Articles by Destination

Mar. 30th, 2009

Glam Getaway: Sè San Diego Exudes Cachet


In anticipation of a couples' massage we had booked for late morning, the next day we were up bright and early for breakfast in bed. This in-room dining experience was quite impressive, with our breakfast banquet consisting of house-cured salmon with capers on a bagel with herb flavored cream cheese and scrambled eggs with applewood chicken sausage, scallion puree and Grana Padano cheese. In learning about the hotel, I discovered that a personal chef is available to those in Luxe Suites and Penthouses should the need arise, along with a Captain's Service option whereby an in-room dining attendant serves guests as if sitting in a regular restaurant. But, for this occasion, the private breakfast-in-bed for two suited us just fine.

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Having been energized by breakfast and more than our fair share of coffee, we then hit the hotel's state-of-the art fitness center equipped with Life Fitness machines and ample free weights. The large window overlooking the avenue was a nice touch, making the space feel larger than it actually was. The center is accessible on a complimentary basis for guests 24 hours a day, with a personal trainer available upon request.

Invigorated from our workout, we were then off to Sè SPA for our couples' massage. And, what a spa this was! This 5,500-square-foot world-class pleasure palace is the ultimate in relaxation and indulgence. With nine personal treatment rooms with private steam showers as well as two double specialty suites and a private VIP lounge, this sophisticated spa is an oasis offering an expansive menu of massage, skin, body, and nail treatments, each based on the cultural and aesthetic influences of Southeast Asia, India, Northern Africa and Japan.

Immediately upon arrival at Sè SPA we received a complimentary soma shot, which is a mixture of honey, pomegranate, and organic vodka (although you can get it without the alcohol) that is thought to provide you with courage, virtue, and long life - all among my many aspirations. And, the perfect elixir to ready my mind and body for the treatment up ahead.

One also can't help but notice the impressive custom artwork that adorns the Sè SPA space. On the wall immediately behind the check-in desk is Jennifer Prichard's "Loop" design encompassing hundreds of small and colored teacups, which are intricately placed to create a harmonious flow. In the hallway was an impressive piece of Raku ceramic artwork from Artist Joseph Conforti.

Shortly after arrival we were whisked off to "Studio Sutra" for our couples' massage. This lavish suite features a Japanese infinity edge soaking tub with colorful back lighting for added ambiance, large steam shower, flat screen television, lounge area and food and beverage service. While we only booked one hour, Studio Sutra is an ideal place for couples or groups to enjoy a full day of relaxation.

While I didn't opt for it, I found it interesting that Sè SPA has the only Moroccan Rasul treatment offered in the United States. This Arabic mud, heat and aromatherapy-infused steam based cleansing ritual exfoliates the skin and draws out impurities from the body, fostering relaxation, detoxification, invigoration, etc. based on the "type" of mud one selects. The Rasul can be experienced as an individual or couple's treatment.

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With our couples spa treatment done, my romantic 24-hour sabbatical felt complete. And, Sè San Diego certainly delivered. This proved to be one of the most enjoyable, relaxing and indulgent getaways we ever had - here in town and otherwise. Indeed, this urban retreat brought out my inner Zen.

The Luxe List product review editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury goods marketplace for new and innovative must haves. Product submissions accepted via e-mail at

- Merilee Kern
JustLuxé.com's "The Luxe List" Product Review Editor
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