Spa Expectations
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Travel Getaways

Hotel Coral & Marina Getaway

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, are you looking for something special to surprise your partner with this year?  If so, why not head south of the border to Ensenada Baja California, Mexico to Hotel Coral & Marina.  Just a short two hour drive from San Diego is a beautiful hotel that features great hospitality, cuisine, marina, spa, gym and so much more.

You will have plenty of package options for booking your stay including their “Vineyard Tour” package.  Prices start at just $170 USD and include the following:

• 1 night in a standard room

• Breakfast buffet for 2 people

• 3 winery tours

For those of you who love wines you will be surprised to discover that the Guadalupe Valley is host to 90+ wineries!  Whether renting a car or enlisting a tour company, you will enjoy this majestic area less than 30 miles from your hotel.  Some of the wineries to be sure and visit include Adobe Guadalupe, L.A. Cetto, and Monte Xanic. 

A visit to the wine country would not be complete without stopping at the newly opened Vine and Wine Museum.  Visitors will enjoy learning the history and methods of wine production happening today.

After a day of enjoying the beauty of Guadalupe Valley, return to the Hotel Coral and Marina and relax and unwind at C Spa with a selection of massage treatments, facials, or body treatments to please even the most seasoned traveler.  The spa, recently renovated and expanded in 2014, features a spacious relaxation room, and a wide variety of treatments from vinotherapy with products made by local wineries, to Lava Bambû massage treatments. A full-service beauty salon is also on-site with services including hair, nail, and waxing.   Guests of the hotel can also enjoy their indoor or outdoor pool areas weather permitting.

With an exhilarating day in the wine country and a relaxing afternoon in the spa, you must be getting hungry.  No worries.  Enjoy the flavors of Baja California at the BC Bistro & Cava restaurant on the lower level of the hotel.  Ideal for enjoying a wide variety of regional wines and local dishes including fresh fish and seafood this award winning restaurant is recognized for its quality of cuisine.  Bon Appétit!

Make your reservations today at or call 1 (800) 862-9020.  If you prefer to leave the driving to someone else, the Hotel Coral offers transportation service.  Prices and shuttle service times are available on the hotel’s website.

So what are you waiting for?  See you in Baja…


Escape To Baja

If you are looking for a safe, fun, and inexpensive getaway this summer then look no further than Rosarito Beach.  Rosarito Beach is a coastal resort city in the Mexican state of Baja California located approximately 30 miles south of San Diego.  There are several accommodation choices for your visit.  Probably the most famous and popular is the Rosarito Beach Hotel.  The resort has been welcoming guests since 1925.  The hotel is rich in history since it first opened.  Many famous guests have stayed here over the years, including Marilyn Monroe, Orson Wells, and Gregory Peck to name just a few.  Since that time the resort has grown to 500 rooms and offers their guests a multitude of activities, dining, entertainment and my favorite, their spa.  

There are three types of room choices at the hotel, the Coronado Tower, the Playas Tower, and the newest addition, the 17 story Pacifico Tower.  The Playas tower is more popular with families since the suites are equipped with kitchenettes.  
The Pacifico Tower offers luxury and modern Mexican décor along with panoramic ocean views and is highly recommended.  Be sure and check their website for great ongoing and seasonal packages that are an exceptional value when planning your stay.  A recent Relax Spa Getaway package included a one night stay in an ocean front room, daily getaway dinner for two, two margaritas, and two 30 minute Swedish massages starting at just $119 per night based on double occupancy.

Guests of the hotel will have several dining and entertainment options during their stay.  The Azteca restaurant has been newly remodeled and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a full bar.   For fine dining don’t miss Casa Blanca, featuring Master 
Chef Erick Saenz’s Baja Fusion cuisine.  Located 
near the beach, Casa Blanca brings the flavors of 
Baja to your table.  This restaurant is also open for Sunday Brunch the perfect meal before your return trip home.

After dinner if you are looking for some entertainment or after dinner drinks, Rosa & Rita Karaoke Bar is the place to sing the night away.  If karaoke is not what you are looking for try the Adobe Lounge with its casual family friendly atmosphere with live music on Fridays and Saturdays.

No trip to the Rosarito Beach Hotel would be complete without a visit to the Casa Playa Spa.  Rich in history, the Spa was originally an elegant mansion built by Manuel Barbachano for his wife and family.  The Casa Playa Spa is dedicated to pampering each of its guests in a serene and elegant atmosphere.

