Take a classic beach walk during a trip to Montage Laguna Beach
With its idyllic weather and beauty-conscious population, Beverly Hills is an obvious setting for haute hotels, where top-notch spas offer bespoke body and beauty treatments, often providing access to rooftop poolside playgrounds. This dreamy destination in the coveted 90210 zip code offers palm tree-lined residential streets, manicured lawns and flower beds year-round, with a glamorous city centre buzzing with chic boutiques and fine restaurants. Beyond Beverly Hills, the Pacific Ocean beckons. An hour’s drive away, resort getaways, spas boasting sea views, shorefront walks and other outdoor activities await wellness seekers.
THE SPA AT BEVERLY WILSHIRE AT BEVERLY WILSHIRE, A FOUR SEASONS HOTEL
The Grande Dame of Beverly Hills since 1928, The Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, is best known as the backdrop for the long-loved film, Pretty Woman. A black wrought-iron gate separates The Wilshire Wing, the original Renaissance Revival building facing the shops along the famed Rodeo Drive, and the newer Beverly Wing, with its balconied rooms overlooking a pool, cardio centre and the Pool Bar & Café, which serves healthy salads and wraps.
The Spa includes a steam room set with ornamental stars and an experiential shower. My therapist, Megumi, used a trio of 111Skin products developed by renowned cosmetic surgeon Yannis Alexandrides into my Dramatic Healing Massage – a retinol exfoliant, an avocado, chamomile and lavender enriched almond oil and an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory serum.
The Beverly Wilshire Signature Facial is recomended, along with the Pretty Woman for a Day VIP experience. You can also find various treatments designed for men, a salon and a nail bar.
SPA MONTAGE AT MONTAGE LAGUNA
Laguna Beach is a popular getaway an hour’s drive south of Los Angeles. The multi-award-winning Montage Laguna Beach is positioned on a 30-acre coastal bluff offering stunning panoramas. Guests can take in the Pacific Ocean vista from its art-filled lobby, with Brazilian cherry wood floors and grand chandelier, as well as oceanfront bungalows, which have been revamped in a Southern California beach style. Studio Restaurant is a highlight, where you can watch the sun set while indulging in Chef Benjamin Martinek’s creations, which incorporate on-site garden bounty.
Within the 20,000sqft Forbes Five-Star Spa Montage, lies a plush ladies’ lounge with plunge pool, a waterfall-whirlpool, showers, steam and sauna. Of the 21 treatment rooms, three are double rooms opening onto walled terraces. Take a dip in the lap pool, do yoga or take a thalassic beach walk before refueling with your offerings from the healthy menus at Mosaic Bar and Grille. If you prefer to be pampered, four holistic detox experiences are available at The Spa. You can also opt for The Masterpiece Facial, using Swiss Valmont skincare comprising a dual cleansing process, six masks and a collagen treatment for eyes, face, neck and décolleté.
LA PRAIRIE SPA AT WALDORF ASTORIA BEVERLY HILLS
The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills launched the city’s newest luxury property in June 2017, adding contemporary Art Deco glamour to the city’s posh hotel scene.
A dedicated elevator connects the lobby with the first floor fitness facility and The Salon by Joseph Martin. The second floor is home to a La Prairie Spa and the popular eating spot Rooftop by JG, with fabulous views of Beverly Hills and a private pool for guests. JG refers to the acclaimed chef, Jean Georges Vongerichten who oversees all dining outlets here, including the Spa Café, which has an extensive Wellness Menu.
The La Prairie Spa is a 5,000sqft facility with six treatment rooms, including a couple’s room, relaxation lounge and women’s changing room with experience showers and sauna. Much of the spa is bathed in natural daylight. The La Prairie is a 90-minute Rejuvenating Platinum Facial and comes recommended. The indulgent, anti-ageing treatment uses the Swiss brand’s premium Platinum Collection products. Add-ons can include Diamond Microdermabrasion, Ultrasonic and LED Light Therapy modalities.
SPA MONTAGE BEVERLY HILLS AT MONTAGE BEVERLY HILLS
When The Montage made its debut in 2008, the 201-room hotel brought Spanish Revival-style architecture, a Hollywood circa 1930s vibe and a landscaped pocket park to the glamorous Golden Triangle. The hotel is decked in California Impressionist art and comprises a rooftop grill and pool with spa cabanas. The showstopper at the 20,000sqft bi-level spa is a generously-sized mineral wellness pool built beneath an arching sky-lit atrium. An adjacent lounge makes for a cosy cocoon from which to enjoy room service.
