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5-Star Luxury and California's Spectacular Spas

5-Star Luxury and California's Spectacular Spas

Soterios Johnson explores the rareified world of top-rated spas—and why you should make them part of your wellness routine

Posted 4 years agoby John Godfrey

If you routinely book spa treatments during your travels, you need to listen to the latest episode of the California Now Podcast and learn about some of the best and most innovative spas in the country.

If you rarely book spa treatments during your travels, you really need to listen to this podcast. The wellness trend is real, and it just might change your life. 

"I think there's been a big shift in the way people think about spas," says Amanda Frasier, Executive Vice President of Standards & Ratings for Forbes Travel Guide. "Not so long ago, I think you thought, 'Well, my shoulders hurt me, so I'm going to go and have a spa day or get a massage.' Now, I think, with the education that's out there and the amount of spas that are opening and doing such a fabulous job, they're really retraining us to think that being proactive about your health, and looking at it as a complete wellness approach, is a much better way to enjoy them."

Frasier oversees a team of anonymous spa inspectors who travel the world evaluating spa treatments and facilities, doling out ratings that range from 5-stars to 4-stars to "better luck next year."

California, incidentally, has the largest concentration of five-star spas in the United States. Frasier shares some of her top choices for pampering in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Montecito, Napa Valley, and even in the High Sierra.

Also in this episode, podcast host Soterios Johnson travels from the steam room to the ruggedly beautiful outdoors with travel writer Ann Marie Brown. Johnson challenges Brown to a lightning round of her favorite national monuments in the Golden State. Get ready to discover hidden gems like California’s “Serengeti” and a park with more than 700 caves.

After that, Mechelle Lawrence Adams, Executive Director of Mission San Juan Capistrano, joins the podcast and shares insights about the Orange County property’s rich history. She also explains why March is the best time to visit. Hint: It involves some very famous songbirds.

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