Cal-a-Vie Destination Health Spa – The South of France right here in Southern California

Date: 09/03/2021

I have read about Cal-a-Vie many times over the years as it seems they are consistently on every top ten or best of list and it certainly made my personal top ten list of “must do” experiences.  My mom’s birthday last month was the perfect excuse to pamper her with a spa escape to Cal-a-Vie.  I was just along for the ride 😊 A quick ride to boot, now that we are living in Los Angeles. 

At first sight, Cal-a-Vie took my breath away.  It is one of the most stunning settings I have ever seen with over 400 acres of quiet, secluded bliss.  The vineyards, lavender fields and views from the hills were majestic.  There are ponds, gardens, two gorgeous pools, clay tennis courts, walking trails and authentic French treasures throughout the property.  There is even a 400-year-old chapel that was deconstructed in France to be transported and reassembled on the grounds.  I felt like I had been transported to the South of France without the horrible jet lag. 

The owners and admitted Francophiles, Terri and John Havens modeled the development of this one-of-a-kind property after their many family trips to France.  Their passion and love is threaded throughout the property with countless antiques and traditional provincial style.  The property is exclusive and intimate with just 32 Mediterranean-style guest villas and suites.   The staff-to-guest ratio is 5:1 and the hospitality is unmatched and certainly contributes to the 65% return guest rate!  Once a guest reached 70 nights, Cal-a-Vie celebrates the milestone by planting an orange tree with a personalized plaque including the guest’s name.  I wonder if there is an orange tree in my future – sure hope so!

Guests come from all over the world to enjoy the personalized, all-inclusive programs offered at Cal-a-Vie.  There are many nightly package options and then within each package, guests will choose whatever personalization needed to work with their specific goals.  For example, if you are trying to gain or lose weight, specific calorie targets or macros will be managed by the chef.   Speaking of the chef, let me go on a bit about the food.  Absolutely incredible – Michelin star level cuisine that kept my mom and I surprised, delighted, and satisfied.  Every meal was different, exciting and incredible fresh.  Many of the seasonal ingredients are grown on the property’s organic farm.  All dietary restrictions can be accommodated so guest won’t have to worry about problematic foods.  This was particularly important to me when considering our stay.  All meals can be had in your villa or with the other guests in the dining room.  My mom and I chose to have meals in our room overlooking the pond.  Occasionally, a couple of the resident ducks would stop by the pond and put on a little show for us.  Dinner theatre – spa style!

Part of the commitment to personalized service and unbeatable hospitality included a scheduling coordinator who met with us after a seamless check-in and short rest in our room. She was knowledgeable on all the offerings and went over our plan and considerations for our stay.  It was invaluable to have advice and recommendations on how to optimize our experience at Cal-a-Vie.   She also took care of the needed reservations and bookings which allowed us to relax and unwind.

Our first trip to the spa was outstanding and continued to exceed expectations throughout our stay.  The spa offers a wide variety of massage specialties, body treatments and facials all with superb professionals who took great pride in creating an exceptional, personalized experience.   There were also specialty treatments which included acupuncture, cupping, chiropractic along with medical treatments like blood work, vitamin IVs, wellness shots and nutritional counseling.   The options were truly endless and designed to ensure that each guest has access to exactly what they are looking for.   One note that I provided in my feedback after my stay at the property was offering organic and natural face products for guest like me who value non-toxic options for the face.

While I did not participate in any of the gym or fitness offerings, I did peruse the listings and was impressed with the breadth and depth of the offerings.  From light to intense, stretching and strength, there seemed to be something for everyone with variety to keep it interesting throughout a longer stay.  I am hopeful that upon my return and with my health improving, I will be able to take a few of the yoga or stretching classes.  I did also notice that they had personal instructors for those wanting a one-on-one session.  

My mom enjoyed a delicious and gorgeous cake on her birthday thanks to the thoughtful property hosts.  I was so grateful to share this special place with my mom on her birthday.  We will most certainly be back in our quest for an orange tree with our name on it.  If you have a special event, wedding or anniversary coming up, I would highly recommend Cal-a-Vie for an exceptional experiential get-away.  When you are there, be sure to spend an evening looking at the stars using the property’s telescope.   

In good health,

Lena

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