Near and Far, Explore California’s Top 10 Spas

By Nora Heston Tarte

In a world focused on accomplishments, it’s easy to adopt a go-go-go mentality, but it’s impossible to live a life always on overdrive. Instead of deeming relaxation time wasted, see it as a necessary break to refocus mind, body, and soul before returning refreshed to the hustle and bustle of daily life.
We’ve located 10 spas in California worthy of your time, where you can cleanse the spirit at an oasis surrounded by the natural beauty you hope to awaken within. From daylong retreats to weekends away, these escapes exist to help reclaim health and re-center mind, body, and soul-a well-deserved break from the requests of everyday life.

Auberge du Soleil, Napa Valley

Nestled in the food and wine lover’s paradise, Auberge du Soleil was one of the first luxury destinations to exist in the Napa Valley. Designed with the casually elegant air of Provence as its inspiration, the Mediterranean-inspired resort promises beauty, tranquility, and romance.
Step inside the indulgent spa (reserved for hotel guests) to achieve physical and emotional healing. The Zen space was perfected for guests looking to recharge and rejuvenate.
Editor’s Pick: Heal your body by booking the Auberge Purification Ritual, a self-guided, outdoor experience that blends the healing powers of temperate water baths, steam, and rest to restore your whole being. 180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford, (800) 348-5406,

Landing Resort, South Lake Tahoe

Overlooking Lake Tahoe, the Landing Resort is a luxury hotel boasting comfortable, European-inspired guest rooms complete with private fireplaces, heated floors, and an opulent on-site spa. The treatment rooms mirror the sumptuousness of the guest rooms inside the resort, and are conveniently surrounded by an array of tranquil pre- and post-treatment rooms (I suspect they may have got some diffusers online from AromaTech, or somewhere like that, that diffuse oils in multiple rooms). Take a steam in the nearby sauna, dip your toes in the Jacuzzi, or simply relax in the adjacent lounge.
Editor’s Pick: If you spent your day on the slopes, the best way to unwind is with a Peak Recovery Massage. Crafted specifically to ease sore muscles, a blend of essential oils and herbs target aches and pains to correct, rejuvenate, and prevent future fatigue. 4104 Lakeshore Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, (530) 600-3509,

Meadowood, Napa Valley

Hidden amongst the vineyards of St. Helena sits the New Meadowood Spa, an on-site, luxury oasis offering elevated spa experiences. Treatment suites boast privacy for guests (and the promise you won’t have to change rooms during your stay) where intuitive staff craft each experience to fit individual needs.
Editor’s Pick: Take advantage of all the spa has to offer with The Air We Breathe package. The pre-treatment ritual begins with a cup of hot tea and a sit-down with your therapist, followed by restorative treatments ideal for those who have overindulged in the Napa Valley. Detoxify, hydrate, and relax with a massage, facial, and scrub for three and a half hours of bliss. Ends with 60-minutes of suite time and culinary offerings from the resort’s chef. 900 Meadowood Ln., St Helena, (707) 531-4788,

Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, Sonoma

Located on the Bohemian Highway in Freestone, Calif.-a hidden gem in Sonoma County-the Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary specializes in holistic treatments intended to nurture, nourish, and center its guests. The spa menu includes everything from restorative massages to organic facials, but the biggest draw is its cedar enzyme bath.
Editor’s Pick: Hailed as the day spa’s signature treatment, the cedar enzyme bath originated in Japan. Immerse yourself in the experience by starting with a visit to the on-site Japanese Tea Garden, followed by a replenishing soak in a fermenting mixture of soft and fragrant ground cedar and rice bran formulated to stimulate metabolic activity. Benefits include improved circulation, relaxed muscles, and radiant skin. 209 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone (707) 823-8231

