La Quinta Resort shimmers with tradition and class at the southern edge of Palm Springs Desert resorts. Entrenched in Hollywood history, it was once host to such regulars Frank Capra, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Katherine Hepburn, Eddie Cantor, Greta Garbo, and Shirley Temple.
Soon to be a Hilton addition, the resort spreads out to 45 acres with 800 guest casitas, 41 pools, 23 tennis courts and a 23,000-square-foot world class spa with 37 treatment rooms and a relaxation solarium. Décor throughout is Spanish colonial and privacy is a premium.
Rooms here are large and come with a garden patio by the lawn and pool or by a private and fenced sun deck where you can watch the clouds go by without a bother. Dogs are welcomed guests here and the fenced-in patios have grassy yards that Fido will appreciate.
Leave Fido in the yard. Then head to the Spa La Quinta for some true relaxation.
Spa La Quinta immediately distinguishes itself by its elaborate outdoor relaxation spaces. Find an outdoor kiva here with a warming fire in the winter months and a pool for a post-treatment plunge.
To best savor your wellness time, make sure you schedule in at least one 80-minute treatment, whether a facial or a massage. That way you will receive the full benefit of your treatment and finally begin to relax.
Start with a signature Celestial Shower, a shower stall open to the sky and swaying palm trees. Melt under the overhead rain shower jets, while immersing in the rock waterfall streams and dozen jets pulsating for a full-body hydro-massage.
While body treatments and wraps take on some indigenous personalities (Cahuilla Sage Wrap and the Mountain Dunes Clay Wrap, for instance. Sage was used by the local Cahuilla Indians as a cleansing agent and for calming and enhancing the respiratory system. The local red mountain clay has been used for centuries for its nourishing and detoxifying properties.) the massages here might be considered more mainstream. While Lomi Lomi and Sacred Stone Therapy are on the menu, other massages are golf- and sports-based stemming from a Swedish approach. Whatever you choose, your therapist will add his or her own specialty to the mix. Many of the highly-skilled hands here hail from the Mueller College of Holistic Studies in San Diego and have a plan that comes to life once familiar with the needs of your body.
Recommended for the topper is the 80-minute Seduction of the Senses facial. Suggested for normal or dry skin it employs soy, wheat and oat protein enzymes to strengthen skin and dissolves fine lines by using black current and passion fruit. The movements are delivered in sync with a special musical recording created for the treatment and delivering a total experience that touches the five senses – if you include the view of the garden and desert horizon you get through the French windows.
Try the Spa Spectacular Pamper Package. Good through May 6, 2006 it includes $175 credit at Spa La Quinta. The rates per night start at $495 (plus taxes and nightly $20 Resort Charge) and include your accommodations and spa credit plus a special Celestial Shower or Garden Bath in the spa, and breakfast for two at the Adobe Grill.
Call (800) 598-3828, www.laquintaresort.com.
To the Sea: For some sensational spa moments by the sea, stay at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point, CA just south of Laguna Beach.
A recently reconstructed and completely feng shui’d new spa makes this resort the unsung sleeper of the season. A find on its perch just above the harbor and looking out on the Pacific, the resort takes wellness seriously and uses the beauty of its environment as a starting point. Try starting your day with yoga on the lawn. As the ocean mist rolls away, you’ll be enjoying coffee and wellness talks delivered by Dr. Edward Taub, a renowned practitioner of both holistic and western medicine who will help you take charge of your body, mind and spirit with some creative healing approaches.
Fitness can be accomplished in the cheery gym here or by walking the course of trails and steps around the spread, leading down to the ocean, or up into the cliffs. A necklace of greenery that is a public park surrounds the property and Fido is welcomed here too, no questions asked.
The spa spans out at 14,000 square feet with 10 treatment rooms and a comely great room to relax on a chaise with a magazine, a comfy blanket and a cup of herb tea. Fruits and nuts are stocked for those who get hungry and a platter of vegetables is produced in the afternoon.
Therapies here include the exotic with Ayurvedic and Thai approaches among the choices for massage. Do the Coastal Stone Massage using smooth basalt rocks that have been warmed and placed on appropriate chakra points. To reach that harmonic convergence, make it the 110-minute version. Wraps, too, reach for the local spin and the Catalina Kelp Cocoon takes the advantage as one of nature’s most powerful detoxifiers harvested from watery depths only miles away.
Got sun damaged skin? The signature Vitamin C Facial is just the cure. And its unique blend of homeopathic and lymphatic drainage techniques result in an experience of complete relaxation.
Finally, return to the great room for your post-treatment quiet time. The feng shui’d energy of the room will bolster your chi – and you will need all the help you can get if you want to move again.
Call (800) 228-9290, www.lagunacliffs.com.
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