As luck would have it, I recently discovered the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, a luxurious resort property located on Torrey Pines Road near the cliffs between La Jolla and Del Mar. Taking in the scenery during a relaxing stroll along the beautifully landscaped pathways meandering throughout this 10-acre property, I quickly realized that this resort pays homage to the classic hacienda style architecture which is so indicative of southern California’s colorful heritage. Adobe style buildings, red-tile roofs, ornate ironwork and handsomely crafted wood casings, railings and balconies tucked between stately pines, palm trees and native landscaping make for a spectacular and intimate escape! The soothing sound of water splashing in several ornamental fountains can be heard throughout the property. The Estancia is one of four luxury California resorts in the Meritage Collection. Shortly after it opened in 2004,this AAA four-diamond luxury hotel and spa was listed by Condé Nast as one of the “Hottest New Hotels of the World”. More recently the Estancia received a Condé Nast 2012 award as “One of the Top Spas in the World” and was a TripAdvisor “2013 Certificate of Excellence Winner”. One visit here was all the proof I needed that the accolades are well deserved!
Let’s just say that poolside lounging at the Estancia La Jolla is about as relaxing as it gets! Hanging out at the bar and grill, lounging in one of the chaises or private cabanas lining the pool’s perimeter, sipping cocktails and nibbling on freshly prepared snacks from the grill menu is a splendid way to unwind and prepare for a weekend spa escape! The pool area’s fireside lounge is also a primo spot for hotel guests to gather on cool SoCal evenings.
Day two began with a cool morning walk in the light fog that had blanketed the coast during the evening. Wrapping up our stroll, we dropped in at the Estancia’s Adobe El Restaurante for a steamy latte and an order of Crab Cake Benedict. YUM!!!! Time for a 10:00 appointment at the Spa … nestled behind the pool area, this award-winning oasis is pure heaven! My pampering session began with a decadent (and much needed) 80-minute Rejuvenation Deluxe Facial. After that bit of luxury, I wandered to the spa’s private outdoor escape and lounged by the fireplace til …. well, I don’t remember. Having received a tour of the spa and fitness center when I arrived for my afternoon of pampering, I was amazed at how spacious it is! The entrance of this piece of heaven actually appeared quaint and intimate. While it is definitely intimate (check out the couple’s bungalow complete with a private deck, soaking tub and fireplace), the Spa at Estancia La Jolla is certainly not quaint! A luxurious and beautifully appointed indoor lounge area, several private treatment rooms, the couples bungalow, a mani/pedi bungalow, locker rooms, a fitness center, spacious outdoor garden and lounging area with large fireplace, a eucalyptus steam room and an outdoor saltwater whirlpool are strategically located in this spectacular and private botanical setting. Pure relaxation in splendid luxury awaits guests of the Spa at Estancia La Jolla! (If you’re not staying at the hotel, you can purchase a Spa Day Pass for access to the spa and fitness facilities.) To inquire about treatments or a day pass, call the at 858.964.6590. For a complete list of spa amenities, visit their website: http://estancialajolla.com/san-diego-hotel-spa/
Spa treatment finished … rejuvenation time complete … the sun is now beaming in a vibrant blue sky. I’m now lathered in sunscreen and headed poolside for a refreshing drink, an appetizer from the grill and some page turning of Anna Quindlen’s latest novel, Still Life With Bread Crumbs. Two hours, a few cocktails and several chapters later I decided I was sufficiently baked and headed to my beautifully appointed guest room for a shower and preparations for a memorably fun evening.
Yippee! It’s 5 O’clock somewhere-namely HERE! No need to travel away from the Estancia’s grounds. Happy hour began at Trinitas Cellars Wine Bar where our server paired a sampling of luscious berries and chocolate truffles with a flight of perfectly matched wines. Then a short stroll over to Mustangs and Burros for a delightful patio dining experience in front of the massive fireplace. The restaurant’s dining room and patio are suitably decorated in old-world hacienda style with massive wrought iron chandeliers and accents, rustic brick and stone and heavy, dark wood columns. Executive Chef Kimberley Kramer spins a flavorful southwest flair on entrees such as seared tuna over chicory with shaved fennel, pears and pomegranate vinaigrette, carne asada tacos with salsa roja, onions and cilantro, and pork short ribs served with artichoke puree and coleslaw. Savory al fresco dining in a casual and unique atmosphere was a delightful way to close this fine day!
If you’re lucky enough to enjoy some R&R in San Diego’s North County, please consider a stay at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa. This idyllic resort is a wonderful escape for well deserved pampering, relaxation and rejuvenation.
Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa / 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla California, 92037 / Telephone: 858.558.3064 / Website: http://estancialajolla.com
For complete details on the Meritage Collection’s other luxury resort properties including Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa Valley, Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara and Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, visit their website: http://meritagecollection.com