Paradise Point Resort & Spa, San Diego

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Island Origins, the newest spa treatment at The Spa at Paradise Point Resort & Spa begins with a tour. This is not a sensory tour – the kind that takes a spa guest on an aromatherapy journey of scents – but a brisk, 10 to 15 minute, therapist-guided walking tour of the property to see the diverse vegetation that grows here on this resort island located within an easy drive from downtown, San Diego.

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There are an estimated 600 types of foliage from over 20 countries around the world spread around the lush and tropical 44-acres property. This includes over a dozen medicinal plants. The Blue Agave from Mexico, with many uses including a balm to reduce itching and burning, and the Tea Tree, native to Australia and known as a “cure-all,” are just two of the many varieties of plants.

The botanical tour takes us along a winding paved path bordered by foliage, past a Strawberry Tree from France, a border of towering bamboo from China, and a pond thick with White Lotus water lilies used as an antiseptic and chest decongestant. There is even a river bed of Papyrus from Egypt.

It’s an informative tour that ends in one of the spa’s Ritual Rooms. The two hour-treatment (which includes the tour) is a combo of body services that incorporate some of the most powerful medicinal plants found on the island.

The actual products used in the treatment are not, however, made on the property but purchased.

In addition to the Island Origins and other treatments, the spa menu offers exotic rituals from some of the world’s most popular islands. For instance, The Javanese Lu’lur Ritual from Bali, an Anti-Aging Treatment from Fiji, a Lomi-Juma Ritual from Hawaii and a Thai Herbal Therapy from Thailand.

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Surrounded by Mission Bay and Mission Bay Park, the island is about a 15-minute drive from downtown San Diego.

While the property appeals to a multitude of guests – including families, wedding parties and corporate groups – for the wellness minded there are plenty of private places tucked into natural settings, plus the beach-side bungalows offer quiet refuge.

And, for those who want to stay fit on the road or simply explore the nature-rich island and surrounding Mission Bay, there are bikes, kayaks and paddle boards available for rent.

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