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Winter Fun At The Four Seasons Hotel In Westlake Village

(credit: Four Seasons Westlake Village)

When you feel like getting out of town during the holiday season, but don't have time to travel far, plan a local winter weekend getaway at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, which provides the perfect "escape" to rejuvenate and get geared up for the holidays. The hotel is offering two weekend packages for couples and families that include a $50 daily dining credit, spa and shopping discounts, live snowfalls and more.

(credit: Four Seasons Westlake Village)

Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village

Two Dole Drive
Westlake Village, CA 91362
(818) 575-3000

The Let It Snow Package is perfect for families and includes one weekend night of deluxe accommodations, $50 dining credit in any of the hotel's restaurants, lounges or in-room dining, 30% savings on treatments in The Spa, welcome drink for two in The Bar and exclusive savings from luxury retailers, such as Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth and Last Call by Neiman Marcus at Camarillo Premium Outlets. Entry to the exclusive snow experience on The Lookout is also included and starts at 6 p.m. Kids will be thrilled and it's a fun way to get everyone into the holiday spirit.

Additional on-site family activities include searching for the hotel's "Elf on the Shelf," cookie decorating with pastry chefs and supervised Kids Club activities. If you're looking for local festivities in the area, you can hop on a "Train Ride to the North Pole" in Fillmore and watch live performances of The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.

The Winter Spa Package is ideal for couples or a girlfriends' getaway and includes two-nights of deluxe accommodations, a $50 dining credit per night in any of the hotel's restaurants, lounges or in-room dining, two 50-minute Therapist's Choice massages and 30% percent savings on additional treatments in the spa, welcome drinks for two in The Bar and entry to the exclusive snow experience at The Lookout at 6 p.m. (for families) or at 9 p.m. for guests 21 and older.

Every weekend, beginning Friday, Nov. 30 through Saturday, Dec. 29, guests can gather on The Lookout to watch the "snowfall" at 6 and 9 p.m. and warm up with a cup of hot cocoa, cider or a hot toddy, along with roasted chestnuts. The giant sequoias in the background perfectly frame the festive alpine display.

Couples who want to add on some extra romance might consider reserving a luxury Spa Suite, where they will enjoy cozying up by the fireplace and indulging in spa treatments side-by-side. The spacious suite features two large Jacuzzi spas – including one outdoors on your own private patio. Afterwards, enjoy a romantic dinner for two in ONYX before catching the 9 p.m. snowfall on The Lookout.

(credit: Four Seasons Westlake Village)


Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village
Two Dole Drive
Westlake Village, CA 91362
(818) 575-3000

No need to venture outside the hotel for a delectable dinner. Chef Masa Shimakawa prepares modern and inventive Japanese dishes at ONYX, with a variety of sushi, sashimi and specialty hand rolls.

It's fun to watch the nimble handiwork of some of the area's most talented sushi chefs as they create edible "art." Start your meal with a Tartare Trio of tuna, salmon and yellow tail with roasted local figs, truffle oil and crispy chips. Then dive into a couple of ONYX original Makimonos, like the Lobster Tempura Roll with asparagus, mixed greens, ginger aioli or the Hawaiian Volcano with spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, spicy aioli and pickled red ginger. Diners who want to experience the very best and most exotic signature dishes from Chef Masa can try his five-course Omakase menu.

Japanese paintings and antiques, bamboo floors and dramatic chandeliers create a beautiful atmosphere for diners. Walls of onyx and carnelian are backlit to create a glowing ambiance. Take a seat at the bar and watch the fish swim in a double-sided, 2,000-gallon saltwater aquarium or try a seat on the terrace with views of the gardens and waterfall for a truly exceptional dining experience.

The next day be sure and start your day off with breakfast in the Lobby Lounge. My favorite dish is the Cast Iron Vegetable Frittata with organic feta cheese and golden tomato coulis. Kids will love the malted Belgian waffle with strawberries and fresh whipped cream.

(credit: Liz Laing)


100 Promenade Way, Suite A
(at East Thousand Oaks Blvd.)
Westlake Village, CA 91362
(805) 778-9100

Lemonade (at the Promenade) offers plenty of healthy, tasty choices from salads, soups, sandwiches, veggie side dishes and seafood, along with comfort food, like pot roasts, braised meats and mac n' cheese. The wait is short, the prices are reasonable and the food is delicious.

Diners can enjoy seasonal offerings such as spaghetti squash with faro and pomegranate vinaigrette or a fall succotash of butternut squash, white corn, grapes, oregano, plus dozens more. More adventurous eaters might like the soba noodles with kimchi-marinated vegetables and toasted peanuts or watermelon radish, ahi tuna, snap peas, black sesame and ginger. Jamaican jerk chicken, citrus poached salmon filet and red miso beef short ribs are but a few of the proteins offered. My kids loved the mac n' cheese and lemonade, of course, which comes in a variety of flavors, such as peach-ginger, blueberry-mint, and blood orange. Afterwards, head over to Barnes and Noble Booksellers (in the Promenade) to do some reading or visit a famous Presidential library in Simi Valley for some real hands-on learning.

005_ReaganLibraryBerlinWall_CreditJohn Martorano
(credit: John Martorano)

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

40 Presidential Drive
Simi Valley, CA 93065
(805) 522-2977
HOURS: Open daily 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Ronald Reagan's legacy thrives at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, where interactive events and exhibits showcase his life and spirit of determination. Experience the studio days that shaped his future role as the "great communicator" by acting in a movie with Ronald Reagan or helping him call a Cubs game on WHO radio. View an exact replica of the White House Oval Office and step aboard the Air Force One 27000 to learn how President Reagan changed the face of global diplomacy.

Take a stroll on the Reagan Library's beautiful grounds, which include recreations of the White House South Lawn and the White House Rose Garden. Visitors can also touch a piece of history, an authentic piece of the Berlin Wall, which displays the stark contrast between the colorful graffiti of the west side (where people could freely touch and paint on) and the grey, stark wall of the east side.

If you've got kids, don't miss D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Reagan Library, the largest exhibit curated by the Walk Disney Archives and the largest temporary exhibit ever housed at the Reagan Library (in lower level), which displays through April 2013. Favorite characters, such as Mickey Mouse, Lucky Rabbit and Captain Jack Sparrow are depicted in hand-drawn artwork and hand-sculpted models. Props, costumes, set pieces and collectibles are also featured throughout the exhibit. You'll even see Walt Disney's original script for Mickey Mouse's first cartoon.

007_CamarilloOutlets_creditCamarillo Premium Outlets.
(credit: Camarillo Premium Outlets)

Camarillo Premium Outlets

740 E. Ventura Boulevard

Camarillo, CA 93010
(805) 445-8520

What would a vacation be without shopping? The good news – a trip to the Camarillo Premium Outlets won't break the bank. The outlet mall has 160 stores to choose from, including luxury brands such as Barneys New York, Tory Burch, Giorgio Armani and classic favorites, like Banana Republic Factory Store, J. Crew, Lucky Brand, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger, to name a few. Shoppers can find savings of 25-65 percent and can save even more by joining the VIP Shopper Club at premium The shopping center is located between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara and is just 15 to 20 minutes from the Four Seasons Westlake Village.

Liz Laing is a writer, web designer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Her latest projects may be followed on Liz Laing.

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