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Recently I had the pleasure of visiting The Golden Door Resort and Spa in southern California on a press trip. You know, THAT Golden Door. The one that Hollywood elite flock to prepare for big roles or relax after them. The one that only books week-long reservations. Reservations that cost about $9000. (No, I didn’t mistakenly add a zero.) Yes, that Golden Door.
Can you guess how quickly I said yes?
Now, I didn’t stay for a week. I didn’t even stay for a night. I stayed for the day. But when one offers you a peek behind the Golden Door, you take it. And, my dear we heartsers, that’s what I’m giving you right now, a pictorial peek.
Because I only stayed for the day, I don’t feel I can quite call this a review. But I did get a taste for what it would be like to visit for the week. Let me tell you, it would be GOOD. Allow me to show you…
Once you enter the actual golden door (after being buzzed on to the property) you cross a bridge to the main lobby of the resort. It’s hard not to immediately see how tranquil this place is. Was that orange blossoms I smelled? Probably, there’s a grove right by the entrance. Just one of the MANY things grown on the property.
It was as if every step on that bridge melted the stress from me. I got that before I even set my bag down, imagine how you feel after a week? I sat with my fellow bloggers and admired the view from the lobby and learned about its history and what we’d be doing for the day.
Let’s address the cost right away. I can’t even pretend I could book a reservation. But it’s worth noting that the fee includes everything for the 40 guests; your room, all your food, daily spa appointments, speciality lessons galore, even fresh workout clothes daily. Also noteworthy, 100% of their net profits go to philanthropic causes. You can feel good about your visit, both literally and figuratively.
For those of us who can’t book a stay, the reason we were there was to learn about their artisan food line. Executive Chef (and super nice guy) Greg Frey Jr. spoke passionately about the organic gardens on the property that influenced the line and served guests daily. Vegetables, fruits, eggs and even honey from his carefully tended hives. Do yourself a favor and order some of their honey. The spicy Serrano Honey was my favorite, drizzled over cheese and crackers.
We were each given a “fan” which listed the day’s activities, just as guests would. On mine was an array of things I’ve never done before. We were led to the spa to change and I felt giddy at the excitement of it all.
I saw on my fan that I’d be back at the spa at the end of the day for an Herbal Wrap. I learned this was one of the most popular treatments at the spa, due to the fact that guests are active most of the day. Like, the majority of it. Dropping a few pounds is a welcome side effect to a stay. And those Herbal Wraps do wonders for sore muscles, as I can now attest.
And approximately 10 minutes after I felt the buzz of trying new things…I skipped my Zumba class and chose to sit by the pool instead. Which was fine, no guest has to do any activity scheduled. But I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed in myself.
But then again, you could have way worse ways to spend an hour than on one of these chaise lounges!
So, once properly chilled, I headed off to Pilates. Above is the view from the room as I looked out the window and cursed my existence, using muscles I didn’t even knew I had.
All was right again in my world soon after, as Chef Greg took us on a tour of the property and the gardens he spoke so passionately about earlier. Guests roam the land daily, not all 600 acres but much of it, drawing serenity from the bamboo gardens, fields and mountains. We made friends with Koi and felt the calm of a labyrinth.
Finally, we came upon a beautiful table amongst the organic vegetables. Lunch was served. And, oh what a lunch! Heirloom tomatoes, salad with a house-made, herb-filled vinaigrette, grilled chicken and scallops. It was as delicious as it was gorgeous.
So delicious in fact that I decided to embrace the new again and go to the archery class I was scheduled for. What an amazing surprise that turned out to be! I instantly took to it. Known as “standing meditation” I loved the concentration required, methodical steps for shooting and the satisfaction of the pluck of the string followed by the ping of the arrow hitting the target.
I didn’t hit a bullseye, but I came closest in my class. And that was all it took: guess who got a bow and arrow for Christmas? This lil’ archer, that’s who.
My day at the Golden Door was all I had hoped it would be. While I dream about being able to visit again one day, I’ll just be over here with my bow eating honey by the spoonful. Now, who wants a peek at THAT?