Dinner out, theater, exploring the latest exhibit at a local museum — they’re all tried-and-true date options, but every now and then we need to turn “date night” on its head. Consider, for instance, a full-fledged date weekend (or, if you’re crunched for time, a 24-hour date getaway) luxuriating in an immersive wellness retreat in Baja California.
Set on 25 bucolic acres of olive trees and vibrant expanses of lavender fields, the recently opened Montevalle Health & Wellness Resort in Mexico’s Guadalupe Valley simultaneously redefines — and ups the ante — on the ubiquitous spa getaway.
The all-inclusive, adults-only resort offers an experience that feels both indulgent, thanks to the steady stream of mouthwatering and artfully presented culinary creations, and blissfully peaceful, thanks to the property’s stunning setting, which envelops guests in the quiet, meditative beauty of nature. All this makes Montevalle a memorable backdrop for reconnecting with your partner — or yourself.
A dreamy setting
Located about four hours south of Los Angeles, in the heart of Mexico’s version of Napa Valley, the 14-villa Montevalle Health & Wellness Resort was purposefully designed to provide guests with a place to disconnect and relax while also detoxifying and healing.
The property delivers on that mission in multiple ways, from elevated food offerings that are carefully chosen to cleanse the body to cutting-edge spa treatments that emphasize innovative approaches to restoring health. There’s also a gym onsite, tennis courts, a heated pool, reflexology path and a meditation labyrinth.
This unique retreat was created by Carlos Bautista, M.D., a well-known physician in the Baja California region who’s devoted his medical career to natural and holistic therapies.
“I wanted to create a place where people could escape the noise of the city for one day or several days, have contact with nature and be able to stimulate their immune system and detoxify through a variety of treatments,” Bautista said during the property’s opening.
For couples visiting, Montevalle is a place where days can be spent immersed in a tranquil, romantic setting, alternating between lounging poolside, eating well and sampling spa treatments.
Spa essentials: infusions, therapies and massages
You’ll enjoy a bevy of treatment options at Montevalle’s spa. Therapy options range from biomagnetic therapy to Rife therapy and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. There’s also IV infusions of vitamins and minerals designed to do everything from build your immune system to make your skin glow. And perhaps most surprising of all is the hyperbaric oxygen chamber (Yes, the same sort of thing Michael Jackson was fond of using).
If you’re unfamiliar with many of these treatments, you’re not alone. Put the biomagnetic therapy on your must-try list. This soothing experience involves lying on a heated sheet of therapeutic magnets that stretches from head to toe while you’re covered in a blanket — all of which creates a warm cocoon you won’t want to leave. The treatment is designed to increase blood flow, which in turn aids in immune system stimulation and detoxification.
Rife therapy, meanwhile, requires holding two tubes in your hands that deliver electromagnetic energy waves to your body. Though it may not be as blissfully soothing as the biomagnetic experience, Rife therapy is meant to stimulate liver, kidney and lymphatic detoxification.
Many of the treatments are delivered in an airy, sun-filled spa room that features a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping views of the valley beyond. It’s a meditative space where couples can enjoy treatments side by side. Wrap up your day of treatments with a pampering Swedish or Thai massage or a foot reflexology experience.
Healing through food
One of the vital components of a Montevalle wellness experience is the food. But don’t be fooled: “Good for you” doesn’t translate to boring or an act of cleansing deprivation. Montevalle’s chef, Raul Nuñez, and his team create daily menus based on what’s in season and available locally.
“The menu at Montevalle is designed to provide natural detox, using 100 percent natural, non-processed food and cooking techniques,” says Nuñez.
The culinary team achieves this goal while delivering meals — breakfast, lunch and dinner — that are vibrant, inventive, beautifully plated and delicious.
The striking setting of the property’s restaurant adds to the romance factor for couples visiting Montevalle. The dining space is perched on a hilltop well above the resort’s 14 villas, offering sweeping views of the Guadalupe Valley, its many vineyards and the mountains beyond.
The Guadalupe Valley
If you’re making the four-hour trip to the Guadalupe Valley from Los Angeles, be sure to spend some time exploring beyond the Montevalle Health & Wellness Resort. Guadalupe Valley is Mexico’s premiere wine region, and in addition to all the trendy wine-tasting rooms here, there’s more than a few rock-star chefs who have opened gourmet restaurants that make for a truly romantic meal.
Among the stops to put on your list is Lunario, whose chef, Sheyla Alvarado, has been described by Food & Wine magazine as one of the most talented in the valley. Alvarado serves four- to six-course menus that change monthly to feature seasonal ingredients.
As for wineries, visit the winery at the stylish Bruma Valle de Guadalupe, which has been lauded by The New York Times, Robb Report and many other publications for not only its striking architecture but also its outstanding vino.
And then head back to Los Angeles — feeling relaxed, recharged and well-fed.
Mia Taylor is an award-winning finance and travel journalist based in San Diego. You can find her at miataylorwriter.com.