Cal-a-Vie Destination Health Spa Retreat

Guided wilderness hike, Zumba dance class, custom organic three-course lunch, and meditation, followed by a healing hot stone foot massage and rejuvenating oxygen facial; this is just the beginning of a typical day at the Cal-a-Vie destination health spa retreat.

Located on 200-private acres in a secluded valley 40-miles north of San Diego, Cal-a-Vie is a hidden treasure that provides the ultimate wellness-focused staycation experience. But this local gem is no secret; Cal-a-Vie was rated #3 Destination Spa in North America by Travel + Leisure World’s Best 2011, among many global accolades.

We San Diegans are lucky to live in close proximity to some of the best destination spas in the world, but Cal-a-Vie stands out for its intimate, serene environment, customized one-on-one attention, and advanced health, fitness and culinary programs. Within the sprawling 200-acres, Cal-a-Vie opts to remain petite with only 25 private villas and 7 suites, ensuring the best service for all guests. For proprietors Terri and John Havens, the Cal-a-Vie vision isn’t about vast expansion, but rather about slowing down, and putting aside time to let yourself escape pressures of the outside world. And how you choose to do so is entirely up to you.

Cal-a-Vie is different for everyone, as each guest’s schedule is tailored to fit his or her goals in fitness, stress relief, nutrition and others. Upon arrival, guests meet with the resident dietician and scheduling office to determine goals for the visit, whether it be to lose weight, train for a sporting event, recover from tragedy, or simply to relax and unwind. Every morning, guests are given a custom-made schedule of fitness classes and activities, which begins at 6:15am. While you are encouraged to challenge yourself, try new things, and strive toward your goals, none of the suggestions are required. There are over 100 fitness classes of all levels, each offered in the 11,000 square-foot fitness center or surrounding areas, including body sculpting, spinning, tennis, cardio kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, hiking, and water aerobics. Cal-a-Vie is also the only destination health retreat with its own golf course and country club, which guests have full access to.

To balance out all the hard work, guests also enjoy daily spa treatments, most of which come complimentary with your package and are pre-scheduled on your behalf. The European inspired treatment menu offers a variety of facial and body services, including Bamboo Massage, Thai Massage, Cellulite Massage, Slimming Detox Body Wrap, Bodycoffee Vichy Body Scrub, Anti-Aging Facial, Elegant Eye Lift, Microdermabrasion & Oxygen Facial, Waxing, Airbrush Tanning and more. Depending on your package, guests can receive up to 16 complimentary spa treatments during the duration of the stay.

Nutrition is just as large a part of the Cal-a-Vie wellness experience as any fitness or spa offerings. After determining your goals with the resident nutritionist, you will be served a custom-made daily menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, expertly prepared by Cal-a-Vie’s Executive Chef Jason Graham. There is no all-you-can-eat buffet format here; Chef Graham creates a new menu every day that highlights fresh, regional produce, unprocessed whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, essential fatty acids and lean proteins. Based on your taste, sample menu items may include a Multi-grain Chicken Salad with Roasted Corn, Black Beans in Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette for lunch, followed by a Baby Roma Tomato and White Peach Salad with Peterson’s Greens, Basil and Balsamic-Honey, and Local White Sea Bass with Lobster, English Pea and Yellow Corn Risotto in Madres Curry Oil for dinner. Cal-a-Vie focuses on portion control and fresh, natural ingredients, and recipes are available for guests to bring home and incorporate into their daily lives. Unique seasonal cooking classes are also offering throughout the week.

In between your fitness classes, spa treatments and culinary adventures, guests will reside in one of 25 villas or suites, which feature private sundecks or balconies, luxury bathrooms with grand tubs, King-sized beds with memory foam mattresses, and breathtaking views of the lush valley landscape. Hospitality perks include complimentary workout attire, and daily laundry service with a thorough cleaning of your hiking boots every morning. Outside your suite, the property is surrounded with oak and olive trees, wildflowers, and a calm running stream. Cal-a-Vie also boasts an onsite shopping boutique, and plentiful space for corporate retreat meetings and special event receptions, including destination weddings which are now offered at the 400-year-old chapel from Dijon, France.

Cal-a-Vie offers two preferred week-long packages, in addition to seasonal specials and “La Petite” promotions. The European Plan is a 7 day package which includes 3 meals per day, 16 spa treatments, unlimited fitness classes, cooking classes and more. The California Plan is also a 7 day package with 3 meals per day, 6 spa treatments, unlimited fitness classes, and cooking classes. For more information and to review the schedule and pricing, visit

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