Rediscover your zen
Beautifully surrounded by pristine aqua waters, the Alila Marea Beach Resort in Encinitas, California is an intimate and luxurious oasis for locals and tourists to find peace while basking in the natural landscape, vibrant beach culture, and world-class hospitality. The Spa Alila alone lures guests in through its locally inspired treatments combining healing attributes of the ocean into its rituals for a deeply restorative and harmonious experience. The service is impeccable and the treatments are thoughtfully and exquisitely designed to have guests reach a heightened state of relaxation.
We got in touch with Spa Director Emma Spencer to tell us more about natural ingredients, therapists, and experiences that make the spa unique. “We thrive on kindness, we are impeccable with our word and our team shows incredibly high integrity. Our spa menu and experience are reflective of this. We honor all beings, share knowledge and respect each person that enters our door. We value our local community and continue to grow every day,” she says. This is reflected in the spa’s signature treatment, marketing, training, special events, and local partnerships.
The Talisman Signature Experience
Using the healing power of herbs combined with aromatic massage oils steeped into one of two poultices selected to fit the chosen experience, the therapist firmly applies pressure to the poultice as the herbs and oil gently seep into the skin. The Talisman is a Swedish-style massage that invigorates and strengthens the muscles while releasing tension and creating balance. The ingredients used are lemongrass, calendula, chaparral lead, and avocado. The lemongrass relaxes the nervous system, tones and tightens, and helps aid stress. Calendula soothes inflammation, chaparral leaf protects against cell damage and inflammation, and avocado is rich in nutritive and therapeutic components like Vitamin A, C, D, and E.
The spa’s marketing efforts focus on social media, web, media, and public relations. These are all outlets to showcase the seemingly effortless and alluring essence of the resort and spa. “Our spa menu was created to align with our surroundings, paying homage to the beautiful ingredients provided by nature. We designed the experiences to be like no other: inviting, creative and indulgent. Our therapists are skilled and experienced in healing, massage, and esthetics. They live in integrity to their word and practice and are passionate about wellness and wellbeing. This is what encourages the guest to revisit. Our guests feel nurtured, supported, and heard. Our journey to wellbeing is sacred and we allow our guests to be here and now, by guiding experiences with breathwork, mindfulness, and clear communication of their needs on that day they are visiting,” explains Spencer.
Through teamwork, effective communication, and the sharing of knowledge and support, the staff of therapists at the Spa Alila is nothing short of exceptional. Spa Director Emma Spencers shares the benefits of periodical meetings as an integral part of the staff’s growth. “Our meetings are very mindful and we practice active clear communication. We ask for “I” statements, practice breathwork and meditation before our meetings begin. On occasion, I will teach yoga or provide sound healing sessions for the team.”
Integrating workplace wellness has been shown to improve employee satisfaction, increasing positive energy in the spa which translates to the overall guest experience. What takes place in these meetings? “Everything! We go around the room and share concerns, ideas, thoughts, things that are working or not working, guest experiences, fun happenings, financial targets, where we are, what our goals are, hotel information, celebrate, laugh, listen, create rituals and collaborate,” explains Spencer.
In addition to these meetings, Spencer checks in with individuals to further connect and share important hotel information. A simple, “how are you feeling today?” goes a long way for her in ensuring that her staff is good.
Special Events and Promotions
What separates Spa Alila from other spas is its special events, promotions, and local partnerships. “We’ll create seasonal experiences with a taste of Spa Alila, showcasing our signature treatments in a shorter form – such as a wonderful signature 30-45 min treatment for our guests and team to benefit from. We’ve also just debuted a new package for our locals called the Seascape Package – offered Mon-Thurs and includes 60 min service, access to fitness, pool, daybed, surfboard and beach service, and much more,” says Spencer.
The spa partners with local vendors to feature an array of candles, clothing, jewelry, sunscreen. Sunhats, and adaptogen teas. When choosing vendors and products, the spa loves to highlight female-led companies and products that are ethically sourced, sustainable, and recyclable. Emma Spencer finds products by connecting with her spa community and spending time in local markets in the area. She has developed a welcoming community of openness where guests stop by, say hello, and share their products.
Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas
2100 N Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
Facilities: Five naturally appointed treatment rooms, separate men’s and women’s saunas, and soothing relaxation space. Additionally, guests can enjoy the ocean view pool & jacuzzi.
Spa Director Spotlight
Originally from the U.K., Emma Spencer, Director of Spa and Wellbeing, has over 20 years of experience and previously worked previously with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts where she helped
launch the brand’s signature Willow Stream Spa and achieved the “Leader of the Year” award. Spencer also opened the Forbes Four-Star rated Majorelle Spa at the Hotel Californian.