Red Medicine LAX gourmet highlight

Red Medicine LAX gourmet highlight by www.carlosmeliablog.comRed Medicine LAX gourmet highlight | Los Angeles, United States | I think we both agreed on this, Red Medicine was our gourmet highlight, of our last trip to Los Angeles. Of course we have a few favorites like Cecconi’s and Nobu Matsuhisa, but this was a brand new discover for us, that our friend Sarah setup for our last dinner in Beverly Hills. Please please open one in New York… I would be obsessed with it. Red Medicine was conceived by Chef Jordan Kahn after 18-hour shifts in the restaurants, at 3 in the morning, usually at some dive in Chinatown, over steaming bowls of pho. The medicine him and his partners in crime needed to stay awake and focus to what would become a fabulous, unpretentious industrial like Vietnamese Restaurant off Wilshire Blvd.

Red Medicine LAX gourmet highlight by www.carlosmeliablog.com This is not a traditional Vietnamese restaurant. They are not Vietnamese. And most probably none of them have ever even been to Vietnam! but The smell of mint, cilantro, and peanuts, the radiant warmth of Thai chili, the satisfying richness and funk of fish sauce, the acidic slap in the face of lime, is what spoke to me, and together with the artistic presentation of each dish I was sold. All I can say is that I look forward for my next trip to Los Angeles to visit them again, because that night we were there, I eat as much as I could and was yet not enough. Below are shots of some of the dishes and drinks we shared for a total bill of USD 230. CRISPY SPRING ROLLS dungeness crab, lime. CHICKEN DUMPLINGS caramelized sugar, confitures. BIODYNAMIC LEEKS yuzu, buttermilk. WILD ALASKAN HALIBUT burnt onion, black roots. YOUNG TURNIPS banana vinegar, crème fraîche. As for drinks we tried #84 citrus, thai basil, herbal, soda. #79 smoky, spicy, earthy, honey, sour. #85 grassy, strawberry, spicy, tart. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
Red Medicine LAX gourmet highlight by www.carlosmeliablog.com Red Medicine LAX gourmet highlight by www.carlosmeliablog.com Red Medicine LAX gourmet highlight by www.carlosmeliablog.com Red Medicine LAX gourmet highlight by www.carlosmeliablog.com Red Medicine LAX gourmet highlight by www.carlosmeliablog.com Red Medicine LAX gourmet highlight by www.carlosmeliablog.com Red Medicine LAX gourmet highlight by www.carlosmeliablog.com
(*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

My Los Angeles Red Carpet by Rubin Singer

My Los Angeles Red Carpet by Rubin Singer My Los Angeles Red Carpet by Rubin Singer   |  Los Angeles, United States  |  Following the steps of Rubin Singer as part of his team and Social Media & Blog Master, this week we’ve got to experience, yet another Red Carpet moment. This time in Los Angeles, California at a Private Estate in Malibu for the 2013 Design Care Gala benefiting The HollyRod Foundation to raise funds and awareness to Autism and Parkinson’s disease. The gala featured Life Awards, a full Fashion Show by Rubin Singer and live performance by Grammy Awarded NE-YO. Of course you can see me wearing an original Rubin Singer Tuxedo of his Men’s Collection.
My Los Angeles Red Carpet by Rubin Singer Many celebrities took part in benefit of Design Care. Among them Magic Johnson, LeVar Burton of “Perception,” Garcelle Beauvais of “Franklin & Bash,” Regina King of “Southland,” LeVar Burton of “Perception,” Cedric the Entertainer, Leah Remini of “King of Queens,” Viveca A. Fox of “Kill Bill,” Amy Yasbeck of “Wings,” Alan Thicke of “Facts of Life,” Eva LaRue of “CSI: Miami,” Kearran Giovanni of “Major Crimes,” Laila Ali of “Dancing with the Stars” and Steven Bauer of “Ray Donovan.” among many others…

Here you can see the opening video of Rubin Singer’s Fashion Show featuring the “Valkyrie’s Dominion” Collection. To see all videos and photos,  follow this link to Rubin Singer Blog. As for me…. right now flying back to New York, getting ready for my next adventure curating the world of Luxury Travel and Lifestyle. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

