travel

SUSTAINABLE ECO TRAVEL: 1 HOTEL REVIEW

My BFF wifey treated us to a staycation at the newly opened 5-star eco-friendly 1 Hotel in West Hollywood, and while she went off to work I set about taking a million pictures of the hotel. I was so amazed by their dedication to sustainability, I had to do a write-up. Weeks later they had their opening party with celebrity guests like Jamie Foxx and Rachel Zoe, which we were not invited to sadly. Regardless, praise must be given where it is due.

The 1 Hotel West Hollywood is one of the most energy-efficient hotels in Los Angeles, and their mission is to set an eco example that will make waves ripple throughout the hotel industry. A leader in sustainable luxury travel, every detail of the hotel is made with sustainability as its primary focus, with reception desks made of wod sourced from naturally fallen Aleppo trees, its courtesy car as an electric Tesla, smart irrigation systems, carpet made from ocean waste plastic, energy-efficient zoning of air conditioning and LED lighting.

Just like in other 1 Hotels, the clothing hangars are made from repurposed wood (or cardboard), filtered water taps instead of plastic water bottles, clothes recyling bins, chalk slates instead of paper notebooks, organic slippers and organic cotton linens on the bed. You won’t find any plastic or paper anywhere in the room. Everything is done through their mobile app, including ordering room service from menus.

Even their restaurant is strongly focused on sustainability with its own organic vegetable garden, zero waste dishes on the menu, living walls of plants, and biodynamic wines.

Located at the base of the Hollywood Hills on Sunset Blvd. the hotel has 285 rooms, pool, gym, reception area bar, rooftop bar, restaurant, daily activities, gift shop and sun deck.

The food at the restaurant was so delicious – it was one of the best meals I’ve had in Los Angeles in a very long time. Breakfast was also incredibly gourmet and beautifully presented.

Below some of the sustainable details of the hotel:

Organic cotton linen beds

My favorite area of the hotel was the pool, with its panoramic sweeping views of LA, beautiful lounge chairs and plants all around, and chill music coming from the pool bar. Service was also to the level of 5 stars with bar attendants filling up my glass of water without me having to get up and go refill it myself. I ordered one of their green smoothies and added a shot of vodka to it, not realizing the shot of vodka cost more than the smoothie itself.

Skylar fragrances
Evolvh Luxury Natural Haircare (affiliate code OBL saves)

They also have a gym with panoramic views, floor-to-ceiling walls, the latest gym equipment, and personal trainer available.

No plastic straws allowed here
Me practicing my food photography skills with HempFusion

The bed was, of course, extremely comfortable – pillows, sheets, mattress all of it. The phone was frustrating because I couldn’t figure out how to dial reception and it was because the phones are automatically off when not in use and you need to press a certain button to turn the phone “on”. The lights in the room are not strong to save energy, so during the night there isn’t too much light. The walk in marble shower was fantastic, with strong water pressure and natural bath & body products available.

All in all, a great stay, though for the price per night this may not please all luxury lovers. For those who believe in conscious consumerism and mindful travel, a stay here will inspire you to look at all areas of your life in which you can practice sustainability.

Colombia’s Zuana Beach Resort

99% of the time I blog about cities in Europe, so I’m excited to have my first Latin American travel destination on the blog. I honestly never thought I’d return to South America, except maybe as a retired 60 something year old because I spent a decent amount of time there during my teens. But as fate would have it, I found myself on a plane to Panama then Cali, Colombia ..and then Santa Marta for a wedding. I was looking around for where to stay and Zuana immediately caught my eye because of the extensive number of amenities it offers. Funnily enough, I booked the standard room but then was offered a Deluxe Suite by the hotel.

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A Day at Mercado Sagrado in Malibu’s Canyons

It’s experiences like Mercado Sagrado that make me feel like I belong back in California. I’m able to connect with like-minded people who want to vibrate on a higher level and who are looking to inspire and be inspired by the stories, energies and crafts of others. It’s the kind of event that feeds your soul (and tummy) through healing workshops, talks, music and food- every kind of nourishment you could dream of. The lifestyle annual fair is held in the Topanga Canyons at Paramount Ranch, and it feels like you’ve stepped into an old Western and back into nature. Stylish creatives, artists and designers bustle about in boho chic outfits and flowy dresses, live music plays in the background, and the scent of sizzling vegan food wafts through the fresh, crisp air. I only attended Sunday but next time I’m determined to go both Saturday and Sunday so I take full advantage of all the enlightening talks and workshops.

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Glow Recipe Launch Party at The Grove

Glow Recipe, an online destination for natural and cruelty-free K-beauty, opened their first pop up store at The Grove and threw a lit party to celebrate! They’re a NYC based company and had opened a super successful two-story pop up in Soho and have FINALLY made it to LA. This was also the first time I got to meet co-CEO Sarah Lee, who so graciously invited me to this exclusive invite-only party because she remembered I posted a ton of reviews when they just started and no one knew them! I am so proud of all the things they have accomplished and for putting K-beauty on the map in the US. What a time to be Korean-American! They will be at The Grove until the end of October and have a ton of events, giveaways and special classes happening throughout!

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Derma E Zen in the Bev Event

I was so excited attend Derma E‘s Zen in the Bev event in Beverly Hills this week and had to take a bunch of photos to share and document what was probably the best-looking event I’ve been to. I feel like I have to start off by saying this isn’t an organic green brand, so while it isn’t quite on brand, it is a more natural and affordable option that’s widely accessible at ULTA and Whole Foods.

Not only was this event held at a Beverly Hills mansion with pool and views overlooking LA, there was no shortage of activities scheduled like sound bath meditation, henna, hair braiding, intuitive readings, yoga with views, massages, cupping, facials and more. I mean I’m talking about the works: crystal clear pool with a unicorn floatie, kombucha on tap, acai bowl bar with a dozen toppings, vegan ice cream truck by Frozen Fruit Co, vegan taco bar at the grill, matcha brownies. My stomach and heart was full at the end. Thank you so much Derma E for this super relaxing and beautiful day!