This was a request that I certainly had no problem honoring.
We found ourselves in Monterey CA, wondering what to do next. We had already experienced the sights, sounds and smells of the area, and we were ready to go explore.
I stopped by the hotel desk to get some brochures about “things to do” in the area, brought them back to the room, sat down on the bed, and as I started to flip through the colorful brochure, a pamphlet fell out.
This pamphlet had exactly what I was looking for. A spa resort that was affordable!
The place is called Refuge, and it certainly holds up to all that the name implies! Nestled in the Santa Lucia Preserve, near the little town of Carmel, CA, this is one of the most amazing places I have been to in a very long time.
We were a little hesitant to go at first, it just seemed a little too good to be true, but the brochure and their website didn’t lead us astray. It was just as they described, if not better.
The day was overcast, a slight mist in the air, but not cold. We had the facility pretty much to ourselves, I guess it’s one of the benefits of being able to go during the week and not on the week-end.
It was relaxation at its prime. Pure, clean, quiet, peaceful, serene.
We decided if we were going to do this “right“, we would follow the steps as suggested by the spa:
1. Heat Up
This could be achieved by one of two options, either the cedar sauna, or the eucalyptus steam bath. Both were amazing in their own way, but I think the steam bath was the one I enjoyed the most! Breathing in the hot steam, smelling the eucalyptus, it felt like my whole body was going through a huge dishwasher!
2. Cool Down
Now this was the challenging one. The host at the facility encouraged us to try this at least one time. The thought of stepping into water that is icy cold does not sound relaxing (or fun), but I thought if I am going to experience this place for all that it is, I need to give this a try!
Oh boy! Yes! It’s very, very cold, but when I stepped out of the water, it was not like anything I imagined. It was very refreshing! I ended up taking this challenge 3 times!
This sounds like it should be easy, but sometimes I find this step to be one of the most difficult. I often find it hard to just sit back and relax, and not focus on a list of things to do. I think I was finally able to achieve this feeling of being totally relaxed by about the time for us to leave.
And, most importantly….please respect the silence!
This was a very invigorating, relaxing, refreshing, and a pleasant experience all rolled up together.
As we relaxed in the hot tub, letting the sights and sounds of the area soak in, we watched a family of 4 beautiful deer take a little stroll along the mountainside! It was breathtaking!
My only disappointment is, it’s too far away from my house!
I know we will certainly be going back to Refuge the next time we find ourselves in the area!
In fact, we might just plan a trip around it next time.