Julia Weiler

Correspondent

  • San Diego, California, USA

Julia Weiler is a correspondent who covers San Diego for Forbes Travel Guide. Her wanderlust has lead her on far-flung adventures, like housesitting in Fiji, backpacking through Southeast Asia, road-tripping in Mexico and building homes in Papua New Guinea with Habitat for Humanity. Her stories are published in an award-winning series of humorous travel anthologies, including Whose Panties Are These?, What Color Is Your Jockstrap? and More Sand in My Bra (the latter of which she co-edited). Weiler contributes to Ocean Home Magazine and is a correspondent for the website Wine and Dine San Diego. When not wandering or writing, she likes surfing Southern California’s best breaks.

  • On October 30, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What’s the best time to visit Park Hyatt Aviara Resort?

    With a sunny ridge-top location just a few miles inland of Carlsbad’s stunning coastline, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort enjoys clear blue skies and mild, warm temperatures year round. The marine layer that often brings foggy conditions to the beaches in the spring seldom reaches the resort, and ocean breezes cool even the hottest of summer days. No matter when you time a visit, you’ll likely be met with pleasant days that will make you want to take part in the resort’s wide array of outdoor amenities.

    When planning your trip, consider checking the San Diego hotel’s special events calendar. Then sync your sojourn with the ones that hold the most appeal. Gourmands will appreciate the Masters of Food and Wine program. The series of quarterly events takes place on or around the changing of the seasons and celebrates the best of San Diego’s culinary scene with interactive farm, winery or brewery tours complete with tastings and gourmet feasts created by the Park Hyatt’s talented chefs. Other seasonal happenings include the summertime Jazz at the Park concert series, holiday soirees and gingerbread-decorating classes.
  • On October 30, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    Where is Park Hyatt Aviara Resort located?

    Park Hyatt Aviara Resort is located at 7100 Aviara Resort Drive, in the coastal town of Carlsbad in northern San Diego County. Perched on a lushly landscaped ridge overlooking the Batiquitos Lagoon and the shimmering Pacific beyond, the family-friendly luxury resort boasts a prime location near kid-centric attractions, miles of beautiful beaches and upscale shopping centers.

    Gather your brood and head for Legoland California, which sits six miles northwest of the Park Hyatt. The theme park features more than 60 thrilling rides, tons of interactive areas and a sprawling water park. It’s a fun place for kids to discover, explore and learn as they play amid life-sized Legos.

    Situated about three miles north of Carlsbad, the wide sandy beaches of Oceanside await. Swim, surf or boogie board in gentle beach breaks, whale-watch from the West Coast’s longest wooden pier or charter a sailboat from the marina and scout for dolphins. Fashion fans will appreciate the high-end retail therapy found at Carlsbad Premium Outlets. The alfresco mall offers bargains on cutting-edge clothing, shoes, bags and jewelry from brands and designers such as Coach, Calvin Klein, BCBG Max Azria and Salvatore Ferragamo.

    After your excursions, a quick trip gets you back to the luxury hotel, where you can enjoy a wide array of onsite amenities, dining options and activities or simply relax by one of the two pools, at the spa or in your well-appointed room.
  • On September 30, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What kinds of skincare products are used at The Spa at Rancho Valencia?

    The Spa at Rancho Valencia is the only spa in San Diego that uses the organic, plant-based luxury line of Amala skincare products. The lavish collection employs top-of-the-line herbs, flowers and vegetation that are organically grown, sustainably harvested and sourced from global fair-trade partners. The resulting cleansers, toners, polishes and moisturizers are calibrated to soothe, hydrate and brighten skin. The spa’s skilled and knowledgeable therapists thoughtfully utilize these products for customized treatments that deliver rejuvenated radiant skin. If you end up falling in love with the products during your treatment and want to bring the Amala collection home, stop by The Spa Shop, where the signature products are available for purchase.
  • On September 30, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    Does The Spa at Rancho Valencia offer couples treatments?

