Contributing Health and Spa Contributor Sheryl Kraft bonds with her bestie at two posh spas in Coronado, California
Here we are, two friends living on separate coasts, eager for time together. Yes, we carve out time to email, text and even chat on the phone (now, that’s a lost art!) when we can. But nothing takes the place of a real-life visit. And although I am of the I-hate-to-fly variety, as I get older, the urge to travel takes a back seat to fear. And what’s more special than visiting a special friend in a very special place—California?
The day I arrive in San Diego, I always look forward to a long hike through the gorgeous hills of Torrey Pines with Ellen, my BFF. This state natural reserve within the city limits is a stunning stretch of land with breathtaking overlooks and peaceful trails. It’s not uncommon for us to walk six or even eight miles, the distance seeming effortless amid our non-stop conversations.
Each subsequent day is filled with endless activity. We arise early (the time difference is in my favor each morning), down some coffee and then, we’re off: a bike ride down the coast; a visit to the local farmer’s market for just-picked produce, lunch at restaurants overlooking the gleaming Pacific, shopping excursions, more hikes, more walks, more conversations.
All are fun. All are energizing. All are, in the end, exhausting. Who has time to breathe?? (I’m not complaining, trust me. It’s the best kind of busy to have to “endure.”)
Don’t we ever take a break?
Heading to Coronado, California
This time we did. We headed out for the day to indulge in some rejuvenating spa treats at two nearby hotels in Coronado, California, the legendary Hotel Del Coronado (or the hotel “Del” as some like to call it) and the Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa.
Off to the Del
Off we headed down the yellow brick road (not exactly…but over the Coronado Bridge) to the absolutely lovely resort city of Coronado, located in San Diego County, across the bay from downtown San Diego. Incidentally, the Hotel del Coronado, built in 1887, and the second largest wooden structure in the country, was the inspiration for L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz.
An interesting tidbit, given the fact that after my first treatment, an oxygen facial at the Hotel Del’s serene and inviting spa, I felt as if I’d been transported directly to Oz. There are no wicked witches here, though, only kindly souls who know how to make you fall in love with this charming Victorian seaside resort. And, unlike Dorothy, rather than wanting to go home, I never wanted to leave.
The spa’s brand-new facial is designed to reduce inflammation and alternately infuse the skin with pure oxygen and a vitamin-fortified serum, which helps restore skin cells to their natural “plumpness.” About ten minutes into the 50-minute treatment, I melted into the comforting plush heated table and began to drift off under the dim lights, barely conscious of the soothing background music. My last thought before I entered into bliss: “And WHY don’t I get facials more often?”
How I made it out of the room and into a lounge chair in the outdoor sitting area still remains a mystery. With the sounds of ocean waves in the near distance and sea swept-cool breezes, Ellen and I could have remained there well beyond sundown.
Winding down at Loews Coronado Bay
The hours passed unnoticed, until a glance at my watch revealed that it was time to move onto our next destination, the Loews Coronado Bay, for our second treatment of the day, their Signature Sea Spa Massage.
We arrived at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa, located between the Pacific Ocean and Coronado Bay, with time to enjoy the attractive spa lounge, where we snacked on nuts and fresh fruits washed down with cucumber and orange-infused water. From there, we were each led into our separate rooms to experience transformative bliss.
The massage, one of their signature treatments, begins with a deep inhale of coconut oil and is based on the traditions of Bali, with a combination of acupressure, rolling motions and rhythmic expert strokes. The actual ocean waves might have been outside the hotel, but with the rolling motions and rhythmic strokes performed by my super-talented masseuse, I might as well have been in my own private ocean, floating in its gentle tide.
Again, without recalling how I got there, I ended up sitting next to Ellen in a comfy lounge chair at one of the hotel’s three pools, amidst background reggae music and a sophisticated crowd of enthusiastic visitors.
And suddenly it was 6:00 PM, with nary an indication that the clock had actually moved forward. Although we had intended to augment our spa treatments with a visit to the sites of Coronado – there’s the Coronado Museum of History and Art, the Coronado Ferry Landing, the 1.5-mile stretch of pristine beach and of course, L. Frank Baum’s historic home – we lazily opted to complete our day at a sidewalk café on Orange Avenue, Coronado’s charming main street.
There’s always next time.
Disclosure: Although the author received complimentary services at both properties, all opinions expressed are her own.
IF YOU GO:
For additional information about San Diego, and girlfriend getaways to Coronado, California and other areas of the city, see: San Diego Tourism Authority