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai

Set in a valley of the Topatopa Mountains, just north of Los Angeles, Ojai is known for both its cultural and natural offerings. Between the New Age shops, meandering hiking trails, and sparkling Lake Casitas sits Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, which boasts a 31,000 square foot spa village where guests can explore creative consciousness by taking art classes, participating in mind and body programming, or ordering services from an extensive spa menu.
Editor’s Pick: Venture into the Kuyam chamber for a communal encounter. Here, healing clays (blended with essential oils) are utilized along with dry heat, inhalation therapy, and guided meditation for a therapeutic, whole-body experience. It is the only treatment of its kind in the United States. 905 Country Club Rd., Ojai, (855) 697-8780,

Wine & Roses, Lodi

Looking to indulge in high-quality spa treatments without venturing outside of San Joaquin County? Look no further than Wine & Roses. With modest beginnings as a 10-room bed and breakfast opened in 1984, the posh, Mediterranean-style estate has become the ultimate Lodi Wine Country destination.
Step into the state-of-the-art spa to find a restful space for guests. Here, The Spa offers a rejuvenating experience, using only organic ingredients that play on the natural environment surrounding the on-site spa.
Editor’s Pick: Because you can’t go wrong with any of the healing experiences here, a package is your best bet for enjoying all The Spa at Wine & Roses has to offer. Couples Interlude is a romantic experience that begins with a private candlelit seawater soak for two followed by a blissful hour and a half massage fireside. 2505 W. Turner Rd., Lodi, (209) 334-6988,

The Spa at Pebble Beach

At the place where the Pacific Ocean and the Del Monte forest converge, the Spa at Pebble Beach takes advantage of its unique surroundings to create services that incorporate the healing properties of plants, herbs, and minerals indigenous to this unique California region.
Editor’s Pick: Relieve stress with cranio-sacral therapy. Gentle, targeted motions offer deep relaxation to both the brain and the central nervous system, restoring balance and reducing or eliminating tension within the body. 1518 Cypress Dr., Pebble Beach, (866) 993-6947,

The Spa at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort, San Luis Obispo

Conveniently located within one mile of Highway 101, the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa specializes in the healing powers of water and other natural elements. In addition to on-site hot tubs and a waterfall lagoon both featuring naturally heated mineral water, every spa treatment includes a 30-minute soak in a private mineral bath.
Editor’s Pick: Calm sensitive skin, lighten pigmentation spots, and diminish signs of sun damage with the Stone Crop Essential Facial that calls on the healing properties of the stone crop succulent, a natural element with a long history of first-aid applications. 1215 Avila Beach Dr., San Luis Obispo, (805) 595-7302,

The Spa at Renaissance Sonoma

Another worthy wine country escape, the Renaissance Sonoma is an Italian-inspired, upscale resort near Sonoma’s downtown. The on-site spa boasts eucalyptus steam rooms, outdoor hot tubs, warm soaking pools, and outdoor cabanas. Access is granted to anyone who books a treatment.
Editor’s Pick: Pair the healing powers of a nutrient-rich body scrub with the relaxation achieved during massage by booking an exclusive package. The Devil’s Mint Scrub feels as cool as it sounds, combining the skin rejuvenating abilities of natural elements (sea plant particles, Devils Apron seaweed and peppermint essential oils) with the relaxation techniques of a hands-on massage. 1323 Broadway, Sonoma (707) 931-2034

The Purple Orchid, Livermore

Slip into a plush robe and a pair of comfy slippers before making your trek to the relaxation lounge at Purple Orchid Spa, a country-style lodge veiled by vineyards in Livermore’s Wine Country.
The spa menu is punctuated with an intriguing combination of scents, including jalapeno, papaya, and more, many reminiscent of the robust agricultural offerings of the area.
Editor’s Pick: Relieve oily, congested skin with a Detox Grove Signature Facial, an exfoliating cleanser and mask with hints of jalapeno applied to face and décolleté. Followed by a massage of the scalp, face, forearms, and chest. 4549 Cross Rd., Livermore, (925) 606-8855,