Traditional recipes

Destination Spas Offer Luxury to the Masses

Destination Spas Offer Luxury to the Masses

An air of zen tranquility and sumptuous seclusion greets visitors to the Golden Door, the 600-acre destination spa in San Marcos, California.

Which is probably how is should be at a world-renowned luxury resort, where a week’s stay costs between $9,000 and $9,600.

Birds chirp as if on cue as you pass through the famed gold entryway that ushers you over a wooden bridge and into a hushed expanse of meticulous Japanese gardens, koi ponds, citrus groves, organic vegetable farms and ancient oaks.

Guests — no more than 40 at a time — from the upper echelons of celebrity, industry and royalty come to be pampered with one-on-one training, daily in-room massages and customized cuisine.

There was a time when the Golden Door, along with the San Diego area’s two other exclusive destination spas — Cal-a-Vie and Rancho La Puerta — were just that, exclusive. Today, however, all three are peeling back the curtain and offering, to varying degrees, small but significant slices of this rarefied world.

Wine drinkers can buy sauvignon blanc, merlot or a Bordeaux-style blend made from grapes grown on Cal-a-Vie’s lush Vista property. And San Diego residents can go antique shopping there, perhaps decorating their homes with the same European pieces that adorn the resort’s swanky Provençal-style accommodations.

Members of the public can spend an entire day unwinding at Rancho La Puerta, the legendary 3,000-acre rustic wellness retreat in Tecate, or even just grab a bite to eat at a new Mexican cafe adjacent to its organic farm and cooking school.

And tucked away in a corner of the Golden Door property not seen by guests are two non-descript buildings being used as commercial distribution centers. Earlier this year, the resort launched a major retail operation and began selling its beauty and artisan food products to the mass market on a massive scale — on HSN, formerly the Home Shopping Network.

Thousands of orders a day — for products ranging from Bamboo Face Scrub to Irresistible Ginger Cookies and Organic Fig Preserves — get processed at the distribution centers and shipped across the country. Locally, residents can also find Golden Door products at Whole Foods and Jimbo’s.

“We have migrated to a lifestyle brand,” said Kathy Van Ness, the resort’s general manager and chief operating officer.


Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

A warm ambiance offering a wide variety of local flavors. Inspired by the Arabian Gulf and Lebanon, you can enjoy homemade recipes, from crispy and freshly baked bread, to the most tasteful Arabic classics.

Open for breakfast Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mabeet

Currently Closed: Traditional Emirati dishes in an understated, atmospheric desert setting

Open for dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Terra Secca

Characterized by European warmth and style, the design blends rustic finishes of exposed brickwork and contemporary furnishings and a vast outdoor terrace where amazing Arabian horses are roaming.

Open for lunch and dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mesayan

Experience the natural surroundings in supreme comfort at Al Mesayan, where the sunset views are simply breath-taking. Enjoy signature cocktails and indulge into a variety of tasteful bites.

Dress code: Casual Phone: +971 2044444

Panache

Surrender to the soothing energy of the vast infinity pool and enjoy poolside dining with a swim-up bar. Enjoy casual dining, refreshing cocktails and mocktails and a variety of snacks.

Open for breakfast and lunch Dress code: Smart Casual Phone: +971 2 204 4444


Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

A warm ambiance offering a wide variety of local flavors. Inspired by the Arabian Gulf and Lebanon, you can enjoy homemade recipes, from crispy and freshly baked bread, to the most tasteful Arabic classics.

Open for breakfast Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mabeet

Currently Closed: Traditional Emirati dishes in an understated, atmospheric desert setting

Open for dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Terra Secca

Characterized by European warmth and style, the design blends rustic finishes of exposed brickwork and contemporary furnishings and a vast outdoor terrace where amazing Arabian horses are roaming.

Open for lunch and dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mesayan

Experience the natural surroundings in supreme comfort at Al Mesayan, where the sunset views are simply breath-taking. Enjoy signature cocktails and indulge into a variety of tasteful bites.

Dress code: Casual Phone: +971 2044444

Panache

Surrender to the soothing energy of the vast infinity pool and enjoy poolside dining with a swim-up bar. Enjoy casual dining, refreshing cocktails and mocktails and a variety of snacks.

