Photo courtesy Four Seasons

This Wellness Resort Is a Relaxing Retreat Just Outside Los Angeles

Los Angeles Epic Stays
by Molly O'Brien Mar 22, 2024

The Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village property in Southern California is a relaxing retreat in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains. The hotel is less than 30 minutes West of the PCH and the sandy coastline and just an hour north of Los Angeles’ fast-paced urban sprawl.

The hotel encompasses an enormous, meticulously manicured 12 acres of land, including 230 guest rooms and 39 suites (making 269 accommodations total) spread across seven stories, and a myriad of outdoor spaces to explore on-site — including gardens with waterfalls, a greenhouse, walking paths, and the most recent addition to the property, an expensive outdoor pool area called “The Cove.”

The interior design is meant to emit a “Coastal California design meets old-Hollywood glam” aesthetic, with touches of semi-precious stones scattered throughout to add some sparkle. The overall color palette of the hotel draws from the nearby California coastal geography, bringing elegant beach vibes inside.

It’s such a large property that I had to ask for a map and directions to figure out how to get around. But once you have your bearings, it’s plenty easy to explore, and a great place to enjoy an urban retreat.

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Dining on-site at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village

bar at four seasons westlake village

Photo courtesy Four Seasons

There are a few on-site restaurant concepts and an extensive in-room dining menu for those who are more into “breakfast in bed.”

I liked to start my morning at Stir, the airy and bright on-site coffee spot — it became a daily routine for me while I visiting. It feels distinctly open-concept, a modern spot to grab a coffee or light meal and get some work done. The coffeeshop also makes for a great place to people watch over a housemade pastry and pressed juice.

For dinner, make a reservation at the property’s California Brasserie outpost, Coin & Candor, which is inherently inspired by the true “California dream” of “making it in a challenging industry through hard work, a bit of luck, and determination to never give up.

The restaurant takes its name by way of a man named David Murdock’s life story. In 1943, Murdock was a homeless veteran with just a nickel and a penny in his pocket — but when a good samaritan loaned him $1,200 to purchase a closing coffee shop, his entrepreneurial spirit was ignited. He quickly became a successful business owner who grew to own many situational companies (today, he’s Chairman and CEO of Dole Food Company.) Mr. Murdock has a direct connection to the property as the founding and driving principal of the Center for Health & Wellbeing, as he’s also invested in finding cures for chronic illness and investing in life expectancy research.

In addition to its fascinating backstory, Coin & Candor serves up great California-esque dishes, taking inspiration from Chef Jesus Medina’s experience working in kitchens worldwide. Diners will enjoy fresh ingredients sourced from local farms, the on-site garden, and fresh fish caught from Malibu waters.

My pro tip is to order anything pastry-related because Pastry Chef Patrick Fahy is known for his legendary baked goodies like the beloved warm red fife sourdough bread and even the delicious, gluten-free Pandebono. I appreciated that the dress code at Coin & Candor is “California casual” — come as you are, whether dressed up to the nines for a hot date night or sporting comfortable leggings and athletic wear.

Those craving sushi can stop into ONYX Restaurant, where diners can dive into modern Japanese and sushi dishes in a sultry, dimly lit atmosphere that feels intimate and upscale. For a relaxing poolside snack or meal during the day, The Cove Restaurant & Bar serves seasonal Baja and Mediterranean dishes and fresh cocktails.

Finally, those who seek a secluded, intimate spot to grab a drink to kick off the evening or a nightcap on the weekend over a special signature experience at Prosperous Penny, the on-site speakeasy space that serves artisan cocktails and small bites in a social but exclusive-feeling atmosphere.

The Center for Health & Wellbeing

yoga at four seasons westlake village

Photo courtesy Four Seasons

The wellness scene at this hotel is practically unparalleled. The Center for Health & Wellbeing team uses an all-encompassing approach to wellness based on four pillars of health — Nutrition, Life Balance, Fitness, and Spa — to create a balanced experience for visitors.

With this holistic attitude, “wellness” is not just about spa-going or achieving physical fitness (although the extensive fitness offerings like personal training sessions, guided hikes, and spa treatments including facials and massages might be enough of a temptation to visit).

Guests can go beyond the norms of traditional health regimes and sign up for nutrition experiences like a “Metabolism Assessment,” work on strategizing their life balances with relationship and family therapy, ease their minds with guided meditations and sound bath healing classes, and learn techniques for stress reduction. Even better — any guest can spend time inside the spa during their visit — it’s not exclusive to those booked in for a treatment.

I was visiting to experience an individual “wellness retreat,” in which The Center of Health & Wellbeing team gave me a customized schedule. There are three categories for wellness retreats: “Sustainable Weight Management,” “Optimum Performance,” and “Spa and Beauty.”

Included in my “Spa & Beauty” package, I enjoyed two nights of accommodations, three healthy “Feel Good Meals” per day, access to the daily rotating health and fitness classes, and one “wellbeing elective” per day. Since mine was spa and beauty-focused, I was offered two spa treatments — but if you’re there for “optimum performance,” you will get different options, like a Target Heart Rate Assessment.

