Go-to Getaway

If you live in Marin, you’re probably familiar with Urban Remedy — a local line of raw snacks, meals and cold-pressed juices dreamed up by Marin native and all-around health connoisseur Neka Pasquale. The brand has seen a surge in recent months, with new brick and mortar locations in the San Francisco Ferry Building and Larkspur, with more stores slated for Walnut Creek and Berkeley. Now, those looking to relax, unplug and reinvigorate mind and body are invited to join Pasquale at the spacious, incredibly serene Carmel Valley Ranch for a series of forthcoming workshops and retreats hosted by Pasquale. From what I’ve seen, your experience will be nothing short of transformative.

Last autumn, I had the privilege of previewing the Urban Remedy Detox Retreat at Carmel Valley Ranch, a four-day getaway that combined yoga, acupuncture, spa treatments, nourishing vegan meals—prepared by Pasquale herself—and ultimately a three-day juice cleanse in a transformative journey that restarts the system and clears the mind. The retreat was a practice run, likely inspiring similar events (dates TBD). So, here’s a little preview.

For its part, Carmel Valley Ranch is one of the most unique resorts I have ever visited. The 500-acre property is akin to arriving in an exclusive, outdoor play land (which is definitely family friendly) complete with multiple pools, hiking, lavender fields, horses for riding, bees for keeping, an organic garden, restaurant, golf course and a full-service spa—Spa Aiyana—which centered on aromatherapy and fresh herbs, many from the Ranch’s own garden. In short: they have everything you need for a multi-level unwind. There was even a bathtub on the deck of my suite, a luxury I never knew I needed but made use of every morning. The New York Times was delivered to my door daily. When it came time to leave, I seriously contemplated hunkering down in my room and refusing to depart.

I was a bit nervous about the all-vegan meals, particularly because I am known to get sleepy and cranky sans protein, and, in my mind, veganism equated hunger. Pasquale’s expertly prepared meals quickly schooled me in the variance (and deliciousness) of a plant-based diet. Raw lasagne, chocolate mousse, and several salads—all outlined in Pasquale’s recently released cookbook—quickly forced me to reevaluate my prejudices, and I embarked on the three-day juice cleanse (which began on the last day of our retreat, with the remaining juices provided to take home) feeling prepared and, most importantly, full.

Meals were supplemented by daily, ultra-indulgent spa treatments, morning yoga, tours of the garden, evening acupuncture and group meals where we discussed food, health, mindfulness and more. It was an incredibly empowering escape and experience, which culminated in an intimate fire ceremony where we listed our fears and burned them in an outdoor fire.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to unplug and reboot, I can’t recommend this retreat—or this resort—enough. The partnership makes so much sense—I cannot imagine a better place to detox and cleanse than the outdoorsy, tranquil environment offered at Carmel Valley Ranch.