A week in Paris this summer sounds lovely. Ditto for London, Istanbul and Vancouver, B.C. But relaxing? Probably not. There's always a new Michelin-rated restaurant to try or a must-see museum exhibit. This summer, maybe it's time to relax and restore — recharge the old battery, clear out the brain clutter. Or, maybe just enjoy the great outdoors. But where? Some of the world's most beautiful settings for retreats, resorts and spas are right here in the West.
The Boulders, a Waldorf Astoria Resort
Calistoga Ranch, an Auberge Resort
Napa Valley, Calif.
Rancho La Puerta
Tecate, Baja California,
In 1940, natural-living enthusiast Edmond Szekely and his young bride, Deborah, began welcoming guests to their primitive “health camp” southeast of San Diego, just across the Mexico border. Guests slept in tents, breakfasted on raw goat milk and whole-wheat bread, and helped with kitchen chores. Vigorous physical activity was de rigueur. Today’s visitors sleep in lovely casitas and dine in high style, but the emphasis on healthful fare and outdoor activity remains strong. The resort is blessed with beautiful weather, and outdoor activities are plentiful. You can get a low-impact aqua workout in the pool or make your own skincare product with freshly harvested herbs from the organic garden. The sunrise hike through fields of ancient boulders and mountain lilac to the not-quite-towering peak of Mount Kuchumaa is absolutely unforgettable. www.rancholapuerta.com
Red Mountain Resort
–Anne Burke, Brand Publishing Writer