My facial and massage treatments were divine — and I had never had a facial before, so I was a bit nervous. But the esthetician was an expert at her job and made me feel relaxed. After the treatment, I felt and looked like I was glowing.

Those who want to visit for just the day can invest in a “Wellbeing Day Pass,” which includes access to daily group well-being classes and workshops on-site, access to the center’s offerings as well as a wellness lunch served poolside, and one wellness elective to choose from the fitness, mind-body, or nutrition offerings.

Outside the spa, fitness fans like me will be enthralled with the enormous 16,000-square-foot Fitness Center, which has dozens of cardio machines, weight training stations, and a dedicated yoga/pilates studio. Accredited trainers host regular classes, and any guest can sign up for rotating options each day, ranging from indoor cycling classes to pilates, among other cardio and balance experiences.

I took one of the yoga classes and a “functional fitness” class. The sense of community and camaraderie between the guests and the employees stood out to me at the entire property, and especially at the gym.

Let’s focus on the spa – because it’s fantastic

The spa itself is immaculate, encompassing 40,000 square feet and boasting 28 treatment rooms (all with private terraces), including four suites with a private patio and plunge pool.

A wooden Chinese footbridge connected the spa’s two treatment room wings over a water feature amid the orchid-accented lounge spaces (one for men, one for women, and one co-ed space). There were also whirlpool water features in the women’s and men’s locker rooms.

It was relaxing just to lay inside on one of the daybeds and admire the design elements like the onyx-accented ceilings and bamboo floors. Outside, the adults-only serenity pool adjacent to the spa was a great space to soak up sun and sunshine, and it connected directly to The Cove.

Guest rooms at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village

room at four seasons westlake village

Photo courtesy Four Seasons

I spent the weekend in a “Waterfall View” room with a large bathroom, a deep soaking tub, and lovely views of the landscaped property below. I liked the room’s relaxed color scheme — an array of shades of whites and blues and plenty of natural light. It felt soft and simple but elegant and sophisticated — not too over-the-top — and was meant to evoke feelings of being near the sea. Taking luxury to the next level, rooms were even equipped with those high-tech “Ember” coffee cups to keep your coffee warm for hours. And the bed was extremely comfortable.

Other on-site activities and amenities

Guests can’t miss the dedicated arcade area downstairs adjacent to the fitness center, which has plenty of entertainment, including video games and traditional games to play no matter what age you are (literally or just in spirit).

There are three pools to check out. The indoor family pool is connected to the fitness center and can be a great spot to relax, rain or shine — and it’s kid-friendly. The Outdoor Tranquility Pool is available to guests 18 and older, feeling like a sunny oasis. It’s attached to the spa and serves light bites and drinks to your reclining pool chair.

Other organized off-site activities available to guests include golf, watersports, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails near the property. There’s also rock climbing in Malibu, Malibu wine-tasting experiences, and plenty of upscale shopping opportunities.

pool at four seasons westlake village

Photo courtesy Four Seasons

The Cove

“The Cove Pool, Kitchen & Bar” area is a special spot on-site — and it’s not just any regular hotel pool complex — it feels like the ultimate oasis of relaxation. The Cove debuted in late 2023, taking up more than two acres of buzzy social space at the property.

The Cove’s design elements are meant to evoke the feeling of sitting by the seaside, with blue and white decorative color elements that mimic a scene of sitting on the beach. There’s even a vaulted white and aluminum steel canopy to offer shade, meant to mimic the movement an ocean wave would have.

There are three whirlpool spas, a large pool, lounge seating, and private daybeds for rent, an area with a hammock to lounge in, and a raised bocce ball court. There’s also a raised bar and dining space to either hang out and watch a sports game on the television or order food and drinks delivered right to your chair via a poolside server.

I enjoyed the light atmosphere at The Cove — it feels like a spot you’d want to hang out for hours upon hours on a summer day with family or friends. Their cocktail selection was refreshing, and the food items were like an elevated version of what you’d expect to be able to order poolside, with a Mediterranean twist.

On-site art gallery

The art gallery was another detail of the property I thought was neat and unique. During my visit, it showcased the work of MegZany, a street artist sharing bold and provocative pieces, and the work of ZanyStudios, which represents artists from across the globe, curating and creating a collection of contemporary art (which was available for purchase on-site).

Details that make the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village stand out

bocce ball court at four seasons westlake village

Photo courtesy Four Seasons

I’m always impressed with the level of service I experience at a Four Seasons brand hotel. I appreciate how team members treat guests in an attentive but relaxed way to make them feel like they are in a natural friendship. This property, in particular, feels like a haven you could hide away in and enjoy a relaxing retreat to recharge without losing the comforts of being in Southern California (like the consistently sunny, warm weather and proximity to many nearby attractions).

Those seeking an overhaul of their health and wellness regime and who could use guidance in setting new habits can benefit from a “wellness stay” on-site, whether for an individual visit or a guided wellness retreat.

I appreciate that you don’t have to go two hours into the countryside to feel like you’re escaping the stress of the city with this property. Based on my experience, I believe it’s a great destination to escape the hustle of Los Angeles life, hosting everything needed to relax and feel like you’re a world away from the chaos of every day while only being a few miles outside (and still accessible to) the excitement of the city.

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