Kid friendly spas in the Bay Area? Do such things exist?
January 9, 2011 4:58 AM   Subscribe

Never fear: AskMeFi is here! Can anyone come to the rescue with referrals to kid-tolerant spas or very relaxing hotels/B&Bs within reasonable driving distance of the Bay Area?

My friend: single mom, law student, frazzled from holiday drama with family and the ex. She has the opportunity to leave one of her children with the ex for a few days, on the condition that she keep the younger child with her. She's thinking about just checking into a hotel for a few days, telling everyone she's away, and getting some time to unwind and heal.

Yoga, massage, sauna, steam rooms all a bonus, but meditation in a peaceful natural environment would be lovely as well.

The child she's bringing with her is 15 months old, and is a very well behaved and relaxed kid. I know some hotels and spas will provide child care for an hour or two, but I'm not sure how common that sort of service is in the Bay Area. Using her normal child care avenues isn't really an option. She's concerned about asking friends or the part-time nanny to watch her child while she gets a break as she's not sure what may or may not get back to her rather slimy and very unpleasant ex. He's the sort who has sabotaged previous attempts for her to relax while staying at home if he himself is feeling a bit under pressure at work or otherwise (hence her going to a hotel or staying away for a few nights)

Many thanks in advance for your help...
posted by Grrlscout to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (4 answers total)
Most hotels will help you arrange for babysitting. This site has some suggestions for "family-friendly" hotels, but I am not sure she even needs that. She should just stay in a hotel with a spa (or one nearby-- there are MANY in downtown San Francisco) that can arrange for a babysitter to come to the room-- that should be pretty easy to arrange.

I love the Clairmont Spa and it looks like they have a "kids club" but I'm not sure if it's suitable for a 15-month old. But I am sure they could help out. Maybe she could even take the other kid to avoid unpleasantness with the ex.
posted by picklebird at 7:17 AM on January 9, 2011

And if she wants to leave the city, how about Sonoma or Calistoga? Lots of spas and most hotels there will arrange for baby-sitting. The Fairmount Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa is at the high-end, but there are many others that are less posh.

And you'll probably get more responses to this question as the West Coast wakes up this Sunday morning.
posted by picklebird at 7:24 AM on January 9, 2011

I was also coming in to mention the Claremont (which I can see from my living room window--it's very pretty!) The view from the restaurant is beautiful and since the hotel is tucked away in the trees, I find it lovely and refreshing. Oh, and the spa. Lovely and refreshing, too.

Added bonus gossip: Brad, Angelina, and their brood stayed at the Claremont while they were in the Bay Area shooting Money Ball.
posted by chatongriffes at 7:56 AM on January 9, 2011

re claremont: it is in a veeery urban setting, albeit one of the nicest neighborhoods in berkelely/no. oakland. however, if she has some sort of trail-worthy transport for the tyke there is a beginner's level walk/hike behind the hotel that is hill-y/wood-y.

i'm going to throw out a slightly radical suggestion: mercey hot springs. accesible from hwy 5; closest big thing is probably coalinga. it's a spa in that it is built around a mineral spring. it is not a spaaaaaah in that it is increadibly bare-bones: there are six cabins with electricity and heat or you can car camp. one would need to pack a cooler of food, and bring an electric hot-plate for warm grub/drinks. no tv/cable. no facials/services, (unless, i guess, one of the fellow guests is a massage therapist & feels like workin'). possibly nippy at this time of year.

but there is unlimited access to mineral baths, a dry sauna, a gorgeous warm mineral-fed swimming pool, long walks in gently rolling hills that reek of old california. i don't know about baby-sitting, she would have to ask the proprieters, but it is definately a place where she could relax with her child with her at all times. depends on whether your friend is the sort that finds dialing it all back to a two-centuries-ago scenario relaxing; some of us do! good luck!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 1:08 PM on January 9, 2011

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