Author Archive

Road Trippin’ California: On the Map

June 2, 2010

Today is an exciting day for us at Joie de Vivre, as we get to share with you our first-ever customized Google Map featuring cool places to go, things to do, and must-sees throughout California as part of our summer Road Trippin’ California campaign. These are some of the places we love, from San Francisco to Sonoma Wine Country, Sacramento to Los Angeles. We pestered (really, we can be quite nudgy on your behalf) our colleagues at Joie de Vivre’s home office in San Francisco for fave places on their list for a California road trip, and we asked folks from our hotels for their short list of spots, too (and of course we included our hotels, restaurants, and spas, hoping your road trip might bring you to rest your head on our pillows!). From Bob’s Donuts in San Francisco to Griffith Park Observatory n L.A., the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, we hope this map sparks your imagination to start planning your summer road trip itinerary. We’ll be updating it with more road trippin’ worthy spots in California all summer, and let us know your favorite spots on the Cali map, too, so we might share them!


One-Day, $100 Rates at SoCal Hotels

June 1, 2010

Three of Joie de Vivre’s Southern California hotels, Hotel Maya, Shorebreak Hotel, and Hotel Angeleno, are celebrating their birthdays (one year for Shorebreak and Maya, four years for Angeleno) by offering $100/night rates (not including taxes and fees) for one day only, June 1…gee willikers, summer road trippers, the day is here! If you want to take a little SoCal sojourn, book your rooms today and use the promotion code JDVSAR when making your reservation. Rates are good through Dec. 31, based on availability, and weekends may require a minimum stay.

JetPride Takes Off

May 20, 2010

JetBlue, Joie de Vivre, and joined forces to present JetPride last week, the first U.S. commercial LGBT flight. JetPride spirited a flight of Long Beach Pride festival goers from SFO to Joie de Vivre’s Hotel Maya in Long Beach, with pink cocktails and in-flight witticisms offered by Australian entertainer and “air hostess” Pam Ann (with a little help from our own Chip Conley). (Photos courtesy Rick Andreoli,

Road Trippin’

May 16, 2010

William Least Heat Moon wrote that there are no yesterdays on the road, and it does seem like the road trip has a special power to temporarily untether us from our lives and, in so doing, let us reimagine them. One of the gifts of travel is that it frees you from your everyday context. The road trip, properly undertaken, boils life down to a post-it where normally it may feel like an Excel spreadsheet with too many tabs. You can plan excessively if you want to, but the best road trips are a little shaggy and undefined at the edges, leaving space for the unexpected.

The road trip is about all of your favorite music along for the ride, turned up loud when there’s a lull in conversation. It’s about inappropriate snacks of questionable vintage from a gas station in Barstow and BLT’s on under-toasted white bread in Redding. It’s about going out of your way to visit Frank Sinatra’s grave in Palm Springs or crossing the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time. It’s those hours when the usual tug of to and fro and bills to pay and Facebook seem as trivial as they are and you listen to your trip mate’s story with real attention.

Road trippin’ is kind of like the exhilaratingly mild shock of swimming in the ocean for the first time in years: it wakes you up, brings you back to who you are, and reminds you that the simplest pleasures are all you really need to be content. And at the end of every day on the road? Cool, clean sheets on a bed you don’t have to make. This summer the travel sugar plums that are dancing in our heads are all about Road Trippin’ California. We’re putting our playlists together, calling our friends, and packing our swimsuits. Let summer begin!

Carry On, Then

May 13, 2010

Great slide show from the New York Times on how to pack essentials for 10 days of travel into a carry-on. A person really can bring three pair of shoes and enough wardrobe options for changing weather and moods.

Get Your JetPride On!

May 10, 2010

Oh, Monday joie…sadly ’tis raining buckets here in San Francisco, but the weather forecast calls for sunny days the rest of the week. Just in time to book your ticket for JetPride! There are still some seats left on JetBlue’s Friday, May 14th flight from San Francisco to Long Beach for this first-ever LGBT flight by a U.S. airline. Flight #1969 will celebrate forty-plus years of the gay rights movement and is bound for Long Beach’s LGBT Pride celebration, one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the state, if not the country. Australian entertainer Pam Ann will be on board as “air hostess,” pink cocktails will be served, and the skies will never be friendlier. Once in Long Beach, check in at Hotel Maya, one of Joie de Vivre’s newest SoCal properties. Their special JetPride package includes two tickets to Long Beach Pride, tickets to an exclusive private party sponsored by, and other goodies galore. To book the flight, call JetBlue at 888-538-2583/option 4 for and visit to book your stay at Hotel Maya.

Happy 40th, Earth Day!

