Keys to the Coast: Nipomo holds a slice of Paradise

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

By Donna Polizzi of Keys to the Coast

spa-in-nipomo

–Have you been to Nipomo lately? My job is exploring the California Coast, and sometimes, I’m blown away by the places that I find. This small town, population 16,700 is just North of the Santa Barbara county line, in San Luis Obispo County.

Donna Polizzi is a regional travel expert and founder of Keys2TheCoast.com, a free travel resource that gives honest recommendations based on personal experiences to help uncover local treasures. Wine, dine, explore and more on the California Central Coast. 

Donna Polizzi is a regional travel expert and founder of Keys2TheCoast.com, a free travel resource that gives honest recommendations based on personal experiences to help uncover local treasures. Wine, dine, explore and more on the California Central Coast.

I was delighted to discover a world class spa and restaurant so close to home.

Nipomo is so small; many people haven’t heard of it. Those who have are not aware of the hidden gems in this area. Here’s a quick backdrop. The Chumash were the original settlers living in the area for over 9,000 years, calling Nipomo “little village.”

A sea Captain named William G. Dana was the founder of present day Nipomo. In 1831 the Dana Adobe was built on Rancho Nipomo, meaning “foot of the hill” and belonged to the Dana family. In 1839, the Dana Adobe became a stage coach stop for travelers on the El Camino Real between Mission San Luis Obispo and Mission Santa Barbara. The Dana Adobe was California’s first regular location for mail exchange. This piece of history is in the historic National Register and can be visited at 671 S. Oak Glen Avenue. Nipomo holds a slice of Paradise. Fast forward… Who would suspect that one of the most relaxing spa and dining experiences on the California Central Coast could be found in Nipomo?

A friend gave me a gift card to Sandalwood Spa at Trilogy for my birthday and when I drove to Nipomo for my treatment… Let’s just say that I was very surprised. When the car door opened the fragrance of literally thousands of Blue Gum Eucalyptus trees, that were planted in 1908, set the mood for a wonderful spa experience.

I have been rubbed, scrubbed and pampered all over the world and I have never had a better spa day.

Imagine walking into the spa and looking down at a glass floor with smooth stones and a trickling stream beneath. The treatment rooms are relaxing and the sounds of Zen music and waterfalls surround while strong hands removed enough knots that I left two inches taller. Think butterfly coming out of a tightly wound cocoon. My masseuse, Nick Ledbetter melted my stress away.

My scale would disagree, but I felt as light as a butterfly, sipping complimentary Mimosas after my transformation.

It kept getting better. I was delighted when the wellness director, Audra Napoli told me that “guests are welcome to spend the day enjoying the beautiful pool and jacuzzi on the property.” Talk about an impressive facility. The pool area was resort-like in every way. Cascading waterfalls splash into the large pool and the natural looking spas. I haven’t seen a pool area of this caliber since I was in Maui.spa-in-nipomo-1

If you’re hungry, Adelina’s Bistro is located on the same property at 1645 Trilogy Parkway. If you’re looking for a fantastic brunch, this is the place. This striking restaurant is definitely one of my Keys2theCoast local’s choices. My husband and I enjoyed a delicious brunch.

After the meal, I had to compliment Justin Bruner, the food & beverage director. The gluten free, brick oven Pepperoni Pizza was crispy, savory & spicy. The roasted, organic beet salad with wild, baby arugula, truffle Burrata drizzled with balsamic syrup was very good. The Detox salad was fresh and delicious. It was loaded with kale, spinach, cabbage, pineapple, avocado, beets, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds. My husband loved the Kobe burger. It was a big juicy burger with cheddar cheese, avocado, crispy bacon, aioli on a fresh brioche bun. The fries were soooo good. I love “Frites” served crispy with truffle oil.

The food is fantastic and the view is awesome. The restaurant is large, and very comfortable. It’s classy but not stuffy. The dining area overlooks the beautiful, green golf course with rolling hills as far as the eye can see.

Sandalwood Day Spa and Adelina’s Bistro are truly hidden gems that are worth the drive. After a few hours, I felt like I’d been away on a mini vacation. Go for a walk around the grounds after your meal. Even if you have to waddle after a brunch. Get out there and enjoy another slice of paradise on our amazing California Central Coast.

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