South County’s opulent beachside resorts offer luxurious getaways with pools, golf courses galore and of course, day spas. Yet a new addition to the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point is focusing on relaxation and wellness in a time where “fit life” is becoming more and more ingrained into American culture.
The Miraval Life in Balance Spa brings a new array of wellness-oriented treatments, specialty fitness classes, a health-conscious cafe, nail salon, dry bar and a wax center to the Dana Point hideaway that just underwent a $40 million renovation and rebranding (it used to be the St. Regis Monarch Beach). While the original Miraval Life in Balance Spa is located in the high Sonoran Desert of Tucson, Arizona, the new Dana Point location exchanges a mountainous terrain for a breezy California coastline while offering 70 of the same award-winning Miraval signature treatments designed to “awaken the senses, create balance and promote a sense of well-being.”
With all the activities available, Miraval is a Choose Your Own Adventure of rejuvenation. One stay could entail of sitting back and relaxing in a white waffle robe with cushioned spa sandals in the health conscious Spa Café—the cafe’s menu declares “the food on your plate should look the way it did when it was harvested.” All the edible pleasures available are guilt-free except for perhaps the champagnes and wines. Or, treat your liver right with the smoothies, juices, and detoxing elixirs—try the ginger elixir shot with a kick of black pepper in it, trust me. Clean eats include sea salt and organic kale chips, lemon verbena grilled organic chicken and red quinoa salad, and even an avocado frosted carrot cake—yum!
Next, give your muscles’ some much-needed recovery and relaxation by choosing one of 16 body treatments ranging from Thai massages, reflexology, and Ayurveda. Even coastal-themed body treatments are available such as the Sea Salt Serenity which exfoliates the skin using—you guessed it—sea salt. Warm crystal salt stones also relax your muscles as a massage therapist works their craft. The result is a softer, smoother and silkier version of yourself that sheds off your old, stressed-out self. If facial care is on your agenda, choose from 10 facial treatments that range from brightening to ant-aging and lifting.
The spa also offers fitness sessions and spiritual lectures at the Miraval Body Mindfulness Center. Keep it traditional with a pilates or spin class, or be adventurous and try aerial yoga, beach yoga, cardio drumming (rhythmically beating large yoga balls with drumsticks) and Nâga—a deep-stretching treatment which also incorporates majestic aerial silks.
I personally recommend trying out the aerial meditation session which involves aerial silks gently swinging you back and forth as you tap into your innermost self. The meditation is guided by soothing sonic vibrations from crystal bowls that are said to rebalance your body’s seven chakras. Although the aerial mediation was challenging to focus on at first, I began slowly fading into subconsciousness after a few deep breaths and found myself feeling spiritually awakened and in tune with the energy of others around me—crazy stuff! The tantric vibes lasted only until realizing I needed to use the restroom really badly, and any zen I had managed to cultivate escaped me immediately. Tip: make sure to use the powder room before embarking on a spiritual awakening, folks!
With special locals-only deals going on from now until August 31st, take your pick of trying out a complimentary fitness class or a specialty class for 50% off. You can also relax the day away as you indulge in a 50-minute personalized massage or 50-minute personalized facial, a healthy lunch at the Spa Café and all-day access to spa facilities which including an athletic pool, sauna, jacuzzi and the Body Mind Fullness Center. Sounds like the perfect excuse to work up a sweat, massage your sore muscles and chillax the day away.
Miraval Resort & Spa, One Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point. (855) 368-2940 For more information visit www.miravalspamonarchbeach.com