April 22, 2010

April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and this year Joie de Vivre will be celebrating by treating employees at its more than 30 hotels and corporate office to educational films about different aspects of environmental sustainability, from water conservation (“Flow”) to industrial agriculture (“Food Inc”) and fossil fuel production (“Fuel”). Joie de Vivre recently announced that it has the most green certified hotels in San Francisco, and we are committed to greening all of our properties with an emphasis on recycling, energy and water conservation, and other conservation measures. For more information about Joie de Vivre’s environmental initiatives, check out our Green Dreams program.

Here are just a few of the environmental conservation practices Joie de Vivre’s hotels, restaurants, and spas have in place:

  • In-room recycling in all guest rooms
  • Biocompostable bath amenities from Lather
  • Hotel recycling and composting programs
  • Use of recycled paper products and soy-based inks
  • Donate leftover food to local charities
  • Energy efficient lighting
  • Water efficient toilets and faucets
  • Towel and linen reuse program
  • Reduce use of harmful products (paints, cleaning products)
  • Reuse grease/oil, paint, and toner cartridges
  • Recycle electronic equipment, light bulbs, and batteries
  • Hazardous materials disposed through various hazardous waste vendors
  • Organic, fair trade food and beverage available
  • Encourage employees and guests to use public transportation

Green Meets Glam at the Galleria Park Hotel

April 21, 2010

Paul Frentsos, general manager of San Francisco’s Galleria Park Hotel

Yesterday we featured an interview with Hotel Del Sol general manager Gary Sterman on the challenges of greening an entire hotel. Today we’re excited to hear from another of our San Francisco hotels to achieve green certification, the Galleria Park Hotel. The Galleria Park, located in downtown San Francisco, has all the glamour of old Hollywood. Housed within a 1911 building, the hotel faced a daunting task in greening the structure, having to replace old fixtures with energy-efficient ones while keeping its vintage style. Paul Frentsos, general manager of the Galleria Park, kindly offered his insights on why it was important for the hotel to go green and simple things people can do to lessen their carbon footprints.

Why did you decide to pursue green certification for your hotels?
The employees of the hotel expressed a lot of concerns and enthusiasm for becoming green and felt strongly that it was the direction we should go as a hotel to help with the environment.

What were you required to do to achieve certification?
The city of San Francisco has extremely diligent and detailed list to achieve the status of a San Francisco Green Business.  We spent quite a bit of money replacing all the toilets, faucets, shower heads, fluorescent lighting, and waste receptacles to mention just a few things.  Chemical usage and storage were also a big change as well.  Composting and recycling were also a huge part.  Asking hotel guests if they wanted fresh linens or if we could remake beds without changing the linens and getting fresh towels to help save water usage was a big change as well. (more…)

(Sweet) Green Dreams at the Hotel Del Sol

April 20, 2010

Gary Sterman at the Hotel Del Sol in San Francisco

Earth Day celebrates a big birthday this year as it enters its 40th year. Amidst the messages of environmental doom and gloom, there are countless inspiring stories of people who are working toward positive change on a grassroots level – in their cities and towns, at home and at work. Joie de Vivre has long been committed to sustainability via our Green Dreams program. We’re working hard to green all of our more than 30 hotels across California, and recently learned that we have the most green certified hotels in San Francisco, a worthy distinction in a city long known for its progressive social and political ideas.

One of our five green certified hotels in San Francisco is the Hotel Del Sol, located in the city’s Marina District. General Manager Gary Sterman and his staff shepherded the greening of the Del Sol according to rigorous standards put forth by San Francisco Green Business. The process took more than two years, and as part of our celebration of Earth Day we spoke with Gary to learn more about the process. Tomorrow, we will speak with Paul Frentsos, general manager of the Galleria Park Hotel, to learn about his hotel’s green certification efforts. (more…)

18 Reasons by Preeti Mistry

April 9, 2010

Editor’s note: Today we’re excited to share the words of a Bay Area chef some of you may have heard of, Preeti Mistry, who appeared on season six of Bravo’s Top Chef series. Preeti writes about a wonderful new outpost for local food, art, and community in San Francisco, 18 Reasons.

I moved to San Francisco, specifically the Mission district in the summer of 1996 when the gritty neighborhood was on the edge of major change… it was the dot-com boom.  One seemingly small alteration was the revamping and reopening of Bi-Rite Market.  I was in my early twenties and having a love affair with food and cooking.  Bi-Rite’s advent quickly became the epicenter of my affections.  The market has become much more than a shop, it was a place of inspiration for me and is undoubtedly, the beating heart of the Mission’s 18th St. Gourmet Ghetto. (more…)