Discover the art and craft of spa.
Occupying six-and-a-half acres on the Southern California coastline, just north of coastal La Jolla and adjacent to Torrey Pines State Reserve and Torrey Pines Golf Course, The Lodge at Torrey Pines pays homage to our favorite era of California dreaming. It’s not the barefoot, sun-kissed Beach Boy variety, but the rarer, rustic and deliciously decorative Arts & Crafts movement. Modeled after two quintessential Pasadena, California Craftsman homes dating from the early 1900s, The Lodge feels much like a residence. You’re welcomed curbside by handsome staff in Scottish kilts and as you step through the Art Deco-ish stained glass doors, you enter a world of rustic luxe with post-and-beam supports, rugged clinker-brick masonry, heavy rugs, Tiffany lamps and Art Nouveau prints.
The Lodge’s spa is outstanding. Its hallways, treatment rooms and lounging areas are arranged — by a Feng Shui expert — so you don’t really grasp how large the spa actually is. It feels cozy and serene, a nurturing nest, but it’s the skillful practitioners that elevate the spa-going experience to top-notch. The entire staff here is professional, intuitive and warm.
To make the most of your visit here, set aside a good chunk of time. Leave your smartphone behind and book the Signature Ritual, which takes about two-and-a-half hours. This treatment begins in a hydrotherapy tub, spiced with lemongrass and sage bath salts. Hydrotherapy has proven to assist in regulating body temperature, improving blood circulation and perspiration, and stimulating muscles and breathing patterns. Have the therapist switch off the lights for this hot soak; that way you’ll better absorb the various changing shades of light happening. This "body chakra" color therapy starts with ruby red for the root chakra and ends with violet for the crown chakra. Outfitted with 75 jets with hydro jet treatment zones and multi-head air injectors, which give an all-over hydro-massage, this decadent bubble bath soothes tired, aching muscles beautifully while also detoxing the body. Should you get too hot, there are iced towels within easy reach.
Next on the menu is a little rest stop in the calm and inviting lounge area in front of the fireplace, which just like everything else at The Lodge pays tribute to early Craftsman styling. After you’re in charge of all your faculties again (the soak can leave you pleasantly light-headed) it’s on to the Coastal Sage Scrub in the wet room. The women at traditional hammams couldn’t do a more thorough job of sloughing off dead skin cells and washing them away along with all worries under the Vichy shower.
Finally, you're guided back to a cozy room for a personalized massage utilizing a whipped lemon soufflé. If you’ve ever felt a little emotional under the skillful hands of a practitioner you know how paper thin the division between mind and body really is. With every well-administered stroke not just everyday stress but more universal feelings of sorrow and loss can literally be massaged away. You’re left with not just polished skin, better alignment and relaxed muscles but a lighter heart and clearer mind.
It'd be technically incorrect to call The Lodge & Spa at Torrey Pines a destination spa — but we’d use it as a spa destination any time!