The Casa Playa Spa has some outstanding Monday through Thursday specials.  Currently one of the specials offered is Santai Lumiere Relaxing Light.  For $99 per person you can indulge in a 50 minute Swedish massage and a 60 minute Deep Cleansing Facial.  Outstanding value!  If you prefer to try a treatment that is more indigenous to the area, be sure to try one of their Body Treatments.  They pride themselves on using natural products from the Sea and Earth.  The Cactus Body Treatment begins with a complete cactus-cucumber body exfoliation to prepare your body for this unique experience.  Their own special cactus body masque will be applied to provide intense moisture, strengthen the skin defenses and restore its natural balance. 

Many people are unaware of Baja’s growing wine country.  Located just 45 miles to the south is the Guadalupe Valley home to 80+ wineries.  Visitors will be able to experience the artisan, boutique, and commercial both large and small and producing some wonderful wines.  A few of the “not to miss” wineries include Adobe Guadalupe Vineyards, Monte Xanic, L.A. Cetto, and Santo Tomas, Baja’s oldest winery founded in 1888.  While in the wine country, stop at the newly opened Vine & Wine Museum.  Wine enthusiasts will enjoy learning about the history and winemaking techniques of the Baja region.  Salud!

Sports enthusiasts will not be disappointed with the options offered in the area.  Rosarito Beach offers whale watching, surfing, golfing at nearby Bajamar, fishing, or on many people’s bucket list, horseback riding on the beach.  

With options to fit everyone needs whether it is a romantic getaway or a family gathering, Rosarito Beach has it all!  Make your reservations today and discover the beauty of Baja.  Call US. 1 800 343-8582 or visit their website


Vintners Inn

If your travel plans find you heading for wine country in the near future, specifically Sonoma County, then indulge and experience the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa.  Conveniently located less than five miles from the Santa Rosa airport, this intimate, four diamond, 44-room luxury Sonoma County hotel is surrounded by 92 acres of lush vineyards and beautifully landscaped grounds. 

Vintners Inn is proud to be one of only 100 or so hotels throughout the State of California to have been awarded the Leadership Level in the California Green Lodging Program by the State of California’s Department of General Services.  Don and Rhonda Carano have owned the Vintners Inn and the John Ash & Co. restaurant since 2000 and from the beginning have promoted a green philosophy.  Along with the addition of vineyards, they have built a waste treatment system for the property, the creation of vegetable and herb gardens and olive tree orchards. 

Fresh ingredients paired with wines from the region are showcased in the legendary John Ash & Co. restaurant.  Either before or after your gourmet dining experience, relax with a glass of wine or cocktail in their cozy Front Room Bar & Lounge.

After retire to your elegantly decorated room where nightly turn down service includes a delivery of freshly baked cookies.  Every room comes with a complimentary bottle of wine upon arrival, coffee and local newspaper each morning and continental breakfast buffet.

Spa services are available at the Inn in their Courtyard Spa Room or can be arranged in your room.  Several signature treatments are offered for your enjoyment including their Body & Sole, a full body massage with scalp and hair conditioning and foot exfoliation.  Aromatherapy oils can be added to any massage for just $5.00. 

There are specials and packages available for your memorable getaway online at or call (800) 421-2584.

The Vintners Inn, the perfect wine country experience; make it part of your future travel plans soon.


The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale
At Troon North

If Scottsdale is on your travel agenda for this summer, venture north to the AAA Five Diamond Award winning Four Seasons Resort at Troon North nestled near Pinnacle Peak.  The resort boasts a staff to guest ratio of two staff members per guest room.

Upon arrival guests are greeted by accommodating staff and a refreshing prickly pear ice tea to quench your thirst.  After checking into one of their 210 rooms and suites located within Southwestern casitas, be sure to enjoy all the resort has to offer.  Whether you are looking to play golf at Troon North Golf Club, lounge at the recently remodeled 6,000 square foot free form pool, or relax and be pampered at the 12,000 square foot full service spa you will find an array of choices sure to please everyone.

If you enjoy discovering new regional cuisines while on vacation, than look no further than Talavera.  Talavera is a contemporary American restaurant showcasing the Valley below.  Executive Chef Mel Mecinas presents Arizona farm fresh ingredients prepared nightly to locals and as well as hotel guests.

