Living in California and near the Hollywood elite, I’ve been hearing about the Golden Door for years and years and I’ve always wanted to be a guest.
This iconic retreat has been at the forefront of health and wellness since it first opened in 1958. Tucked away on 600 acres of wooded mountains, the Japanese-style inn and spa is much more than a luxury resort—it’s a fully immersive, experiential retreat.
For decades A-list celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and global executives have escaped to the Golden Door in search of tranquility, community and transformation. Today the offering includes a totally personalized, all-inclusive 4 or 7 day experience that invites you to take fabulous care of yourself while reconnecting with nature and getting to know amazing women from around the world.
Recently when my friend Lynn Casey mentioned the Golden Door, I was inspired to visit their website and from that point—I was absolutely obsessed. No one could talk me out of it—I was going. I knew in my soul that I wanted to experience it and that I wanted to share it with others. It’s actually what inspired Divine Living’s first health issue!
People always ask me how I do all that I do and I always tell them I take really good care of myself. But this was another dimension. It was far beyond an in-home massage. It was visiting a true sanctuary that helped me connect with God, nature, myself, my thoughts and my body—all of it.
At the end of my stay I walked out feeling happy and relaxed, with glowing, soft skin and no make-up. I was so beyond ready and excited to go meet with my mastermind group and set off on my next adventure. I felt vibrantly healthy, inside and out.
My time at the Golden Door did everything I needed it to and I will definitely be returning. Read on for a closer look inside my stay as I divulge exactly what made this experience so divine!
I didn’t believe that I had to go to India to experience God or to Bali to experience bliss. I don’t believe I need to go anywhere to experience tranquility and peace. And yet I did experience God in India and I did experience Bliss in Bali. Every place has its own energy and on the other side of the Golden Door, I really felt I was stepping into somewhere special.
Greeted at the door by Debbie Anne, I immediately began to feel a warmth and a graciousness. She walked me across a beautiful wooden bridge, telling me how it was built according to Japanese legend: “Evil spirits can’t pass the bend.” And so we entered this incredible vortex of positive energy! The air was crisp and fragrant with blooming jasmine and healthy California trees. I’ve been to some of the best 5-star resorts in the world—but this was different.
Not only is the Golden Door this stunning, luxurious place to enjoy tranquility and stillness, what makes it so different from a resort is the sense of community. It’s cultivated in many ways, one being the attire. When you arrive you’re given sets of Golden Door active wear, plus a gorgeous Japanese Yukata robe. You don’t have to think about what you’re wearing, no one has make-up on and there’s this easy feeling of openness and connection.
One of my intentions I set for 2016 was to prioritize community and collaboration, so it was beautiful to actually gather for dinner and mingle rather than stay in and order room service (though that was a welcome option).
I was delighted to get to know interesting, successful women from all over the world! Many women had been there multiple times. People go to the Golden Door, make friends and come back again and again, coordinating their schedules! One woman I met was on her 50th experience, another on her 47th. I hadn’t even imagined how strong this community would be and that made it so, so special.
I’ve been around and in many spiritual circles and conscious communities my entire life. Even though we’re teachers, at the end of the day we’re all human beings. You can really feel it when a personal development person is unhappy, unhealthy, or angry. So one of the things that was so striking to me at the Golden Door was a feeling of, “Wow, these people are really walking their talk.”
With just 42 guests and nearly four times as many staff, everyone’s needs were fully taken care of. I found the whole staff to be incredibly high vibrational and clearly committed to the vision and the mission. I know many of them had been there between 10 and 25 years! It really is a place of longevity. It was beautiful.
Among the lovingly manicured gardens, the bamboo forest and the many hiking trails, the Golden Door has hundreds of acres of gardens and citrus groves all contributing fresh California produce to the delicious, healthy cuisine. When each meal is ready, the staff rings a gigantic Japanese bell in the middle of the garden, summoning everyone to come together. I really cannot express how delicious the food is. It’s satisfying and super nourishing—I did not feel deprived at all!
For more on the Golden Door’s fabulous food program do not miss this week’s Spring Detox Menu featuring five exclusive recipes courtesy of Executive Chef Greg Frey Jr. We’re also chatting with Chef Greg in this week’s story about beekeeping and finding out how we can all best support the honey bee population, check it out here.
I may not be the biggest nature girl on the planet, but for me the Golden Door was the perfect immersion in it. I loved waking up early and breathing in the fresh California mountain air, walking through the gardens and exploring the incredible grounds, picking beautiful fresh vegetables and indulging in a simpler, slower way of life. It wasn’t about technology or jet-setting or running around—it was about enjoying the stillness.
My time outdoors was delicately balanced by glamorous afternoons at the spa and daily massages in my room. I get spa treatments regularly, but after all of the facials, soaks, the hair treatment and one of the Door’s famous herbal wraps—my body felt totally rejuvenated.
Between all of the fresh air, exercise, meditation sessions and luxurious self-care, I felt a total unwinding. I had just come from hosting several live events and arrived straight off the plane, ready to slip into my Yukata Robe. By the time I left, I had that Golden Door glow.
To learn more about the Golden Door or book your escape click here: