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Hotel Happenings For Fall

September 30, 2016

It’s hard to believe that fall leaves, pumpkin & spice, and Halloween are just around the corner, but they certainly are! We will soon be welcoming the crisp fall weather and I am rather impressed by the number of special events and fall menus that are planned at our beloved hotels and resorts here in Newport Beach. Let’s explore some of the “just released” happenings at five local hotels that are ready to help you celebrate the autumn in elegant style.

Island Hotel
The Island Hotel has a special fall Oktoberfest dinner planned at Oak Grill, an annual Halloween party at their snazzy Aqua Lounge and even the Spa at Island Hotel is getting into the act with two delicious “pumpkin inspired” treatments.

aqua lounge partyHalloween at Aqua Lounge 54 – Saturday, October 29, 2016 starting at 9:00pm
Fall into a disco inferno this Halloween when the clock turns back time and the DJ cranks up the heat at Aqua Lounge. Guests might want to dust off their best pair of bell-bottoms, and catch the soul train down to this event. There will be party favors and big prizes for the winners of the Halloween Costume Contest. Entry fee of $25 includes one specialty cocktail. Advance ticket purchase required. Bottle service and reserved lounge seating available starting at $700. Call 949.760.4920 or email kmorales@oakandaqua.com.

Oktober-Feast Beer Dinner at Oak Grill – Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 6:00pm
An Oktoberfest-inspired Beer Dinner will offer a five-course menu paired with seasonal craft beers from Four Sons Brewing. Chef David Fernandez will showcase his specialty dishes, while General Manager Kevin Morales introduces brews that perfectly complement this fall holiday meal. $65 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Call 949.760.4920

pumpkins pa productSpa Treatments– This Pumpkin Manicure uses the healing properties of pumpkin featuring pumpkin enzymes from the Ilike Organic Skin Care line. Hungarian thermal waters soften and hydrate, resulting in hands that are silky-soft. $55. The Pumpkin Cleanse Facial detoxifies and revitalizes tired skin in the wake of fall. The one-hour treatment utilizes pumpkin enzymes to help smooth fine lines and hydrate water-deficient skin, while antioxidants from oranges and grapes help fight signs of premature aging. Hungarian paprika stimulates and cleanses, leaving skin radiant. $150- Both are available thru December 1, 2016, excluding tax and gratuities.

oak grill steakMonday Night Football– And what fall is complete without a mention of Football? Monday nights just aren’t the same without this massive 40 ounce Tomahawk steak for two! Touch down for Monday Night Football at Oak Grill from 7:00-10:00pm. The massive flat-panel TV ensures no one misses the action. The mammoth steak for two is accompanied by delicious parmesan truffle fries – available at the bar or in the restaurant. $65 for two people, excluding tax and gratuity. And on Sunday’s, the tradition continues with the Slow Smoked Sundaze. One of my favorites! Southern-style BBQ – choose baby back ribs, brisket, cedar-plank salmon, fried chicken or the whole-roasted catch of the day, accompanied by authentic sides and down-home desserts. Sundays from 5:00-9:00pm, $34 per adult, $12 for children 5-12, excluding tax and gratuities. Call 949.760.4920

Balboa Bay Resort
Noted as the only waterfront resort in Newport Beach, the views of the Harbor are just spectacular. And with the enhanced bar, patio and conversation fire pits, it just makes the fall an inviting time to enjoy the boats gliding past while enjoying a dramatic sunset.

ao fire pits and patioNew Fall Menu– Chef Rachel Haggstrom is producing some great fare at BBR and just unveiled this week her new fall menu in the lounge A & O Kitchen+Bar. My favorites are the: Baby Back Ribs, the Baked Lamb Meatballs and the Spaghetti Squash. With ten beers on tap and many wines by the glass, this is a great meeting spot.

Fall Italian Opera and Wine Dinner-“An Evening In Verona”
Saturday, October 8, 2016 From 6:00-10:00pm
Waterline Newport Beach offers dramatic views of the Newport Harbor. This fall dinner will begin out of doors reception on the patio with an Italian market. Then guests will be welcomed to the dining room to enjoy a delicious four-course dinner, with wines carefully selected for each course, and live Italian opera. The menu includes: Octopus Carpacio & Iberico Ham, Braised Venison Raviolo, Loin of Wagyu Beef Rib-Eye with Black Summer Truffles, and for dessert a Sofia Capriole Cheese Torta with a warm chocolate sauce. Special guests Marchesi Armando Fumanelli, Winemaker and Proprietor of Fumanelli Winery and Tim Busch, Proprietor of Trinitas Cellars will be escorted guests through each course. $150 per person (excluding including tax and gratuity). For Reservations: 949.630.4145 or online here.

