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Walnut Creek Magazine

Southern California Spa Destinations

Feb 24, 2021 08:53AM ● By Harper Klein

California has some of the best wellness retreats in the world; chic 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. When you’re ready for a little self-indulgence, here are some luxe sanctuaries for a weekend escape. 


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

Poolside casitas sit against the backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains across forty-five sprawling acres. Inside the Spanish-style bungalows, you’ll find plush beds, flat screen TVs, and Ferragamo toiletries. Outside cool off in one of the 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 the outdoor bistro, 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 a skin or body treatment.

Craft cocktails and savory seasonal cuisine make for a memorable evening at the resort's signature restaurant Morgan's. With boutiques, bars, and bistros all within walking distance, it’s easy to spend a secluded 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, beaches, and spas. A short drive inland from Del Mar lies the Rancho Bernardo Inn where Spanish colonial-style buildings and manicured gardens cover a sprawling resort, spa, and 18-hole championship golf course.

Relax by the spa’s sunny saline pool or in a private cabana before an outdoor massage. Lounge with a little bubbly and fresh salad from the chef’s onsite garden. Scrubs and wraps incorporate locally grown herbs in stimulating treatments. The Veranda, an alfresco Mediterranean restaurant on the resort’s terrace, welcomes four-legged furry companions who go home with a personalized water bowl and a bag of treats after a weekend of romping around.


Fifty miles south of Los Angeles on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean sits Montage Laguna Beach. This holistic retreat pampers with fresh cuisine, fragrant coastal air, and luxurious spa experiences. Each of the 250 chic guestrooms has pillow-top beds, oceanfront balconies, and deep tubs for leisurely soaks in French bath salts. 

One of the many pleasures here is a wellness journey at the spa: 20,000-square-feet of bliss to lounge, steam, stretch or swim before a treatment. Relax on the private pool deck with a seasonal meal or take surf lessons, snorkel, or paddleboard. A staircase leads 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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