The spa at Estancia La Jolla includes luxurious amenities such as two private bungalows, one for nail care and the other for couples, featuring a fire place, soaking tub for two and private deck. A gorgeous co-ed indoor lounging space and a co-ed outdoor relaxation lounge including a meditation garden, grand fireplace and overstuffed pillows to snuggle up with. Treatments include facials, massages, nail services, waxing and much more. You can buy a day pass to use the fitness center and all of the spa's facilities including the heated saltwater pool and whirlpool. They can also arrange private yoga and meditation sessions.
Recommended for Spas because: With a convenient location across from UCSD, it's a top choice for visiting parents and a gorgeous property.
Katie's expert tip: Spa guests receive complimentary valet parking. Stay for lunch or an organic margarita at Mustang y Burros.
The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn offers private treatment cabanas, indoor lounging facilities and more. The changing areas are full of amenities from hair ties to deodorants. Treatments are based on organic and natural ingredients such as pumpkin, chocolate, grapefruit and cherry to satisfy all of your senses. The menu features skincare treatments, massages, body treatments and nail services that guests can book online. Do plan to stay for lunch by the spa's private pool. Day use of the facilities without a spa treatment is available for a fee and based on availability. Check their website for the latest spa specials.
Recommended for Spas because: It's easy to spend the entire day here between the tranquil lounges and spa cuisine.
Katie's expert tip: Maybe it's the inland location, but it's just so peaceful and the spa's pool area is fantastic.
Aviara Spa, located inside the five-star Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, offers guests a robust menu of completely customizable facials, massages, scrubs, wraps, reflexolofy and more. It's a large spa with 15,000 square feet of space, 20 treatment rooms, an indoor solarium lounge area (with drinks and snacks), whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, and dressing areas. It is a popular spot for couples treatments because of their couple's suite with a shower for two, side-by-side tables, intimate lounge and more. The fitness trainers can also customize workout programs in the state-of-the-art fitness center. Treatments may be booked online. You will love it.
Recommended for Spas because: Expect high quality treatments here including couples and prenatal massages.
Katie's expert tip: Be sure to check the website for seasonal spa packages
The Catamaran Spa is located in the extremely family-friendly Catamaran Resort on Mission Bay. The world-class spa has views of Mission Bay, including from the waterfront therapy pool. The vibe is South Pacific and Asian-inspired with treatments featuring exclusive marine and botanical-based products. The extensive menu offers everything from specially designed ritual services to relaxing Vichy showers. You'll want to plan extra time around your treatment to take advantage of the herbal-infused steam room, sauna and fitness facility (classes occur on the lawn near the beach). The salon offers an array of nail and hair treatments performed while overlooking a botanical garden.
Recommended for Spas because: The property embodies the relaxed Southern California lifestyle and the spa is no different.
Katie's expert tip: Stay for a refreshing seafood meal at the resort's Oceana Coastal Kitchen.
Located inside The Lodge at Torrey Pines--named for the famous golf course next door--The Spa at Torrey Pines is a hidden gem. Designed with feng shui in mind, the 9500 square foot spa offers a full range of treatments that draw inspiration from various cultures as well and lounging facilities. The spa incorporates sage (known for its purifying and detoxification properties) into treatments as seventeen varieties grow in the nearby Torrey Pines State Reserve. The hotel offers guided hikes at Torrey Pines State Reserve every Tuesday at 9:00am and guests may take a fitness class on the lawn overlooking the golf course.
Recommended for Spas because: We love how the spa incorporates local surroundings and its cozy atmosphere.
Katie's expert tip: Stay for lunch at AR Valentien after your spa treatment.
Recipient of a number of national accolades, The Spa at La Costa is ranked as one of the best. The full-service menu incorporate organic ingredients and sustainable products. The facility also includes a Spa Cafe, Southern California's only reflexology pathway and more. The famous Chopra Center is also onsite, catering to spiritual wellbeing for a treatment or longer stay. The salon performs blow-outs, cuts, color and kids haircuts. Do plan enough time to lounge before or after your treatment as this is one of the best places in town to do so in the dry sauna, indoor whirlpool, steam room, relaxation room and co-ed lounge.
Recommended for Spas because: Relax at the spa and then heal your soul at the Chopra Center. This well-rounded spa is one of the best for day use.
Katie's expert tip: The spa is also an excellent place to host private parties.
The Spa at Rancho Valencia offers a fantastic line-up of fitness classes, spa treatments and wellness programs. The resort's fitness center has a 1,000-square-foot Serenity Yoga Pavilion that offers numerous Yoga sessions, fitness classes, exercise programs and retreats hosted by top-tier fitness and wellness professionals. Be sure to arrive early to use the pools, steam room and sauna (bring a bathing suit as they are coed) before enjoying a treatment from the full-service spa menu. Access to the fitness center and pools is included with a treatment for guests not in residence at the resort. Therefore, make it a spa day here.
Recommended for Spas because: If you like privacy, attention to detail and luxury, this secluded spa in Rancho Santa Fe is for you.
Katie's expert tip: All treatments include access to the spa pool and more.
The Spa at Fairmont Grand Del Mar is the best San Diego spa for day usage. Be soothed by the opulent interior featuring a neutral palette and framed Hermes scarves lining the walls. The comprehensive menu of services encompasses a full slate of natural therapies, including cleansing facials, invigorating hydrotherapy body treatments and an organic product line that is custom-made for Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Should you be prepping for a big night out, book hair, makeup and nails at the Haim salon. Plus, there's the gorgeous pool, whirlpool, fitness center, refreshments and lounging areas. It's award-winning for a very good reason.
Recommended for Spas because: It's one of a few five-star spas in the nation (at the time of this writing, the spa is under renovation).
Katie's expert tip: Plan to spend at least a half-day here to enjoy the luxurious facilities.
Cal-a-Vie is one of the nation's best destination spas. The luxury resort resembles a peaceful French village and is nestled on 200 acres in Vista. Go for a week or petite stay of just a few days to kick start a path to wellness. Over 100 fitness and wellness classes are on offer throughout the week and the food may be healthy but it's nothing short of exquisite. Rest in between classes in one of the 32 Mediterranean-style villas. Over 55% of guests return for a good reason. It's also the only destination spa in the world with a true 18-hole golf course.
Recommended for Spas because: The intimate destination spa is world-renowned for rejuvenating mind, body and soul. It's a celebrity favorite.
Katie's expert tip: This can only be described as a bucket list experience. Go if you can.
Golden Door is repeatedly voted the world's best destination spa. Tucked away in the hills of Escondido, it's home to only 40 guests per week who stay in luxurious ryokan style accommodations. Weekly activities are tailored to guests in residence ranging from fitness classes of all levels, nutritional counseling, spiritual counseling, art therapy and much more. Ingredients are sourced locally or from the onsite biodynamic gardens and prepared into delicious and nutritious, filling meals. The morning hiking on the resort's private trails is also extraordinary. It's best to go for the 7-day program but occasionally shorter stays are available. All resort profits also directly benefit children in need through various programs.
Recommended for Spas because: The exclusive Golden Door is popular with celebrities and dignitaries because of unrivaled service, excellent cuisine, privacy and attention to detail.
Katie's expert tip: Go for an entire week. It might change your life.