Open for breakfast and lunch Dress code: Smart Casual Phone: +971 2 204 4444


Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

A warm ambiance offering a wide variety of local flavors. Inspired by the Arabian Gulf and Lebanon, you can enjoy homemade recipes, from crispy and freshly baked bread, to the most tasteful Arabic classics.

Open for breakfast Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mabeet

Currently Closed: Traditional Emirati dishes in an understated, atmospheric desert setting

Open for dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Terra Secca

Characterized by European warmth and style, the design blends rustic finishes of exposed brickwork and contemporary furnishings and a vast outdoor terrace where amazing Arabian horses are roaming.

Open for lunch and dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mesayan

Experience the natural surroundings in supreme comfort at Al Mesayan, where the sunset views are simply breath-taking. Enjoy signature cocktails and indulge into a variety of tasteful bites.

Dress code: Casual Phone: +971 2044444

Panache

Surrender to the soothing energy of the vast infinity pool and enjoy poolside dining with a swim-up bar. Enjoy casual dining, refreshing cocktails and mocktails and a variety of snacks.

Open for breakfast and lunch Dress code: Smart Casual Phone: +971 2 204 4444


Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

A warm ambiance offering a wide variety of local flavors. Inspired by the Arabian Gulf and Lebanon, you can enjoy homemade recipes, from crispy and freshly baked bread, to the most tasteful Arabic classics.

Open for breakfast Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mabeet

Currently Closed: Traditional Emirati dishes in an understated, atmospheric desert setting

Open for dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Terra Secca

Characterized by European warmth and style, the design blends rustic finishes of exposed brickwork and contemporary furnishings and a vast outdoor terrace where amazing Arabian horses are roaming.

Open for lunch and dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mesayan

Experience the natural surroundings in supreme comfort at Al Mesayan, where the sunset views are simply breath-taking. Enjoy signature cocktails and indulge into a variety of tasteful bites.

Dress code: Casual Phone: +971 2044444

Panache

Surrender to the soothing energy of the vast infinity pool and enjoy poolside dining with a swim-up bar. Enjoy casual dining, refreshing cocktails and mocktails and a variety of snacks.

Open for breakfast and lunch Dress code: Smart Casual Phone: +971 2 204 4444


Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

A warm ambiance offering a wide variety of local flavors. Inspired by the Arabian Gulf and Lebanon, you can enjoy homemade recipes, from crispy and freshly baked bread, to the most tasteful Arabic classics.

Open for breakfast Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mabeet

Currently Closed: Traditional Emirati dishes in an understated, atmospheric desert setting

Open for dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Terra Secca

Characterized by European warmth and style, the design blends rustic finishes of exposed brickwork and contemporary furnishings and a vast outdoor terrace where amazing Arabian horses are roaming.

Open for lunch and dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mesayan

Experience the natural surroundings in supreme comfort at Al Mesayan, where the sunset views are simply breath-taking. Enjoy signature cocktails and indulge into a variety of tasteful bites.

Dress code: Casual Phone: +971 2044444

Panache

Surrender to the soothing energy of the vast infinity pool and enjoy poolside dining with a swim-up bar. Enjoy casual dining, refreshing cocktails and mocktails and a variety of snacks.

Open for breakfast and lunch Dress code: Smart Casual Phone: +971 2 204 4444


Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

A warm ambiance offering a wide variety of local flavors. Inspired by the Arabian Gulf and Lebanon, you can enjoy homemade recipes, from crispy and freshly baked bread, to the most tasteful Arabic classics.

Open for breakfast Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mabeet

Currently Closed: Traditional Emirati dishes in an understated, atmospheric desert setting

Open for dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Terra Secca

Characterized by European warmth and style, the design blends rustic finishes of exposed brickwork and contemporary furnishings and a vast outdoor terrace where amazing Arabian horses are roaming.

Open for lunch and dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mesayan

Experience the natural surroundings in supreme comfort at Al Mesayan, where the sunset views are simply breath-taking. Enjoy signature cocktails and indulge into a variety of tasteful bites.

Dress code: Casual Phone: +971 2044444

Panache

Surrender to the soothing energy of the vast infinity pool and enjoy poolside dining with a swim-up bar. Enjoy casual dining, refreshing cocktails and mocktails and a variety of snacks.

