Spa L’Auberge mixes tradition, youth and innovation

Jeannette Handson, director of Spa L’Auberge, stays true to the roots – both in the model of a traditional health spa and in her diverse background and love of travel.

But with the $26 million expansion of L’Auberge Del Mar, which included expanding the spa and moving it out of the main building, she found an opportunity to try something a little different.

Unlike many spas, Spa L’Auberge is designed with not just comfort, but happiness in mind.
“Ultimately, when the sun is out, you feel less depressed,” Handson said.

With that, the spa is painted in whites and pastels, with deep reds and oranges sprinkled throughout.

She also wanted to give guests a true escape with “Seaside Sojourns,” using ingredients and treatments derived from one specific culture, such as Polynesian, Amazonian, Moroccan and Asian packages.

Handson, who has worked at the spa for more than 11 years, is originally from Ecuador, but is of German, Spanish, Israeli and French descent. She is fluent in five languages and loves to travel.

She said the diversity in the United States inspired her to re-create a relaxing, cultural experience without having to travel far.

“I believe that although we’re from different corners of the world, we can all come together and enjoy our diversity,” she said.

The ultimate goal is to tailor each experience to the individual, Handson said, and that the staff at Spa L’Auberge strives to be attentive.

The 5,000-square-foot spa designed by architect Cary Collier of Blu Spas Inc. features 10 treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, and steam rooms.

“This is just what the hotel needed to complete the expansion,” Handson said of the light and “young” element now found throughout L’Auberge, including KITCHEN 1540.

In addition to traditional spa treatments, including several individual and couples massage styles, L’Auberge offers full body treatments, sojourns, waxing and facials.

Handson said Spa L’Auberge is not a med-spa, therefore it doesn’t offer chemical treatments or Botox.

The spa is the final phase of the renovation. KITCHEN 1540, led by Executive Chef Paul McCabe, has been well received since its November opening. McCabe was recently named “Best Chef” in the region by Ranch & Coast Magazine.

The first phase of renovation was completed in June and included opening 120 guest rooms and suites, the Waterfall Terrace Restaurant and the Bleu Bar.

For more information, visit or call (858) 259-1515.

Related posts:

  1. L’Auberge opens KITCHEN 1540
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  3. ‘Tis the season to be pampered, part one
  4. Holiday meals a community tradition
  5. House of the Week: A modern design classic

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