Happy Friday

My wanderlust has got the best of me. I’ve always wanted to “Summer in the Cape”. It seems like a perfect place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get away this summer for any real vacation and daydreaming about life on the Cape for a week in the summer has quickly led way to my new addiction of browsing real estate listings for a tiny Cape Cod cottage to call our own. My needs are simple: something tiny so it is very manageable and easy to decorate. A view of the water would be a major perk. Something very modest would suit me just fine. How do I make this happen? Truly, a first world problem….

I was looking through some of my pictures from our last trip to New England, which included this post about staying several nights at The Chatham Inn at 359 Main in the charming Cape Cod town of Chatham, Massachusetts. Chatham is situated at the “elbow” of Cape Cod where land starts to curve northerly. It is really one of the most charming towns in the Cape and I thought I would share some of the details I found while in Chatham. And because today is National Pink Day (there is a holiday for everything!), today seems like a perfect day to share these particular pictures. Happy Friday, Happy Weekend, Happy National Pink Day!

Life gets just a little bit slower as you cross the bridge and enter Cape Cod.

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Original photos by Reviving Charm.

An Enchanting Creekside Estate in Montecito

I’ve had a major case of wanderlust lately and my daydreams have been all over the map. From a weekend staycation to an extended European holiday, I can’t get the thought of vacation off my mind. I’ve never used Airbnb, VBRO or any other online home rental service (have you?) but my curiosity got the best of me and I soon discovered this beautiful home in Montecito, California available for rent. The headline for the listing reads, “Enchanting Creekside Estate, 2 Minutes to the Beach”.  I was immediately sold and when I went through the pictures I realized that I wouldn’t mind calling this place home away from home for a few days. It looks like a wonderful way to get away from it all. Its beautiful decor and serene landscape look like a perfect respite.

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Upper Garden of Main House

“Situated in Montecito’s Golden Quadrangle, this gated, 1.5 acre estate offers total privacy amidst a lushly landscaped creek side setting. Multi-level gardens surround an authentic hacienda-style 4 bedroom 3.5 bath main house that offers mountain views and landscaped gardens framed by majestic Sycamore, Oak, Magnolia and Bird of Paradise trees and bordered by San Ysidro Creek. Located within a 2-minute drive from Santa Barbara’s world famous beaches, the property also includes a detached one bedroom guest house, 6 fireplaces and several outdoor living areas. Perfect for a family or extended family with staff, this property can accommodate up to 10 people comfortably.”

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Upper Patio

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Upper Courtyard Fountain

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Upper Courtyard

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Upper Garden Outdoor Shower

Entry

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Main House: Living Room

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Library

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Main House: Dining Room

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Main House: Kitchen

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Photos Above & Below: Master Bedroom

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Master Bathroom

Bedroom with balcony

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First Floor Bedroom

Above and Below: View of the Guest House on the Creek

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Guest House Living Room

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Lower Garden Courtyard

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Herb and Vegetable Garden

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Stone Pathway

For more information on this beautiful estate, check out the rental listing here. 

What’s Taking Place this Weekend at Villa Erba?

This would be a great weekend to be in Italy. Actually, any weekend would be a great weekend in Italy! My love for Italy and my fascination with cool cars makes me want to jump on a jet plane this very moment to attend the  Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, an event taking place on the grounds of Villa d’Este, one of the world’s most iconic hotels situated on Lake Como to celebrate the mystique of 50 fine vintage and classic cars built between the 1920’s and 1980’s that will be on display for public view. This happens to be a particularly exciting year because every 2 years, Sotheby’s joins the event to host a highly anticipated auction of investment grade cars on the grounds of Villa Erba during the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este weekend.villa erba italy Reviving Charm 3Villa Erba is a 19th-century villa in the town of Cernobbio on Lake Como built by Luigi Erba, the brother of a prominent businessman Carlo Erba, to show off his wealth. After the death of Luigi Erba, the villa was inherited by his daughter Carla and was used by members of Carla’s family, including her son Luchino Visconti, and Italian movie director. In 1986, it was bought by a public consortium and is used as a convention center and for various special events. Doesn’t it look the most idyllic venue for really any event? villa erba architecture 2villa erba italy Reviving Charm 1italy villa erba 1villa erba Sothebys Reviving Charm 5villa erba Sothebys Reviving Charm 4villa erba Reviving Charmvilla erba Sothebys Reviving Charm 2villa erba Sothebys Reviving Charm 1villa erba gardenitaly villa erba 3villa erba interior Reviving Charm 4italy villa erba 4villa erba interior Reviving Charm 3villa erba interior Reviving Charm 2villa erba room of luchinovilla erbe interior Reviving Charmvilla erba italy bathroomvilla erba bathroom detailvilla erba interior Reviving Charmitaly villa erba special eventvilla erba interior Reviving Charm 5villa erba wedding

images via Villa ErbaComo In Style

 

The Fairway Villas at Wynn Las Vegas

Yesterday we looked at Las Vegas “then”; today we’re taking a close look at it “now”. Vegas has come a long way, baby! The epitome of bad taste can easily be found in the town often referred to as Sin City, but there are also wonderful spaces tucked amidst the garish design. One such space is the Fairway Villas at the Wynn Hotel. In 2015, the Wynn Las Vegas announced that the hotels’ apartments and villas became available to the general public. Previously, they were available to invited hotel guests only. The Fairway Villas offer private views of the golf course adjacent to the resort. One and two bedroom villas are available ranging in size from 2,411 to 3,224 square feet. As one could expect from an exclusive property, the villas have their own private drive entrance, registration lobby, personal ambassador, butler service and priority reservations at the golf course, spa, and restaurants. Naturally, rates are available only upon request. This might be one of those times where if I have to ask, I probably can’t afford it!
wynn fairway villa las vegas Reviving Charm 4wynn fairway villa las vegas Reviving Charm 2wynn fairway villa las vegas Reviving Charm 1Not surprisingly, the Fairway Villas have  also served as the perfect photo shoot backdrop for hotel’s namesake magazine. fairway villas wynn hotel Reviving Charmfairway villas wynn hotel Reviving Charm 1airway villas wynn hotel Reviving Charm 5fairway villas wynn hotel Reviving Charm 3fairway villas wynn hotel Reviving Charm 4fairway villas wynn hotel Reviving Charm 6

For a closer look at the Fairway Villas, take a virtual tour on the Wynn hotel website. Images courtesy of the Wynn Hotel and Wynn Magazine.

Vintage Vegas

Happy Monday! For me, it’s the start of a new work week. I rarely travel for work but this week my assignment is to head to Las Vegas to attend the world’s largest real estate and shopping center convention in the world. It’s sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and it’s expected to bring in approximately 37,000 attendees. The convention covers 853,000 square feet with a total of 1,200 booths set up on the convention floor. It’s the place where people like power brokers, retailers, developers, commercial property owners, and government officials converge in hopes of forging new deals. I have a full calendar of meetings lined up so I plan to have very busy days. It’s not my first rodeo so I’ve learned to substitute the chic heels for an attractive pair of flats; something stylish that will keep me on my feet comfortably throughout the entire day.welcome to las vegas vintage sign Reviving CharmAdmittedly, I’m not really a Vegas kind of person. It’s been about 4 years since my last visit; my last trip to this particular convention. And when I was researching all the new things Vegas has to offer, I came across a picture that recalled the early days of Vegas. It’s a far cry from what it currently looks like so I thought I’d take a moment to share a bit of vintage Vegas with you today. vintage vegas Reviving Charm 3avintage vegas Reviving Charm 5vintage vegas Reviving Charmvintage vegas Reviving Charm 9vintage vegas Reviving Charm 1vintage vegas Reviving Charm 6vintage vegas Reviving Charm 6vintage vegas Reviving Charm 10vintage vegas Reviving Charm 7

