Golden Door comes with a starry spa pedigree that other destination spas can only dream of. Opened in 1958 by Deborah Szekely, philanthropist, writer and early pioneer of the So-Cal wellness movement, this groundbreaking spa was soon attracting Hollywood luminaries such as Natalie Wood, Elizabeth Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Burt Lancaster, in preparation for film roles.
Men, in hunter-gather times, used to leave their women and children behind in order to head out together on extended hunting trips, driven by the need to survive. During these journeys, men would find themselves in pristine, perilous wilderness where they would depend on one another and their own sharpened senses, to outwit potential predators.
The spa at Kamalaya is set amongst an abundance of nature. Treatment rooms are little thermoses overlooking the beach. Evening treatments are a bonus as they allow you to watch the sun set over the ocean just as you open your weary eyes to reality again. Kamalaya's main focus is on your mind, body and soul.
Eliana, mother of Dominic, who took my yoga session, is 85 but not, if you know what I mean. Unexpected, impatient and eager for new experiences, she sports the attributes of youth not age. We had a conversation about her fascinating life and what brought her to her vocation as a healer via a career in fashion and teaching.
A hour and half train ride from London, then a quick hop, skip and a jump from the train station, and you're there. Careys Manor is a 19th century hunting lodge in the middle of the New Forest. With its cosy sofas, log fires and quintessentially English gardens it's got all the ingredients for a perfect country weekend away from it all.