Here is my mom and I, checking into the St. Regis Monarch Beach last Friday, and trying to play it cool around the fancy people while inside I'm squealing like a little school girl.
We have this mother/daughter tradition-thing and this year we decided to go all out and spoil ourselves with an ultimate spa weekend. (Thanks to dad's 100,000's Starwood vacation points.)
It was truly wonderful.
When you stay at a fancy hotel you have to do fancy things like . . . sit on the veranda and enjoy an assortment of cheese with honey made from desert wildflowers.
Then you oogle over your hotel room . . . admire the robes, the spacious bathroom, and take happy pictures in the mirror.
Next it's necessary to get out of the room and explore the beautiful grounds and ocean views.
There are times you might have to stop and ask yourself . . . . am I in SoCal or Italy? Because you might get confused.
And of course, continue to take your photo in every mirror available.
And stalk the hotel staff . . . . because they just look so fancy in their white coats.
While staying at a fancy hotel it's perfectly normal for the staff to drop off an unexpected "Happy Birthday" dessert to your room. "The hotel wants to offer you an amenity." Why, thank you!
And it's perfectly normal for that dessert to be topped with edible gold.
When the evening arrives it's time to dress up and join the fancy people at a fancy dinner.
And plan on having a most amazing meal where the staff showers you with compliments, a birthday card, a special birthday dessert, the tiniest grilled cheese sandwich & cup of celery soup you've ever seen, and miniature ice cream cones at parting.
After two hours of dining and successfully stuffing yourself (ahi tuna tartare, potato gnocchi with coconut infused froth, a duck entree, and carmelia truffle with pistachio sponge cake, blackberries, and marscapone ice cream), it's time to come back to the hotel room and cozy up in matching pajamas. (Courtesy of mom.)
Before bedtime, be sure to make your selections for breakfast and hang the in-room dining menu on the outside of your door. That way, in the morning you can wake up to this . . . .
If you have the opportunity to indulge in spa treatments I highly recommend it. When you make your reservation be prepared to answer questions like, "For your massage would you prefer a handsome man or a young lady?"
An aromatherapy massage plus a facial with micro-dermabrasion is my recommendation. And prepare to be pampered -- white robes & slippers, a plate of grapes placed near the fireplace in the massage room, as well as water, dried apricots, and almonds for nibbling in the Tranquility Room. They will also offer you a complimentary glass of white or red wine after each service, but the staff shows no offense when you thankfully decline.
After a day at the spa the appropriate thing to do is lounge at the pool with a pina colada . . . enjoying your relaxed state of mind and marvelling at your silky smooth skin.
Eventually it is time to shower and prepare for dinner again. The hotel robes and slippers are comfort defined.
Again, one cannot have too many mirror photos. And a dinner by the beach affords itself to slightly more casual dress.
But don't be in too much of a hurry that you can't stop to admire the fancy weddings on the hotel grounds, sometimes twice daily.
As most will agree, there is nothing quite like a sunset dinner. Made all that much better by wonderful food and wonderful company.
When you stay in a fancy hotel it can be somewhat difficult to re-enter the real world.
But when that time comes you simply look back, sigh, and feel happy that you can take some of the fancy with you in your memories and heart . . . .
and it doesn't hurt to bring back some fancy in your suitcase . . . . hotel slippers, drink coasters, bathroom toiletries, hotel stationary, and individually packaged q-tips & cotton rounds with the St. Regis seal.
Thanks mom (and dad) for a wonderful trip!