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Last year, we were all in a tizzy about the In Vogue Hotel in Laguna Beach, which was supposedly owned by "Real Housewives" husband, Jim "Taliban Jim" Bellino.
But has anyone actually stayed there? A concerned reader writes to us:
My wife and I are going to a wedding in Laguna Niguel in July. I was searching for a place to stay and found invogue on trip advisor. We contacted them and rates seem low (around1500 for a week in the summer). Problem is we can find no reviews for the place and it has been opened for 2 years. Have you found any additional info on invogue?
We have no shame in admitting that we’re kind of huge fans of cheese—whether it be mild or strong, creamy or sharp, cow, goat or sheep. Even lactose-intolerant people love cheese, so why shouldn’t we, with our perfectly healthy digestive systems, enjoy the vast array of dairy-based goodness that’s out there?
That’s why, when we heard about the Cheese Cave at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, we sped down the coast to the OC to learn more about this place which, to us, sounded like a little slice of heaven. A little slice of rich, cheddary heaven.
Now that Chef Craig Strong has taken over the kitchen at Studio, the restaurant at Laguna Beach’s Montage Resort, L.A. Times head restaurant critic, S. Irene Virbila, decided it was time to venture down the coast for a meal there, and the usually hard-to-please reviewer was positively raving about the food by the end of her dinner(s).
No other restaurant in Southern California has this mesmerizing view, and this happy combination of setting, great food, polished service and deep wine list makes Studio at Montage one of the region’s true destination restaurants.”
OMFG, while it's probably beneath the Housewives of Orange County to fly discounted airfares, for the record we'd still rather endure a six hour turbulent flight than have Vicki, Lynne or Gretchen even in the same airport as us. For now we're hopefully in the clear so long as there is no red carpet or paparazzi. You never know with Richard Branson though asVirgin America launched its high-tech, low-fare service to Orange County, California today.
We get lots of hotel reviews from hotel guests. Some are legitimate, some are not. And some are unintentionally funny. This is one of them. Traveler101 got really worked up about the in-room dining menu at the Westin Hotel in Orange County. We aren't knocking his complaint. It's just that this might be the first time that an in-room menu has prompted a guest to write into us.
Just last night I stayed at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Orange County and was shocked at what has happened to Westin recently. I have always loved the brand, its people and its service. However, now I do not know what to think.
The room service menu was the worst I have ever seen. I consider myself a well traveled and an educated person, who enjoys the opportunity to relax without all the fan fare you get at a Fairmont, Ritz or Four Seasons; one reason I have been loyal to Westin for many years.
Just before noon, a decent-sized quake--5.8 on the Richter--struck the Los Angeles area, sending shocks from Los Angeles to San Diego and as far away as Las Vegas. The epicenter was 29 miles from downtown LA near Chino Hills in San Bernadino County.
No major disasters have been reported yet but a couple thousand donut fans were affected in Anaheim.
About 2,000 detectives were attending a gang conference at the Marriott Hotel in Anaheim when a violent jolt was felt in the main conference room. Mike Willever, who was at the hotel, said, "First we heard the ceiling shaking, then the chandelier started to shake, then there was a sudden movement of the floor."
But what about the donuts? Are they ok? (We kid, we kid.)
Since Anaheim is also home to Disneyland, the park rides have been evacuated and will be inspected for any damage. Fortunately, everything else in SoCal seems ok--a little rattled but ok.
Any Los Angeles hotels affected by the earthquake? Let us know.
The OC Biz Journal reports:
The move is part of the company's plan to double its hotels in the next five years.
Joie de Vivre now has 35 hotels and expects most of its growth to be in Southern California.
It already has hotels in the Brentwood-Westwood area, Studio City and Long Beach and will manage the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach slated to open early next year.
Vacation Village just underwent a $2 million room renovation last year so we doubt that it will need much sprucing up. But it will of course, need the complimentary JDV WiFi.
The hotel also two pools, a whirlpool and a 4,000-square-foot private residence, Pacific Edge, available for groups of up to 65 for events. So like, kids can hold their after-prom parties here or their "we just wanna party because we can" parties.
And we really hope that Chip and co. have a hotel-naming contest here. What would you call this place? The Real O.C. Hotel?
[Photo: Vacation Village]