the golden door

January 9, 2017

The Golden Door is not your average resort. The sprawling, 40-room hotel is set in the hills of San Marcos, with architecture designed after a Japanese farmhouse enclaved on the sloping hills. The resort itself is more of a transformative experience than just an escape hatch from reality, with guest services tailored to an attention to detail that completely strips you of becoming a creature of habit – allowing an unusual sense of freedom when your mind starts to wander.

Upon check-in, you are given a pre-interview to decide the trajectory of your stay. For the fitness-focused, there are countless cardio and core programs with activities varying from fencing, archery and boxing. In addition to the dozens of fitness classes offered throughout the day, you can also request for a personal trainer or session for any given activity.

Every morning breakfast is delivered to your room with a fan listing your schedule for the day.

For those seeking a spiritual stay, there are activities focused on mindfulness and meditation, as well as 30 miles of private trails that are great for allowing the mind to wander.

One of the best features of Golden Door is allowing yourself to indulge in the daily massage services and open spa facility. After a day packed with outdoor activities, I loved being able to unwind in the steam room or soothe out muscle soreness with an in-room massage.

Meals at Golden Door are designed to be low-fat and typically doesn’t exceed 1500 calories, but you can request for an adjustment based on your dietary needs.

Room with a view.


I think my biggest takeaway after visiting Golden Door is the level of stillness I sensed after a one week stay. To describe my mind and body as refreshed would be an understatement. By taking a week off from all the habitual decisions embedded in my daily routines, from deciding my next meal, commuting to and from projects and meetings, and making every interaction a measured one, it’s easy to lose a sense of awareness about our minds, bodies and quality of our interactions. I rushed into Golden Door half-mast and with a manic energy, and left with stillness and a new sense of purpose and clarity.

A huge thank you to the Golden Door staff for one of the most restorative weeks I’ve ever spent away from home. Counting down the days for the next rest and relaxation.