CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Mingle in one of Omni La Costa Resort & Spa's bars or restaurants, and you're as likely to find yourself in a discussion about Ayurveda, spirituality and wellness as any debate about Tiger vs. Jack.
That was my experience at least, during more than one of my meals at the resort. Students in town for an itinerary of meditation, massage and the eternal search for inner peace mingle with those here for unlimited golf packages.
Suffice to say, guests at this 600-plus-room retreat are going to be on very different itineraries, whether it's tennis, spa, Ayurveda or golf.
Golf at this 36-hole resort is just a small slice of the soul that is this pioneering wellness retreat in Carlsbad that dates back to the 1950s. I was here in the winter, taking dead aim on two of the area's most well-known layouts. Once a PGA Tour host to the Tournament of Champions and WGC Match Play, the 36-hole club has now settled into a niche as a resort-style stay-and-play where golf is a significant piece of the attractions, but there's a whole lot more going on.
In my book, spirituality, can be found alone on an empty golf course on a rainy day. What's more sublime than having these manicured grounds all to yourself, as was the case during my winter round on the Legends Course? As La Costa and the other area courses absorbed a good bit of rainfall for months that helped ease drought conditions, I listened to the hum of raindrops and the heavy whack of wet turf uprooted from the swing of a wedge.
Golfers are of course welcome to embark in soul-searching at the resort's Chopra Center, which helps people "empower themselves, find emotional freedom, and experience spiritual awakening." If that sounds like a lot to process, there is always the simple tranquilities of a massage treatment at the onsite spa.
Also a favorite family resort, kids will find their joys at the water park or after sundown at the adjacent arcade. Guest rooms at Omni La Costa are very spacious, with separate sitting areas and large bathrooms with both bath and shower. Bob's Steak and Chop House is located onsite, as well as Bistro 65 for lighter fare. The sports bar near the hotel lobby is where I spent most of my time between rounds and is a fitting 19th hole with numerous TVs and a solid pub-fare menu. As expected just about anywhere in San Diego, there are plenty of local craft beers on the menu, which in my book can go toe-to-toe with Chopra in terms of bringing balance to the soul.