5 California Retreats Where the Local Harvest Goes From Farm to Table and Spa

Book a pampering getaway at properties that are putting their homegrown bounty to extra-good use



“Farm to table” is now a concept so ubiquitous, it’s used by your local coffee shop. Going beyond the cliche, however, it usually carries the promise of freshness and vibrancy — never not an attractive idea when on a staycation or a getaway. Some Californian hotels and resorts have more recently taken to expanding this notion beyond the kitchen; consider a property lush and fragrant with herbs and flowers, utilizing whatever’s growing on the premises in the restaurant’s menu, but also in the spa offerings. Here, four Northern California locales where you can experience this must-try trend firsthand.


Fragrant Lavender at MacArthur Place, Sonoma
The picturesque and recently renovated property welcomes the traveler with the sweet scent of flowers and herbs, which grow all around the white, quaint cottages. At the Spa at MacArthur, a “farm to table” experience is available; try the Lavender Dreams signature treatment ($275/100 min.) with a bath, body wrap and lavender essential oil massage. The same lavender makes another bold appearance on the menu of Layla, the excellent Mediterranean restaurant, and at the bar — The Forager, a cocktail featuring a sprig of lavender hovering above gin, cucumber, basil and lime, is an excellent way to end the day. 29 E. MacArthur St., Sonoma, 800-722-1866.


Nourishing Honey at Carmel Valley Ranch, Carmel
The vast Carmel Valley Ranch is a good place to get your pampering staycation on, which might just include encounters with deer and other wildlife. Among all that zen are Spa Aiyana and the resort’s restaurant, Valley Kitchen; both have offerings with products from the on-property salt house and apiary. In the mood for both salty and sweet? Try the Sweet Honey Chili Chicken Wings with salt crunch. Then treat yourself to the Herbal Vitality body treatment ($280/110 min.), with those exact ingredients and essential oils, before you hit the pool. 1 Old Ranch Rd., Carmel, 855-687-7262.


Stimulating Rosemary at Carneros Resort and Spa, Napa
Featuring a half-acre culinary garden to service the Farm restaurant and the spa, Carneros Resort and Spa is a haven of textures, fragrances and earthy hues. Only steps away from one of the best-looking swimming pools in wine country, the renovated spa specializes in treatments with ingredients grown on the property; your best bet is Body Botany ($270/90 min.), a mix of a scrub and a customized massage with olive leaf and rosemary scrub. Afterward, head to Farm, helmed by chef Aaron Meneghelli, to try herb-infused pole beans with trout roe, or a drink featuring a torched rosemary sprig. 4048 Sonoma Hwy., Napa, 707-299-4900.


Savory Herbs at Glendeven Inn and Lodge, Mendocino
The historic Glendeven Inn and Lodge recently underwent an expansion, adding chic lodge-style rooms to its offerings. Environmentally friendly and situated among gorgeous trees, the property prides itself on its luscious herb garden, which is incorporated into relaxing lavender-scented massages, lavender-infused honey (served alongside cheese at the property’s wine hour) and the shortbread cookies that await guests upon check-in. Another point of pride? The inn’s own herd of impossibly adorable llamas, which are available for sweet encounters. 8205 N. Hwy. 1, Little River, 707-937-0083.


Exquisite Wildflowers at Montage Laguna Beach
The stunning seaside resort is the home of many wildflowers and herbs, and edible flowers are a special treat. We’ve all come to love chamomile in our tea, but the spa at Montage turns the humble flower into a pampering star — the newest treatment here is the California Wildflower Massage ($350/90 min. or $450/120 min.), featuring heated poultices made with lavender, calendula, rose and chamomile, all sourced from the garden. After the uplifting experience, feast on a colorful kampachi crudo, served at on-site restaurant Studio. Alongside finger limes, romanesco and caviar, you’ll spot delicate chamomile blossoms serving as a beautiful and delicious garnish. 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 866-271-6953.


Feature image: Photo by Pass the Honey/Unsplash.


Oct. 31, 2019

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