An ideal retreat for those looking to escape the fast-paced life of Los Angeles, Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa (Lake Arrowhead, CA), located just an hour-and-a-half away, recently introduced an 11,000-square-foot spa as part of the property's $17 million renovation. With the addition of the Spa of the Pines, Angelenos needn't forego the luxe life when escaping to the great outdoors. In fact, the spa serves as the perfect high-end complement to the outdoor setting. A popular resort town, Lake Arrowhead has a long history of attracting visitors interested in hiking, biking, and water sports. The latter is particularly important considering the fact that the resort is the only one in the area to have lake access. Giving guests the opportunity to recover from a day at play, the new spa also helps them transition into vacation mode.
Lake Arrowhead, a popular retreat in the mountains of Southern California, is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.
According to spa director Maggie Wagner, the atmosphere of the 10-treatment room spa truly encourages relaxation. Inspired by the natural alpine setting, the interior incorporates the use of stones and water throughout and features natural colors, such as beige, muted red, and warm green shades. In addition to a men's and a women's relaxation lounge, the spa also includes a couples' lounge with an outdoor patio. There, significant others, friends, and family can relax together. "Here, I've noticed more so than at any other spas I've worked, guests spend a lot of time relaxing in the lounge areas and taking advantage of the steam room and Jacuzzi," says Wagner.
Creating a warm and inviting setting, the Journey Suite features a fireplace and private outdoor patio.
In addition to a couples' suite, the spa also features a Journey Suite, which includes a fireplace and private outdoor patio that overlooks the lake. The Journey Suite sets the scene for the spa's three Journey experiences ($800 per couple, 3 hours), which include The Journey of the Great White Eagle, A Journey to the Stars, and Your Personal Journey. Complete with butler-style service, each of the Journeys offer two hours of specialized treatments. Guests are then given time to relax in the luxe suite.
Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa is the only resort in the area to have lake access.
Drawing on the area's historical roots, the menu incorporates practices of the Serrano Indians, who were among the first settlers in the area. Treatments also rely on indigenous ingredients, such as sage and pine. For instance, the Wayta' Yawa,' "Always Believe" ($165, 80 minutes) is a full-body, all-natural clay and organic white-pine body treatment. Soaring Spirit ($90, 45 minutes) is a stimulating body treatment custom made from organic oats, salts, grapefruit pulp, and pure juniper berry oil. According to Wagner, the focus on ancient healing traditions and native plants gives the spa a sense of authenticity missing in many of today's spas. "Spas are always following trends to make sure they're offering something new and exciting, whereas this spa goes back to basics in a very luxurious and real way with treatment rooms that actually make sense and treatments that are very intentional," says Wagner. Instead of offering a product line for the sake of its name or a trendy new treatment, Wagner is intent on giving guests an authentic experience with natural yet effective products.
Guests can unwind in the Jacuzzi after a day of hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities.
Like many savvy spa-goers these days, Wagner believes in choosing organic whenever possible. Although she didn't select the spa's current product lineup, she does have plans to introduce a more natural skincare line later this year. Guests can rest assured that she has their best interests at heart when working with manufacturer representatives. "If their products are not totally organic, I'm going to have to have a certainty that they know what they are and that they include the most gentle, non-caustic ingredients we can possibly get," says Wagner. "In spas, we're dealing with so many people and whether or not they're clued in to organics. I feel like we should do no harm and be as honest, intentional, and thoughtful about what we're using on our guests."
The spa's treatment rooms are inspired by the natural alpine setting.
With 30 full-time employees on staff, the spa is able to accommodate approximately 85 guests a day. There is still room to grow though, as the spa typically caters to about 75 guests on a busy day. The summer may be over, but a healthy membership program is in place to ensure the spa stays busy even in the off-season. Locals and those with weekend homes in the area often join to take advantage of the workout facilities and fitness classes. In addition, they're also treated to a 10 percent discount on treatments and products. Priced at only $50 a month, the program has already grown to 435 members. The spa also has an extensive yoga program and offers yoga memberships for $50 a month, which include unlimited classes and workshops.
Spa of the Pines
Despite the difficulty involved in finding talented staff for a somewhat remote area, Wagner is poised to handle whatever challenges come her way. "I try to think of challenges as opportunities," says Wagner. "For me, instead of thinking of it as a challenge or a negative, I look at it as an opportunity to make the business work better." Fortunately, for spa-goers at the Spa of the Pines, it just doesn't get any better than that.