Fodor's Expert Review Golden Door

777 Deer Springs Rd., San Marcos, California, 92069, USA Fodor's Choice

Considered by many to be the world's best destination spa, the venerable Golden Door takes you on a journey to tranquillity, transformation, and self-realization during a seven-night stay; day passes are available. After passing through the ornate brass doors, you’re guided through the 600-acre property, which is set in a serene canyon with citrus groves and 25 miles of hiking trails. The grounds, fashioned after Japan’s Kyoto Garden Ryokan, are scattered with koi ponds, meditation gardens, pagoda-like fitness studios, and tech-free rooms with Shoji sliding doors and private decks that encourage time to unplug and recenter. Daily massages, beauty and spa treatments, informative lectures, fitness classes, healthy cuisine, and coaching with a personal trainer are included in the room rate. Despite the hefty price tag, there’s no pretentiousness about the place, as guests ditch jewelry, makeup, and fancy clothes to focus on health and healing; workout attire and silk Yakuta dinner robes are provided.

PROS

  • peaceful sanctuary
  • customized programs
  • luxury camp forms sisterhood
  • largest collection of Japanese art in the country

CONS

  • no alcohol, sugar, or salt
  • mostly appeals to women
  • expensive

QUICK FACTS

Resort
HistoricalViews
Quiet
Countryside
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 760-744–5777

HOTEL DETAILS

40 rooms
Rate Includes: All meals
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