Rooms.

While Marilyn Monroe Spas are fairly new players on the scene, the corporate team behind the brand are seasoned operators, with Disney Resort Spa experience under their collective belt.
 

"Marilyn Monroe"

“I just want to be wonderful!” Marilyn Monroe. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

As I mentioned, I’m not a facial gal. It’s not that I have anything against facials, it’s that I sit hunched in front of a computer all day and my shoulders are always in tight knots. If money were no object, I’d treat myself to a facial AND massage once a month.

 

"Marilyn Monroe Spas"

The relaxation area in Monterey, California


 

"Nancy D. Brown" "golden glow facial"

Marilyn Monroe Golden Glow Facial

 
Marilyn Monroe facial
The Golden Glow Facial treatment, priced at $175. was 80 minutes of me time.  The oxygenating facial opened up my pores and re-hydrated my very dry skin. The Green Tea Refining Mask was cold on application, but my Esthetician Lucy patiently explained each step of the facial treatment. While the antioxidant ingredients went to work restoring elasticity and hydrating my face with moisture, I also received a hand, foot and shoulder massage – yeah! After this relaxing treatment I did feel refreshed and like Marilyn Monroe, I felt just wonderful.
 
"Marilyn Monroe Spas"
 

Did you know that Marilyn’s favorite scent was roses? As such, many of the organic spa products are infused with roses. I tried the rose cream cleanser, the rose hip cell renewing facial polish, the rose firming and brightening serium, rose hip firming de-puff eye cream and the rose hip cell renewal seed oil capsules. This last item is used as a nightly treatment instead of moisturizer.
 
Next time I’m near this spa, I’m trying Marilyn’s Signature manicure/pedicure treatment.
 

"Marilyn Monroe Spas"

Manicure, pedicure anyone?


 
Insider Tip:
Love spas, but tough on the budget? Mad About Marilyn is a rewards program offering “Mad Money”. $30 month will get you $30 toward a spa service. For every $10 you spend (including your monthly membership fee) you earn $1 in Mad Money, plus 10% discounts on products & 20% discounts on all services at hotel spas. For additional insider tips follow Northern California Travel Writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter and Marilyn Monroe Spas on Twitter @MarilynSpas.
 

If You Go:

Marilyn Monroe Spa (831) 657-6734

1 Old Golf Course Road

Monterey, California 93940

Article and photos by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Marilyn Monroe Spas while researching a hotel review. All opinions are my own.

Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Monterey

Friday October 10, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 3 Comments

Author John Steinbeck would have been happy to stay at Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel during his Travels with Charley, as this hotel is very pet-friendly. They have an entire building dedicated to people traveling with their pets, as well as offering outside dining and fireplace access to pets and their owners.
 

"Hyatt Regency", Monterey

Hyatt Regency Monterey Lobby. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

What I liked about Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa; the 22 acre resort will keep everyone happy. With two heated swimming pools, tennis courts, shuffle board, 24/7 gym, jogging paths, on-property 18-hole Del Monte Golf Course, several restaurants and the Marilyn Monroe Spa, there truly is something for everyone! My Golf Course king room opened up directly to the golf course.
 


 
 

swimming pool, "Hyatt"

One of two heated pools. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

"StayFit gym"

StayFit gym available 24/7. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

Is there a better way to spend the day in Monterey than Pebble Beach golf, followed with a spa treatment, dinner at TusCa Ristorante, a dip in the pool and s’mores by the fire pit? Make that a weekend with horseback riding in Pebble Beach and I’m one happy camper.

Traveling with your pet? This Hyatt Regency is pet-friendly and charges a one-time $100 fee. The fee includes a pet bed and bowl to borrow, doggie treats and privacy hanger alerting house-keeping so no one spooks the dog. Outside dining options include heat lamps and fire pits, keeping man and his best friend toasty warm.
 

"Hyatt Regency Monterey" king bed

Monterey Golf Course King. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

fire pit, "Hyatt Regency Monterey"

Pet-friendly fire pit. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

Upon Request
Monterey county is tough on water wasters; this includes hotels and restaurants. When you dine in Monterey restaurants you’ll need to ask for a glass of water, as it is only served upon request. Want a bathrobe in your room or nightly turndown service? You’ll need to ask at the Monterey Hyatt. I learned of these two options after I had already checked out of the hotel – but they are available to all guests – upon request.
 

"Hyatt Express Check-in Kiosk"

Hyatt Express Check-in Kiosk. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

Insider Tip
Hate waiting in line to check in or out of your hotel? The Hyatt Express Check-In Kiosks might be just the ticket for you. Guests are able to utilize web check-in online and receive e-mail notification when their room is available. Bypass the hotel lobby line by heading straight for the Express Kiosk. Swipe your credit card and your confirmation will be printed, along with keys and directions to your hotel room. Hyatt Gold Passport members (free to join) are able to request specific hotel floors and receive points for their stay. Points may be redeemed for hotel or restaurant rewards.

