Destination Spa Haute Spot: Cal-a-Vie

If you have access to getaway to 200 private acres of rolling hills that house one of the world’s finest destination spas, then you are one incredibly lucky person. Cal-a-Vie is the desintation health spa and resort tucked up and away in Southern California that is a favorite among celebrities and the nation’s elite that keeps it’s secrecy in tact and it’s exclusivity on the forefront, creating an environment that promotoes personal wellness and luxury to the highest degree. As Travel + Leisure listed it as the #2 destination spa in North America in 2010, Frommer’s listed it as one of of their 17 Hotels Worth the Splurge, and and Spa Magazine chose it as Favorite Destination Spa in America in 2010, this is obviousy a place to visit.

First off, Cal-a-Vie might be one of the most beautiful places to stay in all of California, with all of it’s architecture pulling from European influences, as well as many of it’s buildings actually being sent, stone by stone, from France and re-erected here on property. There is an incredible Olympic lap pool, a gorgeous chapel brought over from France, and of course the amazing Mediterranean-style villas all guests are housed within, this resort is a visual treat around every corner. You feel the relaxtion seeping into your bones the moment you drive up the long, winding road to the venue. Combine all of this with the amazing So-Cal weather, and you’d be very hard-pressed to top what Cal-a-Vie has going on.

A lot of people don’t really know the difference between a destination spa and a resort spa, but Cal-a-Vie is exactly what a destination spa should be, and so much more. The goal at a destination spa is to create a getaway from your entire life, and provide services that promote a renewed health and vigor on in each guest, by way of thoughtfully created meals, exercise regimes, nature adventures, and spa treatments. At Cal-a-Vie you experience these things in abundance, in a seamless flow of activity from the moment you arrive.

Upon arrival, as one of the 32 guests allowed to stay on property at any given time, you’re given an entrance interview to talk with a counselor about what your goals are for attending Cal-a-Vie, and your reasons for coming to the resort. If you want to lose weight, if you want to gain weight, if you want to de-stress, or if you simply want to be left alone in the quiet, your goal is taken seriously and your stay is mapped out according to what you’d like to achieve. The best part of all of this?  Nothing is set in stone. If you are signed up for the belly dancing class at noon, but you’d rather nap, then just nap. You aren’t forced to sign your name on a whiteboard or chase down an instructor to tell them you’re not attending. You’re the guest, and the guests may do as they please.

With such a small community of patrons at any given time, and only one TV on the property, a sense of community is achieved through your stay. Whether it’s talking through the gorgeous sunrise nature walk daily, the shared delectable cuisine served to all guests by the staff outnumbering the guests five-to-one in the dining room  together, or a shared experience in the gorgeous chapel on the hill, Cal-a-Vie is entirely an new spin on your life, and the people in it. Your instructors are a daily reminder of positive enforcement and the entire ambiance of the locale is one of well-being and serenity. With a goal of luxury, health and wellness, Cal-a-Vie hits the mark and then goes far and away above your expectations. The only downfall to the experience, is of course, the trip back to the real world!

Cal-a-Vie is located at 29402 Spa Havens Way, Vista, CA 92084; 1.866.SPA.HAVENS

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