Open for breakfast and lunch Dress code: Smart Casual Phone: +971 2 204 4444


Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

A warm ambiance offering a wide variety of local flavors. Inspired by the Arabian Gulf and Lebanon, you can enjoy homemade recipes, from crispy and freshly baked bread, to the most tasteful Arabic classics.

Open for breakfast Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mabeet

Currently Closed: Traditional Emirati dishes in an understated, atmospheric desert setting

Open for dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Terra Secca

Characterized by European warmth and style, the design blends rustic finishes of exposed brickwork and contemporary furnishings and a vast outdoor terrace where amazing Arabian horses are roaming.

Open for lunch and dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mesayan

Experience the natural surroundings in supreme comfort at Al Mesayan, where the sunset views are simply breath-taking. Enjoy signature cocktails and indulge into a variety of tasteful bites.

Dress code: Casual Phone: +971 2044444

Panache

Surrender to the soothing energy of the vast infinity pool and enjoy poolside dining with a swim-up bar. Enjoy casual dining, refreshing cocktails and mocktails and a variety of snacks.

Open for breakfast and lunch Dress code: Smart Casual Phone: +971 2 204 4444


Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

A warm ambiance offering a wide variety of local flavors. Inspired by the Arabian Gulf and Lebanon, you can enjoy homemade recipes, from crispy and freshly baked bread, to the most tasteful Arabic classics.

Open for breakfast Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mabeet

Currently Closed: Traditional Emirati dishes in an understated, atmospheric desert setting

Open for dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Terra Secca

Characterized by European warmth and style, the design blends rustic finishes of exposed brickwork and contemporary furnishings and a vast outdoor terrace where amazing Arabian horses are roaming.

Open for lunch and dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mesayan

Experience the natural surroundings in supreme comfort at Al Mesayan, where the sunset views are simply breath-taking. Enjoy signature cocktails and indulge into a variety of tasteful bites.

Dress code: Casual Phone: +971 2044444

Panache

Surrender to the soothing energy of the vast infinity pool and enjoy poolside dining with a swim-up bar. Enjoy casual dining, refreshing cocktails and mocktails and a variety of snacks.

Open for breakfast and lunch Dress code: Smart Casual Phone: +971 2 204 4444


Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

A warm ambiance offering a wide variety of local flavors. Inspired by the Arabian Gulf and Lebanon, you can enjoy homemade recipes, from crispy and freshly baked bread, to the most tasteful Arabic classics.

Open for breakfast Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mabeet

Currently Closed: Traditional Emirati dishes in an understated, atmospheric desert setting

Open for dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Terra Secca

Characterized by European warmth and style, the design blends rustic finishes of exposed brickwork and contemporary furnishings and a vast outdoor terrace where amazing Arabian horses are roaming.

Open for lunch and dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mesayan

Experience the natural surroundings in supreme comfort at Al Mesayan, where the sunset views are simply breath-taking. Enjoy signature cocktails and indulge into a variety of tasteful bites.

Dress code: Casual Phone: +971 2044444

Panache

Surrender to the soothing energy of the vast infinity pool and enjoy poolside dining with a swim-up bar. Enjoy casual dining, refreshing cocktails and mocktails and a variety of snacks.

Open for breakfast and lunch Dress code: Smart Casual Phone: +971 2 204 4444


Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

A warm ambiance offering a wide variety of local flavors. Inspired by the Arabian Gulf and Lebanon, you can enjoy homemade recipes, from crispy and freshly baked bread, to the most tasteful Arabic classics.

Open for breakfast Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mabeet

Currently Closed: Traditional Emirati dishes in an understated, atmospheric desert setting

Open for dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Terra Secca

Characterized by European warmth and style, the design blends rustic finishes of exposed brickwork and contemporary furnishings and a vast outdoor terrace where amazing Arabian horses are roaming.

Open for lunch and dinner Dress code: Smart Casual

Al Mesayan

Experience the natural surroundings in supreme comfort at Al Mesayan, where the sunset views are simply breath-taking. Enjoy signature cocktails and indulge into a variety of tasteful bites.

Dress code: Casual Phone: +971 2044444

Panache

Surrender to the soothing energy of the vast infinity pool and enjoy poolside dining with a swim-up bar. Enjoy casual dining, refreshing cocktails and mocktails and a variety of snacks.

Open for breakfast and lunch Dress code: Smart Casual Phone: +971 2 204 4444