Caroline Tapp-McDougall 2017-09-22 04:28:23
The fragrant scent of bougainvillea and sweetheart roses wafts through my open shutters. Wildflowers, lavender and citrus trees line the winding path as I stroll peacefully toward the family vineyards set in 500 acres of rolling hills. Atop the hill, amidst curated French rose gardens and stands of old oak and olive trees, a 17th century orangerie is the location of Chef Curtis Cooke’s demo kitchen for his twice-weekly mindful eating talks and cooking lessons. Cooke practices what he preaches, with only fresh garden grown produce, unprocessed whole grains, lean proteins and essential fatty acids on his menu. Next door, a candlelit chapel, imported from Dijon and reconstructed stone by stone, provides a grounding sense of days gone by, as well as housing meditation and yoga classes for the so inspired. French antiques set the mood The endearing spirit of Provence, gracefully recreated by the owners of Cal-A-Vie Health Spa, is but one of the high notes cherished by guests seeking respite here in the hills of San Diego County. Crossing the symbolic wooden bridge and moving one’s heart, mind and body into the charming village setting feels like “coming home to rest” coos a regular guest over our tasty caloriecounted lunch on the California sundrenched patio. I can’t help but agree, even as a first timer. Cal-a-Vie’s sweet, meditative calm is contagious. The site’s 32 Mediterranean-style villas are decorated with dreamy chintzes and floral prints, hand-carved French furnishings and the finest down bedding. Together with private sun-Decks and natural treatments at the nearby Bath House my stay is as hoped for, “out of this world” revitalizing. Shake your booty Cal-a-Vie also offers more than 20 aptly named mind-body-spirit classes including Zumba, tread and shed, booty barre and metabolic balance.As expected, their promise is to help guests restore their inner balance, improve fitness and encourage weight loss. In addition there is a labyrinth for personal reflection. The evening room is a cozy place to gather for snacks, “mock-tails” and mini-talks on stress management, fitness, nutrition and mind-body connection.Outside, a soothing pond with running water simulates a natural spring and offers a sense of being one with nature. Surrounded by such a setting, like minded guests and a no hassle, no rush agenda, it’s not hard to get beautifully lost, lovingly re-balanced and graciously restored by a few days at Cal-a-Vie. Cal-a-vie.com Treat someone special Cal-a-Vie offers co-ed, women-only and themed programs, with seven, four and three-night stays with accommodation, meals, fitness and treatment options. Best value getaways: 2018 Women’s Special Stay for Two, or a Mum and Teen getaway.
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