29402 Spa Havens Way
Vista, CA 92084
I want to be objective but I just can't. For those familiar with my personality and writing style, it should be clear that I am a hopeless romantic, consistently searching and yearning for a true love affair.
A recent adventure transported me to the destination retreat and spa "Cal-a-Vie" and was nothing short of spectacular from the moment I arrived.
Located in the foothills of the San Diego Mountains and a short drive from the San Diego Airport, Cal-a-Vie is frankly "sanctuary." This could honestly be one of my favorite hotels in the world to date.
This review is not only for our devoted SHB followers, but for you my dear Deborah Zie (General Manager) and to your owners, John and Terri Havens. I want to express to you very eloquently my appreciation for every extra detail and effort you made during my stay and, what shall I say "l'amour?"
When I arrived at Cal-a-Vie, I felt to so comfortable, peaceful and tranquil. From the moment I entered I felt your, what's it called, "joie de vivre?" Your design, style, ambiance is so sophisticated, so French so "magnifique!" The guest suite you invited me to stay in was sumptuous and well appointed. The antiques, linens, bath salts, towels and amenities were so carefully chosen, and elegant. The spa, technicians and the sixteen treatments I received in one week (yes it's possible) transported me to Nirvana with panache and professionalism. The exquisite cuisine delicately prepared by Executive Chef, Curtis Cooke with a focus on my every desire, made me know that your individualized consultations were executed with precision to meet my specific palette and nutritional goals.
When I wasn't dancing to La Blast (thank you Louis Van Amstel) or enjoying the myriad exercise opportunities, I also had an opportunity to play golf at the newly acquired Vista Valley Country Club just adjacent to Cal-a-Vie, with its beautiful 18-hole golf course designed by Ted Robinson.
Guests can enjoy meditation while walking the Labyrinth or enjoy prayer (or music as I did) in the centuries old chapel transported stone by stone from Dijon, France. The grounds of the 200 private acre Cal-a-Vie property are stunning and invoke a sense of calm and reflection with views of their vineyards and on a clear day, the Pacific Ocean.
As a seasoned travel consultant, I always enjoy each new experience, but in this case, Cal-a-Vie, I wasn't prepared for the totally of your perfection, the caliber of your guests, the gracious quality of conversations that I would experience, or the spontaneous kindness and celebration of Mardi Gras with the special ladies from New Orleans and New York that I spent nearly every night with. (You know who you are Carrol, Phyllis, Pam and Marty). They made me Queen for a night, gave most people colored beads and crowns, and we celebrated (and celebrated) the festivities and private cooking class hosted by Chef Cooke! The laughter, camaraderie and general respect during my six day retreat with you and your guests was the highlight of my stay and made me feel like I was truly experiencing "La vie en Rose."
Thank you Deborah Zie, Mr. and Mrs. Havens and all the staff and guests at Cal-a-Vie for providing one of the best spa/retreat programs in the world. My love letter concludes with simply, "Je t'adore" and I can't wait to see you again.