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Bouquets to Art at the de Young Fine Arts Museum

The de Young Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco is one of my favorite museums in California. I’ll admit that I’m not a big fan of the architecture but the Museum has been host to some wonderful exhibits, including the Oscar de la Renta Retrospective that took place almost exactly one year ago. The museum’s observation deck is also a “must see”, offering a 360-degree panoramic view of the City by the Bay.de Young Museum via Reviving CharmThis year visiting the annual Bouquets to Art exhibit at the de Young Museum was on the list of things to do while in San Francisco these past few days. The week-long art and floral event took place from March 14 – March 19, 2017, and celebrated its 33rd year. This is an event that calls upon some of the most talented floral designers to come up with fanciful arrangements inspired by the artwork and sculpture housed at the Museum. Given that today is the first day of Spring, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to share a few of the floral displays there were exhibited at the Bouquets to Art this year and in years past.bouquets to art de young museum

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Three images above: courtesy of the de Young Museum of Fine Arts.

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Image via kellyvorves

Image via samazamasf

Image via llaveronica

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Image via shelbsdilli

Image via femiyogi

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Image via elisabethrene

MY HEART IS IN SAN FRANCISCO 

If you follow me on Instagram then you were the first to know that Mr. B and I have been vacationing in San Francisco for the last few days. While I’m away from my computer, enjoy a view of one of the most famous bridges in the world. The iconic Golden Gate Bridge first opened in May 1937 and will turn 80 this year. I only hope I can look as fabulous when I turn 80!

The Golden Gate Bridge’s daily strip tease from enveloping stoles of mist to full frontal glory is still the most provocative show in town.   –Mary Moore Mason, Editor of British magazine Essentially America

PART 2: THE SPA AT BACARA

You have a myriad of hotel choices when visiting Santa Barbara, California. I narrowed it down to three choices before finally booking a suite at Bacara Resort and Spa last month. One of the deciding factors was really their reputation for providing a wonderful spa and 3,500 square foot fitness facility. I had a wonderful 80-minute massage in one of their 36 treatment rooms and took advantage of their jacuzzi, sauna and eucalyptus steam room. I even brought home some of this eucalyptus shower spray to recreate my experience at home. I like the spray so much I even plan to purchase the lavender and lemongrass mists also. But the spa has so much more to offer. Let’s take a look, shall we?

This is the walk up to the spa (shown in the background) and the adjacent spa cafe. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take advantage of the spa cuisine served at the cafe. spa-at-bacara-resort-via-reviving-charm-1

The entrance to the spa building and spa cafe overlook an adults-only heated salt water pool.spa-at-bacara-resort-via-reviving-charm

As you walk into the spa building you immediately notice the sheer volume of the space and the magnificent wooden beam rotunda. A circular staircase will take you to a large roof top terrace. We’ll visit that area in just a bit.bacara-spa-via-reviving-charm

There are several very comfortably appointed lounge rooms including those designated only for women, men, and a co-ed lounge space. Here is the woman’s lounge area. bacara-spa-via-reviving-charm-1bacara-spa-via-reviving-charm-2

The woman’s lounge has floor to ceiling windows that overlook the spa pool. spa-at-bacara-resort-pool-via-reviving-charm

A look at another lounge area.bacara-spa-via-reviving-charm-3bacara-spa-via-reviving-charm-4

Once you reach the top of the circular staircase you enter this transition space on the rooftop. The rooftop terrace is comprised of several outdoor rooms for lounging or outdoor massages.
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I only had one negative experience while at the spa. While in the jacuzzi I was joined by a group of three women who were talking really loud. There is something to be said about spa etiquette and keeping your voice to a whisper to allow others to relax in a calming environment. I had no shame in asking them to (kindly) pipe down. They immediately obliged.

Nevertheless, the Spa at the Bacara is a great destination for a girls getaway or romantic couples trip. I definitely plan on going back. Only next time I hope to spend more time at the spa to take advantage of all it has to offer.

All images via iPhone.

PART 1: AN OVERVIEW OF BACARA RESORT AND SPA

Toward the end of last year, I started thinking about a long weekend vacation. I booked a suite at Bacara Resort and Spa as a surprise for Mr. B. I hid my surprise for a couple of weeks and when the time came we jumped in our car and off we went…despite the notorious California traffic on a long holiday weekend. reviving-charm-on-the-road

On the upside…the sunset was beautiful and I am sure glad I was able to capture this picture from the car. santa-barbara-sunset-via-reviving-charm

I previously posted bits about our trip here and here and have been meaning to write about the resort itself since a few people have asked me questions about the property. I decided to break up my experience at the resort into a 3 part series. Today I’ll provide you with a general look around the resort. Stay tuned for future posts about the spa and our suite. The goal of this series is to provide information that will hopefully be helpful in planning your own stay at Bacara Resort and Spa someday.

Although the resort is touted as being located in Santa Barbara, it is technically located in the town of Goleta, a quick 15-20 minute drive north of Santa Barbara, California. I know that Goleta doesn’t sound as “sexy” as Santa Barbara but it does have views of the Pacific Ocean that are equally as breathtaking. Keep reading…I’ll share those with you in a bit.

Let me first provide you with the lay of the land. The resort is sprawled over 78 acres of prime oceanfront property with direct access to the beach. The resort boasts 358 guest rooms and they are situated among 18 villas throughout the property. We were located in Villa 8 which overlooks the pool and is denoted with the yellow star on the map. The main lobby is situated at the top of a hill (shown far left on the map). If you have a hard time getting around, don’t worry. The hotel offers golf cart service to transport you anywhere you need to go on the property. We didn’t use this service so I can’t comment on it. There is also a nice walking trail adjacent to the resort (shown far right of the map).

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When we pulled off the street and into the Bacara’s motor court, I immediately knew that this vacation would be all that I had hoped for. I was wanting a nice, relaxing vcation and realized that I couldn’t have picked a better place. The motor court is surrounded by Spanish/Mediterranean style architecture and beautiful drought tolerant and California native plantings. Bacara made a very good first impression! bacara-motor-court-via-reviving-charm-1I have the need for speed and can appreciate a fine automobile. At Bacara, there was definitely no shortage of luxury cars sightings. cool-cars-by-reviving-charm-2

As we walked into the lobby we were greeted with the most stunning floral arrangement made up of fresh white daisies. Beauty in simplicity.
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The lobby is a grand, spacious area with several separate sitting areas. There is also a strategically placed console table that holds a beautiful display of orchids, succulents and candles. It also acts as a refreshment center during certain times of the day. When we arrived in the evening it was used as a bar area as the the hotel was offering a complimentary wine tasting. This provided hotel guests with a wonderful an opportunity to mingle. What a wonderful welcome. The following evening complimentary s’mores were served on the lobby terrace.

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The seating area by the lobby fireplace is not surprisingly one of the most popular spots for guests to gather. Even Mr. B and I shared a couple of wonderful fireside chats.bacara-lobby-fireplace-via-reviving-charm

There are beautiful details throughout the hotel. This grand fireplace is situated along the corridor of the hotel where banquet facilities are located.
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Angel Oak Restaurant is known for their steak and seafood and is only open for dinner. We made a reservation for our first night at the resort which worked out beautifully. Being able to enjoy a meal on the property after a long drive made things easy and convenient for us. If you love wine, you’ll be happy to know they also have an extensive wine list. bacara-angel-oak-restaurant-via-revivingcharmHere is Villa 10, one of the many villas situated on the property. bacara-resort-via-reviving-charm-2

