A health spa set adjacent to acres of rolling vineyards just 100 miles south of the city might sound like a contradiction, but at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, getting healthy is a fully customized, holistic experience for both body and mind.
California has no shortage of destination spas. The state’s moderate year-round climate and hilly topography make it ideal for sanctuaries to spring up in remote areas, each offering their own spin on wellness. From weight loss and detox to mediation and pure pampering, there’s a different spa for everyone—yet only one of them offers everything in one place.
With just 32 villa-style accommodations, the 500-acre Cal-a-Vie Health Spa is designed to give each guest a tailor-made experience. Whether coming for a three-, four-, or seven-day journey, visitors are offered the option of focusing on fitness (daily sunrise hikes over 10 miles of trails and 160 exercise classes a week); relaxing at the spa (the menu incorporates a myriad of body and beauty treatments given by some of the best-trained therapists in California); golfing at the adjacent Cal-a-Vie–owned Vista Valley Country Club; or simply spending leisure time on the grounds, which are inspired by Provence and even include original French buildings from the 18th century that were shipped overseas and reconstructed on site. (The resort also hosts a boutique that sells French antiques hand-picked and sourced by the owners.)
While many of us, after months of quarantine spent baking banana bread and drinking wine, might lean towards a fitness-focused retreat, the most important thing that Cal-a-Vie might be offering for post-quarantine life is feeling part of a group again. Whether attending solo or with a partner, guests are always encouraged to interact and get to know each other. The sense of unity guests feel when conquering the notorious “200 stairs” together on the morning hike or playing an outdoor game like volleyball or bocce ball has been all but lost during COVID, when the opportunities to meet new people and have become nearly non-existent. Here, casual conversations flow freely during mealtimes, as well as out-of-the-box spa activities like the sun- and star-gazing lectures at the on-site observatory or evening wine tastings of the spa’s own merlot and sauvignon blanc.
Between the breadth of activities and healthy cuisine (once-decadent dishes like eggs benedict and turkey burgers with sweet potato fries have all been nutritiously reimagined), it’s impossible not to get at least a bit fitter at the end your time here. However, the strongest takeaway is the feeling of new connections and group support that COVID had deprived us of. A stay at Cal-a-Vie isn’t just good for strengthening your body, it’s supportive of your inner soul.
Inclusive stays from $4,550; cal-a-vie.com