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San Diego Destination Spas

What better way to vacation?

San Diego is home to a collection of world-renowned spas that offer indulgent and effective treatments to soothe aches, revitalize cells, unwind ravaged nerves and help you ease into a San Diego state of mind.

By: Ann Wycoff; Food, Spa & Travel Writer

Treat Yourself to a Little Pampering

Many of the area hotels and resorts feature destination spas where you can spend the day enjoying the facilities, body treatments and salon services. We've listed a few favorites below for you to review. So go ahead, treat yourself to some much deserved TLC and you'll find yourself enjoying San Diego all the more.

Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa

The Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa faces the San Diego skyline with its 16-waterfront acres and elegant facilities. Nestled at the foot of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, the resort is within walking distance of the Ferry Landing Marketplace and the 18-hole Coronado Golf Course. In its luxurious Spa Coronado, guests have the unlimited use of saunas, a heated lap pool, all exercise classes, a state-of-the-art fitness room and an extensive menu of massage therapies and facial treatments.

Special Offerings:

  • Maternity Massage is soothing and gentle and designed to energize and harmonize a woman's body during pregnancy
  • Musclease Warming Ocean Wrap & Massage combines an invigorating body brush exfoliation, healing mud mask and full body massage
  • ELEMIS Invigoration Lime & Ginger Body Scrub stimulates the metabolism and tones the body, while a lime peel works to energize and cleanse the skin
  • Total Tropical Bliss Ritual tightens and firms from head to toe with a tropical body scrub, moisturizing body wrap and facial

Where to eat on- and off-site:

One need look no further than the resort's Current Restaurant for a special culinary experience featuring California coastal cuisine. Off the premises you will find the tropical island décor and fresh fish creations of Peohe's at the nearby Ferry Landing Marketplace.

Hotel del Coronado

The National Historic Landmark Hotel del Coronado, with its spectacular oceanfront location, grandiose Victorian architecture and antiques-filled interiors, pampers its guests as much with the beauty of exterior and interior surroundings, as with one of San Diego's most luxurious spas and fitness centers. Accomplished therapists provide Asian and European massages, including Shiatsu, aromatherapy, Swedish bodywork and reflexology, along with such detoxifying treatments as the Goddess of the Sea (a sea-inspired body wrap that begins with a gentle sea salt exfoliation followed by a body mask to detoxify and repair the skin) and complete beauty programs.

Special Offerings:

  • That's S'moré Couple's Massage: a side-by-side 50-minute Swedish massage in the couples suite. Then head out to the sand for a private beach bonfire complete with s'mores, champagne and spectacular Pacific views
  • Hot Stone Massage, Lomi Lomi, Table Thai or Vitamin Sea Facial
  • Tennis, golf on the nearby 18-hole Coronado Golf Course, games, sunbathing and surfing on 26 acres of white sand beach

Where to eat on- and off-site:

Specializing in a variety of cuisines, the resort's restaurants range from classic gourmet and coastal seafood fare to casual and an award-winning Sunday Brunch. Off the premises, the Chez Loma French Bistro will entice your palate with progressive French cuisine.

Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa

The Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, occupying 18 prime acres on San Diego's scenic Mission Bay, is the home of Spa Brezza, a full-service health spa and salon, as well as a fitness center featuring the latest state-of-the-art Precor equipment, men's and women's steam room, an indoor/outdoor meditation relaxation lounge and a private outdoor sundeck on the roof. Spa Brezza features more than 45 massage, facial, body, nail, hand and foot care treatments, a variety of spa packages and an exclusive spa menu just for children.