    The Spa at Rancho Valencia offers a delightful array of face and body treatments tailored for two. Couples can luxuriate in a wide array of packages that may include a relaxing bath, jade-and-ginseng sugar scrubs or custom-blended clay-and-oil body masks followed by massages performed in tandem. For the most indulgent offering, try the Golden Set, which includes a soak, couples massage, clay body mask, scalp treatment and shower for two. Double delights take place in the San Diego spa’s two couples suites, which are exquisitely appointed. These luxurious rooms come with side-by-side treatment tables and a flickering fireplace. Outside the sumptuous suites, a private patio awaits. The secluded sun-dappled areas have alfresco tubs proportioned for two along with dual rain showers.
  • On September 30, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What is the best way to get an appointment at The Spa at Rancho Valencia?

    If you’re looking to get an appointment at The Spa at Rancho Valencia, it is open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily. Treatments such as massages, facials and nail services are available during that time period. Reservations may be made by dialing the spa concierge at 858-759-6490 or via email at spareservations@ranchovalencia.com. Plan to arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your appointed treatment time to fully enjoy the luxurious facilities. And be sure to bring appropriate bathing attire: The San Diego spa offers coed pools, steam rooms and saunas. Don’t feel like trekking over to the spa? Opt to have a therapist visit your casita for an in-room massage.
  • On September 23, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What is the scene like at Veladora?

    Veladora shares its moniker with a style of candle, and as its namesake would suggest, the scene at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa’s upscale restaurant is radiant. The recently renovated space is awash in stunning hacienda-inspired décor. Stately iron chandeliers hang from masculine open-beam ceilings while a glowing fireplace finished in cobalt-blue plaster flickers in the corner. Plush banquettes and sofas are replete with pillows covered in vividly patterned fabrics — they lend an element of softness to the scene.  

    Candelabras and lanterns add to the shining ambiance, but a centerpiece by renowned artist Damien Hirst is perhaps the most intriguing detail of all. Mounted along the San Diego restaurant’s back wall, the magnificent art piece mesmerizes. Created from a vast collection of real butterfly wings arranged in a kaleidoscope pattern, the stunning masterpiece seems illuminated from within.  

    Outside of the lovely dining room, two beautiful patios beckon. One overlooks the resort’s world-class tennis courts and lushly landscaped grounds, while the other offers views of the resort’s splendid courtyard. The latter is the larger of the two and boasts a multi-tiered fountain, an elegant fireplace and seating suitable for large groups. Both areas are popular dining spots for breakfast and lunch as well as Veladora’s sumptuous Sunday brunch.
  • On September 23, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    Where is Veladora located?

    Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa’s signature upscale restaurant, Veladora, is nestled within the resort’s lushly landscaped property at 5921 Valencia Circle, in San Diego’s posh coast-meets-countryside community of Rancho Santa Fe. The venue is conveniently situated and easily accessed from freeways in every direction. It is located just 25 miles north of downtown San Diego, and is a mere half-hour drive from San Diego International Airport. No matter which direction you are coming from, Veladora is well worth the trip. The scenery along the way boasts pastoral landscapes of open land, horse ranches and regal country clubs. A valet will greet you upon arrival to the resort, where delectable Mediterranean-influenced cuisine awaits.
  • On September 23, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What is the dress code at Veladora?

    The ambiance at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa’s Veladora is casual elegance, and the dress code is the same. Diners tend to reflect the vibe with chic, relaxed attire. Breakfast and lunch crowds come clad in comfortable yet stylish threads. Classic wardrobe staples are partnered with trendier pieces for an effect that is put together and polished but in a free-spirited way. 

    Sunday brunch draws a more colorful display of fashion. Women don bright sundresses paired with strappy wedges or crisp capris matched with floral blouses and fashion-forward flats. Men sport casual khakis or trendy candy-colored denim paired with polo shirts and lightweight vests or cardigans. 

    During dinner, the San Diego restaurant becomes a bit more dressed up. Gentlemen in tailored suits escort ladies adorned in little black dresses and towering statement heels. While the nighttime hours draw a more glamorous set, casual attire is still acceptable.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What is the design style of Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa?

    Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa combines the warmth of authentic hacienda-style accommodations, the comfort of modern amenities and the charm of Mediterranean landscaping for an ambiance that is relaxed yet elegant. The property, which recently underwent a $30 million renovation, boasts 40 acres of lush rolling gardens with citrus trees, olive groves and flora for an Old World look. The resort’s ruggedly romantic casitas, villas and other edifices rise from the gardens in arcaded silhouettes awash in the rich alluring tones of Mexican country estates and Spanish Colonial manors from bygone eras.

