Southern California is obsessed with healthy living, and nowhere more so than San Diego. With 26 beaches primed for yoga, surfing and volleyball, 126 trails for hiking and biking along 70mi (113km) of coastline and 266 days of sunshine, who can blame them? Throw in some of the finest luxury spa resorts in the US, and San Diego secures itself as one very appealing wellness destination. So you can start planning your healthy escape, we’ve rounded up the best spa hotels in San Diego, bookable on Culture Trip.
Lying a little outside the city, this San Diego wellness retreat covers 265 acres (107ha) of North County with its Spanish-style mansions, gorgeous gardens and 18-hole golf course. Weave your way through climbing jasmine and bubbling fountains to the dreamy spa, where you’ll find your own private pool, waterfall whirlpool and curtained poolside cabana where you can have lunch and drinks delivered as you prepare for some serious pampering. A menu of stress-busting treatments is available, including a sensuous couple’s massage in a wood-warmed casita.
Are you ready to be wowed? This historic five-star hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter is so grand that you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a national museum or bohemian palace. Matching the grandeur of the 1910s facade, the interior is decorated with vast chandeliers and gold-leaf details. The spa is fittingly opulent and offers an array of facials, scrubs, wraps and a dry-brush exfoliation that will combat your jet lag. After detoxifying, retox with a tipple at Rendezvous, the hotel’s French-inspired cocktail bar, followed by a seriously good dinner at the Art Deco-style Grant Grill.
Stay your way at Pendry, where personalization is the core focus. Just as you can choose from its six in-house restaurants for dinner, so can you select from a wide menu of spa treatments that are tailored to your needs. The level of pampering is off the charts – massages can be paired with soaks and wraps to create aromatic rituals that soothe the soul, while facial treatments can be tweaked to include peels, enzymes, light therapy or sonic infusions that will get you looking 10 years younger. This is one of the very best hotels that Downtown San Diego has to offer.
If you believe bigger is better, opt for the Westgate, home to AquaVie, a 40,000sqft (12,200sqm) wellness center that’s basically its own fitness village. The gym alone has more than 200 machines, and features a raft of instructor-led fitness, yoga and HIIT classes and an outdoor running track. On the pampering side, there’s a rooftop pool, hot tub and spa treatments, including some very serious-sounding facials and a whole separate list for “mommies to be.”
Located right on the bayfront, next to the San Diego Convention Center, this resort-style city hotel has all the elements to help you unwind. Exercise in the heated pool or the 24-hour fitness center featuring Peloton bikes, Cybex machines and gym equipment that can be borrowed for in-room workouts, too. Top up your vitamin D levels on the tanning deck, bubble away in the hot tub or hit the spa for a signature treatment, like a massage that utilizes hot paua shells from the South Pacific.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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meet our Local Insider
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WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.