Locker rooms offer individual and communal dressing tables, a private make-up room, Swiss showers and a spacious wet room with a large whirlpool tub, glass-enclosed steam and saunas. A regal relaxation lounge includes an oversized couch with privacy curtains and a fireplace. Of the 17 treatment rooms – including a duo-suite – four are for facials and five are dedicated to wet treatments, including a room with twin Vichy beds.
During my 60-minute Beverly Body Bliss massage, my therapist Erika used a warmed buckwheat pillow on the back and under the neck and recommended reflexology as an add-on. Facials mostly use L. Raphael Geneve products.
The Spa at Terranea
Set in residential Rancho Palos Verdes, Terranea, is perched on 102-acres, atop a bluff overlooking a lighthouse and the Pacific Ocean. The Mediterranean-style resort encompasses 582 rooms, suites, casitas, villas and The Bungalows at Terranea. Take on the healthy Californian lifestyle by working out at the 5,000sqft fitness centre; playing on Links, its nine-hole golf course; swimming in the ocean-view infinity pool (one of three pools); or walking the 2.2-mile Terranea Discovery Trail. Then why not indulge by sampling delights in one of its eight restaurants, or head to the spa for serious R&R.
Enjoy seascapes from any of the 25 treatment rooms at The Spa at Terranea. It doesn’t get more romantic than ocean gazing from one of the Signature Couples Suites, with dual massage tables, freestanding copper soaking tubs, fireplaces, saunas and Swiss showers. Pre-treatment, make use of hydrotherapy facilities such as Vichy showers, whirl and plunge pools, or a good old sauna and steam. The Radiant Results Facials performed with natural Aromatherapy Associates products is our pick.
Afterwards, reinvigorate with a yoga, Pilates or water aerobics session, or with a light meal at Solviva, featuring fresh, local ingredients.
THE PENINSULA SPA AT THE PENINSULA BEVERLY HILLS
The fifth floor rooftop at The Peninsula Beverly Hills has a brand-new look thanks to interior designers Forchielli Glynn who have refreshed the hotel’s Rooftop Pool Experience ahead of an extensive spa refurbishment slated to complete this summer. Its latest aesthetic recalls the South of France, with the addition of a Himalayan Salt Crystal Wall and Blow-Out Room.
Decorative elements include glass doors with illuminated leaf sculptures, a scenic mural, handcrafted white porcelain flowers, Swarovski Crystal and Murano glass fixtures, pendants, a white marble portal and silver shimmery wall-covering. Practical changes add cushioned, plank flooring in the seven treatment rooms, new equipment in the dual-pedi-room and a music system with customised playlists. During my visit, Brenna performed an hour-long massage using Naturopathica oil. You can now also find Australian Ayurvedic product line Subtle Energies on the menu alongside three new organic treatments. Firm favourites KOS Body treatments and facials by Luzern and Biologique Recherche remain.
THE SPA AT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LOS ANGELES AT BEVERLY HILLS
With its lifelike Seward Johnson sculpture, Forever Marilyn (capturing Monroe,who else?), the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills sets the scene and entrances from first entry. Two plant walls distinguish the spa on the fourth floor where, following a recent refurbishment, seven rooms (including two suites) have everything a mindful traveller might want.
These new wellness-themed rooms are fitted with hypoallergenic flooring and all-natural amenities. A standout feature are the wellness-intelligent lighting systems, which simulate natural sunlight and works with a visitor’s circadian rhythms to enhance sleep. Hi-tech air purification, Alo Yoga mats, Peloton spin bikes and guided video meditations by Deepak Chopra completes the experience.
A signature DNA Facial features skincare and technology from locally based plastic surgeon Dr Moy, while the innovative IS Clinical Diamond Youth Facial makes use of a diamond-tipped vacuum to lift and exfoliate. Medical Beauty Research (MBR) is a new results-orientated, anti-ageing skincare line and is also offered.
My aesthetician, Lea, demonstrated a newly inaugurated, 120-minute Liquid Surgery Facial, where a deep penetrating healing serum most often used for pre-and-post surgical procedures is applied. For the ultimate in pampering luxury, select from one of two cabana packages and enjoy treatments and poolside amenities, just like the stars.