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The Resort at Pelican Hill
Festa dell’Autunno– October 7-9, 2016 -This sixth annual celebration is a weekend filled with events celebrating the flavors, sights and sounds of Italy. Festa celebrates the abundance of the autumn harvest season with food, wine, music, art and entertainment. And new this year, the family-friendly Italian Street Festa will feature an al fresco children’s carnival located adjacent to the main event. This year’s Festa dell’Autunno weekend includes:

Andrea Ristorante- A Special Italian Dinner
Menu a Quattro Mani- Friday/Sat. October 7 & 8, 2016 from 6:00 to 10:00pm
Andrea Chef Marco Criscuolo and a guest chef to be announced will present “the menu by four hands,” Andrea Ristorante’s autumn-inspired multi-course dinner with fine Italian wine pairings. $225 per person (wine pairings, tax and service included). Reservations

Italian Street Festa- Saturday
October 8, 2016 from 2:00-8:00pm
Guests will experience a harvest season celebration along the olive tree-lined Bungalow lanes, with Italian food, wine, live music, dancing, traditional art, a Mercato, Motori Italiani auto exhibit, bocce ball and traditional flag performances. Cost is $150 per adult (wine, tax and service included). Tickets

Carnevale dei Bambini
Saturday, October 8, 2016 from 2:00-8:00pm
An al fresco children’s carnival on the Bungalow Lawn near Via Capri. While parents enjoy Italian Street Festa, Carnevale dei Bambini chaperones will supervise games, crafts and activities, as well as a special children’s menu. Children can participate in traditional Italian dancing, Venetian mask decorating, flag waving lessons and dressing up in classic Renaissance-style costumes for a Street Festa procession under the guidance of Italian flag performers! Cost is $100 per child ages 4-12. Tickets

Sunday Jazz Brunch
October 9, 2016 from 9:30am to 1:30pm
From endless Prosecco mimosas to endless ocean views, Festa weekend will conclude with a festive al fresco jazz brunch. Reservation options include early 9:30am seating and late 11:30am seating. Cost is $125 per adult, $50 per child ages 4-12 (Prosecco, tax and service included).  Tickets

Weekend Festa Resort Package
Guests can enjoy the complete Festa dell’Autunno experience with a Bungalow stay along Via Capri on Saturday night, two adult tickets to Saturday’s Italian Street Festa and two adult tickets to Sunday’s Jazz Brunch. Rates start from $975 per night, plus applicable taxes and fees, for double occupancy Bungalow accommodations. For more information contact the Festa reservation specialists at 855-55-FESTA.

Fairmont Newport Beach
If a fall staycation might be in your future, this pet friendly luxury hotel offers spacious accommodations, a full-service spa, tennis courts, resort-like Palms pool and cabanas, bikes and bocce ball.

specialty cocktail newport beach

Halloween Specialty Cocktail – The AVO Bar is serving up a Pumpkin Collins for autumn. This delicious drink is crafted with: Jack Daniels, pumpkin syrup, grapefruit juice and fresh lemon. Cheers to that!

Drink Craft Beer– October 12, 2016- Fall is a time for Oktoberfest inspired beers. Here in Southern California we are very lucky to have many fantastic craft breweries right in our backyard. Explore our local Orange County treasures.

Thanksgiving Wines – November 9, 2016 – Enjoy some classics and discover some new wines that just might be a part of your Thanksgiving this year!

liquid artLiquid Art Series – On the second Wednesday of every month, Citrus restaurant welcomes guests giving them an opportunity to discover the diverse world of wine and spirits with industry professionals including award-winning sommeliers, mixologists and chefs while learning the history of iconic brands, respected regions and the art of pairing.
From 6:00-7:00pm. The cost is $20 payable at the door and valet parking is included.

Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
Snuggled up next to the Back Bay, with an executive oar-3 golf course, this hotel offers lovely patio, pools and outdoor space with lots of acres to explore.

hyatt summer concert seriesHyatt Summer Concert Series– There are just two remaining concerts for this season which began in early summer. Brian Culbertson Funk! Tour will take the stage Friday, October 7th, and on October 14th Boney Jones will be the final act for 2016. The venue is outdoors under the stars in an intimate amphitheater setting. Tickets

New Seasonal Menu – Be on the look-out for the unveiling of the Chef’s new “seasonal menu” in early October! There are some new dishes and I am awaiting the big reveal at SHOR American Seafood Grill. They source local vendors and products, and are proud of the fact that they make most items from scratch— ranging from home-made cheeses to salad dressing and even ice cream.

pumpkin carving contestHalloween Social – The Food and Beverage Director is cooking up some specific drinks for Halloween and describes that the Lobby Lounge is going to be like a Halloween Social. This will include: special drinks, costumes, music, and so forth. The highlight each year is a pumpkin decorating contest between the different departments at the hotel and on Halloween they ask the guests to judge their favorite! What fun!

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Written by Deirdre Michalski

Deirdre Michalski is a travel and culinary writer covering topics near and far. You can read more about her adventures on her web site www.TastesAndTravel.com

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