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Whether you're an adventurous traveler or homebody, the good news is that some of the world's most spectacular luxury spas are right here in San Diego.
For seven years I had the privilege of writing for Spa Magazine, a dream job and portal to the finest sanctuaries of health, wellness and pampering across the globe. Having visited over 300 spas from The Big Island and Bali to Palm Desert and Pebble Beach, I have experienced a wealth of treatments—my skin slathered in honey and exotic muds, my body cocooned in aloe and algae wraps, my feet dipped in rose-petal baths, and my face covered in lotions and potions. Some of the world's most spectacular spas are right here in San Diego and here are some of my favorites.
This elegant European-styled resort (think marble palace) is committed to exceeding expectations in service, style and experience, and their luxury spa is no exception to this ethos. Here you'll find five-star service, excellent therapists and thoughtful treatments like MDL, gentle immunity boosting lymphatic drainage therapy; exhilarating Vichy showers with skin-softening scrubs; or custom body work for golfers featuring hot clay wraps, aromatic oils and massage to increase range of motion. After, relax with tea and gourmet bites while lounging on day beds in the fire-lit lounge. San Diego's master hair stylist Haim Knister holds court in the salon next door. Luxury abounds.
This spa refuge is that perfect antidote to the high energy, bustling ambiance of the seaside Victorian-styled resort. Unwind on the spa terrace with its private vanishing-edge pool and views of lapping waves. Inside, hydrating oxygen facials, tropical sugar scrubs and Hawaiian lomi-lomi massage await. Couples should indulge in That's S'More—a side-by-side Swedish massage followed by a romantic bonfire on the beach with s'mores, champagne and a blanket of stars above.
Upstairs at SpaTerre at the Kona Kai Resort, you'll find a trio of mani/pedi thrones with built-in massage chairs, while downstairs an ocean-inspired theme of blue and white colors the stylish treatment rooms. Signature therapies focus on the exotic such as the Thai Herbal Therapy, which employs a heated aromatic poultice of medicinal herbs to warm the muscles, or their Javanese Royal Treatment, a redolent ritual for Indonesian brides that combines a heavenly massage with jasmine-frangipani oil, a turmeric spice scrub and rose petal bath. Spa Terre also has a unique Crystal Quartz Table so you feel as though you are lying in warm sand that both detoxifies and conforms to the body during the massage. Say Spaaaaaahhh.
Even before the property's glorious $30 million renovation, The Spa at Rancho Valencia had already stolen my heart with its hacienda charm. Here, you'll find lush greenery against terra cotta walls, gurgling fountains and flickering fireplaces, tufted pinstriped cabanas and Southern California's most splendiferous yoga nook—an open-air, Brazilian hardwood studio that overlooks a reflective pool and grove of eucalyptus. Start your spa experience with sun salutations to birdsong, and then dip into a warm pool for a Watsu session, shiatsu and stretching while afloat, a buoyant out-of-body experience. Next, get horizontal by the pool and sip cold-pressed Suja juices and enjoy farm fresh fare. A perfect day indeed.
This seminal spa has been rocking it since 1965 and greets the modern day with great panache. The sprawling, 43,000-square foot, white-walled compound hosts a sunny al fresco sanctuary with outdoor Roman waterfalls for a true hydromassage, pool and hot tub, a reflexology stone walkway and tropical gardens laced with birds of paradise. Girlfriends love to gather for Bellinis and gourmet healthy repast between rejuvenating acai berry facials, Thai massages or hydrating body wraps.
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Are you ready for a long weekend in San Diego? Book your 3-day weekend and and save up to 50% on Sunday. Bike along the La Jolla coastline. Soak up the sun on the beach. Wander through the zoo,...
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