When I visited Portland with my roommate Arielle we decided to book a room at The Society Hotel in Downtown Portland. It is a Hostel/Hotel style and you can rent private room with your own bathroom or you can do a private room or bunk beds with shared bathrooms. It is a really small boutique hotel but it was really cute. When you walk in they have a downstairs cafe/bar and an area for lounging. We stayed in a “Private Suite” room which has a king sized bed and its own bathroom.
Our room was on the 4th floor with a view of Downtown Portland, this is in the Old Chinatown quarter. Although we did not spend that much time at the hotel itself it had the perfect location as we could walk basically anywhere we were going. It was very close to a lot of restaurants and nightlife. Prices are extremely reasonable. We paid about $260 total for 2 nights in our private suite and if you want to stay here for less you can choose the bunkbeds or room with shared bathrooms.
As I am now living in Downtown Los Angeles I have embraced the culture of Happy Hours. Both for food and drinks. I love going to new spots when the occasion lets us and my roommate Arielle is off work at 4. We decided to try out a new spot this time, testa. A modern small Italian restaurant in the middle of the South Park are of Downtown Los Angeles. We arrived around 6pm on a Friday night and the restaurant was surprisingly not busy at all. Only a few people were there enjoying the Happy Hour menu. I was only to assume that maybe many were ready to go home on a Friday night to prepare for a bigger evening later on.
The restaurant is small but the decor is everything I love. There is a mix of modern and industrial, art deco and retro. Some walls are just plain concrete, some has different shaped mirrors on them, and one is just a retro flower wallpaper. Its Instagram worthy in all the ways it can be. Seating varies from bar seats, to regular tables, outdoor tables and smaller boots. There is also a small section where there is a couch and coffee table for a more causal experience next to the bar.
As mentioned we were there just in time for happy hour, so that is what we decided to go with. We got three happy hour dishes to share as well as drinks form the Happy Hour menu. All beers are $2 off and the rest of the drinks ranges from $7-$10 including anything from craft cocktails to wine and sangria. I decided to go for a Paloma, a frisky but fresh tequila cocktail. We ordered in the Spring Salad ($10), the Chicken Sandwich ($10), and the Grilled Burger ($10). The portions were perfect for sharing and the plating of everything was beautiful.
Spring salad $10 – Artichoke, Peas, Romaine, Pea tendrils, sweet pea dressing, goat cheese.
The spring salad was fresh and light, the combination of the greens, the roots and then the sweet goat cheese was just perfectly blended. Would definitely come back just for this one. Its a light treat.
Chicken Sandwich $10 – Chicken Tender, sourdough, coleslaw, jalapeños, cilantro.
The chicken sandwich was OK. Not bad, but not something I would be craving at 9pm. The chicken itself was great, crispy but juicy. The slaw was overwhelming and I wish the chicken itself had more flavor to it. I did not taste any jalapeños or cilantro so I don’t know where they went. The sourdough was meh. I wish the bread for the chicken sandwich had been better. It tasted like it came on a slice of toast. Would probably not get again.
Grilled Burger $10 – Beef patty, iceberg, tomato, onions, cheddar cheese and house sauce.
We ordered the burger medium rare and the patty was perfectly cooked. the house sauce is delicious, a bit drippy, but delicious. I love that the birch bun it came on was grilled as well. It enhances the flavors and makes it taste a bi smokey. Would definitely recommend but also, get a side salad or some fries if you order this alone.
We will definitely be back at testa for dinner some time, and I am excited to explore more of their menu. You can find the full happy hour menu by clicking here.
In the heart of Hollywood, the luxurious Loews Hollywood Hotel can be found. The 20 floor building with 628 guest rooms is adjacent to the Hollywood and Highland shopping center and even have a connecting entrance right to the shopping center. Within minutes of walking distance we also have The Dolby Theaters, TCL Chinese Theater, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Madame Tussauds and tons of shops and other attractions. It is the perfect vacation or staycation spot if you are visiting Hollywood and want to experience everything the city has to offer. Hollywood Boulevard is always crowded with tourists and entertainment. You will never get bored, that is one thing that is for sure.
We stayed in a Double King suite on the 19th floor with an amazing view of the Hollywood sign. The first night we were greeted with a bottle of wine and a cheese plate which was so sweet of them. Our room had 2 king sized beds, a seating area as well as a desk to work on. It was very spacious and perfect for a staycation where you spend most of your time at the hotel and inside the room. The feeling of the room was extremely luxurious and our bathroom sink had tons of space. Perfect for two girls! They have a 24 hour concierge available and all we need to do was text them about anything. We were total pains the first night as we had forgotten toothbrushes, wanted another robe and asked about the best breakfast spot to go to. They texted back within minutes.
