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The best wellness stays in California

The best wellness stays in California

Indulge in ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation at these top wellness stays in California, from luxury spa retreats to health-focused resorts.

February 16th, 2023

Incorporate a bit of zen into your Californian break at one of these unique wellness stays. From thermal springs and equine therapy to sleep programmes, there is something for everyone.

Discover horse whispering at Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel Valley Ranch is set in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains across 500 acres. In 2019 the resort was reimagined with enhancements including The Market & Creamery, two interactive culinary spaces and redesigned suites. They also introduced experiential programming which includes equine therapy, exploring the special bond between human and horse. Each equine experience provides the opportunity to join experts and horse whisperers in the expansive, state-of-the-art outdoor arena, perched high above the beautiful Carmel Valley.

Embark on an ocean safari Base Camp Channel Islands, Channel Islands

This a five-day “wildness + wellness” adventure offered by Wild Earth Travel is perfect for water lovers. Get up close with some of the marine creatures and animals inhabiting Channel Islands National Park’s largely untouched coastal ecosystem offshore between Ventura and Santa Barbara. Catch a glimpse of sea lions, island foxes, and dolphins, as well as taking part in guided hikes, yoga and fitness classes. Take in lectures from experts, and one-on-one photography lessons.

Get some shut-eye at The Post Ranch

Big Sur’s iconic Post Ranch Inn has partnered with The Sleep Doctor – Dr Michael Breus, one of the USA’s most renowned sleep experts - for this program which offers a comprehensive approach to improve the way you sleep each night. Coupled alongside their guestrooms that naturally promote rest and relaxation being free of TVs and alarm clocks and featuring organic mattresses and bedding, without any chemicals or dyes, there’s no better setting in which to embark on a journey to a better night’s sleep. The package is available as an add-on to any reservations of two nights or more. The package includes dinner at Sierra Mar featuring the Sleep Serenity Menu, two 60 minute Sleep Menu Spa Treatments, on demand access to Sleep Sessions with Dr Micheal Breus’ special seven-part video series created specifically for Post Ranch guests and a sweet dreams gift bag.

Embrace Hollywood glamour at The Peninsula, Beverly Hills

Check-in to The Peninsula, Beverly Hills and book into their rooftop retreat. Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor frequented the place and spent six of her honeymoons here. Go all out with a precious-gem treatment—rich oils containing bits of ruby, emerald, sapphire, and diamond are said to draw upon the stones’ healing powers.

Detox like an A-lister at The Ashram, Calabasas

Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, The Ashram is an oasis of health and tranquillity. Hollywood elite, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Oprah have all reportedly experienced one of their programmes, which starts each day at 5.30am to undertake multiple fitness classes and 10-plus-mile hikes, all fuelled by plant-based meals.

Create a bespoke wellness stay at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa

The Cal-a-Vie Health Spa is enveloped between vast dreamy fields of grapevines and lavender in San Diago. Discover a life-changing wellness retreat combining luxurious European spa philosophies with the California concept of fitness, health, and nutrition. At Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, packages are custom-made for the guest experience, offering a self-care hideaway that is both intimate and astonishingly gorgeous.

The Centre For Wellbeing at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

One of only 60 Forbes Five-Star spas in the world, this beauty and wellbeing focused resort spa offers an extensive menu of treatments as well as a custom organic product line. An opulent homage to the Renaissance, The Centre For Wellbeing aims to quieten the mind, soothe the body and embolden the spirit. The perfect backdrop to refresh and rejuvenate, the scenic Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve boasts abundant flora and fauna— as well as wild herbs, mineral-rich clays and local elements utilised at the spa. Treatments performed in 11 spacious rooms—and a luxe couples suite—are designed by renowned consultant Anne Bramham. Arrive early to take advantage of the lounge areas featuring wet and dry saunas, indoor whirlpools, relaxation rooms and cosy fireplaces. Spa guests also receive access to the adults-only relaxation pool, indoor and outdoor fitness centres, and amenities like all-natural spa products, signature hot teas, seasonal snacks and handcrafted chocolates

Live like a monk at Shasta Abbey, Mount Shasta

Shasta Abbey is located near the base of Mount Shasta, surrounded by a stunning 16-acre forest. This Buddhist monastery welcomes outsiders into its beautiful, sacred space. The three-day Introductory Retreat encourages visitors to try Soto Zen through guided meditation, Dharma talks, and mindfulness.

Reboot at The Coast Ridge

This retreat near San Francisco, offers a 4-day health and wellness programme. Days kick off with a sunrise yoga followed by long hikes along the rugged coastline through redwood groves and along coastal trails. After a successful morning on the trail, professional instructors teach a series of exercise classes focused on core and strengthening while restorative yoga ends the day. Each full day you will eat delicious plant based food geared to keep you going, and get pampered with a massage from an incredible massage therapist. Attendees of the four-day Reboot stay in The Coast Ridge’s secluded estate, which overlooks Stinson Beach.

Experience the great outdoors

Dawn Ranch is a great base to experience a wellness stay. Located on the Russian River with redwood groves and orchards, it’s a 15 minute bike ride to Armstrong Woods where you can practise forest breathing. They also host free group energy healing sessions for hotel guests with Raymond Storms, their intuitive healer in residence. Raymond is a reiki master as well as an opera singer! You can also get out on the river on one of the complimentary kayaks the hotel provides.

Essence Portrait at Alila Ventana Big Sur

The Spa Alila offers treatments embedded in the Big Sur landscape. Guests can take this immersion a step further by watching their inner landscape unfold in brilliant colours during an Essence Portrait with Sofanya, who paints their aura through unique colour patterns to help you discover your spirit guides, animal spirits and soul mates. The spa also offers an AstroSoma treatment. When an aspect or archetype of our nature has been “hurt,” it tends to compensate—remaining hidden, stuck, or projected, and frequently attracting lessons for further learning and growth. AstroSoma is a cutting-edge modality that combines a gentle energy muscle testing with the guidance of one’s astrology natal chart to bring awareness and transformation, leading to permanent improvement in one’s life, self, and goals. Couples sessions in both modalities aim to design a healthy and co-creative goal, followed by a process that informs what is at the root of mutual dissonances, revitalizing the relationship. Guests are required to provide their birth information (date, time and place of birth) to the spa at time of booking before the session.

Thermal waters at Fairmont Sonoma’s Willow Creek Spa

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is home to a 40,000 square foot spa which includes an ancient thermal mineral spring that feeds five pools ranging from 92-102 degrees and a Roman style bathhouse complete with Roman soaking pool and hot tub, Halotherapy Sauna and Aromatherapy Steam Room. The water contains 27 different minerals and comes from 335 metres below the resort. Treatments include Watsu and Vinosculpt.

Japanese-inspired wellness in Sonoma County

Tucked into the Sonoma Valley hamlet of Glen Ellen, the Gaige House is a secret hideaway with 23 guestrooms channelling a modern, Asian flair. The secluded setting along Calabazas Creek includes an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, calming fountains, private zen gardens and a meditation alcove where guests can a listen for the melodic sounds of local birds, frogs, and crickets as they quietly reflect and connect with nature. Their Ryokan Zen Creekside or Garden Suites feature a deep soaking granite tub and zen rock garden. Amenities include yukata robes with obi sash, Japanese geta outdoor slippers and zori indoor slippers, bottle of sake, Yoku Moku cookies and cast iron tea set.

Anji McGrandles

Anji McGrandles

Anji is our resident wellbeing coach and expert. She loves experiencing wellness destinations and checking out the latest wellness products, books and events.

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