Fit Together


est and relaxation are key buzzwords when it comes to a resort experience. Guests jump at the chance to set aside stressors, table the responsibilities of life at home and dive into Zen-like nothingness. Once we take that dive, however, many of us discover that rather than letting go completely, we simply want to do whatever we want. Which is where wellness comes in.

The Spa at Pelican Hill® has developed an array of group activities tailor-made for those seeking to escape the workplace—even one that features toddlers and sippy cups—and reconnect with their physical and emotional centers.

“Wellness permeates everything, from our massages to our fitness offerings,” said Robin Dunivin, spa director at The Resort at Pelican Hill.® “Right now I’m looking forward to introducing a barre-Pilates class as part of our commitment to keeping things exciting for Spa guests.”

I gave the program a run for its money recently, consecrating an entire weekday morning to the arduous task of researching this story. My only cheat was showing up early and indulging in an Italian cappuccino and buttery croissant at Caffè & Market. Once that was over with (phew), I presented myself outside the Spa, where a small group climbed aboard a coach for the daily Fitness Walk along Crystal Cove State Beach.

Uber-oxygenated air, gentle waves and sandpipers dipping long, slender beaks into wet sand in search of breakfast diverted us so completely that, when we returned to the Resort, we were surprised to find our muscles warm and our senses primed.


The gym came next: An assortment of strength-training equipment and free weights flanked a healthy lineup of cardio machines, including treadmills, recumbent bikes and stair-steppers. With 30 minutes to kill before my Abs & Glutes class (which won out over Zumba and Meditation,) I tried a couple of each.

Stepping into the adjacent studio I thought: This is where the rubber meets the road. Will the class hold steady at beginner level and leave me wanting for more, or will I wake up in the morning with groaning abdominals?

Truth: Even for a workout wonk like me, a couple of the exercises took me to the limit. It might have had something to do with the beach and the gym beforehand, but this class was a challenge. While the instructor provided options, she also didn’t hesitate to push the fittest among us.

The Spa at Pelican Hill may draw guests with its entrée menu of blissful body treatments; but the wellness program, with knowledgeable instructors and innovative group classes ranging from boot camp to yoga therapeutics, is my choice for a first course. Awaken body and soul by opening doors that have too long remained closed; and then, take that dive. Your R&R awaits.

The fitness center is open to anyone who books a 50-minute or longer treatment. Check out the Spa Wellness Calendar at, or call 877.624.6035.

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