Loews Hollywood Hotel offers free Wifi for up to 3 devices per room and you can also purchase premium if you want a high speed or want to add another device. There is also a complimentary coffee machine in all rooms. A bar in the lobby serves drinks and some snacks and bites during the day up until midnight. On the first floor the Bodega is also located where coffee and some pastries are served. It is a Starbucks but they call it the Bodega. On the third floor Prestons is located. This is where we had our breakfast the first morning. You can choose to order from the menu or go for the breakfast buffet like we did. If there is something I love about staying at a hotel it is the lovely breakfast buffet.
Loews also offers a full service spa, fitness center and a rooftop pool on the fifth floor. We took full advantage of both he fitness center and the pool are during our weekend staycation. The gym was not too crowded which was nice but the pool are could get really busy during the day so we had to come early to get a seat. There is also a small bar by the pool that serves drinks and some food.
Our spacious Double King suite room at Loews Hollywood with an amazing view. If you look closely you can spot the Hollywood sign! Spotted is also the Hollywood Bowl where concerts and events are happening all the time. Even though we were so central with tons of traffic just outside of our window we couldn’t hear anything that was going on outside which was so nice.
The second morning we decided to order in breakfast. In the room a breakfast menu can be found and all we needed to do was fill out when we wanted our breakfast and what we wanted. Then we smoky hung the tag on our door and someone would pick it up at night to have it prepared for the morning. We got a ton of amazing food and they sat up a table between our beds so we could share. Having a staycation at Loews in Hollywood was definitely extremely relaxing, even if it is located in the heart of Hollywood where everything happens. We were just a few steps away from Hollywood but it felt like we weren’t there while we were inside the hotel. I would definitely love to come back to Loews and try all the things we didn’t have time to try. During the moth of September you can save 10% on all Loews Hollywood stays. Check out all their offers and package deals here.
I received a complimentary stay at Loews Hollywood. All words and opinion are my own.
When you walk in through the tall glass doors at The Pendry you are greeted by a group of couches in front of a fireplace. It instantly feels like you are home. The Lobby is decorated in each and every corner with either tables or couches for your convenience. We checked in late on a Friday night for a weekend getaway. We chose The Pendry Hotel in San Diego because of its aesthetics and all the things it had to offer. Located in the heart of Downtown San Diego in the Gaslamp District, we knew it was the perfect spot.
The Room and Hotel
The Pendry that only opened back in February this year has over 300 rooms. Three restaurants, Lionfish, Nason‘s Beer Hall and Provisional are all a part of the hotel. They also have a lounge bar, Fifth and Rose. And by the pool they have The Pool House which offers food and drinks. Besides from eating there the hotel also has its own nightclub on the underground floor called Oxford Social Club. Anyone staying at the Pendry is automatically on the clubs guest list. There is also a full spa available.
We stayed in a King room with a view over the hotels rooftop pool and the buildings out on main street. The entire hotel has a minimal, luxury and modern look. We especially loved the wall papers and the bright feel. Our favorite part of all was the bathroom, and the open glass shower! All bathrooms have marble countertops and a shabby chic rustic feel to it. I kind of wished this was what my bathroom looked like. The room had a crazy mini bar and the bathroom was completed with amenities from MiN New York. WiFi is complimentary, a 50″ screen TV is on the wall and you also have a bluetooth speaker to play music on.
The Pool House
This was our weekend getaway. Therefore we decided that The Pool House would be our place to go for the Saturday. The pool is only viable for hotel guests before 5pm and there were surprisingly few people there when we arrived around noon. The pool area has regular sun beds, larger beds like the ones on the photo down below, as well as cabanas. Great music were laying and people enjoyed their time in the sun sipping on cocktails. We decided to order in some drinks and also have lunch while laying in one of the sun beds. After 5pm they host daily rooftop pool parties and on Sundays the rooftop party starts at 1pm.
The Tuna Poke was so good!
Nason’s Beer Hall
We had dinner on Saturday night at Nason’s Beer Hall. It has a sporty and fun vibe with sports on the tv and fun games to play with friends while trying one of the beers they have on tap. We weren’t sure of what we wanted to drink so we asked to try some of the waiters favorite light beers and ended up going with her favorite. For starter we ordered in the Cheese and Meat plate which we absolutely killed. It had a ton of pickled vegetables and also honey which just elevated all the flavors. For dinner we both ordered in the burger. Nason’s Beer Hall is the perfect spot for hanging out with friends. Playing beer pong and just having a good time.
