Archive for the ‘Joie de Vivre Hotels’ Category

SF Examiner: Chip Conley Q&A

August 30, 2010

We thought this interview with Joie de Vivre Founder and CEO Chip Conley by Lisa Geduldig in the San Francisco Examiner was a good read and thought we’d share it. Originally published here.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?
My dad … and, from afar, Herb Kelleher, the co-founder of Southwest Airlines.

Is there a golden rule by which you live?

I’m a believer in “karmic capitalism”: What goes around comes around. Good things happen to good people; sometimes you just have to be a little more patient.

What book or piece of writing has had a big impact on you?

Viktor Frankl’s landmark book “Man’s Search for Meaning” helped me to see that, even in a concentration camp, one can find meaning in life, and that seeking meaning is truly the most noble and worthwhile thing that humans do. (more…)


Chef Profile: Michelle Mah

August 25, 2010

Michelle Mah, Executive Chef of Joie de Vivre’s Midi Restaurant was born in Seoul, Korea and lived there until she was three years old. It was then that her family immigrated to the United States and put down roots in Southern California.  A career in the culinary arts wasn’t always in the cards for Michelle. While living in Southern California, she attended the University of California, San Diego, where she majored in Ethnic Studies, minored in General Literature and also had a focus in Photography.

From there, Michelle began working at Café Japengo and because of her love of the kitchen and guidance from chef Amiko Gubbins, she also began attending the College of Food in San Diego where she graduated with an A.O.S. degree.  Michelle then made her move to San Francisco where she attended the California Culinary Academy. Michelle worked in multiple restaurants throughout the city as well as an externship in St. John in the Caribbean before becoming the Executive Chef at Ponzu. It was there; at age 29 that Michelle was awarded the 2006 “Rising Star Chef” award by the San Francisco Chronicle. (more…)

Virgin Territory

July 13, 2010

This was an exciting day for us (and more importantly an exciting day for anyone who travels to the West Coast a fair amount) as we announced a really cool partnership with California-based airline Virgin America. Starting today, Virgin America’s 1.4 million members of its Elevate™ frequent flyer program can earn points at Joie de Vivre properties when they join our Joy of Life Club loyalty program.

To kick off the new partnership with a big dose of joie, Joie de Vivre is allowing members to “double dip” and earn both Elevate and Joy of Life Club member points now through the end of 2010 when they stay at a participating hotel. For every eligible $1 spent on the hotel room rate during their stay, Elevate members will earn one Elevate point as well as Joy of Life Club points.  In 2011, members will have to designate which program they want to accrue points.

That is the fabulous from-scratch triple layer cake of the matter, but there is icing, too, and it is good:

Virgin America and Joie de Vivre are also doing a social media promotion to award a lucky traveler a roundtrip flight for two to either San Francisco or Los Angeles from anywhere Virgin America flies and a two-night hotel stay at a Joie de Vivre hotel in California.  Interested? Check out the contest details here.

Vive Le Film!

July 8, 2010

On Bastille Day, July 14th our Hotel Rex will play host to the French-Language Disposable Film Festival. The Disposable Film Festival in a San Francisco based event that was created to highlight the potential and creativity that can come from the medium of disposable film such as cell phone cameras, point and shoot cameras, webcams and so on.  Short film submissions from around the world are selected, then screened and featured in these festivals.

For this particular soiree, the Disposable Film crew has put together their most intriguing French-Language short films for us to enjoy the Joie of Film at our very own Hotel Rex.  The screening begins at 8:00pm but we’ll be serving French-inspired drink specials in our Library Bar starting at 6:00pm. Attendance is free.

Celebrating Our Independence

June 30, 2010

As the three-day weekend celebrating the 4th of July approaches, visions of warm weather, pools, and mouth-watering food and drink are already starting to penetrate the minds of most.  For after all, this is a holiday unique to our United States and as California tends to stand out in the unique department, we wanted to make sure Joie de Vivre has you covered throughout the State.  Below are just a few offerings from our own restaurants that will help bring those dreamy visions of an ideal holiday weekend to fruition.