    The San Diego hotel’s abundance of expansive patios and courtyards are adorned with handcrafted Mexican furnishings clustered around traditional adobe fireplaces inset with brightly painted and vividly patterned tiles. Multi-tiered fountains, Saltillo pavements and a collection of large Metzca pots complete the serene scene. The resort’s interior spaces reflect the hacienda-meets-Mediterranean design style as well. Spanish Colonial antiques intermingle with Mexican country objects and are set under soaring open-beam ceilings hung with iron chandeliers. Meanwhile, contemporary artworks and fabrics create
a balance between old and new at the luxury hotel.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What’s the best time to visit Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa?

    While there is no bad time to visit Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, each season provides a unique experience. Spring honors the spirit of growth and renewal as the resort’s extensive gardens abound in a flourish of rich blossoms. This is also a great time to sojourn inland, as coastal areas are often afflicted by a weather pattern that locals call “May gray” and “June gloom,” which causes overcast conditions at the beaches. Summer brings hotter weather and long, reliably sunny days. If you want to avoid the beach crowds but still soak up some rays, head to the San Diego hotel’s secluded pools and private patios surrounded by lush green gardens. 

    Fall ushers in the season of serenity at Rancho Valencia. Shorter days, cooler temperatures and fewer tourists make this a great time to relax, restore and replenish mind, body and spirit. This is the ideal time to indulge in spa treatments, take advantage of the gym and engage in healing yoga sessions at the resort’s new indoor/outdoor Balinese-inspired yoga pavilion. Families who wish to spend the holidays in a quiet private setting will fawn over the luxury hotel in the winter. Enjoy its numerous outdoor fireplaces and cozy ambiance. The resort and gardens are aglow with twinkling lights and other luminous details.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What restaurants does Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa have?

    Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa reopened in October 2012 with a two new restaurants, Veladora, the resort’s upscale signature eatery, and The Pony Room, which serves tapas, wine, craft drafts and a full list of cocktails. Both restaurants are helmed by executive chef Eric Bauer, who serves coastal ranch cuisine, such as housemade pastas and surf-and-turf entrées created with locally grown and resort-sourced produce. The menu also features more than 600 wines, and there's a private wine room for the most special of nights. Fittingly, Veladora's design style is that of a modern Mediterranean-influenced hacienda.

    Next door, The Pony Room offers high-end pours with a focus on tequila and unique cocktails in an indoor-outdoor venue that takes advantage of the San Diego hotel's incredible year-round weather. The Pony Room also serves lunch and dinner; enjoy bites like white fish tacos with cabbage slaw, radishes and Mexican crema or Kobe sliders with tomato remoulade, crispy onions, bacon and Béarnaise sauce alfresco on the terrace that overlooks the luxury hotel's croquet lawn.
  • On August 21, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    Which San Diego resorts have the best pools for adults?

    If you’re looking to relax and unwind in a quiet poolside setting then set your sights on The Grand Del Mar.  The adults-only pool at this Forbes Travel Guide’s 5-Star Rated resort is located adjacent to the spa and offers a welcoming retreat complete with cushioned lounge chairs perfect for soaking up the San Diego sunshine.   Pool attendants are on hand to assist with set up, refresh towels and position umbrellas if you desire shade.  To enhance the experience further, they make frequent rounds delivering complimentary chilled fruit, cold Fiji water and smoothies.   When you’re ready for a dip in the heated pool prepare to be surprised.  A state-of-the art underwater stereo system will provide a mellow soundtrack for a truly serene swim. 

    On the opposite spectrum, if you’re looking to make a splash party-style then head to Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort for Adult Swim Saturdays.  Every Saturday from 11am to 7pm through September, the stylishly revamped, hip new pool area is transformed to a 21-and up Vegas-style pool party complete with DJ tunes, exciting entertainment and VIP bottle service.  Guests can get their groove on around the expanded main pool that includes a 400-foot lazy river and Southern California’s only swim-up bar.  Other amenities include 9 sparkling hot tubs, luxe daybeds and private cabanas available by reservation.
  • On August 2, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    Which San Diego resorts have the best pools for adults?

