SEP 2016

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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20 DAYSPA | SEPTEMBER 2016 SPA HOPPING Blissful Harvest A trip through California's vineyards produces a fruitful variety of spa visits. By Linda Kossoff Thanks to the West Coast's temperate climate, there really is no bad time of year to visit California's wine country. Even so, tourists tend to fl ock to these picturesque regions up and down the state in the fall, when they can witness the spectacle of ripened grapes being harvested, prepared for fermentation and stored in those iconic oak barrels for aging. I chose to tour these regions in the spring, to explore the numerous spas for which wine country hubs have also become famous. As a Southern Cali- fornian, I decided to set out for unfamiliar pastures and visit the Central and Northern regions of the state. I was soon to discover that the facilities, treatments and attitudes of wine country spas might very well be as diverse as the varieties of wines themselves. SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY Situated on the Central Coast about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo Coun- ty encompasses multiple cities, including Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo, home to California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University. A few miles inland is the Avila Valley, where Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa (sycamoresprings .com) stands ready to embrace nature- and activity- loving locals. Established as a resort property in the late 1800s, Sycamore boasts 72 guest rooms and suites; a 1,400 square-foot, three-bedroom guesthouse; Wellness Cen- ter; restaurant; and heated swimming pool. Accom- mo dations are provided in 10 structures scattered over 100 glorious, wooded acres. The maturity of the foliage, and the rustic structures and paths, are reminiscent of summer camp, as is the informal and friendly attitude of the staff and guests. Buildings and suites sport names instead of numbers (I was housed in "Wishful") and all come equipped with mineral spring hot tubs on a private patio or balcony. Hot tubs are Sycamore's calling card. Day and over night guests who want to commune with nature without the restriction of clothing are encouraged to reserve one of the property's 22 private hillside sulfur mineral springs tubs. And although I was in- timidated at fi rst by the idea of baring all in the harsh light of day, the soak soon became a natural-feeling and freeing experience, thanks in part to the gorgeous hillside view. Sycamore guests may also choose to visit the Yoga Dome for classes, go on a self-guided hike along one of the property's trails or visit the Wellness Center, which offers a modest yet tantalizing menu of mas- sages, body treatments and facials. © GETTY IMAGES

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