No sooner do you make the turnoff to Terranea on L.A.’s Palos Verdes Peninsula than the resort’s Zen-on-arrival effect begins washing over you—the sum total of soaring cliffs, rustling palms, and never-ending ocean vistas. Yet that initial sensation is a mere prelude to what you’ll experience at The Spa at Terranea.
For starters, consider the setting: 50,000 lushly landscaped square feet at the point of the property that’s closest to the ocean. Not only do crashing waves serve as your treatment soundtrack, but dolphins serve as your offshore chaperones, often in cooperation with a migrating whale or two. (Seriously, you’re a mile from a local whale-monitoring station).
As for the signature treatment menu, it’s organized by circadian rhythms, with the emphasis shifting from stimulating to relaxing as the day goes on. So “Late Afternoon and Evening Recommendations,” for example, include the massage-and-cocoon combo known as El Segundo Blue.
Another cult favorite relaxant: the Flickering Embers, which begins with a volcanic ash body wrap, continues with a bath of essential oils and minerals, and finishes with an abdominal massage and warm marine compresses.
Or for something seriously mellow and restorative, try the new Sound Sleep Treatment, a service that plays to three senses at once–sound, touch and smell—in an effort to combat jetlag or general sleep deprivation.
If you’re getting pampered as a pair, you’ll be in one of the VIP suites, each equipped with a fireplace, infrared sauna, Swiss shower, freestanding copper soaking tub, and couples’ massage tables. For the solo spa-goer, there are 22 additional treatment rooms, all incorporating soothing, natural elements and looking out onto the Pacific and Catalina Island.
Though you could spend all your time here making your way through the treatment menu, consider the more active offerings as well: There’s a yoga and movement studio, a spacious fitness center with ultramodern weight training and cardio equipment, and a fitness class lineup that prioritizes the outdoors; seaside cycling and Full Moon Yoga on the Ocean Lawn are two favorites.
In fact, there are so many activities available, you can customize a three-, five- or seven-day wellness retreat. The Adventure Concierge will also help you work hiking, kayaking, and paddle boarding (all gorgeous around here) into your lineup.
Alternatively, you can shun activity altogether. Terranea practically begs you to lounge, whether by the fire pits, in the cabanas, or at the café. Whichever way you decide to go, it gets you to the same state. Put simply: That Zen you felt on arrival? Nothing compared to the version you’ll feel on departure.