Santa Catalina Island – Island SPA Catalina

Catalina SPA_1853CatalineSpaLounge_1859During your visit to Santa Catalina Island you must include an appointment at The Island Spa Catalina. It is located inside the historical El Encanto building and is Catalina Island’s first ever destination resort spa. They offer a variety of treatments and rejuvenating therapies with intrinsic island botanicals. It is 15,000 square feet of spacious newly renovated indoor and outdoor space with nine treatment rooms, luxurious lounges, and a large soaking pool and vista deck.  In keeping with the vibe of the island you can request treatments like the Sea of Life Facial, Catalina Classic Botanical Massage as well as specialty showers, a dry inhalation sauna and eucalyptus steam room.


CatalinaSpaPool_1860CatalinaSpaRoomCatalinaSpaExercise_1867Before or after your treatment spend some relaxing time at a variety of local artisan shops where you can purchase gifts, clothing, and handmade spa-inspired products and in case I did not mention, enjoy a meal at the new Encanto Café. The café serves a light breakfast, offers a lunch menu along with fresh juices, smoothies, wine, champagne, coffee and tea.


Follow my next blog where we will explore other activity options and much more.

Santa Catalina beckons! Just come, relax, heal and rejuvenate the mind and body.


Rosa L. McArthur, CMP

Meeting Planners Plus



Catalina Island – The Inn on Mount Ada


Once you disembark the ferry in Avalon look up and to your left you will see the newly renovated Inn on Mt Ada.  It was once the home of William Wrigley, Jr. and it was named in honor of his wife Ada.  It is a six guestroom mansion overlooking the Avalon Bay with impressive views of Catalina Island, Avalon and the Pacific Ocean. A wrap around terrace allows for spectacular views from various angles.

I think of the Inn as an all-inclusive Bed and Breakfast with a complimentary Butler’s Pantry which is available throughout the day.  The Inn serves a hearty breakfast each morning and offers a seasonal lunch menu planned especially by the company’s executive chef.  Every evening a great selection of appetizers are served and paired with wines from all over the world. A complimentary shuttle will pick you up at whatever your arrival point on the island. And, for your convenience a golf cart is provided upon check-in to get you to and fro around the island.

2014-10-28_1500Duri2014-10-28_1038ng your stay think of the Inn on Mt Ada as a home away from home. The downstairs has a den which was once the pool room of Mr. Wrigley. It has been converted into a beautiful den with a cozy fireplace, bar and game table. The room steps out to the glassed-in sun porch where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Village of Avalon and the bay.

If you are thinking about a visit to Santa Catalina think of the Inn on Mount Ada.  Make your reservations quickly because it books fast. I understand it is also available for buyouts. To me that means small business retreats and family events.


 Santa Catalina beckons with yet another lodging option.


By: Rosa L. McArthur, CMP

Meeting Planners Plus

Santa Catalina Island – Lodging


catalinaatwatersingleTCatalinaAtwaterlobbyhe Atwater Hotel – Some of the larger hotels on the island are located in Avalon steps from the Avalon Boat Terminal where your ferry docks.  You have the newly renovated Hotel Atwater, built in the 1920’s and offers a variety of room types from economy to suites. It is a hop, jump, and a skip from the docks, as well as the heart of town. This hotel is known for its charm and keeping with the character of the island. There are no elevators in this hotel and all their rooms are located on the second and third floors of the property accessible by stairs. So, pack light!

CatalinaPavilion-1CatalinapavilionRoom-2CatalinaPavilionroomThe Pavilion Hotel – Even closer to the Avalon Boat Terminal is The Pavilion Hotel known for its exceptional service and outstanding value. It is just 14 steps from the beach. You’ll enjoy wonderful tropical gardens and convenient access to all of Avalon. There are many amenities to dazzle their guests.  In the evenings enjoy the large inviting fire ring in the outdoor ocean view lounge. Every morning look forward to a European breakfast plus a complimentary wine and cheese tasting reception every evening from 4:30 to 5:30 pm to help round out your day.

 CatalinaMetropoleFrontCatalinaMetropoleCatalinaMetropoleJacuzziThe Metropole – Centrally located in the heart of Avalon, and just steps from the beach is the Metropole Hotel known as a perfect place for a getaway or small meeting. Stunning oceanfront suites with fireplaces, Jacuzzi baths, and balconies overlook the beach. The hotel has been recently remodeled and offers free Wi-Fi, robes and slippers for every room. The rooftop Jacuzzi has stunning views of the harbor. The Metropole has a reputation for friendly and charming service. The Metropole Market Place is connected to the hotel and offers the advantages of a Spa, shopping, and the Metropole Café. The courtyard is delightful and a great place to spend some time.

Follow our next blog where we will tell you about the newly renovated Inn on Mount Ada with a plethora of amenities.


Catalina beckons! So come.

