Michael Cervin

Correspondent

  • Santa Barbara, California, USA

Michael Cervin is a correspondent based in Santa Barbara who covers the area for Forbes Travel Guide. Cervin is a food, wine and travel writer, and is the restaurant critic and contributing travel writer for the Santa Barbara News-Press. He has authored four Moon travel books and many articles about California’s Central Coast. Some of his notable publications include Decanter (London), Fine Wine & Liquor (China), The Hollywood Reporter, Sommelier Journal and Santa Barbara Magazine. He is also a contributing editor for The Tasting Panel Magazine.

  • On October 27, 2014
    Michael Cervin answered the question: Michael Cervin

    Where is Belmond El Encanto located?

    Far from the bustle and noise of downtown Santa Barbara, Belmond El Encanto sits squarely in a residential area in the hills above the city at 800 Alvarado Place. Across the street is an architectural beauty of a business park, which just happens to be the original University of California, Santa Barbara campus. There are no stores or bars here; it is a maze of old residential streets with low stone walls. And yet, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel sits close to the landmark Santa Barbara Mission and Courthouse. Part of its allure is that it feels so removed, but it is only a few miles to State Street for easy access to restaurants and shopping. Just 90 miles from Los Angeles, El Encanto is effortless to get to either by plane or by car.
  • On July 2, 2014
  • On February 5, 2014
    Michael Cervin answered the question: Michael Cervin

    What is the design style of Chumash Casino Resort?

    As you approach Chumash Casino Resort, the place seems nearly obscured in the distance, sheltered behind trees and set back from the road. The pueblo-like look of the building, with low walls and earthen colors, is unobtrusive and blends with the golden rolling hills dotted with mature oak trees. Hallway carpets are custom-made and feature Chumash tribal motifs, something you’ll notice around the entire property. Overall there is an understated elegance to the hotel, and the casino is open and spacious. There is little outdoor space but the property abuts small hills lacking any development.
  • On February 5, 2014
    Michael Cervin answered the question: Michael Cervin

    What’s the best time to visit Chumash Casino Resort?

    Since the casino at Chumash Casino Resort operates 24/7, 365 days a year, the only real question is: When do you feel like visiting? There is plenty going on year-round, so travelers often focus their plans around specific events happening in the region, be that wine festivals, cultural happenings, or concerts at the casino or at some of the larger wineries. Popular annual physical activities include the well-known Solvang Century, a 100-mile bike ride, and the Wine Country Half Marathon. Summertime at the resort is quite warm — this is wine country, after all — whereas the fall and winter bring cooler temperatures, but not much rain.
  • On February 5, 2014
    Michael Cervin answered the question: Michael Cervin

    Where is Chumash Casino Resort located?

    Located at 3400 Highway 246, which bisects the Santa Ynez Valley, Chumash Casino Resort is a stone’s throw from the historic small Western town of Santa Ynez. Solvang is just three miles to the west, Los Olivos is just four miles up the road and Lake Cachuma is just nine miles down the road for water activities and fishing. The Santa Ynez Valley is an aggregate of these and other small towns with wildly different vibes to them. And you’re in the middle of wine country, with everything from small boutique producers to nationally known wine brands at your fingertips. The small but easily accessible Santa Ynez Airport is a few blocks down the road for those who choose to fly in on private plane. Otherwise, Santa Barbara Airport is about 45 minutes away and Los Angeles International Airport is just over two hours south.
  • On January 31, 2014
    Michael Cervin answered the question: Michael Cervin

    What is the design style of Hotel Corque?

    The traditional Scandinavian exterior belies the heart of Hotel Corque and its sophisticated, modern feel. The hotel underwent a big renovation and was taken down to barebones. It took nine months to transform the interior of this property into something out of the ordinary for the Danish hamlet of Solvang, California. Inside, it is urban and hip: Large overstuffed chairs dot the lobby, and custom-created lighting fixtures illuminate the pubic spaces. The exterior and grounds remain traditional Danish with the exception of the open-air brick patio, which straddles the boutique hotel and restaurant. It’s great for dining alfresco, or getting some fresh air along with a glass of local Santa Ynez Valley wine. But the mix of old and new blend seamlessly here.
  • On January 31, 2014
    Michael Cervin answered the question: Michael Cervin

    What’s the best time to visit Hotel Corque?

    Before scheduling a visit to Hotel Corque, you should know that the Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang really pop in the early spring, April and May, after the winter rains cause the hills to become verdant green. The vineyards are just experiencing bud break, and the pace of the valley is slow and casual. Just like fall — also a great time to visit — the air is crisp and clean, the crowds have subsided and the sunrises and sunsets bathe the valley in amber hues. Autumn brings harvest in wine country, so it’s still a beehive of activity. True, there are more events that take place during summer. However, that also means more tourists and lines for this small village, which can easily get congested during peak summer days. So bypass the hectic in favor of the relaxed.
  • On January 31, 2014
    Michael Cervin answered the question: Michael Cervin

    Where is Hotel Corque located?

    Located in Solvang at 400 Alisal Road, Hotel Corque is quirky enough, given its Danish surroundings, to stand out. When the contemporary Hotel Corque opened, it was a departure from lodgings in the area. Located off of the main drag, this is a quiet property — which is one of its selling points. It’s only a four-block walk to a restaurant, a wine-tasting room, Danish stores or a micro-brewery. But it’s just as easy to make a short drive to picture-perfect Santa Ynez Valley wineries studded with vines and oak trees. And Santa Barbara is just a 35-minute drive away. But for those who want some altitude, Figueroa Mountain is a fantastic drive, taking you up to the high elevations with exceptional views of the valley.
  • On August 29, 2013
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  • On August 28, 2013
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