It’s always nice to have something to look forward to, especially if it’s a spa getaway. It feels good just to put it on the calendar… April 23-24: “Spa Trip To Napa Valley With Karen”
Because you know it’s going to be relaxing, lying in the whirlpool spa, sipping cucumber water, nothing to do but relax for a while until you’re escorted to your quiet, dimmed massage room with a faint aroma of eucalyptus.
Sound good? Right then, let’s do some research: Below are five of my favorite spa retreats in northern and central California, and at every price range—from reasonable to oh dear.
It was a tough job, but I personally reviewed all of these spa retreats to make sure you won’t be rubbed the wrong way. So celebrate the start of summer and make an appointment for a relaxing spa getaway that you both need and earned.
The Spa at Silverado Resort, Napa Valley
Located just an hour north of San Francisco, the Silverado Resort and Spa is one of the top luxury resorts in Napa Valley, and it’s easy to see why. Arriving at this 1,200-acre estate is like being a member of America’s most exclusive country club.
Numerous swimming pools dot the extensive grounds—popular spots to cool off on the valley’s summer days—as well as biking and hiking trails. And, of course, there’s the world-class golf courses and championship tennis courts.
But if all you need is a relaxing weekend free from exertion, booking morning spa treatments at the resort—such as the Honey Dream Massage with honey and warm beeswax to relieve tension and soreness—then going wine tasting is the afternoon is the way to go.
The Spa at Bodega Bay Lodge
The Bodega Bay Lodge is the North Coast’s top spa retreat, especially after a recent remodel that added a super-deluxe outdoor whirlpool spa overlooking a serene bird estuary and Bodega Bay (very romantic).
The Spa at the Bodega Bay Lodge offers an extensive menu of massages, facials, and signature body treatments. Adjacent to the Spa and available for all guests is a heated swimming pool, outdoor whirlpool spa, fitness center, and sauna.
You’ll love the guestrooms here too, each replete with plush furnishings, a fireplace, and a private balcony with sweeping views of the bay and bird-filled marshes.
Even the lodge’s Duck Club Restaurant enjoys a reputation as Bodega Bay’s finest, with picture windows offering a romantic setting. And it’s only a few hour’s drive from San Francisco.
The Spa at Casa Munras, Monterey Bay
Maybe it’s just me, but spending the morning paddling an ocean kayak among Monterey Bay’s sea otters and dolphins, followed by a 90-minute Swedish massage at the Spa at Casa Munras, sounds like a day well spent.
You will love both the newly remodeled spa and this historic Monterey hotel the moment you want through the front doors. It’s been my favorite place to stay in Monterey for years—surprisingly affordable for the quality of accommodations, and just far enough away from the busy wharf scene to be quiet (but close enough to walk to nearby attractions).
Treatments start with relaxing quiet-time in the lush, enclosed outdoor Spa Garden before your treatment (so arrive at least 30 minutes early for the full effect). Then you’re escorted to the large treatment rooms with soothing surroundings for your rejuvenating treatments (couples treatments are also available). Comfortable locker rooms with showers, bath amenities, hair dryers are available a well.
Be sure to check the Spa at Casa Munras’ monthly spa promotions before booking a room here.
The Spa at Ventana, Big Sur
Luxuriously rustic and utterly romantic, the Ventana Inn and Spa has been a popular Big Sur getaway destination for more than 40 years, and with good reason. Perched on 243 mountainous oceanfront acres, Ventana has an understated elegance that has attracted famous guests such as Barbra Streisand, Goldie Hawn, and Francis Ford Coppola since opening in 1975.
Getting spa treatments here is a full-day affair. Start by relaxing by the heated pool, taking in the natural beauty of Big Sur, then let the heat of the Japanese baths and dry sauna gently unwind your muscles. The inn’s full-service Spa at Ventana offers a variety of massages and treatments—try the Warm Jade Foot Revive—both at the spa and in the privacy of your room or deck. This is one of the best spa retreats in the state, if not the country.
Sweetwater Spa & Inn, Mendocino
The Sweetwater Spa & Inn, located in the heart of Mendocino, has been a local favorite for decades. Along with a wide array of lodgings to choose from—private fireplace cottages, historical water tower suites, ocean view luxury suites—the inn also houses a hot tub & sauna spa called Sweetwater Gardens, which offers private saunas and hot-tub soaks by the hour, as well as Swedish and deep-tissue massage therapy. The Sweetwater is also one of the most pet-friendly lodgings on the North Coast.