Rosa L. McArthur, CMP

Meeting Planners Plus

Santa Catalina Island – The Catalina Casino

CasinoPhotoCasinoCatalinaLampThe Catalina Casino is one of the imposing structures you will see when you first enter Avalon. It has been the focal point of Santa Catalina Island since it opened on May 29, 1929, over eighty years ago. The Catalina Casino has been the venue of choice for great entertainers, live theater productions, and first-run motion pictures. Step foot in the restored Art Deco circular icon, enjoy the original murals, furnishings, photos and experience the feeling you have traveled back in time. Enjoy your trip down memory lane where you can easily visualize the time when bands were big and movies were transitioning from silence to sound.

CatalinaCircularBallroomCatalinaCasinoBallroomCatalinaBigBandTo date the venue hosts most of Catalina’s major indoor events and is well known as  the location of the Catalina Island Jazz Festival. The large circular world famous ballroom is available year round for private and corporate events. Some of the best views of Avalon are seen from the ballroom’s Romance Promenade which is considered the most romantic spot in Avalon.

You can take the Casino Walking Tour, Behind the Scenes Casino Tour, and enjoy a short film which highlights the history of the building and learn its connection to Hollywood.

movie-6movie-7movie-5Located on the lower level of the Catalina Casino is the Avalon Theatre which still shows first-run movies nightly starting at 7:30 pm. The theatre seats 1,184 people and is 138 feet across and 43 feet high.  Art deco murals created by John Gabriel Beckman adorn the walls and create a stunning ambiance.  A testament to the history of this place is the 1929 pipe organ built by the Page Organ Company of Lima, Ohio. You can hear it being played every Friday and Saturday evening, one hour before the movie starts.

Catalina Beckons! Come See for Yourself.



By: Rosa L. McArthur, CMP

Meeting Planners Plus

Santa Catalina Island – Southern California’s Island Oasis

CatalinaArial-2CatalinaAiralCasinoA bit of trivia, did you know that Santa Catalina Island is the southernmost island of the Channel Islands of California? I did not realize they stretched that far! It is just 22 miles south southwest of the City of Los Angeles. Many people know it as the island once owned by the William J. Wrigley Family which was purchased by him in 1919. Yes, you are right, the chewing gum person and owner of the Chicago Cubs. The destination has a rich and storied history, where movies were made (especially between the 30’s and the 50’s), movie stars lived, baseball team practiced (Chicago Cubs), couples fell in love and major galas and Jazz Festivals were staged.



CatalinaFlyerCatalinaDockRecently the Island has undergone a renaissance which is visibly seen as soon as you come ashore. Most people travel to the island by ferry. The Catalina Flyer departs from Newport Beach and the Catalina Express offers service from Dana Point, Long Beach and San Pedro.  You can conveniently book your tickets online. Just sit back and relax; you will enjoy the ride.

Santa Catalina Island is made up of two towns, the incorporated town of Avalon to the east end and unincorporated town Two Harbors to the west end. Outside of the two towns is a rugged wilderness with majestic beauty, owned and operated by the Catalina Island Conservancy. The Island is 22 miles long and 8 miles across. The Catalina Island Airport allows helicopter and private planes to land which is another way to access the island.


Catalina Island golf cartsCatalinaAvalonPoemSo leave behind the rush of city life and enjoy the slow island life of Santa Catalina. Miniature cars to deal with, just bikes, golf carts and walking.

The island is a great leisure destination but it also works well for small meetings, board meetings, retreats and team building programs. The island also offers a variety of hotels, restaurants, and shopping options.

For a small island there is a lot to talk about. Follow my next few blogs as we explore, places to see, things to do, where to stay and the fabulous Island Spa that just opened recently.

Santa Catalina beckons!  Just Come.


By Rosa L. McArthur, CMP

Meeting Planners Plus

National American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID)


For the first time the U.S. and Mexico have joined Canada, the originators of the North American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID), which was commemorated on Thursday, April 16th.  The purpose of this event was to make a powerful statement on the value and strength of the global meetings industry. Twenty years ago the Canadian Chapters of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) came together to create this event. The Meetings Mean Business (MMB) campaign creates an information and advocacy platform that underscores the industry’s role in not only driving business success but creating jobs and generating economic value.

Successful events where held at various locations throughout the United States including Southern California. If you missed attending an event this year, please keep an eye out for upcoming events. Since next year will be the second NAMID program we expect more programs and greater participation.

Meetings Mean Business is organized around three pillars:

  • Personal Connections – stresses the benefits of in-person meetings and events
  • Positive Business Outcomes – create a set of tools that better measure industry ROI
  • Strong Communities – encourages all to join the campaign


By: Rosa L. McArthur, CMP



Success – Achievement of Something Desired

Definition of Success circle


The expectation these days is that every man, woman and child should achieve success, and as fast as possible. How do you define success? It can be elusive, which is understandable because the meaning of success can vary from person to person. Even the dictionary uses various words to define success.  However, the widely accepted definition refers to success as the attainment of wealth, position, honor, fame, power, or the like.

