Oh, we hear you: You live in San Francisco, a world-class destination, but often find yourself needing a quick luxury escape from the throngs of fleece-enrobed tourists and cruffin-Instagramming residents. Consider a staycation at the Rosewood Sand Hill resort in Palo Alto.
After you’ve checked into your suite and marveled at the enormous size of the bathroom and noted the elevating effect crisp white bed linens seem to have on a hotel's luxury quotient, head to the far-reaching, crystal blue pool. While rowdy kids donning floaties and packing water guns are indeed part of the scene (this is technically a family resort, after all), they don’t completely deter from the pure experience of sunbathing—a rare circumstance in SF and one to be taken advantage of while in residence at the Rosewood Sand Hill. Don’t worry, oversize umbrellas keep you from sizzling on your chaise. If you don’t want to partake in the Pool Bar menu (think chips and salsa or nori-wrapped grilled chicken), attendants routinely mill about with trays of snacks (ice-cold smoothies and the like). Other than the decision to graze or not to graze, and perhaps which edition of Fresh Air to stream through your earbuds, you have no other obligations to attend to other than deepening your tan. As always, bronze responsibly. If, in your hasty exodus from the fog-enshrouded city you forgot to pack a tube of SPF, the pool is fully stocked.
The resort’s signature restaurant, Madera, proudly bears a one-star Michelin badge. However, from our experience, your dollars may be better spent at the Sense Spa: To counteract your lazy afternoon lounging at the water’s edge, sign up for a Mind, Body, and Spirit package, which begins with an hour-long private yoga class before the 90-minute Forest Sanctuary treatment “inspired by the grounding energy” of the redwoods. On the contrary, we’d argue that the nourishing oatmeal body scrub and purifying clay body mask are blissful on their own, but when you add in a hot-stone massage, the whole experience is the opposite of grounding—it’s totally euphoric.
Before you check out, take a self-tour of the world-class art collection at the resort. Oversize canvases bedeck the public spaces here, from the textile-like paintings of LA-based Josh Dov to the seemingly bejeweled canvases of Sausalito’s Kathryn Van Dyke. But the one piece we couldn’t pry our eyes from was a mixed-media collage by the one and only Rex Ray, located at the entrance to Madera. Though the longtime SF resident succumbed to cancer earlier this year, his imagination and artistry continue to captivate those who have the privilege of standing before one of his intricate, whimsical masterpieces.