Guests looking for that one of kind experience can request the Chef Du Jour program created for that special evening that includes a personalized, signed menu and a chef’s jacket embroidered with his or her name and the Four Seasons logo as a keepsake of the experience.  Your experience concludes with a private dinner in Talavera.

The resort also offers casual dining at Crescent Moon featuring Modern Mexican cuisine influenced by the natural ingredients of the Southwest.  If you’re spending the day at the pool you will enjoy light fare at Saguaro Blossom which offers service throughout the day until sunset.

Summer rates are a great value so hurry and book your reservation now for a much deserved getaway.  Your getaway starts at just $129 per night through August 31, 2011.  The resort also offers families a chance to reconnect while offering complimentary “Kids for All Seasons” program, an added benefit for mom and dad.

Four Seasons Scottsdale reservations, call (480) 513-5039 or (888) 207-9696.

Bernardus Lodge

If you haven’t yet discovered the Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, it’s not too late to escape and enjoy everything this beautiful, intimate property has to offer.

Each of the 57 luxurious guest rooms offer the visitor many amenities not often found elsewhere.  From the moment you enter the Lodge, you are greeted by friendly staff with a glass of their Bernardus Sauvignon Blanc.  Check-in to your room is with a personal escort, while your luggage is promptly delivered ahead of you to your room.

Once arriving in your room, you will be delighted at the amenities and finer touches that await you.  For starters, there is the complimentary wine grotto and premium snacks, all included in your room rate.  No nickel and dime mini bar charges here!

Relax in front of the cozy fireplace, slip into an oversized bathtub for two with seasonal handmade soaps and bath salts, or nap on your sumptuous feather bed with Italian linens.  Each room has French doors that open either onto spacious balconies or terraces with beautiful views of the garden or mountains.

You won’t want to miss eating a meal or two in either of the restaurants on property during your stay.  The more formal of the two restaurants, the award winning Marinus, features California natural cuisine paired with over 1800 fine wine selections.

For casual dining, enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at Wickets either indoors or outdoors by the patio fireplace.  The patio fireplace is also a great place before dinner to savor a glass of wine from the Bernardus Winery.

No visit would be complete without treating yourself to The Spa at Bernardus Lodge.  The Spa was named one of the top 50 spas 2010 by Spas of America. 

The Lodge currently offers their Body + Soul – one night package and includes:

• Luxurious guest room for two
• Tasting passes for two at the Bernardus Winery tasting room
• Dinner for two at Wickets Bistro
• Choice of two 50-minute spa treatments

This package is available through July 28, 2011 (Sunday-Thursday) exclusive of resort fee.  Some blackout dates apply.  It is subject to limited availability and exclusive of tax and gratuity.  Not valid for groups, existing reservations, or with other special offers.  $545-$1015

For further information or to make a reservation, call toll-free  at (888) 648-9463.

The Clement Monterey

Are you looking for convenience, yet set in a location by the surf and sea?  If so, be sure and check out all that the Intercontinental The Clement Monterey has to offer.  Still young at only three years old, this hotel property boasts luxurious interior décor with panoramic views of the Monterey Bay and Cannery Row.  Many of the 208 guestrooms and suites have fireplaces and balconies with spacious bathrooms with soaking tubs to relax in after an enjoyable day of sightseeing. 

One of the best things going for this hotel is its location.  It is conveniently located next to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world, which is a must do even if you have already visited this outstanding facility. 
Be sure and save a day to experience the famous 17-Mile Drive, which is home to multi-million dollar homes with views that are priceless.  Some of the finest golf courses are located within the 17-Mile Drive, including Pebble Beach, which should be on every golfer's bucket list.

If you enjoy visiting California’s Wine Country, then take time to tour Monterey County’s world class wine and grape-growing region with approximately 85 vintners and growers living in the area.

There are many dining options around the hotel itself, however dining at the C restaurant will not disappoint.  Every seat offers a breathtaking view.  I suggest you dine on the C-side patio for lunch if the weather allows you to do so.  In the evening enjoy your favorite beverage or appetizer at one of two fire pits overlooking the bay.

The Clement Monterey offers several packages for families and business travelers.  Visit their website for all current special offers.

Spa Package:

Renew yourself at the Intercontinental The Clement Monterey as they help you unwind and revitalize. 