Many have learned over the years as their own values develop that success is not merely achieved by the amount of money you amass in life, or the material possessions you have, or even the fame, glory and honor heaped upon you. I have observed that for many these things can sometimes lead to failure and not success. Individual success is within the grasp of each one of us, but to achieve it requires initiative and effort. Here we are at the beginning of a new year where most people focus on setting new goals and achieving them, perhaps we could consider another definition for success which I prefer because it aligns better with my values.


SUCCESS: The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted, usually attributed to hard work. Without a doubt this will help us to stay on track achieving our goals for 2015.



By: Rosa L. McArthur, CMP

Success Connected to Failure

SUCCESS = Failures, Achievements, and Recovery

Failure is not a word that we usually associate with success. It is considered on opposite ends of the spectrum. However, like me you have probably learned that it plays a huge role in being successful.  If you run a business like I do then learning that early on becomes very important.  For me it was difficult to talk about my successes and even harder to talk about my failures. That was probably because of my definition of the word success, and for sure it did not include failure. So, what should you do?

Life passes quickly, and in the interest of time I have learned that you must transition fast through the failure phases, and acknowledge that there will be more than one.  Linger long enough to learn from your mistakes, make the needed adjustments, forgive when needed and that includes yourself, and move quickly to recovery mode. This is not always easy but you have to constantly look for resources. It may come as a surprise but they are numerous and sometimes even closer than you think. Failure has been known to give you the determination and drive needed to be successful.

Henry Ford in Suit


Henry Ford once said, “FAILURE is the OPPORTUNITY to begin AGAIN, only  more INTELLIGENTLY”.  And I say, “FAILFURE KEEPS YOU GOING“.  Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way!  If need be always look for ways to reinvent yourself, never give up.


SUCCESS Not Just a Notion!



By: Rosa L. McArthur, CMP


Success Connected to Values

SUCCESS: The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted, usually attributed to hard work.

My success as a professional meeting and event planner is linked to many things; my client’s satisfaction with the outcome of their program and that of the participants, the relationships that are built along the way, the work that I enjoy and value, and of great importance is my own sense of achievement in producing an event that exceeded expectations.

Over the years it has become important to reevaluate and clearly define my own values. This has helped me to better understand and appreciate what I want to achieve in life and learn what it takes to live a life of satisfaction and contentment. Success for me is a continual process which is achieved on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Contrary to what many might think it can be attained without wealth, position, honor, fame or the like. You must set goals and you must achieve them. Your goals should  be aligned with your core values.


Einstein Photo

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of values” 

Albert Einstein




Now that we are in the New Year 2015 some start off with a fresh new approach. To accomplish their goals many make resolutions others promises. But whatever your approach it is easier when you focus on what you value. It makes the achievement much more meaningful.

Try these SIX key steps to accomplish your goals:

  1. Deeply desire the goal
  2. Visualize having achieved the goal
  3. Create a plan
  4. Write down your goals
  5. Establish your own personal timeline
  6. Review your overall progress on a regular basis

Remember Success is not Just a Notion!  

By: Rosa L. McArthur


Healthy Travels – After Check-in

Now What? You are probably thinking, I made it to my room and now I am home free.  No germs here! Not so fast, there is more work to be done to stay healthy while traveling. This neat well-appointed room you just checked into might not be as germ free as you think.  What do you need to do to protect yourself and that of your family?  First, inspect the room.  A good place to start is in the bathroom and do not hesitate to use your disinfectant wipes.


Hotel CancunHotelroomNPBbathroom-Jamaicahotelbathroom





The following suggestions are also helpful:

  1. If your water glasses are not sealed and pre-wrapped and your ice bucket does not have a plastic liner wash them both with hot soapy water.
  2. Put your remote controls in a clear plastic bag during your stay.
  3. Use your luggage rack instead of your bed when going through your luggage. As the expression goes you don’t know where that luggage has been especially if you checked your luggage with the airlines.
  4. Examine your sheets for any signs of bedbugs. If anything looks unusual alert hotel management right away.
  5. Avoid using your bed spread during your stay as it is not likely to have been washed or changed recently.
  6. If for some reason this is not possible fold the cover back and use the top sheet between you and the cover.
  7. Especially if you have allergies stay away from the drapes. They tend to trap debris and allergens.
  8. Wear slippers or socks and avoid sitting on the furniture where your skin has direct contact with chairs and sofas.
  9. Before you shower rinse the tub with hot water and shampoo;
  10. Unless you give the tub a good scrubbing it might be a good idea to skip taking a bath.

Remember these suggestions should be applied at any hotel. High end properties are no exception. And don’t forget to check your online hotel reviews, they can be very helpful in setting your expectations.

Healthy Travels!


By Rosa L. McArthur, CMP