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By Anna Griffin, Editor in Chief

If you’re in need of a break; a place you can escape in five star style, while still pursuing your athletic training and wellness goals, then go to the award-winning Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa – Southern California’s only Relais & Châteaux property. A sanctuary of luxury and health tucked away on 45 acres of lush gardens and olive groves, this Mediterranean-inspired, all-suite property offers 49 luxuriously appointed guest casitas with private patios, just a 30-minute drive north of San Diego.RANCHO_VALENCIA_ACCOMODATIONSAs you pamper yourself in your luxurious surroundings, a world of sport and fitness await. From court games such as basketball, volleyball, and badminton; athletic training and activities such as TRX, Spin classes, and cycling; a state-of-the-art fitness center; an award-winning tennis program, or mind-body practices like yoga and pilates, to more gentle pursuits such as bocce ball or croquet, there is something for the athlete in us all.RANCHO_VALENCIA_FITNESSWith two saline swimming pools comfortably heated to 82 degrees for year-round enjoyment, relax after an early morning workout or take a post-tennis dip. Indulge in the Jacuzzi to soothe your tired muscles, or head to The Spa, to pamper yourself with a therapeutic massage or rejuvenating treatment, such as a herb-infused body-wrap, using all organic and natural ingredients. RANCHO_VALENCIA_SPARancho Valencia offers two distinctive restaurants, Veladora and The Pony Room, which both showcase the resort’s farm-to-table philosophy. Executive Chef Jarrod Moiles and Chef De Cuisine Matt Borbon, create captivating cuisine using fresh, organic, seasonal produce, and herbs grown right on property, crafting exceptional dishes from rustic American to enchanting Mediterranean, earning the resort Best of Award of Excellence 2015, by Wine Spectator Magazine.RANCHO_VALENCIA_HEALTHY_EATINGBeyond being an award-winning, world-class resort offering the ultimate in recreation and relaxation, Rancho Valencia is committed to sustainable practices and respecting the planet. Employing green design principles, such as choosing landscaping that preserves water and implementing conservation and reclamation efforts; installing energy-efficient fixtures that minimize waste and utilizing recycling programs; using non-toxic cleaning products and offering organic, in-room bath and body amenities, and providing an electric car plug-in station for guests, Rancho Valencia delivers authentic eco-luxury travel at its finest. With a Green Committee that ensures environmental initiatives are honored, the resort strives to make positive contributions to their local environment and community.RANCHO_VALENCIA_GREENRancho Valencia was hand selected by Forbes Travel  Guide as one of the finest Five-Star hotels in the world (2016) and was awarded the prestigious AAA Five Diamond award (2016), both for three consecutive years. The resort has also been ranked as the #1 resort in the country by U.S. News & World Report (2015) and was listed on Condé Nast Traveler’s 2015 Gold List, amongst other prestigious awards this stunning property continues to receive. And all are well-deserved!

Photo Credit: Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa