“Run!” laughed the valet after informing us that the guided tour of Torrey Pines State Reserve had just left The Lodge at Torrey Pines, one of San Diego’s finest luxury hotels.
I had specifically scheduled my hosted Day of Bliss spa package for two to coordinate with this awesome free tour that the AAA Five-Diamond property offers on Tuesday mornings… and we were a little bit late.
My spa-needing partner in crime, Deb, and I did set off running (literally) toward Torrey Pines State Reserve to try to catch the tour—giggling because the scenario is so typical of modern parenthood. Both of us had just spent the morning separately hustling kids out the door, dropping them off at school, dealing with odds and ends as well as navigating unexpected traffic all before 9:00 a.m. Sound familiar? This is probably why you need a spa day, too.
Therapeutic Walk Through Torrey Pines State Park
An hour-long walk/hike chatting through the gorgeous Torrey Pines State Reserve is good for the soul (and quads), even on the rare cloudy day. We used our phones to check the time and snap a few Instagrams, but that was it.
I was surprised by how close the park entrance is to The Lodge at Torrey Pines. As a guest of The Lodge, I would definitely take morning jogs there.
We had a little time to spare before our 10:30 a.m. treatments so we lounged, naturally. The Spa at Torrey Pines is zen combination of quiet, cozy and craftsman with lots of character. Posh amenities and really good snacks are an added bonus.
Post-walk, we did our best to breathe deliberately in the aromatherapy inhalation room. The scent was sage-based, which makes sense because there are 17 varieties of the plant in Torrey Pines State Reserve and its known for purifying and detoxifying characteristics. The luxurious treatments are inspired by the hotel’s coastal location.
Massage For Me, Facial For Her
As someone with a back full of knots, I opted for a Swedish massage and, truthfully, it was one of the best I’ve had in a while. Instead of pressuring them out, which I am totally OK with, my therapist sort of rolled them out with her fingers.
Of the hundreds of massages I’ve had in my lifetime, no one has ever worked my knots like that. As requested, the emphasis was placed on my shoulders, back and neck though arms, legs and head were all addressed. I really, really didn’t want to get up from that table. San Diego Momma’s face was glowing after her facial, too.
I suppose it’s a good thing when you lose track of time in a spa. We sipped tea by the fireplace, snacked, sat in the steam room for a while, showered, and dressed for lunch though I admit to wishing for more lingering inside the spa. Make sure to schedule enough time between lunch and your treatment in order to enjoy the facilities.
You don’t really need to bring many toiletries as sunscreen, Moroccanoil hair products, fancy shaving creams, deodorant and more are on offer. The one thing I couldn’t locate was face cream, but I was fine with just sunscreen. I always appreciate amenities like this at a spa.
Fabulous Patio Lunch at A.R. Valentien
The sun came out just in time for lunch as we collapsed into the chairs of what is regarded as one of the best farm-to-table restaurants in the nation. The patio at A.R. Valentien has a tranquil view of both the hotel pool and Torrey Pines Golf Course.
It’s the sort of place where you can linger and not feel rushed out the door as the lunch vibe is fairly relaxed. The menu is seasonal with an emphasis on minimally-prepared dishes that highlight the quality of the ingredients used.
The Day of Bliss package for two includes a non-alcoholic drink and a dish from the first course (if salad is more to your liking) or second course menus (I can vouch for the Roman Style Duck Breast and Chicken “Under a Brick”) for each person, though if you go rogue and order a glass of wine or something additional, just pay the difference.
The Day of Bliss is a screaming deal for what you get as it is so feel free to go for it. I splurged on the 3-course Local Lunch.
Tips For Your Day of Bliss
If you haven’t paid The Lodge at Torrey Pines a visit yet, you should. The entire property was designed to look and feel like a residence. It’s impossible not to feel at home after walking through the lobby doors (held by the kilted doormen). This video gives a nice overview of services on offer at the spa as well as the overall ambiance.
If you schedule the spa visit to coincide with the walk through Torrey Pines State Reserve on Tuesday mornings, allocated about 4-5 hours. Your day will look something like this:
- 8:45 a.m.: Check in at the spa and place belonging in a locker.
- 9:00 a.m.: Meet outside in front of the lobby for the 1-hour guided tour of Torrey Pines State Reserve
- 10:30 a.m.: Enjoy a 50-minute spa treatment
- 12:00 p.m.: Lunch at A.R. Valentien
The Day of Bliss spa package is completely doable between the time you drop off the kids and need to pick them up again from school. And, if the steam room is calling after lunch, so be it.
The special price for the Day of Bliss spa package is $290 total (retail value $340). Why do you need this? Unplugging from the world to spend time with your partner or a friend at a lovely La Jolla spa is priceless. You’ll be glad you did.
My opinion is that The Spa at Torrey Pines is a hidden gem and totally underutilized by local residents, including me. I intend to go more often (and be on time for the guided tour)!
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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