Mother’s Day Staycations
Pssst! In case it slipped your mind, Mother’s Day is May 10. If you’re still searching for the perfect gift, I’ve got some great ideas — and they don’t require knowing the right size or guessing about colors. You don’t even need to make a trip to the mall — just a quick phone call or a few minutes online.
Nothing says “I appreciate all you do” like a gift certificate to a luxury spa — and San Diego offers some of the best in the country. In fact, guests travel from faraway places to spend time in spas that are right in our backyard. Here are three of the finest:
The Spa at Rancho Valencia
Set on 45 acres of gardens and olive groves in Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Valencia was recently named the 2015 #1 Resort in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. The hallmarks of this gorgeous spa are beautiful tilework, lush landscaping, and a 22-yard pool. The inspiration for the spa came from owner Jeff Jacobs’ trip to Bali.
Buy mom a gift certificate and she can spend the day here, enjoying the steam room, experiencing the Hydrotherapy Plunge Pool Circuit, and spa cuisine served at the water’s edge. She can also choose among the 85 fitness classes offered every week, including Pilates and yoga.
When I visited here, my deep tissue massage was done in one of the ten treatment rooms that open onto private patios and offer outdoor showers. Other special features include two couple’s rooms with fireplaces and deep soaking tubs. The signature treatment is the Citrus Supreme, which begins with a mandarin exfoliation, includes a citrus soufflé mask, and ends with an antioxidant facial.
Insider tip: Quietest day of the year: Opening Day at Del Mar. (858.759.6490, www.ranchovalencia.com)
The Spa Torrey Pines at The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Overlooking the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla with the ocean as a backdrop, The Lodge is a gracious retreat and an easy place to escape and relax. In addition to its enviable location, the AAA Five Diamond property is known for its award-winning California Craftsman architecture and outstanding farm-to-table cuisine.
Spa guests are welcome to use the hotel’s fitness center and the ocean-view pool and spa pool. They can also join twice-daily guided walks in adjacent Torrey Pines State Reserve and weekend yoga classes. In the women’s lounge area, the inhalation room, dry sauna, and eucalyptus steam room are a great way to prepare for treatments.
My Moroccan Oil Orange Peel Body Buff started with a Vichy shower and orange peel scrub. Following that, I enjoyed a massage that was part lomi lomi and part deep tissue. The final treat was a facial with exfoliation and light chemical peel. In addition to 14 treatment rooms, the spa includes a relaxation room with a cozy fireplace.
Insider tip: Ask about cost-effective packages and monthly specials. (858.453.4420, www.spatorreypines.com)
Spa at The Del at Hotel Del Coronado
San Diego’s only beachfront spa is located in the area’s most famous hotel. The Hotel Del, built in 1888, sits on 28 oceanfront acres. USA Today (and others) says it’s one of the top hotels in the world.
Guests here often take a long walk on the beach before enjoying a facial, massage, or other body therapy. Many of these reflect the spa’s oceanfront location: the Shell Coronado Massage includes the use of heated and cooled smooth Pacific shells. That’s S’Moré is a couple’s massage followed by a private beach bonfire with s’mores and Champagne. My “results oriented” Revival 1888 facial promised “to leave skin glowing for days” and delivered on that claim.
In addition to 21 treatment rooms, Spa at The Del includes indoor swimsuit-optional spa pools in both men’s and women’s lounge areas and a private co-ed beachview swimming pool. Daily specials include Mimosa Monday, 2 on Tuesday, and Wellness Wednesday. The DELuxe Card, which provides discounts on services, is popular with local guests.
Insider tip: Order take-out from the hotel’s Sun Deck Bar & Grill or 1500 Ocean and enjoy it on a comfy chaise around the pool. (619.522.8100, www.hoteldel.com)
A day at the spa — just what every mother wants. And a gift certificate doesn’t even require wrapping! Elizabeth Hansen