Before checking out on Sunday we decided to have breakfast at Provisional. Another restaurant under the hotel roof. The restaurant was curated together with Alchemy Works which is a marketplace space here in LA. The entrance is a greenhouse in which you also can shop carefully selected items. Inside is also the Vittoria Coffee espresso bar and honest to god, this was some of the best coffee I have had in a long time!I went with a fresh salmon bagel with avocado, some orange juice and a latte!
We truly had such a nice weekend and it was a great little getaway. Thank you so much Pendry for having us! You can follow them on instagram here.
I received a reduced rate for staying at The Pendry Hotel San Diego. All words and opinion are my own.
Me and a friend decided to take a last minute weekend trip down to San Diego. California living definitely has its perks. Your next adventure is just a couple of hours away. From Los Angeles to downtown San Diego on a Friday night it only took us 2 hours to get there.
San Diego is such a charming city. Tons of things to do and go see. During this trip we decided to stay in the Gaslamp quarter. We made it a real girls weekend and enjoyed ourselves every second of the trip. First night we got in kind of late so we decided to grab pizza from around the corner and stay in at the hotel to plan out our next two days.Saturday morning started out early and we had looked up a good breakfast place the night before. It was a cute cafe downtown just a couple block from the hotel where we were staying. I can’t say that the mimosa flights didn’t lure me there. The Cafe we went to is called Cafe 21 and it is a super cute place with a lot of different food choices. They have both outside and inside seating and wasn’t too crowded for being a Saturday morning. I decided to get the bread pudding french toast. It was delicious! A mimosa flight with 6 different mimosas was also shared between me and my friend.
After breakfast we decided to walk around the area and explore for a bit. There were tons o shops and malls within walking distance. The architecture of the buildings reminded me of Europe a lot. Something that Los Angeles definitely lack of. We even checked out how much it costed to live here and looked up some apartments online. The apartments in San Diego look so nice and is totally what I would go for. You can check out some of the best places to live in San Diego here.
Honestly, most of the weekend was spent drinking drinks and eating good food. Exploring the Gaslamp Quarter and just hanging out with m girl friend. We tried out the nightlife vaguely but felt like it wasn’t really our cup of tea. Saturday night we grabbed thai food at one of the few food places that actually was still serving food after 12am and went back to the hotel room to rest up for the next day. On our ride back home to Los Angeles we stopped by La Jolla to go see the sea lions and grab some gelato. It was a great stop to take on the way. La Jolla is only about 20 minutes away from Downtown San Diego and also such a nice getaway place. I would love to stay there some time!
In case you already didn’t know. Ladurée opened their first West Coast location here in LA in December last year. Located at The Grove this two story bakery and restaurant stands out with it’s pastel green exteriors. Right in front of the fountain with added outdoor seating with a Parisian feel. Luxury, glamour and excitement is what I feel as I enter through the doors. Only to be greeted of a sea of macaroons and other delicious pastries. Seems as I wasn’t the only one on a Thursday to go there only for the Macaroons. Which Ladurée are famous for.
The window displays were a work of art. Even walls behind the counter. Which I would imagine is every pastry makers dream. And with a perfect combination of sweetness, luxury and colors that complement each other. Whilst I wish I had taken som photos inside. My mind was too overwhelmed by excitement. I decided to get a box of 6 macaroons and a pastry. If you didn’t know this already, macaroons are my absolute favorite treat. And I also know how to bake them!
The party I decided to go with was a mystery to me. It still is as I don’t remember the name. But it was a giant macaroon with raspberries and the inside had a lychee raspberry filling that was sensational. For my next visit to Ladurée I will definitely make sure to grab some lunch! (And more photos).
Monterey is such an amazing part of California. I have only been around the area myself one time. And multiple friends has taken road trips trough the areas. There are endless things that you can see in Monterey. I am working with SeeMonterey.com today to bring you my top 5 destinations that I would love to visit. Maybe one day I will make my way by car and finally see all of these places! To learn more about Monterey County and what to see, visit See Monterey here.
