Oceanside Relaxation: An afternoon at Surf & Sand Resort

Aquaterra Spa's outdoor patio Jacuzzi.

Perched on Laguna Beach’s cliffs, the aptly named Surf & Sand Resort offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The property’s Aquaterra Spa recently began offering its latest batch of 80-minute “Made Fresh Daily” body scrub and massage treatment combinations, which are concocted entirely of locally grown ingredients.

Although Laguna Beach is only an hour from Los Angeles, it’s rare that I have an excuse to drive south to the picturesque seaside city. Thrilled to escape, I made my way down the Pacific Coast Highway for brunch at the Surf & Sand’s Splashes restaurant and to check out Aquaterra’s newest Made Fresh Daily combo.

When the first decision of your Sunday morning is whether to opt for the passion fruit mimosa or gin-infused berry and basil lemonade to go with your crab eggs benedict, you know it’s going to be a relaxing day. Post-brunch, I propped my feet up, threw on my sunglasses and finally opened the pages of the fashion magazines that have been piling up on my desk at work.

I checked in at Aquaterra and was given a tour by the receptionist, Maddy. The spa is housed in a quaint, picturesque building and features men’s and women’s lounges (which include steam rooms and Jacuzzis), plus beautiful indoor and outdoor sitting areas, where guests wait before they head upstairs to the treatment rooms.

My masseuse Annette made sure to double check my intake form and ask about any injuries and aches and pains. She then invited me to see and smell the ginger milk crème and persimmon brown sugar body scrub used in the treatment, before she left the room so I could slip off my robe.

The second my back hit the heated table, I felt instantly relaxed, and Annette’s steady and soft kneading of my calves took me to a divine headspace.

Once I’d been thoroughly kneaded—but luckily before I had started drooling from total relaxation—Annette began using firm strokes to exfoliate my skin with the delicious scrub as the mouthwatering scent wafted through the room. I flipped over and she repeated the process.

Next, warm blankets completely enveloped my sticky limbs and torso—I was trapped, and I loved it! An all-too-brief scalp massage concluded the treatment, and soon Annette was wiping my limbs with hot towels to remove the sugary persimmon and coaxing me off the table.

In my refreshed state, I floated down the stairs and into the steamy Jacuzzi, where Maddy greeted me with the Made Fresh Daily’s signature end piece: a hot spiced latte. After lingering in the spa’s eucalyptus-infused steam room and enjoying a long, drawn-out shower, my skin was silky-soft and practically glowing. I’m still convinced I emerged from my heavily blanketed cocoon a butterfly.

The traffic-heavy drive home to Hollywood put some stress back into my shoulders straight away, so I’m already planning my next oceanside visit. One thing’s for sure: I’d escape back to Aquaterra in a heartbeat.

Rachel Kossman's picture