California Spas



We are in the throes of winter here in New York City, so we say a little California dreaming is in order. Specifically, we are dreaming of California’s luxurious spas. Here are two that we recommend.


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MANCHESTER SUITE's terrace. This is one of the two presidential suites of The Grand Del Mar.

The Grand Del Mar in San Diego has an impressive spa that measures at a sweeping 21,000 square feet with 11 treatment rooms. Guests of the spa ought to try the Therapeutic Massage or the Portrait Facial, which we hear are the most requested treatments. If you want to try the spa’s signature treatment, that would be The Renaissance. Translation: A warm body wrap of mineral-rich mud and aromatic oils, followed by a Swiss shower and massage. Tip: Book Suzanne Bradford for massages or Jen Woog for facials. 

To book spa treatments, reach out to Spa Director Jim Croghan ([email protected]; 858-314-2023). It is best to book at least six months in advance. Weekends throughout July and August are usually the most popular. 

While there is no spa cuisine available, the resort offers healthy choices on all menus to help keep guests feeling good during their whole stay. If you are dining at Addison, we say throw caution to the wind and let Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef William Bradley whip up something special for you. At Amaya, the nightly three-course tasting menu is always to die for. Note: It is best to book a week out, and two weeks out during the Del Mar Thoroughbred racing season.

After a day of pampering and fine dining, guests can retire to their luxury accommodations. We hear the villas and the two presidential suites are the most requested premium accommodations. The villas include golf packages, airport transfers, soft drinks, beer and wine. All rooms have views over the Tom Fazio-designed golf course, the adjacent canyon preserver or the pool.


WOMEN'S LOUNGE at The Grand Del Mar’s Spa.

Director of Leisure Sales for the Western U.S., Mexico and South America, Heather Dieter ([email protected]; 858-314-2060), is on hand to handle all accommodation requests.

For any unique or over-the-top request, reach out to Chef Concierge Kara Meseguer ([email protected]; 858-314-1988). Her team is able to book any whim that a guest may have (short of anything illegal, that is). Past requests have included private wine tastings with the resort’s sommeliers, private horse riding lessons, private golf lessons with a former PGA pro, rose petal turndown and more. 

Just outside San Diego proper in Carlsbad is La Costa Resort & Spa. If you want a destination spa, this is the one. With 28,000 square feet of space and 42 treatment rooms, La Costa’s spa is a VIP resort in its own right. In fact, we hear it has drawn the likes of Al Pacino, Britney Spears, Oprah Winfrey and Tiger Woods (to name a few). 


LA COSTA SUITE features a living room with sofa sleeper and bedroom with luxurious bedding.

The most requested treatment is the La Costa Signature Massage. Note: Guests can have the massage tailored to the areas of concern. The signature body treatment is the La Costa Custom Scrub. Guests are rubbed down with products from Eminence Organic Skin Care, Pevonia Botanical Skin Care and (coming this month) Jan Marini products. Body products and oils are custom created by Body Bliss. 

We hear that Don Childs has been with La Costa for 35 years and thus is the most popular masseuse at the resort. 

While the spa is adults only, child and teen services are offered in the salon. Cool Touch: The spa recently launched a child and teen Spa Birthday Party in the new private “Luxe Lounge” suite. Here children can get a taste of the spa experience with mini spa and salon treatments while watching a movie and snacking on treats. 

Contact Spa Director Michelle Frye (760-930-7074) with questions. 

The Spa at La Costa also has a dedicated Spa Café that uses herbs grown on location. The resort is also home to BlueFire Grill, Legends Bistro and Diversions sports bar. Tip: When dining at BlueFire Grill, we suggest tucking into the Baja ceviche or the pork ragout—not exactly figure-friendly, but we all need a treat now and then. 

Be sure to book the La Costa Family Suites. These are the resort’s largest suites and can accommodate children. If it’s views you are after, make sure it is an even-numbered room, as these have views over the golf course. To book a room, reach out to Jenna Spitler (760-438-7550).

Luxury seekers will want to reach out to Concierge Jean Bush (760-438-7519) who can book anything from wine tours to VIP backstage passes at SeaWorld to private dining rooms in restaurants. 

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