Big Sur / Bixby Creek Bridge
Taking a road trip along the Pacific Coast highway is probably the number one on my list to do. And also one of the most common road trips to take. Starting here in Los Angeles, I would work my way up to Big Sur which is an amazing destination in Monterey County. Breath taking view, gorgeous nature and the beautiful Bixby Creek Bridge. Bixby Creek Bridge just happens to be the most photographed bridge in California due to it’s architectural design and beautiful surroundings. What could be more rewarding after hours of driving than stopping here and just enjoy the moment?
Image source via WallpaperFolder
Chateau Julien Wine Estate
Started by the Bower family, for over 30 years wine has been produced on the estate. Chateau Julien Wine Estate contains of 16 acres of land and all of the wine is made from local grown grapes. All the production is taking place on the estate and has almost 2000 oak barrels of wine. Chateau Julien is only one of several wine estates in the Monterey area, but definitely the one with, to me, the most charm.
Image source; GreatAmericanWineGroup
Old Fisherman’s Wharf
The old fisherman’s wharf of Monterey served as a fish marked in the 1960s. As the fishing business toned down the area became a tourist attraction. Here you can come to visit local shops and restaurants who of course have a ton of amazing seafood. Go fishing in the beautiful waters, or go sailing. Watch the wildlife of the bay including whales, sea otters, seals, pelicans and other animals.
Image source via flickr
17-Mile Drive / Pebble Beach
Another destination in Monterey is the famous 17-mile drive that starts in Carmel and goes on to Pacific Grove, and the other way around. the drive is about 3 hours or more long, depending on how many stops you make along the route. There are about 21 stops along the 17 mile long drive which includes golf courses, beaches, landmarks like rocks and trees, and also lookouts.
Image source via californiabeaches.com
A small waterfront street in the part of New Monterey called Cannery Row. It used to be a number of sardine cannery factories. The last factor shut down over 40 years ago and since then the street has become famous thanks to the love Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. The old cannery buildings has transformed to hotels and restaurants. The street has become a gigantic tourist attraction, but it has kept its charm from the older days. You can also find the Monterey Bay Aquarium at the end of the Northern part of Cannery Row.
Image via artandentertainme.blogspot.com
On the 24th floor of The Ritz Carlton Downtown Los Angeles is the WP24 restaurant located. Trough a locked door, only available for hotel guest majority of the times, is a way to a separate elevator to the 26th floor where WP24 rooftop bar is located, along with the hotels rooftop pool and lounge area. Open for the public Friday and Saturday from 6pm-9pm from June 3 to September 3, this is a must go summer spot for anyone in Los Angeles. However, if you are a hotel guest to The Ritz Carlton you can visit year round by reservation. I got the opportunity to try out this magical place with a friend. After visiting the WP24 restaurant last year my expectations were high.
With a chill patio wine and a bar this is the perfect little hangout for some snacks and a drink before you head on out in the town. Being on the 26th floor gives you an amazing view over Downtown Los Angeles as far as you can reach both ways to the mountains of San Fernando Valley and on the other side all the way down to the Santa Monica Beaches. The view itself is stunning as the sun goes down during the time you are there. But enough about the amazing spot as it is, lets move on to some of the food that we tried out.
Yukon Gold Potato Chips $7. Togorashi, Toasted Nori, Yuzu, Sour Cream.
These are by far the best potato chips I have eaten in my entire life. Im not sure how or what they are fried in but they taste amazing. They come with a nice of dill sour cream dip that goes along amazingly. (And you know us Swedes, we love our dill). These are the cheapest item on the menu and believe me, order them because you can not go wrong with them.
Confit Pork Belly Sliders $12 Caramelized Onions, Argula, Apricot Mustard.
Sliders are one of my favorite things to snack on. These were really good but I wished that these had more of the apricot mustard on them!
Grilled Jidori Chicken $17 – Tandoori Spices, Cucumber Yogurt, Lime Pickle, Grilled Naan.
House Made Bratwurst $16 – Grilled Bread, Herb Mustard, Brown Butter Aioli.
Hawaiian Albacore Poke $17 – Seaweed, Sesame, Red Onion, Puffed Forbidden Rice.
Out of all the different items, the Chips and the Sliders were my absolute top favorites. Unfortunately we didn’t try the lobster rolls but they looked so good as well! The Poke was really good with the Forbidden Rice puffs that were amazing. With a few drinks and some of these small meals it makes the perfect spot for a light date or just drinks and talk with the girls!
Where: WP24 Rooftop Bar, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. 900 West Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90015
Open for public: June 3- September 3 Friday and Saturday 6pm-9pm by reservations
Price: about $30-$80 per person (Food and drinks)