Special Offerings:

  • Sacred Stone Massage with heated volcanic river stones that penetrate to your deep muscles
  • Noble Massage that combines Pedisage, Swedish and Deep Tissue techniques to orchestrate the massage exactly where you want it
  • Milk & Honey Body Wrap features antioxidant-rich milk and honey to help regenerate damaged tissue, deflect free radicals and improve skin tone and elasticity

Where to eat on- and off-site:

In a relaxed waterfront setting, the Hilton's Acqua offers New American Cuisine on an outdoor terrace overlooking Mission Bay with fire pits that are ideal to enjoy an evening cocktail or romantic dinner. Off the premises, about a 10-15 minute drive north is the award-winning Fleming's Prime Steak House & Wine Bar, which serves superbly prepared American prime beef.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines

The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla provides a harmonious convergence of all its elements, set on one of the world's most famous golf courses and within the boundaries of a resort town that rivals the French Riviera. The inspiring craftsmanship and beauty of its architecture, art-filled interiors and landscaped surroundings reinforce the pleasures of its fine restaurants and its world-class spa. The latter offers holistic treatments enhanced by the use of natural marine and botanical products, some locally harvested and others from the lines of Phytomer, SkinCeuticals, NV Organics and Farmhouse Fresh.

Special Offerings:

  • Purifying and detoxifying Coastal Sage Scrub performed in the Vichy shower
  • Scrubs, wraps and massages that draw on spa traditions from various cultures
  • Facials, hydrotherapy, sauna, aromatherapy inhalation
  • Herbal-infused steam rooms and a private meditation room
  • Hiking through the nearby Torrey Pines State Reserve; playing golf on the world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course; aerobic, cardiovascular and strength training; relaxing or working out on the beach and in the ocean; and swimming laps in the resort's junior-Olympic size pool

Where to eat on- and off-site:

The Lodge at Torrey Pines is attracting praise and awards for its signature restaurant, A.R. Valentien, which astounds guests with its inspired cuisine featuring seasonal, fresh produce, fish and other ingredients grown and caught in the surrounding region. Off the premises, Torreyana Grille at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines just next door offers wonderful California coastal cuisine. The charming village of La Jolla offers a wide variety of restaurants, varying in price and ambiance. The award-winning George's at the Cove is sure to please guests with its ocean views and three levels of dining options.

Loews Coronado Bay Resort

Loews Coronado Bay Resort offers a true escape from the every day. The sound of the ocean soothes your mind as experienced professionals treat your body to exclusive treatments ranging from island-inspired body wraps to tropical sea stone massages to the relaxing Vichy Rain Shower. In addition to spa treatments, enjoy a full-service beauty salon, sauna, steam rooms, a tranquil relaxation lounge and beautiful spa patio with jacuzzi.

Special Offerings:

  • Signature Sea Spa Massage: a rhythmic, flowing massage based on the traditions of Bali that recall the movement of waves, lulling you into a balanced state of mind
  • Sweetheart Retreat Package with a couples massage, pedicure and champagne 
  • State-of-the-art fitness center offering classes in fitness, relaxation and meditation including yoga, pilates, dance fusion and more

Where to eat on- and off-site:

Loews Coronado Bay Resort offers four restaurants including the elegant Mistral, featuring modern French cuisine made from responsibly grown ingredients to create robust, intense flavors in every dish. Seasonal menus highlight herbs and vegetables from dozens of nearby farming communities as well as the resort’s own 3,800-square-foot organic garden. Off the premises and a short drive to the picturesque Ferry Landing Marketplace is Peohe's Restaurant, with its spectacular view of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline and an extensive menu featuring fresh tropical seafood dishes influenced by Pacific Rim flavors.

Paradise Point

Paradise Point on Mission Bay takes advantage of its lush, tropical garden setting to create a healing ambiance for its guests. Single-level bungalows with private patios and landscaped lawns overlooking the bay contribute to the serenity of this Southern California retreat. The Spa's decor and treatment techniques transport guests to the culture and traditional rituals of exotic islands around the world.