The sweeping staircase is beautifully designed with decorative tile work.
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bacara-resort-pool-via-revivingcharmPrivate poolside cabanas are available for rental. cabanas-at-bacara-resort-via-reviving-charmbacara-beach-shower-via-revivingcharmThere is a pathway from the resort that leads you directly to the sand. I took this walk each morning. I can’t think of a better way to start the day.
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So there you have it…a  brief tour of the grounds of Bacara Resort and Spa. Stay tuned for more about the spa and a look at our suite.
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TYDES RESTAURANT AT THE CORAL CASINO BEACH AND CABANA CLUB

Southern California experienced severe storms all weekend long. The downpours were so bad in our community that streets were flooded and many roads blocked. Flash flood alerts seemed to be issued nonstop. I saw a guy float down the street on an intertube (really?) and another guy on a surfboard. Crazy, huh! This is in vast contrast to what Mr. B and I experienced last weekend while on vacation in Santa Barbara and Montecito where the weather was in the high 60’s with intermittent sunshine. I want to share a little bit of that sunshine with you today by posting pictures taken at Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club and Tydes Restaurant in Santa Barbara.

Before mentioning anything about the restaurant I must first tell you a little bit about the Club. It’s a place of historical significance and has maintained its exclusivity since it opened its doors in 1937. An article I read from a few years back reported initiation fees in the neighborhood of $300,000 and that’s in addition to the annual dues. Membership is limited to a maximum number of people and not just anyone with the means can enlist. However, for the price of a hotel room at the lovely Biltmore Four Seasons Hotel across the street, you are entitled to use of many of the Club’s facilities. Something in hindsight that I wish we took advantage of when Mr. B and I stayed at the hotel many years ago. I guess we’ll just have to plan another getaway!

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We enjoyed a lovely stroll around the grounds of the historic Biltmore Four Seasons before walking across the street to the art deco designed Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club. In the pictures above and below, the hotel’s lush landscaping is seen in the foreground with the Club and its landmark beacon in the background.

There are two entrances to the building: one for members and one for those choosing to dine at the Club’s restaurant: Tydes Restaurant. Naturally, we chose to use the member’s entrance. We aren’t members of the Club but we proceeded past the guy tending the reception desk as if we knew exactly where we were going. We weren’t stopped and entered without being confronted. Given that many of the Club’s facilities can be used by guests of the Four Seasons, I’m going to go out on a limb here by saying that they aren’t particularly strict about people poking around. Or were we just lucky?

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Once you pass the reception desk, you immediately walk through a set of doors that lead you to the oceanfront Olympic-sized saltwater swimming pool. It has been the venue for fashion shows and events since the Club’s opening. Isn’t the location just stunning?
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This picture of a seagull flying in the distance is turning out to be one of my favorites! He’s actually much farther than he appears.
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The building overlooks Butterfly Beach and even provides direct access to the sand.tydes-restaurant-santa-barbara-via-revivingcharm

Our purpose for actually visiting the Club was to have a casual lunch at Tydes Restaurant. We wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous California weather and beautiful scenery by eating somewhere that offered oceanfront dining.

Tydes Restaurant is located on the second floor of the building. Instead of taking the elevator we decided to walk up the circular staircase. This transitional space serves as somewhat of a lobby for the restaurant. It has a very Califonia cool vibe, doesn’t it? coral-casino-santa-barbara-tydes-restaurant-via-reviving-charm

There is a lot of history that surrounds the Club so you will find many historical photographs throughout the facility. Many of them include various celebrities, which is not surprising since Santa Barbara is a short drive from Los Angeles. This particular picture shows a procession of debutantes parading the latest in fashion poolside circa 1951.
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The views of Butterfly Beach and the Pacific Ocean are a perfect backdrop for a good meal.

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I couldn’t remember the last time I had a hamburger so I decided on the “Members’ Burger”. It came on a potato bun with tomato, bacon, bacon marmalade, sharp white cheddar cheese, baby gem lettuce, pickles, garlic aioli, and avocado. I ordered a quinoa salad as a side. And yes… it really was as delicious as it looks. The burger was a happy indulgence!

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