Marie Friedlander, Certified YogaGolf Instructor
“Breathe through your nose,” says Friedlander in smooth, even tones. High atop the course at the Pacific View Tee, three middle-aged male golfers stand barefoot on mats with their arms stretched overhead and palms together. “Become aware of your stance. Stack your spine. Stare at your drishti.” The two-hour session concludes with the men remarking how much more flexible and relaxed they feel. One golfer, who had complained of lower back pain, heads to a canvas tent, where his swing is videotaped. He compares it with a previously taped swing playing on a nearby laptop. He smiles.
I'm not sure how a 5000-year-old Indian religious practice works with the conspicious-consumption ritual sport of the American executive, but I bet both can be done pompously. A brilliant move, though; now they can sell yoga hours to the men and not just the women. —Ed.
As for the attention to detail, it’s as if all the veteran hospitality professionals brought on board sat in one room and asked themselves, What detail would I like to add? What would contribute to the perfect experience? That’s why there are five types of coffee in each villa, a choice of soaps and Villeroy & Boch china; why no guest will ever have to request toothpaste, a razor or shaving gel; and why such touches as orchids in the sitting rooms and expansive patios with chaise lounges and tables contribute to the feeling that you’re staying at a close friend’s vacation home. The details go beyond the guest rooms: Risotto is finished in a 28-inch wheel of Parmesan and served in individual silver dishes; the spa features temperature-controlled beds and a waiting room full of art books; and the lobby is a study in opulent minimalism.
(The print edition has a photo of a chef spooning a saffron-rich risotto into a hollow that has been cut into an entire wheel of parmigiano. If there is a purpose here other than excess for its own sake, I'd love to hear it. —Ed.)
(Also, the phrase "opulent minimalism" deserves an award or a terrible punishment, probably both. —Ed.)