I was a fan of road trips long before social distancing made us all want to travel in our own little, self-controlled bubble. There is nothing quite like hitting the American highways and byways. In my 20s I drove across the U.S. numerous times.
But over the years I’ve also become a huge fan of luxury hotels and wellness retreats. Even when your destination is a resort with those amenities, if you arrive by car, sometimes the experience getting there doesn't mesh seamlessly with the stay at your accommodations.
As I was recently reminded, one of the disadvantages of taking a regular road trip is that your own car may not be the peak of performance, luxury, or reliability. Sitting on the side of a rural Utah highway waiting for a tow truck, and then having to spend hours at a small town mechanic — well, those moments don’t exactly scream relaxation.
Lexus recently unveiled a solution to these quandaries — and it also delivers on our desire for deeper, meaningful travel experiences promoting our broader wellbeing. The luxury brand's “Retreats in Motion” program offers five-day, four-night driving retreats that literally put guests behind the wheel on scenic drives between two luxury resorts. The best part is that travelers spend the restorative drive in the lap of luxury, in a new 2021 Lexus IS; and curated self-care activities are planned along the way.
“These days, the desire to escape on the open road to rejuvenate mind and spirit has never been more enticing,” says Vinay Shahani, Lexus vice president of marketing in a statement. “The ‘Retreats in Motion’ program not only provides perfectly planned, luxurious getaways in a Lexus vehicle, but they also elevate the classic road trip with much-needed recuperative experiences.”
Partner hotels were chosen for their exceptional service, beautiful design and culinary offerings. Guests will spend two nights each at two resorts, with an average three-hour drive between each property, before returning to the originating hotel.
Currently the program has rolled out in California with these participating hotels:
Cavallo Point Lodge to Post Ranch Inn
Cavallo Point Lodge
Located at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, just north of San Francisco in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Cavallo Point Lodge is built on the former army base, Fort Baker. On the edge of the San Francisco Bay, guests can rejuvenate at the Healing Arts Center & Spa with acupuncture and energy healing treatments, and relish cuisine served at Murray Circle Restaurant.
Post Ranch Inn
On a cliff overlooking Big Sur’s rugged coastline, Post Ranch Inn is a romantic hideaway tucked among 100 redwood-filled acres. The buildings blend with the surroundings and each offers its own mesmerizing ocean or mountain view. The green wellness retreat offers daily yoga classes, guided hikes, garden tours, and stargazing.
Bardessono Hotel & Spa to Pebble Beach Resorts
Bardessono Hotel & Spa
Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley, California's wine country, Bardessono Hotel & Spa offers a mindful approach to luxury and commitment to "deep green" sustainability built on a family farmstead. The resort offers a kind of intimate hospitality, an expressions of the long connection between this land and the family that runs the hotel.
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach Resorts is known around the globe for its world-class golf course. Pebble Beach Golf Links is the top-rated public course in the country. When not playing in the shadow of golf giants, let a bagpiper serenade you at sunset, draw inspiration from the Lone Cypress, trek the 25 miles of trails, or contemplate the serene Stillwater Cove.
Terranea Resort to Post Ranch Inn
A hidden gem on the Los Angeles coast, Terranea Resort sits above the Pacific on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula. The 102-acre luxury resort in Southern California is lapped by tranquil waves and offers relaxation and adventure.
Post Rach Inn
At Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn you won’t find TVs or alarm clocks. Visit the spa or one of the swimming pools (especially the infiniti pool) and enjoy meals at Sierra Mar Restaurant.
(In spring 2021, those visiting the East Coast will also be able to travel between XV Beacon and Chatham Bars Inn in Massachusetts.)
Participating travelers will be paired with a new 2021 Lexus IS sport sedan at their initial hotel before embarking on a customized route featuring suggested stops and wellness activities to enjoy throughout their drive. While enjoying the beautiful views and comfortable ride, guests can choose to relax with aromatherapy or guided breathwork, and have the option to indulge their taste buds with healthy gourmet meals.
More than simple conveyance, the luxury sports car is a self-contained sanctuary that comes equipped with a mobile wellness kit. To develop the program, Lexus partnered with mindbodygreen, to create custom content featuring some of the world’s most popular wellness experts, including podcasts on sustainability with best-selling author Jonathan Safran Foer and a guided walking meditation with teacher Mary Beth LaRue, along with content covering topics from mindful eating to movement for longevity. An immersive in-car sound bath was specially curated for the Lexus IS’s signature Mark Levinson sound system to help drivers clear energy blockages and deliver a sense of calm.
Guests are responsible for the “Retreats in Motion” registration costs and travel expenses. Fees start at $2,700 for two guests, and include:
Five-day, four-night stay (2 nights at each property)
Loan of a new 2021 Lexus IS vehicle
Curated wellness content, including self-care discussions, in-vehicle sound bath, meditation, guided breathwork and more
Complimentary welcome wellness kit
Comprehensive health and sanitization procedures have been put in place for each Lexus vehicle and the hotels have implemented their own COVID protocols.