Category Archives: San Diego

Last Minute Gifts: Magellan Luxury Hotels E-Gift Cards

Magellan Luxury Hotels E-Gift Cards

With just a few days until Christmas, you may have a few more gifts to buy for people on your list. And isn’t the gift of luxury travel one of the finest presents you can offer? Continue reading Last Minute Gifts: Magellan Luxury Hotels E-Gift Cards

IfOnly: Remarkable Curated Experiences

San Francisco-based company IfOnly describes themselves as “a marketplace for incredible experiences.”

They pair clients with local and international experts in their field – as well as big-name celebrities – for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as Heli-skiing with Robert F. Kennedycycling with Patrick Dempsey or the ultimate adrenalin rush, a balloon expedition over Mount Everest. Continue reading IfOnly: Remarkable Curated Experiences

Discovering Art in Airports

With earlier check-in times due to increased security measures, passengers have become a captive audience at airports worldwide. While the downside is longer waits, the upside is the push by many airport authorities to make the experience more pleasurable. The installation of public art in airports – architectural builds, sculptures, water features, moving walkways, murals, mosaics, lighting installations and performance art – are miracle workers in making any terminal pop. Continue reading Discovering Art in Airports

Celebrating Dia de Los Muertos

In the opening sequence of 2015’s Spectre, James Bond, dressed as a calaca – a skeleton – stalks his target through Dia de Los Muertos celebrations in Mexico City.  A bit of Hollywood cultural appropriation perhaps, but, like the films of Tim Burton, a popular introduction for those unfamiliar with Mexico’s “Day of the Dead,” an ancient holiday that celebrates the lives of friends and family members who have died, encouraging their spirits to return home and commune with the people who loved them. Continue reading Celebrating Dia de Los Muertos

Open Air Cinema: Movies by Moonlight

As they say, it’s all about location, location, location. To catch the latest blockbuster movie releases, duck into the darkness of your local multiplex. But if you like your movies in a scenic venue with a side of sociability, it’s time to spend your spring and summer nights under the stars catching some classic cinema. Continue reading Open Air Cinema: Movies by Moonlight

Interview: Welcome to City Running Tours

CEO Michael Gazalah of Manhattan-based City Running Tours explains why exploring a city with the locals makes all the difference.

Magellan: City Running Tours is based in New York but offers personalized running tours in cities across the U.S. and in Toronto, Canada. Would you talk about where your big idea came from? About how you got started?

MG: Sure. I’m a chiropractor and I was working out of a Manhattan gym and I got a call from a friend about an Australian guy who was in town and looking for a running partner. My friend knew I was a runner who could match the guy’s pace and distance requirements. I thought it would be cool to run with him and show him around a bit, so I agreed to go. We clicked and a spark of an idea was born. That was 11 years ago.

Magellan: Do you have a “typical” client?

MG: Yes and no! We know that about a quarter of our clientele – and that number is growing – are returning business professionals, people who make regular visits to our cities. We have clients who run with us multiple times during extended stays. We also offer corporate and group events. We embrace a broad swath of competitive, recreational and social runners. We’re popular with families, whether the kids are running alongside or are tucked into strollers. And we attract slightly more women than men.

Magellan: What do you think your clients are looking for?

MG: That will vary depending on the client; people have different motivations. But we know a big driver for runners is the desire to keep on schedule, to maintain their training and mileage while they’re on the road. Running with a guide means committing to that schedule with ease – without the burden of planning – and being mentally free to simply enjoy the act of running. For many, running with a group or partner is a social experience with the added benefit of exploring unfamiliar parts of the city from a local perspective. For women wanting to run early in the mornings or after work, we offer not only ease, but security. The same for families. The commonality is that people are looking for a broader experience than running alone, which is our value-add. We stop, explore and chat according to the client’s wishes.

Magellan: What won’t you do?

