Catalina Hotel and Beach Club with Japanese Gardens was the place to party New Year’s Eve with host Karina Smirnoff of Dancing with the Stars. Karina won the thirteenth season of the show with soap opera star J.R. Martinez of All My Children, and has danced on the show countless seasons with many celebrities. Gerry Kelly, event planner extraordinaire created a stupendous event as usual. Gerry is known for his theatrical extravaganzas.
The theme of the event was a Studio 54 party. There were three concurrent venues. The lobby was transformed into a 1970’s disco, complete with disco balls hanging from the ceiling, a dance floor with changing color light squares. Think of the movie, Saturday Night Fever. Upstairs on the roof top a DJ was spinning tunes. The weather was just perfect, with a slight breeze and the sky was clear with a beautiful moon. Outside facing the street was the popular versatile band the Spam All-Stars who played the entire night long.
The beautifully designed Japanese gardens were a welcome respite from the excitement. Wonderful bamboos swayed in the breeze while Japanese Koi fish swam peacefully in the pond. The area is well lit for nighttime lounging and drinking. A large courtyard pool with tables and chairs was a nice place to feast on the buffet.
The buffet was a welcome healthy delight. Trays of thinly sliced herb and vinaigrette cucumbers, mounds of carrot salad, marinated baby corn, red peppers with cauliflower, assorted cheeses, a romaine Caesar salad were continuously offered. Hot selections included sliders, seafood ravioli and more.
Katrina Smirnoff arrived with an entourage and gracefully posed for photos on the red carpet. Unlike other celebrity hosts, she stayed for hours and was gracious, pleasant and accessible. It was a magical evening that was a great way to spend New Year’s Eve.
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