Courtesy of The Spa at El Encanto Image by: Courtesy of The Spa at El Encanto
Here, bunnies bob about the hotel’s three hectares of terraced gardens: a fantasia of streams, palms and citrus trees abloom with cottontails as fluffy and white as the local gardenias. Even the hotel’s resident cow (yes, there is one; her name is Ellie) is pampered with regular massages, baths and hoof pedicures (when she isn’t busy providing dairy for the hotel’s restaurant) to ensure her supreme comfort. When I visited, I was pregnant and feeling (appropriately, as it turns out) Holstein-like, so I partook of a treatment of my own at the hotel spa.
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Treatments involve ingredients as recherché as Patagonian seaweed, kaolin clay and local Cabernet- and Pinot-grape seeds. I opted for a facial and spent an hour I wish I could relive getting lathered in propolis (used by ancient Egyptians to embalm mummies—now used, evidently, to embalm the middle-aged) and royal jelly (the substance secreted by honeybees that is used to nourish and nurture the queen bee)—all products courtesy of Beverly Hills facialist Linda Ross. I floated back to my room, my complexion feeling as fresh as a California gardenia.
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