Special Offerings:

  • Island Fresh Sugar Glow treatment starts with a gentle exfoliation derived from raw sugar crystals and finishes with a body butter application gently massaged into your skin
  • Balinese Massage combines Swedish massage with Lomi Lomi, Acupressure and Indian Ayruvedic techniques to relax muscles and reduce stress
  • Moraccan Oil Scalp Treatment uses argan and essential oils of geranium and lavender to relax and balance the scalp while revitalizing your hair

Where to eat on- and off site:

One of Paradise Point's main attractions is its Tidal Restaurant. Surrounded by a tropical garden and set on the edge of Mission Bay, Tidal delights guests with its local seafood, wood-roasted meats and irresistible desserts, which have earned it a mention in The New York Times as "one of the best kept secrets in San Diego." Off the premises, Old Town, a 5-10 minute drive away, has a number of restaurants offering traditional Mexican food, seafood specialties and lively mariachi entertainment.

Rancho Bernardo Inn

The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn provides a variety of treatments that can be experienced in their outdoor garden oasis or five temperature-controlled outdoor treatment casitas. In addition to a treatment, enjoy their 2,500 sq. ft. saline spa pool, poolside cabanas and state-of-the-art fitness center.

Special Offerings:

  • Essential Oil Body Melt starts with a full-body dry brushing followed by an application of rosemary and citrus-infused oil that is melted into the skin with gently warmed stones
  • Vanilla & Chai Body Wrap and Foot Renewal envelops you in a shea butter and vanilla body mask cocoon while a chai and vanilla foot massage is performed
  • Arctic Berry Renewal Facial layers three uniquely formulated products that work in harmony as an advanced resurfacing treatment
  • Classic Sports Massage uses a blend of arnica, green tea and white willow bark extract for a deep therapeutic massage to stimulate muscle repair
  • Championship 18-hole golf course

Where to eat on- and off-site:

Rancho Bernardo Inn's newest restaurant is Avant, serving flavors fresh from the sea, farm and garden. In nearby Escondido, enjoy Stone Brewing's World Bistro & Gardens, where the ingredients are locally fresh and naturally raised, tossed liberally with spices, unique sauces and influences from around the world...and the beer isn't too bad either, having been named "All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth" by BeerAdvocate magazine—Twice!

Manchester Grand Hyatt

Located on San Diego Bay adjacent to San Diego's downtown Gaslamp Quarter, you'll find Iconic, a Marilyn Monroe Spa at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Full body massages that refresh and relax, facials using only the highest quality natural ingredients, manicures and pedicures, hair styling, rejuvenation treatments that transform your skin and much more, are all offered in a stunning environment overlooking the San Diego Bay.

If you're looking for a destination spa in the heart of the city, the Marilyn Monroe Spa is definitely worth a look.

Special Offerings:

  • Swedish Massage
  • Couples Massage - Poolside
  • Body Wraps and Lava Flow Facials
  • Makeup Applications and Salon Cut & Blow Dry Services

Where to eat on- and off-site:

The Manchester Grand Hyatt has great in-house dining options including Sally's Fish House & Bar and Lael's Restaurant. The Spa is also within walking distance of the Gaslamp Quarter with ample dining opportunities.

Golden Door

The Golden Door opened in 1958 and soon became the standard to which all other spas have aspired ever since. Founded by the legendary guru of "wholeness," Deborah Szekely, the Golden Door combines the natural beauty of its surroundings with the harmonious elegance of its Japanese-style architecture, ornamental floral displays and fine artworks. The moment guests enter its bejeweled gates, the spa envelops them in a beautiful and health-promoting environment—from its state-of-the-art amenities to the excellent presentation, flavors and nutritional value of its gourmet meals, prepared with ingredients freshly picked from the Golden Door's own organic gardens.

