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Walnut Creek Magazine


Feb 28, 2019 08:53AM ● By Fran Miller


California has some of the best wellness retreats in the world; a bounty of impeccable resorts that cater to every need. They pamper you, nourish you, and pour you flutes of Veuve. There are sparkling pools, relaxing spas, lavish suites, and fancy shops to browse, all in chic settings. When you’re ready for a little self-indulgence, here are some luxe sanctuaries for a weekend escape. 


Dazzling destinations dot the lush Coachella Valley, where a stunning calm soothes the soul. First opened in 1926, legendary La Quinta Resort— now part of the Waldorf Astoria family — has a storied history as a Hollywood hideaway. With decades of experience, the seasoned staff know how to indulge and to pamper their guests.

Poolside casitas sit against the backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains on forty-five gorgeous acres. Inside the Spanish-style bungalows, you’ll find plush beds, flat screen TV’s, Ferragamo toiletries, and Keurig coffee makers. Outside cool off in one of resort’s 41 pools or play a round of golf on a PGA West championship course. Tennis, yoga, and pickleball add to the fitness mix, as do miles of paths for invigorating morning walks. 

A “pro-pet” resort, dogs get the royal treatment with their own beds, bowls, and treats. At American bistro Twenty6, sit on the sunny patio and schmooze with other pets and their owners during weekend brunch. It’s easy to disconnect for a few hours at the resort’s full-service day spa sipping tea in a private garden before your skin or body treatment. A standout is Spa La Quinta’s Citrus Escape—a salt and sugar neck-to-toe vitamin-infused body scrub that leaves you invigorated. A full body Vichy shower follows along with a heavenly massage.

Dinner at the resort’s signature restaurant, Morgan's, is a must. Craft cocktails and savory seasonal cuisine make for a memorable evening at this distinctive restaurant. With boutiques, bars, and bistros all within easy walking distance, it’s easy to spend a weekend inside La Quinta’s swanky walls. 


When it comes to healthy living, San Diego’s North County has always been ahead of the curve. It’s home to some of the world’s best surfing, golf, and all the beaches you need, plus a laid-back vibe. A short distance inland, take a retreat at Rancho Bernardo Inn. Spanish Colonial-style buildings and well-manicured gardens cover this sprawling resort, where a friendly staff, a divine spa, and 18-hole championship golf course welcome travelers.

Relax by the spa’s sunny saline pool or a secluded cabana before your treatment. Lounge with a little bubbly and fresh salad from the chef’s onsite garden. Rancho Bernardo’s signature Made Fresh Daily uses refreshing locally grown herbs and produce in a stimulating full-body massage and scrub treatment that includes foot and hand reflexology. Spacious suites look out over the sprawling golf course from private patios. For a post-spa refreshment, head to The Veranda, an alfresco Mediterranean restaurant on the resort’s terrace that welcomes four-legged furry companions. After a weekend of romping around, pets go home with a personalized water bowl and a bag of treats. 


Fifty miles south of LA on a beautiful bluff over the Pacific sits Montage Laguna in all its splendor— stunning views, fragrant coastal air, feather-top beds, soaking tubs for two. This holistic retreat pampers with fresh cuisine, long beach walks, and spa detox experiences. Each of the 250 chic guestrooms has a private oceanfront balcony to take in the breathtaking ocean after a leisurely soak in imported French bath salts.

One of the many pleasures here is a wellness journey at Spa Montage: 20,000-square-feet of bliss to lounge, steam, workout, or swim before or after at treatment. Detox begins with a Body Firming Wrap that exfoliates with essential oils and energizes with by a deep cleansing clay body mask while a spa aesthetician massages your face and neck. Relax on the private pool deck with a seasonal meal; the spa has partnered with celebrity health coach and holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque to create menus for healthy regimens.

Activities at Montage run the gamut, you can take surf lessons, snorkel, paddleboard, jet ski, sail, or play tennis or golf. A staircase leads down to the beach, for brisk morning walks with your dog. Make time for a swim in the Olympic-size mosaic pool before packing up for home.

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