MG: I can’t think of anything off the top of my head that we won’t do, but making smart choices is always the starting point. We tend to run off the beaten path and each run is tailored to the specific needs, wants and abilities of the client. So we’ll run in all kinds of weather but will be constantly assessing routes if temperature or conditions are extreme. For instance, running across the Brooklyn Bridge offers unique challenges due to its exposure to the elements, wind in particular. And running New York during a snowfall can be tricky, but, on the flip side, it possesses a charm because the city is so much quieter than normal. All of our guides are local runners so they know the ins and outs of each place; they know what’s possible and what’s not. Overall, exploring an urban environment means you’ll never know exactly what to expect, as each street and neighbourhood has quirks and tells a different story. That’s an intrinsic part of the journey.

Magellan: What do you like most about what you do?

MG: I like the whole adventure of it. I like showcasing our city to clients and sharing insider tips about New York. I especially like when they tell us that our tours have been the highlight of their trip – that is the highest compliment they can pay us.


City Running Tours services major cities including NYC, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC and Toronto. It makes it easy to stay with Magellan Luxury Hotels and run with the locals.

Photos provided courtesy of City Running Tours. All rights reserved.


T: 877.415.0058

Our Luxury Hotel Consultants Recommend:

Baccarat Hotel New York - Magellan Luxury Hotels

Modern Manhattan meets classic Paris under one roof at Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York. The 114 guest rooms and suites are outfitted with custom furniture designed by Gilles & Boissier, and exude the class and timeless appeal of both Manhattan and the City of Lights. Top-notch amenities and first-rate service complete this energetic romantic, elegant hotel experience.

Palace Hotel - Magellan Luxury Hotels

Fit for royalty, the Palace Hotel features opulent furnishings and a sophisticated ambiance with amenities and exceptional service to go along with. A favorite of celebrities and dignitaries, the Palace Hotel is situated in the heart of San Francisco. With three delicious dining options, a sky-lit indoor pool and historic Beaux-Arts beauty, this warm and inviting “palace” provides the perfect San Francisco luxury stay.

Trump Waikiki Beach Walk - Magellan Luxury Hotels

Set in the bustling Waikiki Beach Walk development, the luxurious Trump Hotel Waikiki is surrounded by numerous restaurants, shops and nightlife options. However, if you choose not to leave the hotel you won’t be short on choice. It has three distinct restaurants and lounges, one of which offers live entertainment and another with an idyllic outdoor setting. You’ll also find a sixth-floor infinity pool, deluxe beach service and a spa.

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Food and wine in San Diego Bay

The San Diego area is one of the top spots for food and drink in the U.S. The area’s proximity to fresh produce available year-round as well as some of the world’s great wine-producing regions means there’s always a great bite and a killer glass of wine to be had.

That synergy will be in full effect during the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival. The event, now going into its 12th year, takes place November 16-22 in some of the San Diego Bay area’s most innovative hotels and restaurants.

Viticultural rock stars from all corners of the wine world will be reporting for duty in San Diego Bay. Notables include producers such as Rodney Strong Vineyards, Chateau des Charmes, Navarro Vineyards, Flowers Vineyard & Winery and King Frosch Wine, among many others. Hop-heads can look forward to hobnobbing with brewers from Firestone Walker, Baja Brewing Company and more.

In addition, some of the biggest names in the culinary world will descend on the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival. Bernard Guillas, Rick Bayless, Andrew Spurgin, Makoto Okuwa and many more will show off their skills in a series of workshops and demonstrations.

What kind of events are we talking? On the wine side of things, the sessions (complete with tastings) will encompass areas such as biodynamics/sustainability, Pinot Noir, Spain’s Rioja region, Napa Valley, a Burgundy master class and learning to detect faults in wine. On the food side of things, explore the flavors of fish tacos (with craft beer, no less), tapas, French pastries, cheese and more.

Food and wine come together in a glorious fashion at the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival’s penultimate Grand Tasting on November 21, with a gastronomical extravaganza that will surely satisfy every palate.