    If you’re looking to relax and unwind in a quiet poolside setting then set your sights on The Grand Del Mar.  The adults-only pool at this Forbes Travel Guide’s 5-Star Rated resort is located adjacent to the spa and offers a welcoming retreat complete with cushioned lounge chairs perfect for soaking up the San Diego sunshine.   Pool attendants are on hand to assist with set up, refresh towels and position umbrellas if you desire shade.  To enhance the experience further, they make frequent rounds delivering complimentary chilled fruit, cold Fiji water and smoothies.   When you’re ready for a dip in the heated pool prepare to be surprised.  A state-of-the art underwater stereo system will provide a mellow soundtrack for a truly serene swim. 

    On the opposite spectrum, if you’re looking to make a splash party-style then head to Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort for Adult Swim Saturdays.  Every Saturday from noon to 7pm through September, the stylishly revamped, hip new pool area is transformed to a 21-and up Vegas-style pool party complete with DJ tunes, exciting entertainment and VIP bottle service.  Guests can get their groove on around the expanded main pool that includes a 400-foot lazy river and Southern California’s only swim-up bar.  Other amenities include 9 sparkling hot tubs, luxe daybeds and private cabanas available by reservation.
  • On August 1, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    Which San Diego resorts have the best pools for adults?

    If you’re looking to relax and unwind in a quiet poolside setting then set your sights on The Grand Del Mar.  The adults-only pool at this Forbes Travel Guide’s 5-Star Rated resort is located adjacent to the spa and offers a welcoming retreat complete with cushioned lounge chairs perfect for soaking up the San Diego sunshine.   Pool attendants are on hand to assist with set up, refresh towels and position umbrellas if you desire shade.  To enhance the experience further, they make frequent rounds delivering complimentary chilled fruit, cold Fiji water and smoothies.   When you’re ready for a dip in the heated pool prepare to be surprised.  A state-of-the art underwater stereo system will provide a mellow soundtrack for a truly serene swim. 

    On the opposite spectrum, if you’re looking to make a splash party-style then head to Harrah’s Rincosorn Casino & Resort for Adult Swim Saturdays.  Every Saturday from noon to 7pm through September, the stylishly revamped, hip new pool area is transformed to a 21-and up Vegas-style pool party complete with DJ tunes, exciting entertainment and VIP bottle service.  Guests can get their groove on around the expanded main pool that includes a 400-foot lazy river and Southern California’s only swim-up bar.  Other amenities include 9 sparkling hot tubs, luxe daybeds and private cabanas available by reservation.
  • On August 1, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What is the best new restaurant in San Diego?

    After several months of plywood, nails and hardhats, the construction is complete, the dust has cleared and Rancho’s Bernardo Inn’s new restaurant Avant is open for business.  The fresh 6,500-square-foot eatery features a variety of indoor and outdoor dining areas.  Belly up to the large central bar and savor house-infused cocktails, craft drafts and wines paired with custom charcuterie plates sliced to order and served with artisan mustards on tap. 

    In the semi-formal dining room, or out on the spacious patio enjoy Executive Chef Nicolas Bour’s seasonal menu boasting farm-fresh produce like the Chef’s Daily Preparation, a plate of 12 different vegetables grown on property.  Other light fare standouts include a red quinoa and avocado salad mingled with stone fruit in elderflower vinaigrette.  Heartier highlights include vintage sirloin steak, seared big eye tuna and Sonoma duck breast.

    In addition to wining and dining, the restaurant offers a series of unique, hands-on culinary experiences in the Avant Kitchen.  The intimate space holds up to 12 guests and serves as the restaurant’s private demonstration kitchen where lessons on wine pairings, mixology course and cooking classes are taught.  Events are held every Thursday evening throughout the month of October and include a garden tour with three-course meal on August 22nd, a mixology class with food pairings on August 29th and chef-led lesson on preparing whole roasted suckling pig on September 26th.

    For more information on restaurant hours and special events visit:
    http://www.ranchobernardoinn.com/avant/