Vive Cal a Vie! The Secret Hideaway Haven of the Stars

Marjorie Hope By Marjorie Hope, 3rd Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Health Clubs & Spas>Pampering

Waking up in a featherbed, pampered to perfection, atop the foothills of Vista, California, one could easily mistake the view and imagine they were in a little country village in Provence. Breakfast in bed with shutters wide open, overlooking an authentic 17th Century French chapel, lounging 'till noon would not be considered indulgent in this charming hideaway.

Escape to a 5 Star Destination spa retreat

I am resting leisurely on my pillow-topped featherbed, with plumped up pillows supporting my back, snuggled under an authentic French pouf and duvet. This morning I was gently awakened by chirping birds. The French doors in my 400 sq. foot suite are wide open to the misty morning haze. I must admit, I did not choose to take the sunrise hike into the hills. It is already 8 am and I am not ready to face the day. I am content to just sit in my warm, cozy bed, looking out the window. As the mist fades, what is revealed is the authentic 17th century French Chapel on the Hill. Sent stone, by stone, and strategically placed on a hilltop perch, as if it was meant to be there.
If you are yearning for a 5-Star destination spa retreat, you will find it at this private, secluded ‘enclave’ called Cal A Vie. It is not really an enclave, per se, which means group home, or closed society, or collective. Yet it feels like one, the minute you walk across the old splintering wooden ‘storybook’ bridge into this intimate rural parish of authentic French country villas clustered around a swimming pool. Looking out from the hilltop chapel, you will see the most charming cluster of terra cotta rooftops. It’s as if you have arrived at a small French village, above the clouds. This is truly an amazing experience, especially if you live in California. Conveniently situated a couple of hours from Los Angeles, this hideaway haven is only 40 miles from San Diego. In this era of ‘chaotic’ travel, it is stressful to fly across the country, and many are cautious to go anywhere overseas. If you live in the United States and want the most authentic experience of being in the French countryside, then Cal A Vie is your ticket to paradise!

If you like an intimate setting (max of 25 guests) where you are pampered to perfection, with personalized attention, then this is your place. If you seek the best in gourmet spa meals, sybaritic pleasures, set amongst finest quality French antiques, you will love this place. When you take a break from the daily routine, check out the au courant fashions at the spa boutique. (especially to reward yourself for the hard workouts). While you’re hunting for gifts, check out the recipes from Chef Steve Pernetti’s new spa cuisine book. (so you can try all the recipes you loved including the chocolate swirl pie at home!)

If your goal is fitness, health and nutrition, you will find it here. This is truly a labor of love, where the owners have gone beyond the norm to create the ‘best of the best in the ultimate spa’ experience. Focused on wellness, you will be privy to the latest classes in health and nutrition, including specialized weeks with guest speakers. LoRayne Haye, the staff nutritionist is a must, to find out the leading edge in how to rev-up your metabolism. She was an Angel! You can try out the latest fitness classes, such as the Bozu Ball workout (like a half-cut balance ball) or the fun, low impact dance classes that are all the rage. Time flies so quickly you may not even notice that you’ve worked out harder than at home. Your body, your mind and spirit will emerge with a renewed sense of vitality and a more toned body.

This is the kind of place you can experiment with new workouts from Zumba (a latin-based movement class) to all kinds of aerobics (water and land based). This is the ideal opportunity to get personal attention for circuit training to Tai Chi or cardio kickboxing. If you are a hiker, the challenging hillside trails are so diverse, you will never get bored on 400 acres. They have just purchased the Vista Valley Country Club with a challenging 18 hole golf course that is like a ’hidden jewel’, with exquisite natural beauty. There are so many improvements being made to this already ‘perfect escape’ from an aquatics center to an authentic L’Orangerie for the ultimate wedding ceremony!

The most luxurious part of the program (from 3 nights to a week of indulgences), are situated in the Provencal Bath House and the salon. There are so many unique treatments from the scalp massage with the vibrating chair (what a surprise) to the microcurrent facial with an oxygen mask.

Did you know that coffee grounds can help with cellulite. I know it sounds exotic to have coffee rubbed on your skin, but it does have some really therapeutic qualities. I highly recommend the BodyCoffee Vichy Scrub which is an exfoliating body polish with Dead Sea Salts, revitalizing essential oils and coffee grounds! Then you will be smothered in the Body Wash which has antioxidants from the coffee extract, along with aloe vera and olive oil to help smooth the skin. After this you will be soothed with a BodyCoffee Body Lotion. It really works!

There are numerous other treatments, like the Thalassotherapy-Seaweed Wrap. It is a signature treatment at Cal-a-Vie applied in 3 phases. Another exfoliating process but this time with a more gentle mélange from an ancient Indian mud as well as roots, herbs, minerals. After the skin is sloughed and the dead cells are removed, you are slathered in a nutrient-rich concoction of freeze-dried seaweed, algae and bentonite clay for the detox ahead. You will be wrapped thermal blankets that stimulate the toxin release. At the same time, to distract you from being encased like a mummy, your attendant will be gently massaging your face and scalp. Swaddled like an infant, you will feel rejuvenated from head to toe! The final touch is the removal of the seaweed and a soothing application of firming and hydrating serum. Your skin will feel like a baby and you will be totally pampered beyond words.

Another favorite was the Microcurrent Facial Treatment. Forget the Nip Tuck for now, just start rejuvenating your skin with non-surgical treatments. This preventative approach is the best way to maintain elasticity and restimulate collagen so your skin will get a jumpstart. The skilled aesthetician is so knowledgeable and will surprise you with her exceptional ability to create younger looking skin after only one treatment. A series is best for this facial rejuvenation method that utilizes a combo of microcurrent and healing colored light. Utilizing the acupuncture meridians to tone and balance the face, the effects are improved muscle tone, detox and cleansing of the skin without harsh procedures.

Check out or call 866-772-4283 for reservations.


Celebrity Escapes, Gourmet Spa Food, Luxury Spa, Pampering, Romantic Getaway, Yoga

Meet the author

author avatar Marjorie Hope
Living the 5 Star Life without limits, Marjorie is a boomer consumer expert and spa trends specialist. With her finger on the pulse of the latest in leading edge breakthroughs from health, wellness an

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author avatar Tranquilpen
20th Oct 2011 (#)

Hello Marjorie, a truely great article my friend. Such a pity that the owners of this fine site are powerless to stop these arrogant spammers.

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author avatar Marjorie Hope
20th Oct 2011 (#)

YES and thanks! This is such BS!

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author avatar Tranquilpen
28th Jan 2012 (#)

Hope you are still around Marjorie. There will be no more spammers and useless un productive comments can now be removed by the writers themselves. We would like you back with some more of that high quality articles about Vive Cal a Vie.

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author avatar Marjorie Hope
1st Feb 2012 (#)


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