Magellan Luxury Hotels has access to San Diego’s best four- and five-star hotels, with the best rates and exclusive perks to help make your San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival experience unforgettable.

Our Luxury Hotel Consultants Recommend:

 Beach Village at the Del - Magellan Luxury Hotels

Hotel Solamar - Magellan Luxury Hotels

Paradise Point Resort and Spa - Magellan Luxury Hotels

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North America’s top zoos

Whether you’re traveling with the family or are simply an out-and-out animal lover, the zoo is a fascinating place to see and learn about the incredible fauna we share the planet with.

North America is home to some of the world’s most remarkable zoos, and offer the chance to see the animals of the world up close while learning more about them and the ways in which these institutions are working to preserve wildlife. Here are three of the continent’s most remarkable zoos.

San Diego Zoo
One of the world’s most famous zoos, the San Diego Zoo features a remarkable collection of animals in a variety of themed galleries. With the largest zoological membership association in the world, it’s supported by a passionate community of animal lovers. The 100-acre zoo has been operating since 1916, and is home to over 3,700 endangered and/or rare animals. It’s home to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is rich in both plant and animal species housed in a protected native species habitat.

Toronto Zoo
Located in Scarborough, Canada’s premier zoo features over 5,000 animals from more than 500 species. At over 700 acres it’s one of the world’s largest zoos, and features six miles of walking trails, an interactive kids’ wildlife experience, seven geographic regions and plenty of rides. Highlights include the gorilla rainforest, the giant panda experience, the Great Barrier Reef exhibit, and the Tundra Trek gallery featuring both underwater and above-ground viewing areas.

Denver Zoo
Since 1918, the Denver Zoo has been home to some of North America’s great animal exhibits. The zoo’s commitment to Carl Hagenbeck’s notion that animals should be seen without being impeded by bars or fences — but rather in a quasi-natural habitat — has long been embraced by the zoo. Get up close with animals via the Animal Adventures program, take a guided tour of the park, hand-feed giraffes at the Giraffe Encounter exhibit, step into the wild at the Primate Panorama, or experience the Bear Mountain national historic site, the zoo’s oldest exhibit.

Our Luxury Hotel Consultants Recommend:

 Palomar San Diego - Magellan Luxury Hotels

Park Hyatt Toronto - Magellan Luxury Hotels

The Ritz-Carlton, Denver - Magellan Luxury Hotels

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon running across the globe


The best way to pull off an epic run is to somehow make it fun. Granted, a 26.2-mile marathon (or even a 13.1-mile half marathon) isn’t always a barrel of laughs, but it doesn’t have to be a grueling, joyless ordeal either.

Every year, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series of events is host to more runners than any other running event in the U.S. And with good reason: the event stops in a number of cities across the U.S. and beyond such as Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. (They also happen to be plenty of fun.) Participants can choose between shorter runs — 5k, 10k, or portions of a relay – or go for the gusto with half or full marathons in any of the participating cities.

At every stop there’s a two-day health and fitness expo that features plenty of the latest in running technology, health and nutrition information, running gear and much more. Whether you’re only setting out for a 5k or doing the full marathon, it’s key to ensure you’re prepared as best as possible.

Like the feeling of pride that comes with wearing a medal around your neck? Check out the Run for the Bling feature, which allows runners participating in multiple Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon events to combine runs and earn special medals on the tour.

And yes, there’s actual rock ‘n’ roll (and more) to be heard — previous entertainers to have been featured at the finish line concert include the Goo Goo Dolls, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Brad Paisley, Train, Pat Benatar and more.

And while there’s plenty of great entertainment to be found before, during and after your run, you can also feel good knowing you’ve helped raise a portion of the $310+ million raised for various charities across the U.S.

  Our Luxury Hotel Consultants Recommend:

Omni San Diego Hotel - Magellan Luxury Hotels

Hotel 1000 - Magellan Luxury Hotels

Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park - Magellan Luxury Hotels

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