West Coast living for East Coast dwellers … the best of what to do the next time you’re in California.

RanchoValencia Courtyard


Rancho Valencia Rocks

There will not be adequate words to fully describe the splendor that is Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, but suffice to say, it’s nirvana!

Two hours south of Los Angeles, just on the northern tip of San Diego in a little town called Rancho Sante Fe, sits 45 acres of lush gardens with 49 luxuriously appointed casitas on the all-suite property.

The recent $30 million renovation was money well spent at Southern California’s only Relais & Châteaux, turning it into the most enchanting escape with delightful attention to detail at every turn.

The exquisite Mediterranean-inspired living spaces are nestled amongst orange trees and olive groves. I stayed in the 1,300-square-feet Valencia Suite, which has a master bedroom with king bed, separate living/dining area, fireplace, microwave, spacious bathroom with deep soaking tub, heated Toto toilet seat, and double vanity.

And if that wasn’t enough, the large, private wraparound patio with outdoor fireplace and hot tub will be sufficient for you to become so ensconced that you’ll never want to leave. No, seriously… I really didn’t want to leave! The Bang & Olufsen stereos are also a great touch so you can have your perfect soundtrack playing while you relax and enjoy the most delightful surroundings.

The vaulted high ceilings, wood beams, wrought iron fixtures, hardwood floors, beautiful artwork, and peek-a-boo shutters that open up to an onslaught of natural light is the perfect sanctuary to enjoy everything Rancho Valencia has to offer. And less we forget … the fleet of Porsches at the resort for use at guests’ disposal just takes Rancho Valencia deliciously off of the luxury hotel edge making it one of my absolute favorite places in SoCal. Bravo!

The Spa at Rancho Valencia

The Spa at Rancho Valencia is perfectly designed to invigorate and relax you to the core with its alluring treatments to rejuvenate the body, enrich the mind, and soothe the spirit.

Using the best herbs, flowers, oils, and minerals to combine into the some of the most creative and exotic treatments available on the West Coast, The Spa is a true haven to give you stillness and peace from the hectic world outside. Lush gardens and palm trees envelop the outdoor pool. And you’re only always steps away from outdoor Jacuzzis, soothing waterfalls, and a real connection with nature. If you can steal yourself away, you can also enjoy their rejuvenating steam and sauna rooms, dedicated yoga studio, award-winning tennis program, bike rides, and more from the wellness-orientated fitness program.

The Citrus Supreme treatment is a must beginning with a mandarin exfoliation, which you rinse off in the oh-so-sexy outdoor shower. Come back inside to be cocooned in a citrus soufflé mask and cream application. The antioxidant facial rounds out the 135-minute blissed out treatment.


With a farm-to-table philosophy and focus on creating a menu from ingredients locally grown, you really cannot go wrong with anything you choose from the menu at Rancho Valencia’s signature restaurant Veladora.

The olive oil, herbs, and honey are all cultivated right on the Rancho Santa Fe property, ensuring the freshest and most sublime tap dance on your taste buds. The delicious Coastal Ranch cuisine in the beautifully designed hacienda-style dining room is the perfect setting to indulge while taking in the valley views. Highlights are the Poached Main Lobster & RV Citrus Salad, Hawaiian Mero Sea Bass, and the Chateaubriand served with parmesan black truffle bread pudding and fondant potatoes. Delicious!

But before dining at Veladora, be sure to stop in at The Pony Room for one of their delectable handcrafted cocktails. Mixologist Ted sure has a heavy hand – in the best possible way!

Four Seasons Westlake Village pool

Four Seasons Fun

If you’re in need of a change of scene and a beauty tune-up, then Four Seasons Westlake Village is your perfect hop, skip, and a jump away destination.

Just a quick 45-minute drive from LA, this is the perfect locale for a day spa trip with your girls or a romantic weekend away with your significant other. Whether you want to just catch some rays poolside with a cocktail or indulge in the tremendous array of fantastic spa treatments, Four Seasons Westlake Village has something for whatever mood you’re in.

One of my favorites is the signature treatment, California Dream. Beginning with an exfoliation of sugar cane extract infused with shea butter, noni, safflower, and other calming oils will have your skin beautifully hydrated. Add in a detoxifying peppermint clay body mask and a lather of grape stem cell and white tea body butter, and you’ll be “California Dreaming” all the way home.

Krisp Low Glycemic 2

Krisp Fresh Living

The next time you’re in the Newport Beach area and parched from taking in all the spectacular scenery, take a trip to the delightful Krisp Fresh Living juice lounge.

Its unique philosophy to juicing advocates organic, toxin-free sustainable farming with a menu developed by doctors and certified nutritionists, and includes ingredients selected with nourishing benefits in mind. Krisp also prides itself on being a part of a cultural revolution that advocates sustainable farming practices and the elimination of chemical toxins from our food supply.

The VIP favorite haunt offers an array of options, including cold-pressed juices, smoothies, acai bowls, vegan ice creams, supplements, and more, and was also the first to market with a Low-Glycemic DTOX available in a 3-day program to cleanse the liver, kidneys, lungs, blood and skin. Also available is a 4- to 7-day program designed to address heavy metals and radiation. Krisp has recently started shipping nationwide, so you won’t miss out on the delicious fare, regardless of your location., IG/Twitter: @KrispFreshLiving

Cristophe Salon Newport Beach

Cristophe Salon in Newport Beach, CA is one of the top beauty destinations in Orange County, highlighted for its five-star experience and being the go-to place for the best colorists and stylists to jazz up your ‘do.

Now, with its recent transition into a L’Oreal exclusive salon and the addition of the SHU UEMURA Art of Hair product line, Christophe Salon Newport Beach is a cut above the rest as it combines the best elements of nature, science, and art.

Located in Fashion Island, Cristophe Salon Newport Beach is one of the only beauty centers in Orange County to offer high-end, luxury hair products. The 3,000-square-feet salon, owned by husband-and-wife team Scott and Jennifer Fontana, boasts a sleek and inviting design, crisp white walls, and a team of beauty industry elite to cater to your tresses and give you the ultimate beauty experience.

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