On the Other Side of The Door: A Review of Golden Door Spa

A Look Inside Golden Door, the World’s Best Wellness Spa

The Mister and I just got back from a week at the legendary Golden Door wellness spa in San Marcos, CA. It’s rare that I write about my clients here because, well, they pay me! But I am so passionate about the mission of Golden Door that I thought it was high time I give you a little peek on the other side of The Door. Most of the weeks are women-only, but this particular week was a coed vintners week, meaning the wine flowed as deeply as the yoga.

Built in 1959, Golden Door quickly became THE retreat from Hollywood for legendary stars like Elizabeth Taylor. It was recently given a $15,000,000.00 facelift, and I have been so lucky to be part of the re-launch. The program is designed for a seven-day week, accommodating only 40 guests at a time, so it is a very individualized experience. Some come for healing from a major life change—death, divorce, illness—while others come for a fresh start, to lose weight or just relax, away from the craziness of every day life. Designed after a Japanese inn, “The Door” sits on over 600 acres of land that includes their own biodynamic garden, olive groves, hiking trails, and citrus orchards. Each meal is passionately prepared by the talented chef Greg Frey Jr., who sources as much as possible from the grounds and local farms.

Through all the recent changes and improvements, the philosophy remains unchanged: finding balance. It is the ultimate luxury wellness spa, and is all about taking time away to rest and recharge your body, mind and spirit. For so many, this seems impossible: How can I leave my job, my kids, my spouse for seven full days?! But I believe that every so often you must do just that. Even if Golden Door is not financially an option, you must take time away, to reflect, to have gratitude, to take care of yourself. I assure you, you’ll come back a better mom, a better spouse, a better boss—and the people in your life will thank you.


If I could only take home one thing from Golden Door to have in my daily life, shockingly, it would not be the daily in-room massage. It would be the food. Each morning, you begin your day with breakfast—in bed, if you ask nicely—that fits into your daily calorie count that you determine pre-arrival. *Note, breakfast was only pancakes one morning because #balance.





Our fabulous garden lunch.


In addition to hikes, workout classes, and meditation, there are activities like archery. I was better than you probably think!



Even the men get pedicures, and some find it funny to get a little golden door on their toe. The Mister also got a little naked lady under a palm tree.


The pool is the central meeting place to mingle and workout without feeling like you’re working out. Water aerobics, anyone?




The labyrinth—not to be confused with a maze—aside from looking cool, seeks to quiet our mind and lead us to peace. It’s been known to the human race for over 4000 years!



Our last dinner was served alfresco, with a special program featuring wines of Charles Krug. By then, we had become close friends with other guests, and it was a bittersweet evening. We offered toasts to new friends and to this moment—one that I will never forget.





It is tradition for guests to wear the yukata to dinner. When in Rome…


We have been home almost a week now, and I joke (not really joking) that re-entry is hard. Though, The Mister brought me coffee in bed this morning, I miss my nightly paper fan that lays out my schedule for the following day. I miss having nothing on my agenda other than a workout (or three) followed by a massage. Most of all, I miss the constant reminder that I have no other place to be than right here, right now, in this moment.

This is your reminder.

*Golden Door is a 100% giving company—meaning all of the proceeds from the resorts and the product lines are going to help children of abuse.

Golden Door.  777 Deersprings Road, San Marcos, CA  92069.  760-744-5777

A look inside Golden Door, the world's best wellness spa.

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