Estancia La Jolla Spa - Review
The Little Spa That Could
lounge and cozy fireplace
on the terrace
trend in spas these days seems to be the bigger and
more elaborate the better. But there’s something
to be said for simplicity, informality and—especially
given the intimate nature of spa going—an atmosphere
where you feel at home.
the property it inhabits—the Estancia
La Jolla Hotel—The Spa at Estancia La Jolla
is a low-key, welcoming place. It is situated beyond
the swimming pool at the far end of the grounds, and
although UCSD and a residential community lie just beyond,
it manages to maintain a feeling of seclusion. Many
of the treatment rooms open onto small garden patios
where light breezes rustle through bamboo, and a combination
of walls and foliage separates them from the rest of
the world—if you’re in doubt, just ask members
of the spa staff, who have armed themselves with binoculars
and gone as far as entering neighboring buildings (with
permission, of course) to see if spying is possible.
spa is just a short walk from the Pacific, but it doesn’t
focus on the ocean/seaweed-based treatments that are
popular these days. The hotel capitalizes on the area’s
rancho history, and the spa follows suit with an organic,
earthy approach to wellness. When selecting products,
Spa Director Marissa Edwards did her research; she chose
products that reflect the garden atmosphere and then
hit up the entire hotel staff for their opinions. This
is the kind of symbiosis that is relied upon throughout
the hotel, and the result is a signature product list
so natural that you can—as Marissa assured us—eat
it. Although we didn’t sample any of the products,
we did do some serious sniffing. The pumpkin-orange
masque will make your stomach growl.
the two product lines used, botanical-based Astara incorporates
organically grown, raw, enzyme-rich foods with an emphasis
on antioxidants. The second product, Eminence, uses
organically grown herbs, fruits and vegetables (active
ingredients are as varied as Hungarian paprika and wild
plum), handpicked and hand-mixed with water from the
subterranean thermal Lake Hajduszoboszlo in Hungary.
An interesting aspect of the Eminence line is that you
can actually see and feel the fresh fruit pulp and seeds
in the potions.
its small size, the spa has everything you’d find
in a bigger space... steam showers, separate men’s
and women’s dressing rooms and Jacuzzis and a
coed relaxation room, stocked with "elixr"
tonics—Mind Over Muddle is particularly good.
The relaxation room leads to a series of treatments
rooms for massages, body scrubs, wraps and masques.
The spa also offers manicures and pedicures, and is
becoming popular with locals for events such as bridal
showers, wedding showers and couples’ escapes.
the many "garden treatments" is the Garden
Vegetable Wrap, which uses Eminence’s Stone Crop
Masque. This masque contains the whole leaves of the
Stone Crop Plant, a succulent with healing qualities
for damaged skin. Once the leaves are washed away with
hot towels—a remarkably relaxing procedure in
and of itself—the skin feels wonderfully soft.
We took this treatment in the late afternoon, and we
followed it with a cup of chamomile tea by the fireplace
outside on the spa’s private patio: sublime, but
something we only recommend if you plan on heading straight
for bed afterward.
La Jolla Hotel & Spa
9700 N. Torrey Pines Rd.
La Jolla, CA 92037
(Updated: 07/09/08 HC)