The Spa at Pelican Hill®

In spa math, the difference between a 50-minute massage and an 80-minute massage is not 30 minutes. It is black versus white, night versus day. It’s why the Global Traditions Olympics Massage at The Spa at Pelican Hill® makes all the difference in the world.

Despite innumerable workouts, hikes and Pilates sessions, I hadn’t had a massage in over a year. And I. Love. Massages. So, when I pushed open the towering door and tiptoed across the lobby of the Resort’s spa, it was difficult, as Larry David might say, to curb my enthusiasm.


I arrived early to indulge in the bonus areas. Why not, when a perfectly heated sauna and steam room and a bubbling saltwater soaking tub practically waved me over? With my belongings safely stowed, I slipped into the sauna and drew deep, calming breaths, transitioning into massage mode.

The Global Traditions Olympics Massage uses every one of its minutes to release, through gentle stretches, direct pressure and dry heat, body parts from head to toe. With the aid of fragrant lemongrass oil, which I was invited to inhale as an olfactory start to the treatment, and a heated lemongrass-and-herb-filled ball custom-made in Thailand, my therapist located and resolved tight muscles and elusive knots. An intentional focus on the feet came as a welcome surprise.


“Guests love the combination of Thai stretching, Hawaiian Lomilomi, which is like a dance on the skin, Swedish massage and other modalities,” said Robin Dunivin, spa director at The Resort at Pelican Hill.® “We are delighted to highlight this popular service in recognition of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.”

The benefits of this blend of global techniques were enhanced by the liberal use of the Thai herbal ball. Its folds and soft edges accessed deep tissue in the neck, shoulder and lower back, while the broad rolling action of the full sphere smoothed and elongated muscles and ligaments. Like so many sensory experiences, a perfect massage does not occur in a vacuum. The Spa at Pelican Hill drew me in with a classical/Zen soundtrack that, as my session progressed, became part and parcel of the choreographed work being performed atop the table.

Wellness Day Retreat

But while my therapist was top notch and I would happily have spent the night in that room, the 80-minute time frame was what took this from wonderful to when-can-I-come back. Instead of counting down from the start, as I do with shorter treatments, I found myself embracing the leisurely pace set by the therapist. Without speaking a word, we both took the time we needed to fully give ourselves over to this treatment.
It felt as if there was no beginning and no end, which to me is the true definition of relaxation.

In celebration of the 2016 Summer Games, book a Global Traditions Olympics Massage and receive a complimentary heart-healthy omega-3 smoothie. For reservations, please call 949.467.5270.

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