Summertime has descended onto Southern California, and that means plenty of sunshine and lighter evenings. While everyone flocks to the beach, escape the city and head out to Riverside’s County Glen Ivy Spa to rejuvenate and immerse yourself in one of the day resort’s newest body treatments, Shirodhara, and enjoy their twilight hours all season long.
I first visited Glen Ivy Spa last year and it was a highlight of my summer. Who doesn’t want to jump into 19 pools and get a facial all while sipping pretty drinks? Earlier this year, they announced Shirodhara, their first body treatment experience using the fundamentals of Ayurvedic medicine. It sounded quite different from any other spa treatment I’ve enjoyed, and I was eager to return to Glen Ivy Spa and tap into my inner-zen with this impressive holistic healing practice.
An Afternoon at Glen Ivy Spa
Arriving at Glen Ivy Spa, you’ll know it is sure to be a stress-free day as parking is complimentary and ample. As you head to the entrance, you might have a glimpse of a yoga class happening on the front terrace. Check-in is a breeze since Glen Ivy’s staff makes sure you know your way around the place before they send you off. Craving your usual from Starbucks or perhaps wanting to update your swimsuit before making a splash? The GOCO Cafe is the perfect place to grab your morning fuel while their Spa Lifestyle Shop offers a wide range of apparel and gifts. If you want to take home the products used during your treatments, Glen Ivy carries their full line of spa products.
With my Shirodhara appointment at 2pm, arriving early gave me plenty of time to once again enjoy the Glen Ivy grounds, check out a class, and see what was new at The Ivy Kitchen.
Top Notch Dining at The Ivy Kitchen
Given all that Glen Ivy prides itself on giving its guests, it’s no surprise how seriously they take their cuisine. At The Ivy Kitchen, the team follows a farm-to-table approach and offers a seasonal menu to ensure diners are enjoying what is freshest at any given time. Glen Ivy is so committed, in fact, that they harvest several of their fruits and vegetables right on-site.
Because The Ivy Kitchen is gluten-free friendly, I was thrilled for the chance to try one of their newest sandwiches. The portobello sandwich features goat cheese, roasted bell pepper, baby kale, pesto aioli, and a mouth-watering portobello mushroom grilled to perfection on a grilled house bun. Like the portobello sandwich, many items are or can be prepared vegetarian, and Glen Ivy offers gluten-free breads and flatbreads.
In addition to beer and wine offered at The Ivy Kitchen, The Chill Zone offered frozen yogurt and smoothies.
The Shirodhara Body Treatment
I was familiar with the power of Ayurvedic medicine, but a visit to Glen Ivy may be some visitors’ introduction to its healing ways. In Ayurveda, health is defined as the dynamic state of balance between mind, body, and environment. Shirodhara, which means “head-flow,” is a long-practiced form of Ayurvedic treatment. Providers gently pour a steady stream of warm herbal massage oil over the third eye. Using traditional warm oils, the time-honored Shirodhara body treatment calms the mind to create a profound sense of bliss and contentment.
I knew I was in excellent hands as soon as I met Heidi, my treatment provider for 50 minutes. Heidi’s been with the spa for nearly 20 years and has the most serene, calming energy, which is just what you want when receiving such a blissful treatment. She began by having me inhale an array of beautiful scents to activate the aromatherapy. While I thought the treatment would send me right off to sleep land, it surprisingly made me ultra-aware of my surroundings. I felt extremely present, and my mind was not centered on stresses and to-do lists for a change. I felt present.
Heidi was extremely in-tune with my body and focused on my “trouble spots” like legs and hands. While the treatment felt heavenly, each step served a purpose as it further released stress from vital organ energy centers. Next, she focused on stimulating nerves to balance the pituitary and pineal glands by pouring oil on my forehead. I enjoyed a moment of total silence before she gave me a head and scalp massage to send me off.
Post Shirodhara and Hair Care
When your time in Shirodhara heaven comes to a conclusion, staff sends you off with a handy turban twist to keep your hair intact the rest of your visit. I thought, why do I need that? But, trust me, you do. The powerful elixirs and oils penetrate your hair and nourish your locks just as they do to your body. When I hit the showers to head out, Heidi gave me excellent advice: shampoo your hair BEFORE washing. I ended up shampooing twice, and my hair continued to feel extremely soft and nourished. Tip: Even though the spa provides hair dryers and combs, you should definitely pack a day bag with your own brushes and tools.
Since heading out after my appointment was the last thing on my mind, I found a rocking chair overlooking one of the over-sized pools. Feeling content and relaxed, I loved the sun’s shining down on me while I listened to guests enjoy their day.
Twilight Season all Summer Long
Glen Ivy’s most popular season—twilight—is upon us. From now through October 27th, guests can arrive at 4pm to enjoy a discounted admission rate and take advantage of the facilities (pools, Club Mud, showers, dining) until 9pm. If you’ve arrived before twilight time, you’re welcome to stay as long as you like to enjoy the evening. Reservations are highly recommended as they may be too full to accommodate walk-in guests.
Glen Ivy Spa is such an iconic gem to California. Learn more and book your day and treatments HERE.
(As common in the travel writing industry, the author was a guest of Glen Ivy Spa on behalf of story purposes. All opinions are that of the author.)