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Montage Laguna Beach in California

by Abbie Kozolchyk



Perched on a coastal bluff above the Pacific, Montage Laguna Beach welcomes guests into the heart of Southern California’s preeminent artist colony. Spanning 30 acres, the beachfront sanctuary features two outdoor pool decks, a 20,000-square-foot spa and three signature restaurants with spectacular views of the California coast.

In the 20 years since Montage Laguna Beach has occupied its clifftop corner 50 feet above the Pacific, one of the strongest selling points has been the view: sweeping, sun-gilded and visible from every guestroom. So if you book the spa’s commemorative 20th anniversary treatment, you might be surprised to find yourself staring at an entirely different landscape: a forest so ethereal, the occasional wood sprite wouldn’t seem out of place among the gracefully falling leaves. In fact, these woodlands are only some of the alternate sites you’ll visit during the course of your 150-minute therapeutic odyssey.

The nation’s first foray into Natura Bissé VR+ spa technology, The Five Senses treatment uses an immersive headset—and a succession of dreamy sights, sounds and scents—to lull you into a meditative state during your first eight minutes on the table. Of course, having been welcomed to the room with tea service, a singing bowl and a foot scrub, you’re thoroughly primed for mental departure by time you’re face up under a Magritte-caliber sky (that soon morphs into an orange-streaked sunset, a dancing green aurora and finally, a starry, starry night).

Once the virtual reality goggles come off, you’ll spend the next two or so hours on the receiving end of mask applications, cleansing, massaging, peeling, paraffin dipping, cupping, skin brushing and serum dousing. Essentially one long, lucid dream, the treatment attempts to bring you back to earth by way of a concluding singing bowl session and a handcrafted chocolate treat, but odds are, you’ll keep floating indefinitely upon leaving the room.

Though The Five Senses may be the most intensive and immersive of the wellness offerings, you’ll also find a comprehensive spa menu, ocean-facing Mind/Body Movement Studio, trails that run along (and down to) the water and a concierge who’ll arrange for hiking and kayaking excursions. Then again, there’s a restorative power to simply staring out at the Pacific from the resort’s famed Mosaic Pool—or from the balcony of an Ocean Coastal Suite, where your views include the neighborhood tidal pools and coves.

You’ll also find 20th anniversary offerings throughout the year. Some are sweet and simple (see: the upgraded s’more cart provisioning the firepits with house-made citrus and vanilla marshmallows and double milk chocolate squares with sea salt and caramel, for starters). Others fall on the blowout end of the spectrum, such as the Legendary Laguna package: a $50,000, five-night stay in the nearly 3,000-square-foot Catalina Suite, where the parlor opens onto an expansive, ocean-facing balcony. Also included are airport transfers, a $1,000 food and beverage credit, $1,500 Spa Montage credit, whale watching for two, a private docent-led tour of Laguna Beach’s famed art galleries and an anniversary gift collection to take home in a limited-edition Jimmy Choo tote. Perhaps the most prized possession therein: your bottle of Clase Azul Ultra and Montage XX Anniversary Tequila (one of only 300 bottles that have been produced, none of them for sale).

But whether you book for the full five days—or duck into the spa for a few hours—you’ll leave transported by this case study in California dreamin'. montagehotels.com

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