In the Old World, castles were places to live, govern, and seek shelter. Today, there are still places designed to keep the outside world at bay, but rather than standing as bastions of military defense, they serve as oases of relaxation, fitness, and fun. Riviera Country Club and Sports Center is one such getaway. There, members can explore a vast campus of athletic and recreation amenities including indoor and outdoor pools, a full gym, and a spa. Though the club’s organizers leave plenty of time for individuals to play in each space, they also host organized events, including regular group fitness classes such as boot camp, kickboxing, and Latin dance. They maintain a vast array of sports courts, as well, allowing members to feed their competitive sides in basketball, tennis, and racquetball arenas. As adults young and old sweat during their chosen forms of play, staffers help tykes explore their creativity in a play space known as the Sandbox, which combines education, arts and crafts, and computers to produce a secret army of glitter robots.
At Sunshine Studio, radiance comes from within. The teachers at Sunshine Studio embrace yoga as a holistic health treatment, combining it with other forms of exercise—such as Pilates—known to strengthen the body while alleviating or preventing injury. Outside of the classroom, massage therapists sooth muscles with seven distinct modalities, including therapeutic massage, acupressure, and hot-stone massage.
The studio's spa technicians also coax out each client's inner light with rejuvenating skin care and body treatments. Customized to meet the needs of all skin types, their revitalizing facial restores lost youth with a full package of hydration, cleansing, and exfoliation. Technicians also rid clients of negative energy, removing pent-up toxins with ear candling and ionic foot baths and restoring respiratory clarity with aromatherapy-based raindrop therapy.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their children's development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
Motivating, highly trained staff and spacious facilities complement Charter Fitness's battalion of cardio machines and strength-training equipment. Huge flat-screen TVs motivate gym-goers as they lift weights, stationary bikes, and their reflections in large mirrors. Seasoned personal trainers who all hold certifications or four-year degrees in their specialty guide members through an initial personal-training session, introducing clients to the best equipment for their fitness goals. After workouts, private showers or public water fountains sluice away sweat.
LA Boxing offers fitness classes in boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts. The proprietary style of the LA Boxing workout is a mixture of genuine fight training, engaging fitness, and stronger-than-earth gravity. Quasi-boxers and martial artists usually burn a significant amount of calories during these total-body routines, which combine external inspiration with jukes, jabs, and kicks. Both men and women are welcome in the ring, where they'll learn new techniques and methods to blissfully break into a sweat in an energetic group setting. Gloves are provided during the one-month trial membership, as are a set of reusable pro-quality hand wraps and complimentary motivational mumbling from Mickey Goldmill (all three subject to availability).
Star Fire Spa implements a number of treatments designed to care for the skin?but the pampering treatments do wonders for the spirit as well. Clients sit back and relax during facials, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion treatments, releasing stress as the experienced skincare experts bring life back into the face and ward off wrinkles and other signs of aging. In keeping with its mission to rejuvenate and beautify clients from the inside out, the spa also offers massages and body scrubs, and frequently hosts classes, workshops, guest speakers, and poetry slams on topics pertaining to wellness and skin care.