Special Offerings:

  • The Sunday-to-Sunday program aimed at shedding bad habits and building energy and self-confidence through joyous activities is described by guests as "a life-renewing experience"
  • Meditative exercise sessions such as Yoga, T'ai Chi and Pilates
  • Classes exploring creativity and answers to philosophical, spiritual and intellectual questions
  • The Golden Door Facial includes deep cleansing, relaxation, wrinkle-reduction and revitalization

L'Auberge Del Mar Spa

L'Auberge Del Mar Spa is a state-of-the-art spa taking full advantage of the resort's location: a few steps from a beach and oceanside park and near the spectacular hiking trails of the Torrey Pines State Reserve. The spa treatments draw on the healing wonders of the ocean. Body purification programs, body scrubs, peels and polishes, and various kinds of massages contribute to the spa experience.

Special Offerings:

  • Sea Salt Citrus Glow purifies and detoxifies the body with sea salt extracted from the Pacific Ocean
  • Coastal Rejuvenation is their signature California Coast body scrub that increases circulation followed by a muscle relieving body wrap
  • L’Auberge Signature Massage which is customized especially for your needs
  • Proximity to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Polo Fields, the seasonal San Diego Fairgrounds and fine shopping at the upscale Del Mar Plaza

Where to eat on- and off-site:

At L'Auberge you need go no further for a good meal than its Kitchen 1540, which showcases local, organic produce, free-range meat and seafood from exclusively sustainable sources. The resort's Coastline Restaurant and Bleu Bar fill in daily, during the off-hours. For off-the-premises dining, just cross the street to the posh Del Mar Plaza, where Pacifica Del Mar will tempt you with fresh seafood; and Il Fornaio, with fine Italian cuisine.

Las Rocas Resort & Spa

Las Rocas Resort & Spa is offering European-style treatments in a sunny, oceanfront setting in Baja California, where nature is part of the rejuvenation process. This is a self-contained resort, complete with fine restaurants and a lounge.

Special Offerings:

  • Las Rocas Signature Rock Massage incorporates deep tissue movements with firm and tender strokes with heated rocks to rid you of stress and knots
  • Fusion Massage features Eucalyptus compresses, warm rocks, deep tissue and aromatherapy in their signature massage
  • Margarita Pedicure soaks your feet and legs in tequila elixir and exfoliates with a polish of seaweed and lemon

Rancho La Puerta

Rancho La Puerta is where, in 1940, Deborah Szekely and her scientist husband, Edmond Szekely, originally developed their revolutionary ideas on how to create well-balanced lifestyles by combining holistic health, nutrition, exercise and spiritual awareness. But even though it would take half a century before their programs were accepted by mainstream practitioners, Rancho La Puerta—on its spectacular 3,000 acres of rugged countryside in Tecate, Mexico, just three miles south of the U.S. border—not only flourished, but enabled the creation of the Golden Door in San Diego. Emulating its sister spa's week-long program structure, Rancho La Puerta specializes in various massage therapies including sports massage; reflexology; hydrotherapy; herbal and aromatherapy wraps; alignment, balance and coordination exercises; dance and Pilates-based workouts; self-defense and weights training; yoga, meditation and T'ai Chi; and hiking experiences that range from leisurely garden walks and meditation hikes, to 7-mile mountain climbs and three-day hiking programs. Rancho La Puerta's Learning to Live Younger and Longer includes educational sessions with the expert staff on the vegetarian approach to health, as well as on how to eat for cancer-prevention, a healthy heart, overcoming stress or staying healthy while traveling.

Special Offerings:

  • Mountain Sage Hot Stone Massage features warmed, smooth river stones with mountain sage oil to gently detoxify, calm and ground your energy
  • Seaweed Wrap is a detoxifying seaweed thermal wrap that improves circulation and helps skin cells function with greater efficiency
  • Rosemary Loofah Salt Glow utilizes crushed rosemary from their garden blended with organic oil, salt, honey and oatmeal for an invigorating massage with a natural loofah to thoroughly cleanse the pores
  • Scalp Treatment enhances circulation to hair follicles and provides roots with oxygen and nutrients for better hair texture, shine and suppleness. The treatment also includes a neck and shoulder massage, as well as a mini-facial

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