It’s a cooler, windy, wet cloudy weekend in late May at the idyllic Sanctuary Beach Resort, a stone’s throw north of Monterey, and Pebble Beach, in California.
A lot of folks from outside California come here expecting the type of California weather they see on TV shows. Blue skies, warm temps, Baywatch bodies frolicking on beaches. That hasn’t been the case as much this year.
The blue skies and warmer temps come out on the Monday morning, but visitors to the Sanctuary on that May weekend wouldn’t have missed the weather show for the world.
The weather augmented what was already a relaxing, zen-like, soulful travel experience, and that’s what Sanctuary General Manager Jeroen Gerrese is interested in talking about. The winds blew, the waves off the Pacific crashed the beaches, which run for miles here.
The Sanctuary is comprised of 60 rooms and suites built next to the cascading Marina Dunes, with the only direct beach access of any hotel in the region. It’s an enchanting place where you’ll find guests wandering the grounds in their bathrobes, cup of coffee in hand. Kids run in and out of the surf, with their parents setting up for a weekend ocean-front picnic. Resort activities also features sunset bonfires and coastal hikes.
It’s a luxury resort with top-of-the-line amenities, including rejuvenating treatments at the spa, spacious suites and comfortable beds with fine linens, with your own private patio looking out at the Pacific. Dine at the Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette, or stay in your room, order in the “breakfast basket” of morning-time treats that is delivered to your room.
The rooms and suites have WiFi access, but the objective is to put down the tech for a few days, immerse oneself in nature, while relaxing and rebooting.
“You come here to disconnect,” Gerrese says. “We want you to take a step back with us. We encourage our guests to disconnect for an hour a day and get in touch with their inner self, and start to reflect on what is important. We can have better Wifi here. We are just not sure we want to.”
For Gerrese, the luxury experience at The Sanctuary is something that is ever evolving.
“We require flawless 360-degree delivery and we always look how to adjust and optimize the guest experience,” he says. “What inspires us is asked asked daily, so that once we exceed the expectation this becomes the norm. One needs the ethos and the culture to do this, which is the differentiator. We have started the experiences such as nature walks, kite flying, wood carving, glass fusing and candle-making, along with cooking classes and craft cocktails.”
Says Chef Paul Corsentino, about the dining experience: “Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette is the only restaurant in the region that has a wood-burning Santa Maria grill as a centerpiece of the restaurant. We are able to feature this grill in many of our dishes in the restaurant, including grilled oysters, our Fogline Farms Half Chicken dish, and other seafood items. I love seafood and oysters, but I also enjoy grilling and smoking meats and fish as well. We are able to marry a great seafood restaurant with live-fire cuisine.”
The spa is all about adding an extension to the resort’s relaxation and solitude experience.
“Our spa offers a customized and indigenous approach to wellness. Our boutique experience gives us the rare opportunity to really support an individual’s wellness journey. Our proximity to the beach and the solitude of this destination truly makes this location a destination within a destination for those looking to escape, renew and rest,” says Krista Carlucci, Vice President Spa Operations.