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Days of Wines and Enzymes

The New York Times

The seaside village Bodega Bay and the neighboring valley hamlet of Bodega are unlikely places for a spa weekend, their chief claim to fame being as the setting for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film “The Birds.” But during my stay in early March, I encountered nothing more spine-chilling than the cool hands of a talented massage therapist. The towns themselves, both in Sonoma County about 60 miles north of San Francisco, looked refreshingly untouched by the four decades since the film’s release: clapboard cottages dot the hills and fishing trawlers deliver oysters and Dungeness crabs to a weathered pier as seagulls flap around soothingly. But the Bodega area has quietly imported the wine country’s sophisticated tastes to the coast in recent years. The three very different spas I sampled – two in small luxury hotels, the third a Japanese day spa – all cater, at least partly, to an epicurean clientele of foodies and vineyard-hoppers. And each emphasize sensual, low-impact rejuvenation, where afternoons seemed far better spent lolling at hotel wine hours than working out.