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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Page 64 of 124

YOURWELLNESSSPA SNAPSHOT PHOTOS COURTESY OMNI LA COSTA RESORT & SPA SoCal Serenity A beloved spa resort continues to charm after half a century. By Lesley McCave Only a certain kind of wonderland could justify making the long drive down from Los Angeles to Carls- bad, California, on a Friday evening. One that imme- diately unhunches the shoulders, unclenches the jaw and erases all memory of freeway gridlock. Thankfully, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa delivers on all counts. Arriving feels like stepping into a secret hideaway, but the sprawling property is actually a well-known fi xture with a storied history that has attracted tens of thou- sands of repeat guests over its 51 years in existence. Set in a picturesque valley 30 miles north of San Diego, the 400-acre site was discovered by real estate developer (and future TV executive) Merv Adelson in 1963. Even before it opened, the Spanish Colonial- style retreat was garnering attention from international media, who billed it as "a glimmer with luxury." The $3 million spa was, at the time, said to be the largest and best equipped in the world, and the $1.5 million golf course soon began hosting pro tournaments and golfi ng legends. The resort also gained a reputation as a playground for the rich and famous: Everyone from Richard Nixon to Frank Sinatra has sought refuge from the public eye here. In 2003, La Costa underwent a $140 million restora- tion, which added a ballroom, further rooms and villas, plus 15,000 square feet of spa gardens and courtyards. Around the same time, The Chopra Center—which offers mind-body classes, programs and workshops— opened on site. A decade later, the Dallas-based Omni group purchased the premises. Today, La Costa's vast offerings also encompass a state-of-the-art gym, plus several cafés, restaurants and boutiques. But as impressive as the facilities are, they're not the only things that have lured A-listers and locals alike: It's also the glorious natural environ- ment—bubbling fountains, tropical fl owers, ubiquitous hummingbirds, and even baby rabbits soaking up the late afternoon sun. All of this contributes to an intangible, magical feel that seduces guests the mo- ment they arrive. 62 DAYSPA AYSPA 62 DAYSPA | SEPTEMBER 2016

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