Like a cottage out of a fairy tale, A Petite Retreat is framed by lush greenery and cobblestone pathways. Thankfully, there are no wolves in disguise roaming the halls of this charming spa?only the faint aroma of lavender and a friendly staff that will lead you to a private treatment room.
That?s not to say an experience at A Petite Retreat is anything less than enchanting. The spa?s two licensed massage therapists come equipped with organic healing ointments and warm heating pads that prepare muscles for custom Swedish and deep-tissue massages. The duo?s facials brighten complexions with vitamin-C and grape-vine extracts, and their body scrubs soften skin with an aquatic blend of mud and sea salt as they croon relaxing whale songs.
After spending a handful of years crunching numbers for her family's car business, Doran Poma decided to pursue a passion for skincare that she developed as a teenager. Since completing beauty school in 2006 and becoming a licensed aesthetician in 2007, Doran has used her expertise to clear the complexions of numerous clients, including a woman in her 50s who'd been dealing with acne since her teens. This April, Doran began running her skincare operation out of a gut-rehabbed salon, where she uses phytomer and Jan Marini products to pamper clients with specialized facials designed to treat conditions ranging from acne and discoloration to wrinkles in the time-space continuum.
Certified massage practitioner Ian Edwards prefers to use firmer massage techniques, which are better at targeting pain and tension deep within muscles. At his spa, Five Point Palm Massage, he maneuvers between Swedish, deep-tissue, trigger point, and other modalities to customize each massage to the needs of the customer. He can also focus on specific areas of pain such as the back, neck and shoulders, or legs and feet.
In order to emulate the eco-friendly attitude of the LEED-certified Portola Hotel and Spa that surrounds it, Jack's Restaurant and Lounge regularly culls regional, sustainable ingredients for its contemporary takes on breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes. With the help of Chef Jason Giles' culinary imagination, Jack's adds innovative flavors to items such as naturally raised beef from Harris Ranch and seafood chosen in support of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program, which helps to prevent over-fishing of threatened and endangered ocean life. Small plates of baked scallops lounge on the half-shell, while waiters usher basil-crusted Pacific sole to tables on the heated patio surrounded by edible velvet ropes. Wines poured at the lounge highlight the vineyards and wineries of Monterey County, and fair-trade organic coffees and teas are sourced from Peerless Coffee Company, a Northern California staple for more than 86 years.