(*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

SLS Beverly Hills Entitlement & Discrimination

SLS Beverly Hills Entitlement & Discrimination by www.carlosmeliablog.com SLS Beverly Hills Entitlement & Discrimination  |  Los Angeles, United States  |  Luxury and Experience, such big words and so often misused right ? I am sure most of you will relate to this story. Sometimes things do not go as planned, and sometimes (so called) luxury hotels, do not perform as they should or we would expect. From last Wednesday night till today, Monday, we stayed at the SLS Beverly Hills, which in the beginning promised to be a fabulous experience, and in the end fell short on every single aspect you could imagine and beyond. Beautiful comfortable Signature Suite indeed, but unfortunately nowadays this is not sufficient to guarantee a decent stay, according to the standards SLS Hotels nor The Luxury Collection portrait worldwide. How may I describe how we, and when I say we I mean myself among other six guests in our group, felt during our entire stay… I would most accurately use Entitlement, Attitude, Lack of Service, Party Crowd and the worst unfortunate incident to top our disappointment and anger, after being discriminated by one of their employees, who felt by us being a Gay Couple staying in the same rooms, was not up-to his standards, although SLS Hotels, prides itself from being a fully Gay Friendly property. This post is not intended to question or damage the public image of SLS Hotels, just a true report on our latest stay with them from ( July 24 – 29, 2013).Our Signature Suite was lovely, perhaps not the style I particularly like, but no complains over this matter other than that I was not 100% keen on the bathroom concept, the sliding doors and the lightning concept. But trust me, this was nothing compared to what we have in line, to put up through, during the rest of our stay. Philippe Starck-designed guest rooms and suites are at once ultra-modern and classically elegant – just what you’d expect from Beverly Hills. If you like him or not, then that is another question.

SLS Beverly Hills Entitlement & Discrimination by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe following is what SLS Hotels state on their website, perhaps SLS Beverly Hills is the exception to the rule, and I mean this, not in the most positive way …” The brainchild of Sam Nazarian, SLS Hotels has created a new paradigm in the luxury hotel experience that speaks to a global, sophisticated audience. Taking service and luxury standards from traditional 5-star hotels and injecting elements of creativity and community, SLS delivers a guest experience that seamlessly delivers service, style and fun….”  

SLS Beverly Hills Entitlement & Discrimination by www.carlosmeliablog.comI do not want to spend much time on this review, since negativity is not my thing, but I do want to share the email I sent to the Sales and Public Relations Management, expressing our discontentment and anger, after being openly discriminated by one of their Food & Beverages employees, when he walked into our suite to deliver Breakfast and found out that we were two men (aka. a Gay Couple) staying in the room. His face change the minute he saw me on my computer, after my boyfriend opened the door, he made a face of full dissaproval, and literally left the wheeled-table and without even taking the metal lids off the plates, tried to get out of the room after collecting abruptly the check. Situation to which we had to ask him to, quote in quote ” Get Out of our Room “.

 

Here is the full body of my email sent to the management. I will keep their reply private, but I can tell it was one of those classic copy/paste corporate replies, that did not solve anything other than having employees running after the two of us, apologizing for what had happened. But even that did not last too long either, since the following day we went back to reality to suffer the same situation of entitlement, attitude and lack of service.

 

If you ask me, SLS Beverly Hills is far from being a Luxury Hotel, other than their pompous zip code. I would better describe the property as a Party Hotel with low customer service standards conducted by their aspiring entitled staff, where the focus is more oriented to those in-house guests and outsiders willing to visit and be part of the cool party crowd of LAX. far from ” a global, sophisticated audience”. Well fortunately or unfortunately, that is not who we are AT ALL… I mean celebrities, fashion, luxury…. not trying to be snobbish at all, but we live surrounded by this almost every day of our life, so when Checking IN at a hotel we expect merely and plain service, experience, customer service, respect and class. None of those were offered nor delivered to us. I want to make VERY CLEAR that both my partner and I, are low profile and never play the card of being anything else other than a guest, and for that, although having the benefit to access to pompous VIP treatments, we get to see and experience first hand, how a regular guest experience unfolds. Nothing personal to any of the employees of this company, other than this caveman that decided to openly discriminate us, but after a week of being at this hotel, both of us, same as our entire group, were BEYOND excited to Check OUT and leave… I am the type of person, and you can see this by reading my blog, that I love to spend time in hotels, but this time I was SOOOO DONE. !!! CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

Dear Emily and Jeanie
Good Morning. !!
I am sorry to say that our stay has been one of the worst I have ever had around the world, and trust me we travel extensively. Beautiful room indeed, but the level of entitlement and attitude of your employees is beyond annoying and uncomfortable. This was the comment of all those in our group. To top this experience, this morning when we order breakfast in our room, we have to experience funny looks and lack of service when one of your servers, realized that a Gay couple was staying in the room. Very avant-garde in sync with the concept SLS Hotels stand for correct ?
Problems when ordering our car to the Valet Parking, long ridiculous waits for breakfast, lack of service, going to the pool to relax and having to beg for a chair to seat. RIDICULOUS.
Sorry I come back to both of you this way, but the whole experience has been beyond uncomfortable, unpleasant and disrespectful, to end it up with issues with us being gay.
I just though you both should know.
Thank you
Carlos

 

(*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

El Encanto by Orient-Express

El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comEl Encanto by Orient-Express  |  Santa Barbara, California  |  Over a month ago, after our work week in Los Angeles for Rubin Singer Couture, we were invited by the recently opened and now third hotel property in the country by Orient-Express, the iconic El Encanto. The old glamour getaway from Hollywood now back, meticulously restored to capture all the original romance and sophistication that endeared it to both the Santa Barbara community and vacationers in search of seclusion and charm. Original architectural features have been lovingly brought back to life, while modern additions include an expansive outdoor swimming pool and beautiful boutique spa.

