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NEWS
February 14, 2013 | By Jay Jones
SLS Las Vegas , a trendy resort to be built on the grounds of the former Sahara, is scheduled to open in fall 2014 and promises to bring several Southern California clubs and restaurants to the Nevada desert. The former Sahara has been surrounded by chain link fencing since owners Sbe , whose chairman and chief executive is Sam Nazarian, closed the historic hotel about two years ago. The company is pumping $415 million into renovating the property, which has stood on the Strip since 1952.
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TRAVEL
April 26, 2014
The Xbalanque is a spectacular boutique hotel right on the beach in Roatán, Honduras. Snorkeling and scuba diving are available on the nearby reef. The hotel is furnished with art from around the world and is beautifully designed. This new hotel is a secret gem that is just being discovered. Xbalanque Resort, Tamarind Drive, West End, Roatán; http://www.xbalanque-roatan.com Judy Gordon Los Angeles
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NEWS
August 5, 2013 | By Jane Engle
A small luxury coastal resort, about two hours' drive south of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is offering an extra reason for families to venture forth: a multi-night package that includes suite accommodations and meals, plus a picnic and horseback riding. Up to two adults and two young children can use the package at the 42-guest Las Alamandas. The resort's 1,500 acres of tropical terrain and waterfront provide plenty of places to play. Among the activities are hiking, mountain biking, bird-watching, kayaking, surfing, tennis, beach volleyball and children's arts and crafts.
TRAVEL
April 18, 2014 | By Alex Pulaski
KO OLINA, Hawaii - Hang around the fire-pit fire long enough, watching Uncle Ito breathe life into Hawaiian legend, and those rascally little menehune inevitably clamber into the conversation. Uncle Ito, one of the resident storytellers at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is blessed with an abundant sense of humor. In a recitation of the menehune people's favorite foods (banana, sweet potato, fish, poi), he's been known to insinuate a Disney reference to Mickey ice cream bars.
NEWS
January 28, 2013 | By Brian E. Clark
With 104 inches of snow falling in Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon during December and more since the start of the new year - for a total of 15-plus feet - it's been a grand start to 2013 at Snowbird outside Salt Lake City. So, officials are celebrating with a January White Sale , with discounts on its lodging packages. Here are three examples: The Ski Free & Stay the Fifth Night for Free deal has rates starting at $125 a night for bedroom and studio units. The offer is valid until March 31. The Early Week Stay & Ski package has rates beginning at $119 a night.
NEWS
January 31, 2014 | By Jay Jones
The Cromwell, a $185-million hotel and resort that's a redo of the now-closed Bill's Gamblin' Hall, is set to open this spring along the Las Vegas Strip and will feature the first restaurant by TV personality Giada De Laurentiis. The Cromwell , whose name was announced Friday, will combine contemporary and classic French design in its 188 rooms and suites. Reservations will be accepted starting Feb. 24, by which time the opening date for the Las Vegas property should be known.
NEWS
October 18, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Disney's plush Aulani resort and spa near Honolulu has been open since August, but grand opening discounts keep on coming. The latest is a fifth night free for limited dates at the pricey resort on 21 oceanfront acres. The deal: Stay four consecutive nights and the fifth night is free. The standard-view room at the resort is the least expensive; it sleeps up to four and has a private porch or balcony. There's much to do at this resort, particularly with kids: a snorkeling area, pools, tubing stream and stingray encounter led by marine biologists.
NEWS
October 10, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Yes, this is Las Vegas too. The woodsy Resort at Mount Charleston , about 30 minutes from the Strip, offers fall hiking and Halloween events for families seeking to escape the usual haunts. Tickets for a Halloween party Saturday and fall festival Sunday come with the room that sleeps four for $144 a night.  The deal: This resort in Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest feels worlds away from the casino crowd. The package includes two children's tickets for the Halloween party (no charge for adults)
NEWS
July 27, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa has a midweek deal good for a late summer stay in Northern California's wine country . From now through August, snag a package that includes a suite, $50 daily credit and two wine tastings for $199 a night. -- The deal: The "Suite" Napa Summertime Special applies to midweek stays in a small suite starting at $199 plus tax. And you can use the $50 daily credit toward a round of golf, breakfast or other eats, spa services  and more. Wine-tasting passes for two are issued when you check in, so you won't know in advance which vineyards you may be visiting.
NEWS
June 24, 2011 | By Irene Lechowitzky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Loews Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nev., is teaching kids how to mix fun with the art of sushi in a series of classes dubbed SushiSKool on the first Saturday of each month. The next one is July 2. Chef Osamu Fujita, a third-generation sushi chef, guides grade-schoolers through teens through the basics of ordering, using chopsticks and sushi etiquette. Participants sample items such as as gari (pickled ginger) and wasabi (Japanese horseradish) while making sushi and sipping ocha (green tea)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2014 | By Todd Martens and Mikael Wood
When the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival launched 15 years ago, creature comforts included any small slice of shade cast by the odd light pole, the occasional working toilet and maybe somewhere to sit other than the dusty desert floor. Today, there are $799 VIP passes that give you cocktail bar privileges, even though you'd have to pay extra for privileged parking. Well-heeled foodies can splurge on a $1,024 gourmet dining package. Shell out more, and you can skip the traffic - round-trip transportation is available via private jet. These pricey add-ons are emblematic of larger shifts for the event, which runs the next two weekends on the manicured grounds of Indio's Empire Polo Club.