Package includes overnight accommodations, breakfast for 2, valet parking and two 30 minute coastal express massages with gratuity already included. 

Advanced reservations required.


The Grand Del Mar

Opened in the fall of 2007, The Grand Del Mar is San Diego County’s newest luxury resort destination and rated #20 among the Top 25 Hotels in the U.S. according to TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice. This AAA Five Diamond resort offers 249 rooms reflecting a Mediterranean style theme throughout the property.  

The resort has several packages and promotions to choose from including the Grand Spa Package from $495.00.

• One night's accommodations
• One of the following 60-minute treatments: Tradition, Athletic Encounter, Therapeutic, any of The Grand Wraps, Portrait or Back to Nature
• Complimentary upgrade at time of booking for guestroom category or upgrade based on availability at time of check-in for suite category

While staying at the Grand Del Mar, be sure to enjoy a meal at their signature restaurant, Addison.  It is Southern California’s only Five Star/Five Diamond restaurant.  Executive Chef William Bradley showcases a seasonal menu using local ingredients to inspire his culinary expertise while Wine Director Jesse Rodriguez’ goal is to pair the perfect wines.  This is a culinary experience not to be missed.

If you love to golf, you will enjoy playing at San Diego’s only Tom Fazio-designed course nestled within the stunning Los Peñasquitos Canyon.  The 7,160-yard par-72 golf course spreads over more than
380 lush acres, punctuated by dramatic elevations, rolling hills, scenic valleys and shimmering water features.

Before or after golf, be sure to visit The Spa.  You will understand why it is one of only 20 Five-Star spas in the country.  If you wish to discover more about this award winning spa, be sure to read my article under Spa Destinations.

To experience the resort’s impeccable service and unrivaled amenities, you can make reservations by calling 1.858.314.2000 or visit their website


Silverado Resort & Spa

Silverado Resort & Spa is located within close proximity to more than 200 wineries yet tucked away into the rolling hills of California’s world famous Wine Country.

Whether you prefer to play a round of golf on one of their two PGA championship courses, swim in one of 10 swimming pools, play tennis on one of 13 courts or simply relax in their full service spa, this property is the perfect getaway.

Check out this “Spa” inspired package:


Inspired by the serene sophistication of a classic Roman spa, The Spa at Silverado is the most comprehensive private resort Spa in California's famed Napa Valley. The spa is surrounded by tranquil garden courtyards and breathtaking scenic views. 
This package includes:

• Welcome Silverado canvas tote
• Complimentary wine tasting at nearby Black Stallion Winery
• Deluxe accommodations in a One Bedroom Suite with fireplace
• One 50-minute spa treatment per person
• Breakfast in the Grill or room service

Please call 800.532.0500 for pricing and reservations or  Spa appointments are based upon availability and must be made at time of reservation.


Red Mountain Resort & Spa

Truly health inspired, Red Mountain Resort & Spa offers a vast selection of activities, dining, spa, and recreational services.  The resort has 82 beautifully designed rooms and 24 Villa Suites with magnificent views of surrounding red cliffs and canyons.  The Sagestone Spa & Salon is rated one of the top spas in the U.S. according to Spa Finder Magazine.

Their Red Mountain Signature Package has everything you need to relax, rejuvenate and reignite your passion for adventure.

Signature Package includes:

• Daily Guided Morning Hikes
• Three Delicious & Nutritious Meals Daily
• Deluxe Accommodations
• Unlimited Fitness Classes
• Healthy Life Classes & Events at the Wellness Center
• Personal Discovery Activities
• Eat Well, Feel Well Cooking Demonstrations
• Complimentary In-Room High-Speed Internet
• Use of Resort Amenities including Indoor and Seasonal Outdoor Pools, Bicycles, Walking Trails, Strength & Cardio Studios

Spa & Salon Services, Golf, Outdoor Adventure Trips & Wellness Center Services can be added to any package for an additional fee.

Rates currently start from $230.00 for a deluxe room and $270.00 for a luxury villa.  Rate is quoted per person, per night based upon double occupancy and subject to availability. Villa suites and single occupancy available at higher rate. High season, weekends and holidays may be higher. Some restrictions may apply. Gratuities and room tax not included. Valid through 12/31/11.

Reservations: 877.246.HIKE (4453)




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