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Black Tie International Magazine - Wellness
The Golden Door Spa in Escondido, California


Walking the Golden Door Labyrinth

Walking the Golden Door Labyrinth


Paradise Found
By:  Mimi Kazon


It's called The Golden Door Spa in Escondido, California.  Some history: I've been going to spas twice a year for twenty years.  As soon as people see my vast collection of spa-emblazoned tees, I am asked The Question.  Which is best?

Until The Golden Door made me feel so good I didn't feel like myself, my answer was Rancho La Puerta (also founded by the Golden Door mastermind Deborah Szekely). The worst: PGA in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. 

The magic began long before I ascended to Valhalla.  A fat packet of papers arrived from The Golden Door- a detailed health questionnaire and a massive amount of valuable information.  Most thrilling: you will be supplied with clothes for day and night!  Bring bathing suits, if you plan to do water exercises, sneakers and toiletries.

You are met at the San Diego airport and whisked off to heaven on earth.  I arrived in time for dinner on Sunday night.  The moment I put the first piece of a scrumptious fish called Mero in my mouth, they had me. 
The $8,000 a week program begins and ends for most on Sunday
 (you could do three or four days, and there are special rates, so ask when you call).

Monday morning, my wake-up call was at 7:00AM.  I passed on the dawn hike because I am slim and walking is my New York exercise.  Breakfast arrived in my room at 7:30AM.  After I finished, the best oatmeal I've ever eaten, I was off to an 8:15 warm-up class.  Wonderful.  Next was an interview with Carli, which included a weigh-in and measurements taken.  Then, on to meet the staff.  The ratio is 4-to-1, that's four staffers to one guest.  Only forty people are there each week.  Before my stregth training class, there was my fave, the juice break- a delicious potassium broth.

Exercise ended at 1:00PM, after an 11:00AM strength training session
and my exercise of choice aqua-therapy.

Lunch is served poolside (weather permitting) and, of course, it was perfect.  The food is high flavored and low fat (Gourmet Magazine described it as delicate and delicious spa cuisine) and 1100 calories a day, or more, depending on size and goals, and unlimited snacks are served.  Your dietary needs and preferences are in the questionnaire you filled in and mailed a month before your arrival.

At 2:00PM, I was in the capable hands of Zoom.  The weeks begins with the tranquility facial.  It has stress releasing and soothing botanicals, natural oils, and the extract from The Golden Door Skin Care Collection.  Heavenly. 
(And I'm a La Mer and Origins girl.)

By 3:00PM, I was in the bath house for the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam. 
By 4:00PM, I was ready for the massage in my room.

Cocktails (water and yummy hors d'oeuvres)
were at 6:15PM, dinner at 6:30PM and the evening program begins at 7:45PM. 

 Tuesdays was the same old- same glorious old- plus my personal program interview.  It was the first of my four sessions with my personal fitness guide, Suzanne Browne, an absolute treasure.  We devoted most of our time together to posture improvement.  The prize: she told me that my heroine, Jackie Onassis, stood with her hands clasped together in front of her which resulted in perfect posture.  When I discovered a picture back home of Jackie doing exactly that, I was beyond thrilled.

On Wednesday came my spectacular private consultation with the nutritionist, Wendy Bazilian.  We discussed in depth my eating habits (I got A+). 
"The Super Food RX Diet," her book, is a must read.

Beverly gave me my make-up lesson- terrific.  Franche vitamin and mineral based cosmetics are used.  Bobbi Brown's superb make-up has spoiled me,
but I did look gorgeous that evening.

On Thursday night, Deborah Szekely came to dinner and then lectured. 
She was beyond wonderful. 
 "The object is to gives guests a joyous life"
she told her rapt audience.

On Saturday, I had a marvelous manicure and pedicure. 
The Spa uses Zoya polish, which is free of all the bad stuff.  I elected to have a hair treatment.  For an extra charge, you can have it colored and have it cut.  My locks were snipped by the Master Edward Tricomi and tinted by his parner Joel Warren before I left New York. (Warren-Tricomi)

On Sunday morning you were driven to the airport and reality bit.  Not too hard though; my lunch and dinner for the trip were courtesy of The Gold Door.

If I haven't convinced you that going through the Golden Door will make the rest of your life wonderful, here's what Deborah Szekely said
 "Spas improve the quality of life.  Everyone wants to be younger."



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