SPORTS
April 9, 2014 | Bill Dwyre
LAS VEGAS - We went to write about Manny Pacquiao versus Timothy Bradley and SignGate broke out. It was Wednesday, this was boxing, and so the anger, hatred, rips, finger-pointing and innuendo were not unexpected. Nor, if you write a sports column for a living, unwelcome. For big fights here, they always have a large press conference on Wednesday. The norm is a large stage, fighters and teams strung along each side of a podium, and a half-dozen skimpily clad Tecate girls, featuring plastic-enhanced smiles, etc. The proceedings usually go one of two ways.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2014 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
A 67-year-old Van Nuys skier who crashed into a tree at a Lake Tahoe resort has died, according to authorities. The skier was identified by Fox40 as Marc L. Coleman. The skier was injured Sunday while skiing on Rail Splitter, one of the advanced runs at Northstar Ski Resort, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. When rescue team arrived, the skier was unresponsive and later was pronounced dead. Deputy coroners determined Coleman's death to be caused by an apparent skiing accident.
TRAVEL
March 14, 2014 | By Irene Lechowitzky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Welcome to Borrego Springs, Calif., population 3,400, in the middle of nowhere (actually, about 150 miles southeast of L.A.). Throw away the smartphone; this is a place to unplug. This designated Dark Sky Community offers breathtaking views of the stars at night. The days aren't too shabby either, as my husband and I learned on a late February getaway. Be sure to stop at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center (200 Palm Canyon Drive; [760] 767-4205, http://www.parks.ca.gov/?
TRAVEL
March 7, 2014 | By Brian E. Clark
DEER VALLEY, Utah - Carving turns through light, puffy powder at just one of the resorts in Utah's Wasatch Range is plenty to write home about for most skiers. But to ski six of the state's premier areas in one day - linked by way of the backcountry - is a true coup, especially when the sky is a cloudless deep blue and untouched snow lines the bowls. You don't have to be an experienced mountaineer to pull this off. Schussers can navigate the route on a guided tour on the Interconnect, which starts at Deer Valley and weaves through Park City Mountain Resort, Solitude, Brighton and Alta - with dips out of bounds - before finishing at Snowbird.
NEWS
March 5, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Harrah's casino and resort near San Diego is changing its name and look. The renamed Harrah's Resort Southern California in Valley Center adds a tower with 430 new rooms and suites as part of a $160-million upgrade and expansion slated to be done in April, the company announced Tuesday. The former Harrah's Rincon Casino & Resort opened in 2002 on land owned by the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians. Renovations began in October 2012 and has been rolling out in phases. Last July the resort opened three pools that feature a swim-up bar and lazy river.
NEWS
December 22, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa sounds religious but it's not. The upscale resort near Cape Town, South Africa, derives its name from the nearby mountain range. The mountains stand on one side of the resort; the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Guests can watch whales and dolphins in the ocean and hike the surrounding wilderness trails of Table Mountain National Park. The deal: Cape Town Chic is a well-priced package from Lion World Tours that includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, a day in Cape Town on your own and four nights at the Twelve Apostles to enjoy the setting and the spa. Spend a little more and you can add on sightseeing excursions.
NEWS
July 28, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Grand Del Mar resort in San Diego is marking the opening of the Del Mar horse-racing season with a package that includes tickets, racing forms and even two mint juleps. The deal is pricey -- it starts at $475 a night -- but it saves a bit if you're up for a splurge and love the ponies. -- The deal: The Del Mar racetrack , which dates to 1937, opened last week for its 2011 season. The Day at the Races package includes two Stretch Run reserved seats at the racetrack (worth $10)
NEWS
February 25, 2014 | By Jay Jones
The 188-room Cromwell, the onetime Bill's Gamblin ' Hall, has set a May 21 opening in Las Vegas after a $185-million face-lift that mixes French design with contemporary decor. The boutique resort began taking reservations Monday. They can be made online or by calling (844) I-AM- CROM , (844) 426-2766. A deluxe king room for that first night is listed at $299. Rates for the Friday and Saturday night of the long Memorial Day weekend for that same king room are listed at $399 a night.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
A Los Angeles man was shot in a guest room at the Pechanga Resort Casino late Friday night and later died from his injuries, authorities said. Deputies were called to the casino in Temecula about 11 p.m. Friday where they found the 49-year-old man "in need of medical attention," according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. The man had gone to the hotel lobby seeking help. The man, who has yet to be identified by the coroner's office, was taken to Temecula Valley Hospital where he later died, sheriff's officials said.
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