When the Monarch Beach Resort completed its $40-million renovation, it debuted a new focus on wellness with the Miraval Life in Balance Spa, the first in California. While the acclaimed destination spa’s flagship is in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona outside of Tucson, it translates perfectly to this Southern California sweep of coast, scalloped with sandy crescents and hidden pocket coves. Monarch Beach, located in Dana Point, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Orange County, boasting stunning views of Laguna Beach’s headlands just to the north. It’s the perfect backdrop to resolve to a new commitment to wellness.

There’s something about the fresh ocean air and special quality of light here that inspires people to focus on improving their body, mind, and spirit. The spa has not only a wealth of treatments, massages, and facials, they also have a full range of fitness, yoga, and meditation classes to bring everything into alignment. Finding harmony is the goal, and relaxing by the spa pool or in the cozy lounge has a part to play too.

The massage treatments capture this special sense of place with specific ingredients and techniques such as crystal salt, marine mud, and algae. The Coastal Stone Massage includes the expert use of warm volcanic stones, which helps relieve muscular aches and pains, while other treatments range from the Eastern-both Thai massage and Abhyanga (an Ayurvedic treatment) are offered-to massages customized for couples, athletes, and mothers-to-be. And newly added to the list of spa services is the Tranquility Ritual-a mesmerizing treatment for the body and mind to aid those who are sleep deprived and overly stressed. This ritual utilizes soothing essential oils along with unique brushes for the skin, creating a sensorial experience for the body like no other. Bespoke music to calm the body and mind is incorporated into the ritual to stimulate theta waves of the brain leaving the guest relaxed and refreshed.


The fitness program marries the familiar with the novel, with many classes taking full advantage of the spa’s coastal location. The various outdoor spin classes have ocean views—or you can just get in the water. One branded class is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) the Water; another water-based class is BOGA Fit, which combines cardio, strength, balance, and agility. Indoors, you can try aerial yoga, an experience in learning to go with the flow as you’re suspended from the ceiling in a soft hammock. Aquarians will likely to gravitate to BOGA YOGA, which uses floating yoga mats in the pool, and more traditional yoga classes are available, including several types of gentle yoga, perfect for novices or those who are returning to their practice after letting it lapse. Whatever their interests, guests will find a robust schedule of classes to choose from and it’s possible to include Vinyasa yoga, pilates with props, and the TRX endurance circuit training in a full day.

Mindfulness runs through all the meditation options—it’s the key theme that informs what Miraval does so well. Mindfulness at Miraval teaches simple tools to help you slow down and keep you in the moment, while the Floating Meditation class allows you to be suspended in a silk hammock and gently rocked to the vibrations of crystal bowls. Whichever form of relaxation you choose, every moment at Monarch Beach, with its peerless California Riviera vibe, is worth savoring.

Chilluxe Monarch Beach Resort from AFAR Media on Vimeo.

Monarch Beach Resort