Perusing the list of The Spa at Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s treatments online, it’s hard choosing from the list of relaxing, luxurious treatments, from a Vichy body exfoliation to a warm stone massage.
And then I’m seductively drawn in to Between Two Worlds, a light touch therapy using aromatic oils targeting nerve pathways to achieve deep relaxation.
The Spa features 21,000 square feet of old-world elegance with 11 expansive treatments rooms (including a couple’s suite).
My appointment booked, I arrive as suggested a half hour prior to my session with Swedish native Nina. The hallway leading to the changing room already indicates I’ll be pampered beyond belief, and rightly so: the spa is rated number two in North America and has received numerous spa awards since the resort’s October 2007 opening.
Once I’m given a tour of the women’s lounge and been given a locker, robe and slippers, I head to the clothing-optional salt water whirlpool, eucalyptus steam room and sauna to wind down and unplug (spa lounges are segregated for ultimate comfort).
There’s a waiting room with canopy beds, magazines and soft music, or take a plate of nuts, dried fruit, tea or homemade granola bar bites outside to wait under the shade of the palm trees on the spa’s private, wrap-around terrace.
With a steamy cup of the hotel’s signature tea containing chamomile, hibiscus, lavender and lemongrass, I’m led to a candlelit room with a little welcome plaque bearing my name beside the massage table.
Within minutes, I’m comfortably nestled under the sheets and Nina begins to work her magic on my body. The varying pressure helps me to slow my breathing and take in the serene room’s atmosphere as gentle music plays in the background.
By the time a warm towel is placed on my back, I’m literally between the worlds of the conscious and subconscious.
My shoulders and neck receive a similar treatment once I’m turned over onto my back. A hay pack is placed under my lower back to further ground and center my body.
Nina then applies a cranial massage to my scalp where 12 sets of nerves are gently caressed to a state of sheer bliss.
Once Nina quietly announces that our session has ended, I’m barely able to move off that table.
My robe has since been heated and is gently placed across my tummy to prepare me for re-entry into this world. Nina helps reconnect me to the room by way of a few deep breaths with eucalyptus aromatherapy oil near my nostrils.
Once I have a few moments to remember this room, the soft lighting, and gentle touch of my therapist, I take a couple of deep breaths, supremely grateful for the chance to have experienced such kindness to my body and soul, and hope that my next spa visit – wherever that may be in the world – is as beautiful.
Whether or not your visit to San Diego includes a stay at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, I highly, no VERY highly, recommend an afternoon of pampering at this award-winning spa.
And there’s a heated, adults-only quiet pool nearby for a refreshing dip back into this world.
My spa visit and Between Two Worlds massage were courtesy of Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Opinions, as always, are my own. Non-watermarked images courtesy of Fairmont Resorts.