El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comWe were too tired to drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, so we made the smart decision to take the AMTRAK Pacific Surfliner Business Class Train, from the lovely Union Station in downtown Los Angeles (which you will recognize from many movies), to our final destination, on a panoramic journey that took us approx. 2 hours and 15 minutes.

El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comAs soon as we arrived to the station, our host and driver was awaiting for us with a sign under El Encanto. The perfect way to begin our weekend experience. Check IN was smooth and since our bungalow was yet not ready, we enjoyed a lovely lunch at the outdoors terrace, which in the days to come will become our regular for breakfast and lunch enjoying semi -spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Barbara.

We were hosted at a Premium Bungalow was indeed quite lovely and comfortable. We had our own private entrance with a small patio and a one bedroom suite, full of windows to portrait the views of the gardens. although we would have hoped for some more space for our clothes and suitcases, where the closet is linked right to the bathroom area, next to the shower, which made it a bit of a hazard at some point.
El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comAll Premium Bungalows feature: King-size bed, Large writing desk, Marble bathroom with separate bath and rainforest shower, Private garden or patio. Other accommodation options are the Luxury Suites and the Bungalow Suites.
El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comThe gardens at the property, despite of the recent renovations and the opening (last March 2013) are lush and beautiful, surrounding the main house, the pool area, the casitas mexican style construction, and the spa. Seven acres of gloriously landscaped gardens offer sweeping views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean. Drift through the rare flora and enjoy the balmy West Coast evenings. The fitness studio, whether you’re into pilates, yoga, core fitness or boot camp, the Fitness Studio features a variety of classes to ensure that you stay in shape. You’ll also find cutting-edge cardio equipment, a TRX training system and Kinesis fitness products.
El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comDining was quite a paradox, among beautiful outdoors terraces and views, stunning classic and avant-garde style and deco, with patronizing attitude by staff and management and sorry to say but must be true to our own experience blunt and boring menu. The least I expect from a retreat as such, if for them to tell me repeated times I CAN’T do this or that, and being in self choice to relax and unwind in a semi remote location, I expect the restaurants and gourmet offer to be quite enjoyable and tasteful. Their approach an innovative menu offering contemporary California-coastal cuisine infused with Asian touches, French flair, which unfortunately for us did not work.
El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comI spent one of my afternoons on my own, biking around the property and off to the town and waterfront of Santa Barbara, experience which was quite enjoyable, specially on my way back, with their engine-equipped bikes, which helped me with the steep slopes of the area. After that, since Rubin had already left, I decided to stay in enjoying the coziness of my bungalow, and enjoy dinner en privé, next to my fire place zipping through local wine and listening to music.
El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comOrient-Express are big shoes to fill, and when you get such an iconic property as El Encanto, the bar sets even higher. I would give El Encanto a few more month to simmer, settle down and reach the level of service, Orient-Express customers and new comers expect from such a legendary group. Most definitely I would return to relax, unwind and be pampered at he so called North American Riviera. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.com(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

(**) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Cecconi’s West Hollywood

Cecconi’s West Hollywood  |  Los Angeles, United States |  Dinner at Cecconi’s has to have been the best gourmet experienced on our latest visit to Los Angeles last week. Cecconi’s is a classic Italian restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as cicchetti (Italian tapas), seven days a week. Located on the corner of Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood. Chic, elegant, sophisticated style, ambiance and deco. Dominating chandeliers, and sexy bar. Ideal for a romantic dinner.
We began our night with our classic Filthy Vodkas Martinis, this time how we like it, up with three huge olives. Join for a meal in the main restaurant, on the terrace, or at the bar with its wood-burning oven. Have a party in the Butterfly Room with seating for up to 40 people. Born in Turin, a city in Northern Italy, Chef Andrea Cavaliere began his culinary career in his family’s trattoria where he was a chef’s assistant.
Our gourmet choices for the night:  Artichoke Romana, lemon aioli (USD 12), Ahi tuna conserva, tonnato sauce (USD 12), Calamari fritti, roast chili aioli (USD 12), Chicken paillard, eggplant caponata (USD 18), all paired by us with our favorite Sancerre wine. If you plan a visit to Los Angeles, Cecconi’s is a must try. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

