Sunday, February 28, 2010

River Oaks Hot Spring Spa (Formerly Paso Robles Hot Spring & Spa) (3.0 Stars ***)

We rate this hot spring and spa a 3 out of 5 stars. The attendants were very friendly and the hot spring was easy to reach right off of 101. There were 11 indoor rooms with the odd numbers being used for massages and the even numbers for hot tubs. There were a total of 13 hot tubs (5 indoor and 8 outdoor tubs). The water in the tubs was around 104 F. However, tubs could be adjusted to be hotter or colder based on user preference. This was one of the best features of this hot spring and spa. The entire spa was very clean. We rented tub 10 for about one hour and this cost $10.00 per person per hour ($20.00 total). Hot tubs 6 (indoors) and 19 (outdoors) were most popular because of their views of the creek and hills. The hot spring and spa were very private and were not crowded. Another great advantage for any couple wishing to book a last minute getaway. The grounds were located next to a beautiful green golf course with rolling hills and a nice stream and pond. We recommend this hot spring for winter, spring and fall. It is probably too hot for summer. Situated in the midst of California’s Central Coast rolling hills and vineyards, Paso Robles has been renowned for thermal springs water. Mineral springs throughout the world are unique in their mineral composition and healing properties, and the waters at River Oaks Hot Springs Spa are no different. The water is rich in sulfur compounds and trace minerals which assist healing in a variety of ways. Hydrogen sulfide gas (responsible for the aroma) is a powerful antibacterial agent, stimulating to the body’s mucus membranes, soothing to the respiratory system and calming to the skin. Overall this was a great experience and we highly recommend it! Also, if you are looking for a good place to eat downtown, you should consider Yanagi for sushi. Also, the Hunter Ranch Grill for breakfast, brunch, and dinner.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sycamore Mineral Springs (4.0 Stars ****)

This place was all around a first class resort. We rate it a 4 star out off 5 stars. It was very easy to find the resort since it was right off of Highway 101. It only took about three hours to reach from the bay area . All the staff were very helpful and friendly. The gift shop and spa was surrounded by a beautiful garden and the hot tubs were set up on the hill in a user friendly and private location. The rooms were very nice and could accommodate different sizes groups. The newer rooms were across the bridge and on the other side of the highway near the hiking trails (West Meadow Suites). There were a total of twenty different hot tubs set in different locations on the hill. The Paradise, Enchantment, and Shangrila tubs were perched at the highest points on the hill. Sycamore is an ideal resort for a romantic couple getaway. The tubs are very clean and the water running through the tubs was maintained at from 100-104 F. Sycamore has recently gone green and is automated to chlorinate its waters at the absolute minimum levels. Further, the water quality is quite clean and refreshing. The resort has a nice restaurant and hiking trails are near by. This place overall is a best kept secret. We were able to walk-in on a Saturday prior to Valentine's Day and book the Retreat hot tub for about an hour. The day-use rental is only $17.00 per person/hour. This makes this resort a real value to hot spring enthusiasts. Also, if you get a chance, don't forget to take a plunge in the beautiful Oasis pool (see pictures below). It was just like being in Hawaii! Lastly, if you are looking for a great place to eat you can wander into town and eat at the Firestone Grill. We recommend the tri-tip steak or the salmon sandwich. Very inexpensive and tasty. You can then proceed up the street to the Apple Farm for some free cider, popcorn, and Apple Pie!