Friday, March 20, 2009

St. Regis Monarch Beach, Part I

One of my favorite photos from the day.

I don’t take the time to pamper myself, I’m too busy. Or I feel too guilty. For example, over one year ago my friend gave me a gift card for a massage and I have yet to use it. The last time I had a professional mani/pedi was last October for the Glamour Reel Moments event but before that, it had been five years. My last facial? Let me search my memory bank…six years ago? I resort to cutting and coloring my own hair because I hate to take the time for it.

I had the opportunity to visit the St. Regis Monarch Beach for a few hours and get a massage at Spa Gaucin, a five star spa located in Dana Point. This is an incredibly special treat. Because these things don’t happen on a regular basis. I'm lucky if I get all ten fingernails painted at one time.
The pool almost doesn't look real.

Although the morning is overcast the sun begins to shine over the St. Regis. The place is vast with endless hills of verdant lawns and lush, colorful flowers. When we walk through the massive iron gate, the scent of fresh flowers cannot be ignored. A giant flower arrangement greets us as we step inside. Every inch of flooring in the foyer shines. There is nary a spot or speck of dust in sight. A pleasant reprieve from my normal day of soccer cleats, dirty socks and dog hair. Not to mention crumbs on the floor, crumpled school papers and open boxes of cereal littering the kitchen.

I immediately head to Spa Gaucin for my massage. After my kids fighting every five minutes, various homework issues, and yet another computer virus wiping out the hard drive, my tense back cries out for stress relief. I arrive a little early for my ten a.m. appointment but don't wait around. I am whisked into a comfy room with a giant fireplace. I sit down for less than five minutes and eat a handful of almonds. In white dishes around the spa facility are dried fruits and almonds for snacking along with bottles of water. A tower of Red Delicious apples, bright and shiny, wait to be eaten. I should come here as often as possible. Just to sit and do nothing.

The spa girl tells me everything is ready so I head back to the changing area. I am pleasantly surprised to see a cushy robe and spa shoes waiting for me. Me? Yes. Along with a mug and organic tea bag, a bag of spa treats and a thoughtful shower cap.

Even though there is one other woman in the changing area- strutting around naked and comfortable with it- I change in the curtained dressing room. The robe envelopes me in warm comfort…ahhhh. The enormous sink/makeup/changing area is so clean that even if you bent down to find a stray hair, you’d come up empty handed.

Well-lit makeup mirrors, styling products, blow dryers and curling irons are there to use. The naked woman leisurely fixes her makeup in front of the mirror while I try to hide my eyes. But I can't help but look.

the waiting area inside the spa

Heat rises from the Jacuzzi tub, where the bubbling water signals tranquility. Pitchers of iced spa water are available along with orange and cucumber slices. Beyond the Jacuzzi is the room where I wait for my masseuse. Here, I sink into an ultra-cushioned couch and page through magazines, uninterrupted. Although there is a carafe of coffee available, I don’t want to have a full bladder when I get my massage so I skip it. I bet it was full bodied, freshly roasted and hot.

in the coffee shop

I have a hard time relaxing because I have so much to do on any given day. But being far from home, I don't worry about floors that need to be mopped. My friendly masseuse, Karen, leads me down a winding corridor into a room that features a crackling fire in the marble fireplace. The lights are dim, soothing music plays, I begin to feel my spine untangle. A warm blanket is placed over me. I'm ready for my Mediterranean Massage.

Here’s the official information on the specialty:
The Mediterranean massage offers light to medium pressure strokes which are executed with hydrating Chardonnay grapeseed oil. This signature service includes a warm, tension releasing back compress and aromatic fig and cassis body butter application.

the full bar has everything you need

I chat with Karen while she gently works away the stress from my weary muscles using warmed oils. When my time comes to an end, she offers me a glass of organic white wine. How could I refuse? I must point out the thoughtful gestures of unlimited water bottles, fresh seedless black grapes, tranquil music and how Karen so kindly wraps my hair so it doesn't get oil in it! I didn’t want to spend the rest of the day with an oily coif. Wouldn't that be tragic on such a lovely day?
All chocolate!

As I sip my amazing chilled wine on the way back to the changing area, Karen offers me use of the “tranquility room”. Sounds heavenly, yes? I am in a rush to get back to my friend who accompanied me for the day. It's rare that we venture out of our ten mile radius of school or work, the grocery store or mall so a day at the Monarch Beach was an experience I wanted to share with her. I change back into my clothes, bidding farewell to the robe. It was a light terry cloth on the inside but cotton on the outside…I want to keep it. They sell them in the gift shop so I know where to find one.

Motif, the restaurant.

Grand staircase.

Looking up.

These paintings inspire me to pull out my brushes.

I tried to capture the iron work, the curves, the paintings and flooring.

Labels: , ,


Blogger James said...

Sounds like a wondeful day! Really nice pictures.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Trina said...

It's a beautiful place allot of people get married there.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Bartholomew said...

To my mind everyone may read it.
free ride games review | racing pc games | jogos | only full games | best casual games

1:48 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

nike air max, kate spade outlet online, longchamp outlet online, tory burch outlet online, louis vuitton, christian louboutin, polo ralph lauren, ray ban outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, true religion, louis vuitton outlet online, kate spade outlet, coach purses, michael kors outlet, chanel handbags, christian louboutin outlet, tiffany and co jewelry, red bottom shoes, christian louboutin shoes, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses, true religion outlet, prada handbags, longchamp outlet, burberry outlet online, nike outlet, michael kors handbags, coach outlet, oakley vault, gucci handbags, nike free, longchamp handbags, coach outlet store online, prada outlet, louis vuitton handbags, burberry outlet online, coach outlet, michael kors outlet store, nike air max, michael kors outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, jordan shoes

1:43 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

nike air max, guess pas cher, sac michael kors, louis vuitton uk, true religion jeans, michael kors canada, converse pas cher, hermes pas cher, scarpe hogan, lululemon, michael kors uk, sac vanessa bruno, air jordan, timberland, oakley pas cher, nike free, lacoste pas cher, hollister, ray ban pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, north face pas cher, longchamp, mulberry, longchamp pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, burberry pas cher, chaussure louboutin, nike free pas cher, barbour, vans pas cher, nike roshe run, air max pas cher, air max, louis vuitton pas cher, north face, ralph lauren, nike air max, nike blazer pas cher, tn pas cher, louis vuitton, nike roshe, hollister, nike air force, true religion outlet, sac louis vuitton, ray ban uk, new balance pas cher

1:48 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

north face jackets, canada goose, lululemon outlet, instyler ionic styler, ugg boots, babyliss pro, jimmy choo shoes, wedding dresses, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs outlet, uggs outlet, new balance outlet, mac cosmetics, nike trainers, chi flat iron, celine handbags, beats headphones, insanity workout, ferragamo shoes, valentino shoes, herve leger, mont blanc pens, abercrombie and fitch, birkin bag, ugg, asics shoes, ugg soldes, uggs on sale, north face outlet, reebok shoes, hollister, nike huarache, nike roshe, mcm handbags, bottega veneta, longchamp, giuseppe zanotti, replica watches, uggs outlet, p90x workout, ugg boots, soccer jerseys, ghd, nfl jerseys, canada goose outlet, vans outlet, soccer shoes, canada goose outlet, ugg outlet

1:53 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

timberland shoes, replica watches, iphone 6 case, moncler outlet, converse shoes, canada goose pas cher, baseball bats, uggs canada, lancel, hollister, canada goose, louis vuitton canada, coach outlet, vans, montre femme, parajumpers outlet, canada goose uk, wedding dress, gucci, canada goose, pandora jewelry, moncler, moncler, moncler, ralph lauren, moncler, oakley, moncler, swarovski jewelry, pandora uk, swarovski uk, toms outlet, louboutin, moncler, ray ban, hollister canada, nike air max, ugg, links of london uk, converse, juicy couture outlet, thomas sabo uk, karen millen, air max, hollister clothing, supra shoes, pandora charms, juicy couture outlet

2:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home