Fire, water, earth, and air. At Twelve Senses, we are beckoned beyond the usual call of retreat. Here, in this tiny Encinitas enclave, well-being weds sustainability in homage to the four natural elements, and we, as guests, are enveloped in the embodying outcome.
Owner, designer, and enigmatic ingenue Anke Bodack’s evolution of Twelve Senses infuses inspiration from 19th century architect and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, who introduced an educational model nourishing human development through a more nuanced experience in the world. Encinitas, already an artisan cooperative of healers and gardens, provided the ideal home.
With the relationship between sensory perception, health and vitality at its core, Twelve Senses unearthed. Intended to embrace the marriage of science and spirit, each room evokes a uniquely sensorial synergy of design and replenish. As does breakfast, complimentarily delivered per your order in a basket brimming with baked provisions from local purveyors (Prager Brothers), fruits and vegetables a product of nature’s seasonal bounty, and coffee by Encinitas’ own Ironsmith.
A string lit rooftop deck invites al fresco dining, lounging, and longing for an ocean well within view.
Correlated with the breath of life and cleansing power, the Air Room, upstairs, is built with the intention of uplift and unwind. With 10 foot ceilings and the largest balcony on property, the hammock seats two and the walk-in shower practically blends into the loftlike space. It is an open, oxygenating room, made entirely of vegan materials. We stayed here.
Dynamism, courage, to transform and to ignite, these are the inspirations behind the Fire Room. Copper accents and an oversized fireplace, sienna hues and a wool felt wall, this room is intended to embrace and invigorate. The palate is dark, as set by the deep grey basalt volcanic stone flooring, the mood is assertive. Engine red Acapulco chair on the patio, this room is on the lower level.
Above, adorned in aqua amenities, fuelled by our physical flow and functionality, the Water room. Symbolic of our emotional body, this is the room of regeneration. Limestone cools beneath the feet, a turquoise mohair blanket (handmade, Weckelweiler Werkstatten) and a sapphire Lagos Del Mundo wool rug accessorize this corner suite in a style that is every bit, every element, an oasis. The girls got to house themselves here.
Finally, back to the ground, the protective, nurturing, restorative energy of the Earth room. An outdoor shower, marble flooring and a walk-in closet, the physical body is represented here with the intention to get out of our headspace, and back into our senses. It is a tactile room, a luscious and large soaking tub, a grounding in the good.
Do not come to watch television, there are none. But massage, manicure, facials and sound baths, all easily made possible here.
Reiki, meditation, private yoga, acupuncture and aroma therapies…
There is always something so inspiring about a concept driven space. But one that is so thoughtfully generated, so mindfully manicured, made accessible in such a seamless way, it is something to relish. An extrospective elevation beyond the usual vacation, all packaged up in four experiential spaces – Twelve Senses Retreat is a weekend away, an anniversary, or a bring your friends buy-out opportunity waiting to awaken the sleepiest stop on your personal road to well-being.
Twelve Senses Retreat, 1004 Nardo Road, Encinitas, CA 92024, United States.
Tel: +1 760 815-9982
Twelve Senses Retreat is less than a two hour drive from Los Angeles. Take the 5 South and exit at Santa Fe. Free self-parking is available.
Type of Hotel: Sustainable Micro-Retreat / Bed & Breakfast Hotel
Number of Rooms: 4 rooms including complimentary Wi-Fi. Occupancy maxes out at 8pp, so this is a great option for a group getaway or reunion.
Price Band: Medium
Insider Tip: Dogs are welcome, but research which restaurants allow them ahead of time. Also, the surrounding towns are all worth visiting: Leucadia, Cardiff by the Sea and Solana Beach.
Spa treatments are available in room or in their on-property studio.
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10
Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.
Photographs courtesy of Twelve Senses Retreat