Today marks the first heat advisory of the season. It’s gonna be a long, hot summer folks. And like most Valley dwellers, I’m already planning a summer jaunt westward. From the balmy beaches to the grape-covered hills of wine country, California hides a bevy of acclaimed resort spa destinations, each with distinctive styles and offerings that celebrate the surroundings. If a trip to the Golden State is in your future, consider a stop at one of these relaxing destinations.
Spa La Quinta at La Quinta Resort & Club
49-499 Eisenhower Drive
La Quinta, CA
Health, healing and the pursuit of relaxation are among the top attractions of the Palm Springs valley. Leading the pack is Spa La Quinta, a quintessential retreat where lush citrus trees and a mountain backdrop create an other-worldly aura. The hacienda-style spa boasts of 23,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, 37 treatment rooms, amenities galorefrom open-air Swiss showers to a fireside hot tuband the Yamaguchi salon where feng shui is interpreted in the holistic beauty services. With treatments ranging from wildly relaxing to deeply therapeutic, the best way to experience this spa is with a La Quinta Combination. The Champion’s Choice combo for example, caters to sport buffs and pairs a Garden Tub bath soak with a PGA West Golf Massage or Desert Match Tennis Massage.
North San Diego
The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Aviara
7100 Four Seasons Point
Romance reigns at this recently expanded European-inspired oasis, where a luxurious couple’s suite tops the list of specialty touches. At nearly 15,000 square feet, the spa and fitness center houses 20 indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, a relaxation solarium and the Jos Eber Salon for hair and nail services. The crowning couple’s suitealso perfect for bridal showers and private partiesis decked in comforts like a marble fireplace, side-by-side massage tables, a double shower and French doors that open to a private patio and oversized whirlpool. For a seasonal indulgence, try the Lavender Escape, an essential oil cleansing and massage ritual laced with deeply calming aromas and completed with a lavender gift.
Bliss at the W Los Angeles, Westwood
930 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA
By injecting the spa experience with a blast of good clean fun, Bliss creator and New Yorker Marcia Kilgore is credited for rounding up a younger generation of spa goers. And with the recently opened Bliss at the W Los Angeles Westwood hotel, jetting off to the East Coast is no longer necessary for a rendezvous with “Miss Bliss” (the trademark Bliss girl caricature). All 7,000 square feet of Bliss L.A. radiate with a modern vibe, from the 10 treatment rooms to the hip mani-pedi lounge where guests can zone out to a DVD on one of three personal flat screen TVs. Rhythm and blues tunes are piped into the mens and womens lounges, where grass-tiled steam showers and a brownie buffet (yes, you read that right) await. Favorites among the cleverly compiled service list include the complexion-reviving Triple Oxygen Treatment, Carrot & Sesame Body Buff and Hot Milk & Almond Pedicure. P.S., Bliss is coming soon to Scottsdale’s new W Hotel — we’ll keep you posted!
Kelly’s Spa the Mission Inn Hotel
3649 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501
Tucked beneath the sprawling wings of the Mission Inn, Kelly’s Spa offers a delectable retreat from the moment you step a tired toe across its threshold. On arrival, you’ll choose one of the fresh fruit elixirs or ease into the experience with a sparkling glass of champagne. Start your interlude with Kellys Tuscan Honey Facial. The 50-minute treat features pure organic Tuscan honey to reduce redness while plumping and nourishing skin. You’ll catch hints of baked apple crisp, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and nutmeg as the anti-aging lotions and potions deliver vital minerals to delicate facial skin.
One, The Spa at Shutters on the Beach
One Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA
Beachcombers can immerse themselves in the nautical nurturing of One, located at the historical Shutters on the Beach and just minutes from the Santa Monica Pier. Designed to capture the feel of the 1930s yachting scene, the ship-shape retreat features six treatment rooms, including two wet rooms equipped with tropical rain showers and a separate area for manicures and pedicures. Vintage brass portholes grace the relaxation room doors where couples can share a dip in the coed sauna and steam rooms. Created under the watchful eye of celebrity skincare guru Ole Henriksen, must-try menu items include the Pore Baby Facial, Sea You Soon four-phase body treatment and the signature Nature Baby treatment that incorporates freshly grated cucumber, organic honey and warm milk to deeply hydrate sun-parched skin.
The Spa at Pebble Beach
1518 Cypress Drive
Pebble Beach, CA
If a romp on the greens is on your vacation itinerary, the Pebble Beach Resorts that dot the Monterey Peninsula are a must. Not only are the golf courses spectacular but the 22,000-square-foot spa offers a haven for luxury spa seekers. Located adjacent to Casa Palermo Resort on the first fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Mediterranean-style spa hides 25 therapy rooms, a private pool, whirlpool, salon and a menu that celebrates both the sea and the rolling greens that shape the area. A must before any treatment is the one-of-a-kind Pebble Beach Signature Shower where a symphony of water heads work to invigorate muscles and circulation. Among the signature services is the Rosemary Microderm Body Treatment where hand-applied crystal cream buffs skin to a healthy glow and the Post-Golf Therapy massage to keep guests in top game form.
The Spa at Villagio Inn & Spa
6481 Washington Street
Wine country revelers will no doubt need a soft landing spot between wine tastings, and Villagio Inn & Spa answers the call with an atmosphere draped in Tuscan elegance and a spa menu rich in grape-inspired treatments. Located in the heart of Napa Valley, the inn houses an intimate 3,500-square-foot spa with 10 treatment rooms, a fitness center, a 40-foot private outdoor lap pool and distinctive touches like cucumber-scented chilled towels. Specialties of the house include the Elemental Body Polish using crushed Napa Valley grape seeds and Essence of the Valley Pedicure using wine therapy and seasonal herbs.
The Carneros Inn
4048 Sonoma Highway
Napa, CA 94559
This PlumpJack resort boasts a lush spa retreat that sits high atop a gorgeous view of the surrounding vineyards. Rather than listing spa treatments by type, the Spa at Carneros Inn offers treatments by the natural themes that pervade the wine countryside harvests, minerals, cellars, farms and creeks. Feeling pastoral? Try a farm-inspired therapy like the Soothing Goat Butter Wrap or the Mustard Seed Massage. After treatments, guests are draped in warm robes and sip on their choice of infused waters or teas.
ont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
100 Boyes Boulevard
Sonoma, CA 95476
One of the few spas in the United States with its own source of thermal mineral water, natural mineral waters flow directly beneath this Northern wine country destination. Amidst the elegant 40,000-square-foot retreat, guests can indulge in a Chardonnay Olive Oil Sugar Scrub, Grape Seed Body Polish or one of more than 50 other revitalizing and relaxing treatments.