Twelve Senses Retreat – Encinitas

Water Room at Twelve Senses Retreat
The Water Room at Twelve Senses Retreat

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.

Breakfast Basket at Twelve Senses Retreat
Twelve Senses Breakfast Basket

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.

Air Room at Twelve Senses Retreat
The Air Room at Twelve Senses Retreat

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.

The Details

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

Author Bio:

Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.

Photographs courtesy of Twelve Senses Retreat


  1. Seems like a very unique, boutique experience. I am not unique, but would gladly take the 2 hour drive to see what this is all about.

  2. Anke has done an amazing job of creating a real sanctuary in a simple, but inviting space. We loved our time here (it’s also doggo friendly, which turned out to be really helpful when we had to bring the little guy with us last minute). The rooms are unique, the amenities are really thoughtful, and the breakfast was delicious and beautifully presented. 12 Senses is a great alternative to the many resorts in the North San Diego County area — I highly recommend!

  3. I’ve been looking for a healing retreat and didn’t know there was a place so close by. This sounds wonderful!

    • It is and it is such a lovely surprise. I would recommend connecting with the owner, Anke Bodack, beforehand. She is so dedicated to creating a healing experience for all of her guests – she can help tailor your time there to accommodate your needs.

  4. I forgot to ask if there is an up charge when you bring your dog.Sometimes it can be an

    I meant to ask what the additional fee is when bringing your dog. It’s better to know upfront then to have unpleasant surprise at checkout. Your description makes it impossible to resist!

    • Good question! The dog charge is $50/day, includes a dog bed, some bowls, some treats. . plus the enclosed the balconies and rooftop deck make it really easy to have them there. Ours found the experience delightful!

    • This place is basically made for me! Or , better yet, for a sibs and spouses weekend getaway. Right?? You can tell how much love and care went into creating this lovely space and everything in it.

  5. This place speaks to my soul. Get me in that Earth room to balance all my air and fire! Incredible and so intentional.

  6. Definitely going to head there next chance I get. So close for a quick get away and I love that area. Cant wait!

  7. Looks like an incredible place for a weekend away! Additionally, the breakfast seems worth the trip alone. Will be adding this to my list of places to visit!

  8. Right up the coast from where I grew up and in area that I often visited. It’s certainly time for me to re-explore Twelve Senses Retreat might be the ideal place to start.

  9. During this hectic time of year, Twelve Senses is exactly what I need. What an ideal sanctuary to recharge your mind and body.

  10. What a great discovery I just shared the review with my friends. Will look into it for a couples retreat.
    Love Jolie’s colorful writing as always!

  11. First of all…”Sustainable Micro-Retreat”…can we just pause on this awesome phrase for a second? Second, a place that has yoga in lieu of TVs? I love this! Thank you for the inside scoop!

  12. I can’t believe I have this practically in my backyard and I didn’t know about it! Thanks for the enticing write-up, I’ll be checking my calendar for the opportunity plan an escape there ASAP!

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