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A Sante-The Heart of Health and Hospitality

How a 5 Star Resort and a health institute combine the ultimate in luxury with a holistic wellness experience

Four Seasons Westlake Village Pool

As a spa trends specialist with a penchant for wellness, I am always seeking the best places to experience true hospitality with a focus on health.

My motto as an ‘ageless boomer’ is “The future of health care is Self-Care, and the future is now. The best place to start is by becoming the CEO of your own health.” 

My advice is to visit a healing retreat or spa, to spend some quality time with yourself and gain the knowledge about your own personal wellness needs.

However even for CEO’s in the corporate world, many are not focused on their own personal needs. They put their business and family first beyond themselves. In the fast paced competitive world with extreme economic pressures for success, the keys to top performance lie not only in business acumen, but being in tip top shape. The daily onslaught of challenges can wipe out even the best intentions for self-care. But studies have shown that living a life of balance is necessary to perform the highest level tasks.

Recently I participated in the Signature Retreat at the California Health and Longevity Institute (CHLI) located in Westlake Village California at Four Seasons Resort and Spa. I had the privilege of taking time out to focus on myself and address some personal health challenges.

The Setting: A  lush tropical landscape escape! 

The minute I arrived at the resort, I felt at ease and experienced a certain sense of comfort and safety. The service staff was cordial and immediately offered a glass of champagne and a gourmet chocolate pop at the front desk to assist in the transition from freeway traffic to into a state of utter indulgence.

It was at that moment that I realized that I had to make a healthy choice and become mindful of all of the temptations. (I must admit that after almost a two hour drive in LA traffic, the champagne was a fun treat!) But I did catch myself and decided to forgo the fudge pop.

When you go to a wellness retreat, it is best to surrender to the program and step into the arms of the ‘retreat pros’ who have taken the time beforehand to assess your personal health and wellness goals and challenges. You can relax as you realize you are in the arms of highly trained professionals. You can let go of the ‘real world’ for at least the few days you are committed to the retreat.They keep you busy with a schedule of training focusing on key aspects to address your basic lifestyle wellness needs.

“Consistent, exceptional service is arguably the single, most important distinguishing factor between a five-star hotel and other hotels. Five-star hotels are characterized by staff who are trained to carefully anticipate your needs as a guest and deliver the highest levels of personalized service, at every interaction.” Coyle Hospitality

What makes this a luxurious Five Star wellness retreat? It is the ultimate customer service and adhering to the utmost standards consistent with the brand. As a guest, the support staff was meticulous in their attention to details. One of the wellness retreat guests was allergic to most nuts, so they adjusted the recipes to accommodate him without sacrificing the nutrition and flavor. I was dealing with insomnia issues so I couldn’t get up for the early morning breakfasts and hikes. The staff at the wellness kitchen made sure I got my break-fast and they even knew how I liked my cappuccino (with all foam and a lot of cinnamon).

Private Dining Room for the CHLI participants

Aside from the Five Star perks, the team of experts have combined the latest technology and scientific research to ‘curate workouts, cooking classes and workshops experiences’ to create a foundation for lifelong wellness.

The most important elements of visiting a five star resort is that combines the medical aspects as well, focusing on me personally and my overall wellbeing. You feel so much more nurtured and cared for than having to go to just a regular medical facility!

As Micah Solomon states in his book,The Heart of Hospitality, the key factors are:

Warmth (they like and enjoy their fellow human beings); Empathy (being able to figure out what others are feeling); Teamwork (a willingness to involve fellow employees in finding solutions); Conscientiousness (a detail orientation); and an Optimistic explanatory style (the ability to keep plugging along, even through a particularly tough day).” 

This resort truly demonstrates the essence of The heart of hospitality!

Combining ‘The Heart of Hospitality with Health’ is the wave of the future for wellness travel. (At least for those who can afford the concierge approach to medicine.) For the rest of us, the main focus is still self-care, and doing the four day Signature Retreat at California Health and Longevity Institute at the Four Seasons Westlake Village, California, (CHLI) can give you the basics with a simple, no-nonsense approach, based on reliable scientific methods of research. 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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