Hyatt Regency Monterey charges a $20 resort fee. The daily fee covers Wifi, parking, airport and Fisherman’s Wharf shuttle, as well as access to Hyatt StayFit gym open 24 hours, pools and tennis courts. My Monterey Golf Course King room rented for $179. plus tax. Check the website for current rates and package deals.
 

"Hyatt Regency Monterey" flowers

Flowers photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @HyattMonterey on Twitter.

Check-In Time: 4:00pm

Check-Out Time: 12:00pm

If You Go:

Hyatt Regency Monterey (831) 372-1234
1 Old Golf Course Road,
Monterey, California 93940

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Hyatt Regency. All opinions are my own.

Serenity in Alaska: Winterlake Lodge Review

Wednesday October 8, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 0 Comments

Living in Lake Placid, New York, the home of forty-six High Peaks and a multitude of beautiful lakes and streams is not exactly a shabby existence, but my husband and I decided to venture to Alaska because it has been in the number one spot on my bucket list since I was ten years old. Fortunately I have a cousin who is a travel agent, Susan Halperin Travel, who set us up on what would be the trip of a lifetime. Knowing me as she does, Susan recommended a rustic, backcountry Alaskan lodge forty miles from civilization; accessible only by floatplane, weather permitting, or ski-plane in the dead of winter. With that, I was set on going to Alaska.

 

"Winterlake Lodge", Alaska

Winterlake Lodge in Alaska


 

Within the wild

After eighteen hours of travel and a night at the comfortable Captain Cook Hotel in downtown Anchorage, we boarded our Rust’s Flying Service floatplane from Lake Hood. Rust’s Flying Service has ten planes available for travel and sightseeing expeditions. The flight was forty-five minutes over one hundred miles of open terrain, with lots of water as it had been raining the past two weeks. We landed on Finger Lake and were enthusiastically greeted by the owners Carl and Kirsten Dixon’s daughter Carly, and several engaging employees. We were treated to hot drinks and warm cookies just baked in their large kitchen where they not only offer a daily cooking class, but produce the most delicious meals planned by Kirsten, a Cordon-Bleu-trained chef. We were shown to our cozy cabin- Happy River- where we had a log bed, private bathroom, oil-heated stove and a fabulous view of the lake. We immediately donned rain gear and met our guide, Josh. For the next three days, Josh took us out in an electric boat where we were entertained by three river otters, swans, loons and a beaver working on a dam he had built. We began to feel the serenity within the wild.
 

"Finger Lake" airplane

Floatplane lands on Finger Lake, Alaska


 

Winterlake Lodge activity

Our days at Winterlake Lodge were up to us and our guide. Activities could include any of the following: hiking easy or more difficult trails right behind the Lodge or on part of the historic Iditarod trail, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, Alaskan bird watching, wildlife viewing, nature exploring including wildflowers, berries, mushrooms, woody frogs and helicopter excursions for salmon fishing or glacier landings with hiking. The guides are all extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of the natural surroundings and clearly love what they do. Of course you could also sit in the Main Lodge, relax and take it all in, read a great book or play some board games available there. After only being there a half of a day, we felt at home and taken care of as if we were part of the Dixon’s family. Everything was so personalized. Complimentary yoga was offered daily at 6:30 am in the wellness room, complimentary massages were available to all guests, and the use of the hot tub and sauna completed the total spa experience. Three meals a day were provided in the Main Lodge. At 6 pm wine and cheese tasting with cheeses from Murray’s Cheese Shop in Manhattan and homemade appetizers were offered. Throughout the day coffee, tea, cold drinks and snacks were available at the coffee bar. You were never hungry. If you chose a day trip as we did, lunches were packed and enjoyed on top of a glacier where we were at one with nature and essentially captured the entire Alaskan experience.
 

"Winterlake Lodge", Alaska

Relax inside Winterlake Lodge


 

Gourmet cuisine in Alaska

Being somewhat of a “foodie” I feel that I must do justice to the culinary experience. All and any dietary restrictions or requests were met with the greatest of pleasure. Milestones were celebrated with a special dessert of your choice along with the daily scrumptious dessert. My husband’s 60th birthday was celebrated with apple pie and homemade vanilla ice cream- his favorite. Each meal was prepared with great thought and creativity and presented flawlessly. My favorite dessert was a combination of lemon cake, meringue, stewed blueberries and fresh homemade blueberry ice cream with freshly grated parmigiano cheese sprinkled on top for the finishing touch!!! Out of this world! I cannot say enough about the exceptional cuisine that we enjoyed over our three day stay.
 

"Winterlake Lodge" Alaska

Finding serenity in Alaska


If you are thinking about going to Alaska, which in itself is impressive for its sheer size (it is 1/5 of United States total land area), and want an experience that combines activities and excursions, cuisine elegance with extraordinary taste and relaxation, then Winterlake Lodge should be at the top of your list. This rustic, luxury lodge epitomizes and exudes all within the wild to help you find your serenity. I have found mine.

If You Go:
Within the Wild Alaskan Adventure Lodging (907) 274-2710
Winterlake Lodge, Alaska

This is a guest post by Dr. Karen Cooper. All photos courtesy Karen Cooper.