By Greg Aragon
The Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village is not only a luxurious resort; it is a world-renown sanctuary and wellness retreat. It is also less than an hour drive from Downtown LA.
Located in the city of Westlake Village, in the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu and Santa Barbara, the 270-room, five-diamond resort is a secluded paradise surrounded by gardens and lawns, ponds and footbridges, a rocky waterfall, giant sequoia trees, and a myriad of amenities.
A friend and I recently checked into a gorgeous suite at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. It was a relaxing and rejuvenating experience I won’t soon forget.
Our fifth floor room overlooked the cascading waterfall, the lush main lawn, and a row of tall trees – a view reminiscent of a rustic mountain resort. The room featured a large, comfy king bed, huge TV, office/desk area, mini-bar, and a beautiful, marble-rich bathroom, with a walk-in shower, huge tub and a second TV.
Once acquainted with the room, I joined a few other hotel guests for a Sunday morning interactive healthy cooking class held in the hotel’s Wellness Kitchen. The two-hour course was led by an expert dietician who gave us an informative lesson on healthy eating. She then gave us a menu full of the dishes to choose from that we would all be cooking.
I selected a stuffed mushroom appetizer with spinach and garlic; and decadent chocolate cupcakes with ganache. The other guests made salmon Wellington, caramelized carrot and beet soup, citrus and cranberry salad, pumpkin lasagna with turkey sausage, roasted winter vegetables, and baked pears with spiced pomegranate syrup.
With a little help from talented hotel chefs, we created a truly delicious dinner. Not only was the food great, but the experience was fun and therapeutic.
After cooking I met my friend in the elegant lobby and explored the 450,000-square-foot property. Our first stop was the Pagoda Lawn, where an authentic Chinese pagoda towers above a reflecting pond and a serene, 2-acre private garden featuring sequoia trees, 2,000-year-old boulders from the River Kwai in Thailand, and lots of colorful flowers. It is easy to see why this is a favorite spot for special gatherings and events, or meditating or doing yoga on the lawn.
From here, we walked down curving pathways, lined with thousands of plants, flowers and shrubs, to the Waterfall and main lawn. I then visited the state-of-the-art, 16,000-square-foot fitness center for a workout, a steam room and a spell in the Jacuzzi. I then had an invigorating, deep-tissue massage at the hotel’s spa.
The 41,000 square-foot spa features 28 treatment rooms, 30 face and body treatments and 12 types of massages. As the largest spa within Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village is known as a wellness epicenter.
Signature treatments include “The Return to Balance” which features a foot soak followed by a full body exfoliation and a bath with minerals and organic extracts; and “The Lavender Milk and Honey Cocoon” that begins with a whole grain and organic oil body buff to increase and stimulate circulation. Next, a velvety blend of pure honey and warm lavender milk envelops you in a nourishing cocoon to renew elasticity. This is finished with a full-body massage using herb and lavender cream.
After the revitalizing rub, I felt so relaxed that I decided to order room service and lounge on the big bed the rest of the night. The meal began with Peruvian ceviche and an avocado salad. For the main course I enjoyed a grilled salmon wrap, with avocado spread, mizuna, tomato, sunflower sprouts, pickled onion and cucumber. My friend devoured a prime flat iron steak, with grilled forest mushrooms and mashed potatoes.
The Four Seasons Westlake Village is also home to the California Health & Longevity Institute. The institute focuses on providing a proactive and integrative approach to healthy living. Operating under the belief that people deserve access to the very best science-based information, the facility offers sustainable retreats and experiences to help people take control and responsibility of their personal health.
The resort also boasts two pools, two restaurants, a wine tasting room, coffee shop, poolside dining and the new Rhythm & Hair salon, which offers hair styling, nail and beauty services to hotel guests and LA locals.