Relaxation (and romance) at Avila’s Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa
For thousands of years, humans have known the healing properties of mineral hot springs. The ancient Egyptians and Romans lauded these natural wonders for their ability to soothe body aches, relax tension, and even revitalize skin and hair.
While the Central Coast has several natural hot springs, one of our favorites is Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. This peaceful little slice of paradise sits on the hillside above Avila Beach, where oak and sycamore groves shade private tubs fed by hot mineral springs. Guests can rent a tub by the hour or choose to stay longer in one of many room options — all of which have their own private hot tubs on the patio or balcony. With a spa, restaurant, gorgeous grounds, and plenty of activities nearby, Sycamore Mineral Springs is great for a romantic getaway — or just a quick pit-stop on your drive on the 101.
Choices, choices. Sycamore Mineral Springs has lots to choose from! All, of course, come with your own private hot tub, which can’t be seen by other guests. (You’ll be able to control the temperature of the water, too.) Standard rooms are anything but “standard,” with spacious living quarters and lovely views off the balcony/porch. Some, like the Sycamore King Room, also include a fireplace. Step it up a notch with a one-bedroom or two-bedroom specialty suite. Lots of natural light and fireplaces, along with more space to stretch out, are hallmarks of these rooms. They also boast larger patios, and the two-bedroom junior suites even have an outdoor shower.
Some rooms are located in the West Meadows Preserve, just a short walk/cart ride from the main property. No cars are allowed in this area, so you can take full advantage of the peace and quiet this area offers.
Looking to bring the whole family, or host a larger gathering with friends? Check out the two-story guesthouse. It includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a full kitchen, multiple outdoor spaces, two mineral spring hot tubs, and best of all, plenty of privacy. “The guest house is actually our shining star right now,” says Stephanie Lesinski, revenue manager at Sycamore Mineral Springs. “It was recently remodeled and … can accommodate up to 10 people.”
And yes, you can bring your furry friend! Sycamore now has several dog-friendly rooms (there’s even a dog menu available at the restaurant). You’ll find dog-friendly rooms really are just that, with special amenities just for your pal.
Just coming up for the day? Rent a single tub by the hour! For just $23 per person, per hour, each of these tubs boast tranquil views and plenty of privacy. It’s a perfect way to soothe the aches of a long drive or enjoy an afternoon of self-care.
“I have been soaking at Sycamore before I ever decided to work here and have enjoyed our hot springs many times. Each time feels like a new experience,” says Stephanie. “We have so many tubs on our hillside, you rarely get the same tub twice, and it’s always special when the seasons change. One minute everything is full and green and the next you are immersed in a gorgeous fall setting. You really feel like you’re in your own world soaking underneath the sycamore trees, no matter the time of year.”
Coming up with a larger group? The Sycamore Mineral Springs Oasis Waterfall Lagoon can accommodate up to 20 guests. This stunning, sprawling tub is tucked away behind the spa, with a beautiful rockface over which waters spills into the tub below. “There is nothing quite like soaking in hot mineral spring water with a waterfall to listen to and soak under,” Stephanie says.
For extra pampering, head over to the spa. Renowned in the area — “We have won the New Times Best Place to Get a Massage 18 years in a row!” Stephanie enthuses — it offers a wide array of services including facials and massages. Each spa service includes a 30-minute soak in a hillside hot tub. Stretch your wellness with a class at the yoga dome, with classes seven days a week ranging from Pilates to Hatha yoga and restorative yoga. At the nearby gift shop, you can find an assortment of meditation and Zen-inspired items.
While you’re here, make time to explore the beautiful grounds at Sycamore Mineral Springs. “We have a wonderful grounds team that works around the clock to ensure our walking paths and outdoor lounge areas are full of blooms all year round,” says Stephanie. There are several common areas with a variety of seating choices and games, a pool with cabanas, and lush greenery at every turn. Not surprisingly, it’s a popular spot for weddings and other special events.
The Secret Garden is one of Sycamore’s newest additions. Located just off the Bob Jones Trail (which is adjacent to the resort), this little spot offers beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as light munchies. There’s even a little farm stand with fresh produce from the resort’s two-acre garden.
Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort embraces the “garden to guest” philosophy at its on-site restaurant, Gardens of Avila. A new chef, Josh Jones, recently joined the team, and is already utilizing his regional knowledge (he’s a local!) to craft exciting new menu items.
“We source many products locally, from breads to proteins to produce, to help support our local community,” says Stephanie. “There is a two-acre farm located on the east side across our iconic green bridge, which provides us many beautiful vegetables through the growing season.” Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Gardens of Avila is also known for its libations (ask for local brews and cocktails). Sit inside the stunning dining room or out on the stone patio. Don’t want to leave your hot tub? Room service is available for dinner!
Although there’s plenty to keep you busy on the property, you’ll find even more to do in the surrounding community. Between the incredible waterfront and the resort lie myriad shops, restaurants, galleries, and cute neighborhoods to explore.
Adjacent to the resort is one of the jewels in the Avila Beach crown: the Bob Jones Trail. This winds through some of the city’s most beautiful scenery, taking you all the way down to the beach. It’s best experienced by bicycle (and yes, you can rent bikes at the gift shop!). Another trail that runs right off the property is the Sycamore Crest Trail. It’s a little more of a workout, with a steep uphill climb, but the views from the top are jaw-dropping.
Whether you’re coming to the resort with girlfriends for the weekend, your honey for a midweek getaway, or you’re just carving out an hour of “me time,” Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa is a fabulous place to soak up the serenity of the Central Coast.
For reservations and more, visit sycamoresprings.com.