I was once a regular at Cal-a-Vie, a salubrious Provence-style resort that gained fame years ago when Oprah hired away its chef and celebrities began flocking to its SoCal local for pampering plus workouts—both of which were some of the tops in the industry and still are according to friends who went there recently.
Before we go you might like the short back story. The spa was actually founded by a man who was a regular at the famous Golden Door, which is about a 15-minute drive from Cal-a-Vie. A moneyed-man with interests in the medical industry, Mr. Powell bought the property, constructed a gorgeous French Provence style complex (that looked nothing like the Door which was Japanese honjin-inn inspired), hired away the super star chef, Michel Stroot from the door (something contagious about this), brought on key, European-style estheticians and fitness instructors and voila a super spa was born.
The spa had its ups and downs as competition with the nearby Golden Door was tough, especially since a week at the two spas cost about the same, about $1000 a day all-inclusive and attracted a similar well-heeled, spa-going clientele. Fast forward to today, Cal-a-Vie is operated by a New Orleans couple John and Terri Havens who bought the place from the Powells and did some major enhancements and remodeling but kept the theme and flourished. Ironically the Door also sold not long ago to a Carlyle billionaire who bought it for his wife.
Hope that isn’t TMI before getting to Cal-a-Vie’s seven step spring fitness plan, which I am excerpting from the seasonal magazine ESCAPE which I still receive as a former guest and also as a journalist.
- Book a physical to keep tabs on your health if nothing else.
- Buy new running shoes because most last somewhere between 300 and 400 miles and that’s not good for your feet.
- Jump rope and burn 208 calories in twenty minutes and do your heart good.
- Pump up your playlist and add new tunes to your devices.
- Tie on weights to tone up arms and legs while you walk or clean the house etc.
- Sign up for a race if you’re healthy enough. It sets a positive goal and training for the race helps keep or get you in shape.
- Update your workout wardrobe which is a no brainer for most women who do this regularly. Toss out the old and bring in the new especially good sport bras.
I plan to head back to Cal-a-Vie for a full review, this summer hopefully with Richard who normally accompanies me to coed week at the Golden Door and to Rancho La Puerta (in Tecate, Mexico which was founded by Deborah Szekely who also founded the Door).
Cal-a-Vie is located at 29402 Spa Havens Way, Vista, California, 866-772-4283.