Sneak Peek: The Inn At Mattei’s Tavern | Los Olivos, CA

Something big is happening in the quaint town of Los Olivos. I’m excited to share the news that Los Olivos will be home to the first esteemed luxury resort on California’s Central Coast, The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern, Auberge Resorts Collection.

I recently had the opportunity to tour this property under construction and received a glimpse into all that this revered property will offer…luxurious accommodations, authentic ranch-style farm-fresh foods, award-winning wines, pampered spa treatments, and relaxing poolside moments.

Over the past decade, California’s Central Coast has become a significant wine region producing award-winning wines and offering unique culinary experiences. However, the region provided no high-end accommodations for those seeking a refined luxury hotel between Big Sur and Santa Barbara.

In 2017 this changed when co-owners, Brian and Sharma Strange of Strange Family Vineyards and Deepak Kamra, purchased the town’s historic Mattei’s Tavern and partnered with the luxury hospitality portfolio group, Auberge Resorts Collection, to design and manage this area’s first ultra-luxury property.

What makes this project so exceptional is that the owners and Auberge Resorts have gone to great lengths to preserve the authenticity of Mattei’s Tavern along with four original cottages and have mindfully created an entire resort that seamlessly blends both worlds of old and new.

The new construction will include the addition of 63 new cottage-style accommodations that will showcase an elevated modern farmhouse design while reflecting the laid-back luxury of wine country living. Other property amenities will include multiple dining options, an outdoor pool, signature spa and facilities for special events.

In addition, The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern is located steps away from the heart of charming downtown Los Olivos walking distance to restaurants, wineries and shopping.

I think this will the beginning of a significant shift for this area and will become the standard by which all others are measured. This has been a long time in coming, and when The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern opens this fall, visitors to the Central Coast will now have what promises to be a world-class resort destination in which to stay.

The hotel is scheduled to open mid Fall 2022, with the Spa opening in Spring 2023.

How A Spontaneous Leap Of Faith Led To The Opening Of A Luxury Hotel In Spain

Sometimes you hear a story that lifts your heart and spirit. A feel-good story that lights a little spark of hope and motivates you to believe you can aim a bit higher in your own life. This recently happened to me when I connected through LinkedIn with Christine Cunanan, Publisher/Editor of Travelife Magazine and Owner of La Esperanza Granada.

I do not personally know Christine, but I am always happy to connect with colleagues within my industry as you never know where it might lead…and little did I know that by connecting with Christine, I would discover this inspiring story of how her spontaneous leap of faith led her to purchase a private hacienda in Spain that she would transform into a small luxury hotel naming it La Esperanza Granada. And during these times, what a prophetic name it is as the meaning of La Esperanza is Hope.

Image Courtesy of La Esperanza Granada

While the majority of us amid the 2020 COVID 19 pandemic were in our sweat pants streaming Netflix, Christine Cunanan was on a flight when she had an out-of-the-blue idea to purchase a property in Spain. Arriving home from her flight and before even unpacking her bags, she went online and googled “properties for sale in Spain”. Upon finding a private hacienda online and purchasing it sight unseen, Christine renovated the property and had it operating as a small luxury hotel within a year. One short year after opening, the hotel has received glowing reviews, has recently been named one of the six best new hotel openings in Spain, and is currently a member of the prestigious L.V.X. Preferred Hotels and Resorts. Is anyone else besides me feeling a little lazy right about now?!

I am posting this story because I find it hopeful and inspiring. No matter how small or large our dreams are, shouldn’t we sometimes choose to take that leap of faith? Maybe one of us has a story like this in ourselves as well. I cannot begin to tell Christine’s story as well as she can, so if you want to read the full story of her journey, click the link (here). I hope you find it as uplifting and inspiring as I do. Happy Dreams my friends…and if you do have a similar story, please share it!

Several New Luxury Hotel Openings Spark A Buzz In The Napa-Sonoma Wine Region

The Napa-Sonoma Wine Region…just hearing those words conjure up visions of rolling countryside vineyards, Michelin Star restaurants, and beautiful luxury retreats. And just when I thought this region might be settling in and beginning to rest on its laurels, *wham* here enter several exciting, high-end luxury resorts to shake things up.

Some of the more notable openings are the Montage Healdsburg, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley, and the Stanly Ranch Auberge. The openings of these luxury brands have created excitement and a renewed exhilaration for those seeking the pampered lifestyle in wine country.

See the article below published in Sunset for more details on these and other new wine country hotels.

Rosewood Miramar Beach | Montecito, CA

The mere mention of Santa Barbara, California conjures up images of sunshine, pristine beaches lined with Palm trees, lavish Mediterranean-style homes and the beautiful people and celebrities that live inside of them. This appeal has long enticed visitors to this area and, as such, resorts have been stepping up to the demand by providing upscale accommodations and a portal into this luxurious lifestyle…even if only for a weekend.

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Rancho Valencia | Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Rancho Valencia is an award winning, Relais & Chateaux luxury resort located in Rancho Santa Fe, a suburb of North San Diego, CA. The resort has garnered a reputation as one of the most highly-rated five-star resorts and spa destinations, not only in the U.S. but worldwide. The property is annually recognized as one of the top resorts on numerous distinguished award lists such as Forbes Five Star, Travel + Leisure, U.S. News, Conde Nast, AAA Five Diamond, and has the unique distinction of being the only Relais & Chateaux property in Southern California.

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Carmel Valley Ranch | Carmel, CA

Many of us know Carmel, California for its beautiful coastline, storybook-style architecture, fine art community and abundance of hotels, restaurants, and shops. The beauty of this area draws people from around the world and is perhaps one of the most beautiful places on earth.

What many people don’t realize is that there is an entirely different side of Carmel. Just a few miles from downtown is what could be considered the rural side of Carmel, known as Carmel Valley. Carmel Valley offers a distinctively different experience with its serene countryside setting, rolling hills, vineyards, golf courses, equestrian trails and so much more that make this a perfect destination for the outdoor and wine enthusiast wanting to experience the peaceful, slower paced lifestyle of this beautiful region.

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