(*) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Hotel Check IN El Encanto Santa Barbara

Hotel Check IN El Encanto Santa Barbara  |  Santa Barbara, California  |  Just arrived and Checked IN at the iconic, recently renovated, sophisticated and very laid back and relaxing El Encanto by Orient-Express in Santa Barbara. Only 2 hours away from Los Angeles, we will be here relaxing and spoiling ourselves for the weekend, after a long week working in Los Angeles for Rubin Singer’s Special Appearances with Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills and a fun social nights out in Beverly Hills. Luxury bungalows dot the lush gardens with sweeping views of Santa Barbara’s Riviera overlooking the Pacific Ocean.Orient-Express. At our suite now, after a lovely lunch at the Terrace on a gorgeous sunny day. Time for a nap. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends


(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

(**) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Hotels I am Obsessed with Today El Encanto

Hotels I am Obsessed with Today El Encanto  |  Hotels |  This is the hotel with which I am obsessed today, El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California. The brand new property by Orient-Express Hotels, which needs no further presentation. El Encanto, will be opening its doors and rooms, next Monday, March 18th, and the best news are, that I will be visiting and experiencing this hotel myself, next end of April. So stay tuned to my full review, videos and photos. If you book any of this hotels with me, Carlos Melia, you will get instant access to VIP amenities, and exclusive privileges, at the same exact price: Continental Breakfast for each guest daily + USD 100 resort Credit per room per stay + Welcome seasonal amenity + Upgrade, early check IN and/or late check OUT at time of booking if available. Because YOU are worth it. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by emailcarlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

(*) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new pageCarlos Melia Recommends.

Private Cellar at Club 21 by Belmond

Private Cellar at Club 21 by Belmond  |  New York, United States  |  I am lucky enough to have enjoy great dinner, cocktails and evenings at Club 21 in New York City. Either having a wonderful meal at the main room, of a glass of champagne next to the fire place during cold winters over lovely conversations. But today, for the first time, following the speakeasy legendary Prohibition-era, I join a very private group of New York leading travel agents, at the wine cellar.
Just walk through the main room, by the iconic Club 21 kitchen, and down to the cellar, to find private stocks of wine bottles under names like Nixon or  Elizabeth Taylor, regulars of Club 21.
The special occasion, the official introduction to Belmond newest property, to open soon in Santa Barbara, California (March 18th. 2013), named El Encanto. This iconic hotel is being meticulously restored to capture all the original romance and glamour that endeared it to both the Santa Barbara community and vacationers in search of seclusion and charm. Ninety-two California-style bungalows dot the lush, landscaped gardens with sweeping views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean. Original architectural features are being lovingly brought back to life, while modern additions include an expansive outdoor swimming pool and beautiful boutique spa. (www.elencanto.com).
We shared a lovely dinner with the management of the soon to open El Encanto, and the Belmond Regional Managing Director for the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. In such a stunning room. Low lights, vaulted walls covered with ancient wine bottles, guarded by our for private waiters.Such an unique experience, to perfectly match what El Encanto promises to offer to their guests from next March 2013 on, with the sophistication and detail that Belmond knows how to do. So stay tuned for more, cannot wait to come an visit, and I have got my invitation already YAYYYY.!!! Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. Also check our scheduled Small Travel Groups at Coups de Coeur. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, VIRTUOSO, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network. www.carlosmelia.com

(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by following me on Instagram Facebook or Twitter.

My long Weekend in Los Angeles for 429 MAGAZINE


My long Weekend in Los Angeles for 429 MAGAZINE
 |  Los Angeles, United States  |  Hi there dear readers, my weekly column on Luxury Gay Travel for 429 Magazine at dot429 is OUT and ONLINE. Check it out. This week, I share with you my long weekend in Los Angeles, California. My favorite hotels, restaurants and attractions. Till next week in full luxury. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

(*) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, linking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

GPS Carlos Melia my Weekend in Los Angeles so far

GPS Carlos Melia my Weekend in Los Angeles so far  |  Los Angeles, United States  |  Good Morning everyone.!!! From Beverly Hills. The L’Ermitage Hotel where I am staying is FAB. It grows on me day by day. It is like your private residence at one of the mos exclusive Zip Codes in the World. My day yesterday was amazing, some here, and more below. Excited about my day today… Brunch at the iconic and exclusive Beverly Hills Hotel at the Polo Lounge, which promises to be THE HAUTE EXPERIENCE, then off to Malibu for the rest of the day, with a stop at the Getty Museum. Tonight dinner at Culina by the Four Seasons Hotel, nothing wrong with that right. Hope you all enjoying my photos and posts. Continue reading GPS Carlos Melia my Weekend in Los Angeles so far