Venice Beach: High Rooftop Lounge in Venice Beach is hosting an All American High Independence Day BBQ.  It will be an all you can eat extravaganza during the day with roasted corn, potato salad, hot dogs, hamburgers, mac & cheese, house-made chips and dip, watermelon and a S’mores bar! From 11:00 am- 4:00 pm everyone is welcome; after 5:00 p.m. the party is for adults only.  A champagne toast will be included and local fireworks will be on display. 11:00-4:00 $25.00 kids/$50.00 adults 5:00-Close $100.00 adults only

Sacramento: Grange; our restaurant in Sacramento that’s all about seasonal and local offerings is offering an All American BBQ three-course menu for $35.00/person.  The menu will feature a Little Gem Lettuce Salad with Kick’n Ranch Dressing, Slow cooked Riverdog Farm Hog with Carolina BBQ, Corn on the Cob & Potato Salad and for dessert a Summer Berry Cobbler with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  That sounds like an All American meal not to be missed.

Brentwood: WEST Restaurant in our Hotel Angeleno is offering a red, white and tropical blue sangria priced at $4.00 in honor of the 4th of July. Relax poolside while their grill master cooks up some house-made sausage prepared to order. For a casual and elegant day in the Southern California sun; the best advice we can give is to head WEST.

Oakland: Miss Pearl’s Jam House in Oakland is having a party in conjunction with all the fun-filled events happening in Jack London Square for the 4th.  Come by to enjoy the beautiful weather, a petting zoo and live blues bands and stick around while Chef Peter Jackson BBQ’s up some Andouille Sausage in their outdoor waterfront patio.  Miss Pearl’s is also featuring their famous $5.00 hurricanes where $2.00 of every one sold goes towards the Coast Clean up effort.  To be able to assist our fellow state of Louisiana this 4th of July makes us feel very patriotic indeed.

Tune In, Turn On, Geek Out

June 28, 2010

Check out The Citizen Hotel’s blog post all about Joie de Vivre’s new Joie Connect, a comprehensive in-room media portal powered by Mac Minis. Joie Connect enables hotel guests to leave their laptops at home, as the platform lets them browse the internet, e-mail, download music or movies from Netflix or iTunes, or catch up on Facebook and Twitter. The Citizen, located in Sacramento, is the very first of our hotels to install Joie Connect, with plans to roll out the technology at other Joie de Vivre properties. As the Citizen blog post notes, two Joie de Vivre hotels, The Citizen and Avatar Hotel (Santa Clara), were recently named to a list of 2010 “Best Geek Hotels in the World” by Hotel Chatter.  Read all the details about Joie Connect here.

Going Back to (So)Cali

June 23, 2010

Today’s guest post is from Leah Corradino of Joie de Vivre’s SoCal team. Leah shares her vast knowledge of what to do, see, eat and drink in Southern California – including a few bon mots from our hotels in the region: Shorebreak Hotel (Huntington Beach), Hotel Angeleno (Los Angeles), Hotel Maya (Long Beach), and Hotel Erwin (Venice Beach). Stay tuned also for our new Pacific Edge Hotel, which debuts in Laguna Beach this month. Thanks, Leah, we can’t wait to get back to SoCali and try some of these!

1. Intellegentsia for the BEST coffee experience on Abbot Kinney in Venice

2. The Hollywood Bowl for the best “under the stars” summer performances

3. Temescal Canyon Trail for a hike and to see the waterfall and ocean views from the Pacific Palisades

4. Opening Ceremony just opened on La Cienega!  Serious competition for Fred Segal!

5. Paradise Cove in Malibu for a scenic Sunday drive up the coast and for their gigantic iced seafood tower

6. The Other Room for great people-watching and drinks on Abbot Kinney in Venice

7. The Wiltern, Troubador, and the Fonda for intimate live music concerts (more…)

Top 10 Things to Do in Sacramento

June 17, 2010

I’m a Bay Area girl, born and raised. One can only imagine my friends’ reactions four years ago when they heard I was moving to Sacramento to attend UC Davis. Shock and disgust were among many facial expressions, to give you an idea.

You see, my friends were moving to “cool” places for college, like L.A. and San Diego.  Sacramento on the other hand, known for being a “cow-town” and “hot as hell”, was always stereotyped as less than desirable.

Well, turns out the joke’s on them.  Sacramento is awesome, and I’m not afraid to say it out loud. Four years into living here, I have dined downtown, wined Midtown, ran a 10k around the zoo, attended film festivals at the Crest, and rafted down the river on lazy Sunday afternoons.

Without further adieu, here’s my personal list of the top ten things to do in Sacramento (and I hope if you visit, you will check out – or, even better, check in – Joie de Vivre’s gorgeous Citizen Hotel):

1. Catch a film at the Crest Theater. I think it might be accurate to say I have never seen a bad film here. If you’re into the Avatars and Iron Mans, this isn’t the place for you. If you’re into the interesting, hilarious, and educational indie films that nobody has heard of, this is your go-to theater. I am a bit of a movie snob and this is hands down, the best place to catch a good film in Sacramento.

2. Float down the river. I’ll be honest—it gets pretty dang hot in Sacramento, especially in the summer months. What better way to spend your scorching Sunday afternoon than lazily rafting down the American River? Tip: rent multiple rafts and tie them together with rope to float as a group. Add a cooler of classy beverages, a boom box, and you’re good to go. (more…)

Silicon Valley, Forevs

June 11, 2010

Editor’s note: In addition to being a guest blogger and Silicon Valley eggroll aficionado, Jessica Comaskey works with Joie de Vivre’s Silicon Valley properties and our Dream Inn in Santa Cruz.

About two years ago, I packed my bags and moved from San Francisco to San Jose.  Having grown up in San Francisco, I had surprisingly little knowledge of the Silicon Valley besides it being the birthplace of tech giants like Google, Yahoo and Hewlett Packard.

When I was a kid, the only times I would head down south would be to go to the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View or Great America in Santa Clara.  Over the past 24 months, I’ve quickly learned that there is a lot more to this area than what my San Francisco snobbery presumed.

As a resident, I love exploring the amazing parks and recreational areas the infuse the landscape, I cannot get enough of the local eateries and I’m always excited when I come across a mom and pop shop that has been around since forever.

Here is my top ten list of things to do this summer in the Silicon Valley:

1. Roy’s Station Coffee & Tea’s- Serving locally roasted coffee in San Jose’s historic Japantown, this is one of my favorite places to sit outside and enjoy a cup. Recently renovated, the coffee shop was once a WWII era gas station  (197 Jackson St, San Jose CA).

2. San Jose Giants Game– Summer and baseball go hand and hand and there is no better place to go see a game than the San Jose Municipal Stadium and there is no better team to watch then the current California League champions, The San Jose Giants.   With tickets that get you just feet from the field and a crowd that stands behind its local team, these games are blast without breaking the bank (588 E. Alma Avenue, San Jose CA).

3. San Jose Municipal Rose Garden- With over 4,000 rose shrub’s covering 5 ½ acres, this is a great place to get lost amongst the flowers.  The best part, there is no entrance fee and this is the only rose garden in California to be an official Display Garden for the All-America Rose Selections (Intersection of Naglee Ave and Dana Ave, San Jose CA). (more…)

Road Trippin’: SF’s Richmond District

June 8, 2010

Getting up close and personal with a city you do not know is a bit like angling to meet the Rolling Stones after the show without a backstage pass: if you don’t have someone who can hook you up, you’ll have to be content with being held at a cordial arm’s length, no shots of Jameson with Keith for you.

For the next few months, as part of our Road Trippin’ California summer, we’re going to be sharing our personal itineraries from the places in California we love. We hope it inspires you to get out and explore the Golden State and experience some of the authentic sights and scenes we’d want people to share with us.

Today, I’m writing about my own neighborhood, San Francisco’s  fabulously untrendy Richmond District. If you’re looking for packaged faux-bohemian or sidewalk cafes avec the stroller set, the Richmond probably isn’t going to ring your bell. I love it for its sunny days, good food, cheap rents (with great views), and its nearness to both Golden Gate Park (the city’s legendary outdoor playground) and the beach. It’s also got humility going for it, like the best people and places who aren’t terribly aware of their charms.

Here’s my top 10 list for the Richmond. I hope you will read it with rapt attention, takes notes, and make a visit next time you are in our fair city by the bay.

1. Kamei Restaurant Supply – honestly, forget Chinatown for tablewares and tchotchkes and head to Kamei, where you can find all the sushi ware your heart desires, a vast selection of rice cookers, tea pots, and other culinary lovelies at affordable prices (525-547 Clement St., San Francisco).