Traveling in Style : Side Trips : A ROOM WITH A PEW

There was a time when a couple of days away at a good hotel or spa made all the difference. Today, many people want--and need--more. Melba Levick and Stanley Young understand this. So they set out to create a practical guide to the many retreat centers available to the public, from Big Sur's New Camaldoli hermitage to Colorado's Benet Pines Retreat to the Serra Retreat in Malibu. The result, "Paradise Found: The Beautiful Retreats and Sanctuaries of California and the Southwest," photographed by Levick with text by Young, will be published by Chronicle Books ($18.95) in June. "Each retreat has a special feeling," says Levick. "But what they all have in common--besides glorious settings--is that you don't have to be partisan to the host religion or philosophy. They're open to anyone who seeks introspection, reflection and silence."

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