Spa Places in the News
Anniversary at the Golden Door Spa
Ceremony Celebrates 50 Years of Accolades, Tradition and Leadership for North
Americas First Destination Spa
Calif. March 13, 2009 This year the renowned Golden Door
Americas longest-operating destination spa nestled in the tranquil foothills
of Escondido, Calif. celebrates a truly Golden Anniversary.
The Spa will honor its 50th year on May 3, 2009, when invited guests and dignitaries
will come together to recognize spa founder Deborah Szekely on her 87th birthday.
In a repeat of the ceremony that marked the opening at the current location in
1975, the spas golden doors and grounds will be blessed by a Shinto priest;
a champagne reception will follow.
the past and looking forward to the future, Golden Door President and CEO Tom
Posey says the celebration is as much in honor of the people who have experienced
the Golden Door as it is about the Golden Door itself. On behalf of the
tens of thousands of guests and staff who have created such indelible memories
at the Golden Door, and made such a mark throughout the world, we are indescribably
proud to commemorate this landmark occasion and to carry on, and elevate, Deborahs
inspired and visionary approach to personal well being into our next fifty years,
Sunday, Jan. 4, 1959, a group of 12 women arrived at a converted, Spanish adobe-style
motel, stepped through a pair of jeweled golden doors, and into history.
They paid approximately $250 - $300 for a weeklong spa experience and were the
first guests to visit what is known today as the acclaimed Golden Door. Tens of
thousands of guests would follow these women, eager to experience the first week-long
spa program to combine fitness and beauty.
vision of Deborah Szekely now widely acknowledged as the founder of the
modern spa industry the Golden Door was originally conceived as an intimate
and luxurious sister spa to the Rancho La Puerto fitness resort in Mexico (founded
by Szekely with her late husband, Professor Edmond Szekely in 1940). Early Golden
Door guests included Hollywood stars such as Debby Reynolds, Gloria Swanson, Zsa
Zsa and Eva Gabor, movie director Stanley Kramer, author and philosopher Alduous
Huxley and fashion designer Bill Blass.
1975 the Golden Door moved to its current location just one mile west of the original
site. Built in the style of traditional Japanese honjin inns designed to offer
welcome and relaxation, the new facility was the first-ever purpose-built destination
spa. Now in its 50th year, the Golden Door is world-renowned, with the distinction
of being the longest continuously operating destination spa in the United States.
Welcoming up to 40 guests per week, the spa is dedicated to fostering balance
of mind, body and spirit through a complete, personalized well-being program that
incorporates the latest therapies and technologies with proven techniques and
Accolades and Innovation
The Golden Door is consistently recognized
as one of the best spas in the world by respected publications such as Travel
+ Leisure and The Zagat Survey, who in 2009 described the spa as heaven
on earth. Befitting its status as an industry leader, the Golden Door can
be credited with many innovations and firsts which have influenced
the spa world such as the following:
First ever men-only week such a stand out piece of news
it was covered by Life magazine in its February 8, 1960 issue
Installation of first public whirlpool. Mr. Jacuzzi was a Golden Door guest and
had developed the technology to help his ailing son.
1959 Golden Door
Skin Care the first ever skin care line produced by a spa. The first skin
care products used at the spa were formulated by Professor Szekely using fresh
herbs and plants grown on the grounds. They were so effective, and different to
the preservative laced cosmetics available at that time, that guests soon began
wanting a supply to take home with them. This demand led to the founding of Golden
Door Skin Care.
1982 In partnership with Cunard, Golden Door becomes
the first spa to run a full spa program on a cruise line. It debuts on the storied
Queen Elizabeth II.
1993 The Golden Door Cookbook by long-time
chef, Michel Stroot, who retired in 2005, becomes the first spa cookbook to be
nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award. The sumptuous gourmet spa cuisine
which today graces the menus, prepared using lean proteins, whole grains, fresh
fruits and vegetables, is a far cry from the poached chicken breast and lettuce
leaf that passed for spa cuisine 50 years ago and Chef Stroot is widely credited
as a leading light in that evolution.
1997 Golden Door becomes the
first spa to install a labyrinth many others soon follow.
Golden Doors peaceful and private setting located 45 miles north of San
Diego is home to one of the most inspiring, innovative and high-energy fitness
and beauty programs in the world today. The spas 4:1 staff-to-guest ratio
ensures an incomparable level of service and attention to detail, encouraging
most guests more than 60 percent to return time-and-time again.
Many guests have visited 10, 20, even 50 times one guest, a remarkable
100 times. Guests follow a program of exercise, daily massage, meditation and
beauty treatments created expressly for their needs and wishes. Additional instruction
on nutrition and wellness, advice on stress management, a Smoking Cessation program
and Inner Focus classes including yoga and Tai Chi come together to provide
each guest the tools they need to attain the balance within their own lives that
is at the heart of the Golden Doors philosophy. For more information or
reservations, visit www.GoldenDoor.com
or call (800) 424-0777.
The Golden Door
is part of LXR Luxury Resorts & Hotels, a portfolio of independent properties
distinguished by a style and spirit that captures the unique qualities of their
setting. LXR properties are located throughout the United States and the Caribbean.
For information visit www.LuxuryResorts.com
or call (877) LXR-XOXO.
offering luxury spa resort vacations and retreats in unrivaled settings, Golden
Door has long been considered the pioneer of the destination spa concept which
began 50 years ago with the flagship property in Escondido, California. Today,
in addition to the planned opening at Dakota Mountain Lodge in Park City, Utah,
Golden Door operates spas at The Boulders Resort in Carefree, Arizona; The Peaks
in Telluride, Colorado; the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Florida; and the El
Conquistador in Las Croabas, Puerto Rico. For more information regarding Golden
Door and properties within the collection visit www.GoldenDoor.com.