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“Lasting effects”
Review of The Pearl Laguna

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The Pearl Laguna
Reviewed 24 June 2013

It's now late June, and I went to The Pearl mid-March. As an athlete of a normal, healthy, fairly steady weight, I was nervous about the reviews re weight loss - not something I particularly needed to do (though losing 5lbs wasn't going to hurt). I was looking for a yoga vacation, I love to hike, love vegetarian food, wanted to be outside (given our N.E. winter, it was time for warmth, birds and flowers!), needed to jump start fitness, and figured a cleanse could be interesting. Portion size was a challenge, and I would not recommend going to anyone with a borderline eating disorder! It felt restrictive at first, and yes, I was hungry by day two. Trusting in Geo and Katreesha worked, however. They guided, loved and cajoled. Their staff was *outstanding* (Thank you, Dana, Sarah, Dave, Nick, Barbara, etc). Sarah exuded positive vibes, Barbara created exquisite table settings, and Nick even made weight lifting fun (!?). Food was delicious and healthy, rooms were beautifully clean (with fresh flowers daily - a real treat), massages therapeutic and healing, and the non-chlorinated pool/hot tub great (sauna, too). Fellow travelers were interesting and varied in experience, background, age and fitness (don't think you have to be super fit to go. You just need to want to be fully active while there). One review said "why spend the money when you can do it on your own?" Yes, it's expensive (with one hidden cost: gratuity for massage therapists and staff). But you could not do what they do on your own given their attention to every detail and the quality of the people and amenities. You can focus on whatever it is you came there to do. I went to be outside and active in the middle of winter. I waited this long to write a review b/c I wanted to see if the experience "lasted." It has. The physical activity is centering, and habits started there (in my case I didn't think I'd make it through w/o morning toast and coffee) have endured. I haven't wanted caffeine since returning, and have switched to hot lemon water followed by mixed fruit for breakfast. Yoga continues, and Geo's focus on opening the chest ("good, good, good!") and standing postures translates into daily life and work. I am training for my first triathlon knowing that the Pearl kick started a reprioritization. Work is more balanced with life, relationships, time for self and exercise. That is a direct result of fully immersing in the program at Pearl Laguna. It is challenging, and it's 100% worth it. While I wasn't sure when I left after a week (and three-day extension), I would love to go back again.

Room Tip: I stayed in one of two "little gem" rooms, which are slightly less expensive. Each has a t...
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank 2013JCB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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30 - 36 of 48 reviews

Reviewed 7 June 2013

Everyone said, what are you thinking going to a Detox Bootcamp for your honeymoon? We had a great experience and enjoyed the daily challenges of hiking in Laguna. Dave being an ex pro football player and a USC player, thought this would be a piece of cake! He was wrong, they made sure to challenge him :) but also it can be tailored to one's level of health and physical activity too so no matter what it is right for you! The service, staff, and food were wonderful. Instructors all live their regimen daily to what they prescribe to healthy living, it has been a few weeks now and we have definitely made life style changes with tips we learned. Dave lost 14 lbs and I lost 3 but we both lost 20 inches which is what counts!!! It was a place we will return to! Love Geo's Power Yoga!!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Christine G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2013

This was a fantastic experience and a true transformation. Health is key and I learned so much. Geo and Katresha are great yoga teachers, nutrition experts, warm and guiding hands in a journey to health. Fantastic hiking, a beautiful setting. Can't recommend it highly enough. Just go!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Anne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2013

Worth every penny. It is hard to put into words how wonderful The Pearl Laguna truly is - the people, the location, the experience - all are amazing. You exercise (yoga and hiking), eat healthy delicious meals (although prepare to not eat very much!), and relax in the beautiful setting of Geo and Ketrisha's paradise in laguna beach. I recommend going for the whole week (sunday to saturday) for best results - it really is a true detox. No caffeine, no alcohol, no processed foods. Positive energy every day and you really get to focus on yourself and your well-being. Every person has a different reason for going and you meet very interesting and inspiring people along the way. And of course, not to forget, you also get an amazing massage every day. I recently went back for a second time and enjoyed it even more. The owners and staff are truly wonderful and inspirational.

Room Tip: there is a separate cabana that you can request if available - it has a beautiful sundeck.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank julz99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2013

I recently spent a week at the Pearl and had a truly transformative experience. I felt depleted from my son's deployments and my pro bono work and needed help regaining balance in my life, but I never expected the abundance of gifts I received. Everyone and everything was integral and I hope to return whenever I can.

Although the program is certainly challenging, it’s whatever you need it to be. I gained strength, flexibility and balance in Geo’s exhilarating yoga sessions, which I’m trying to follow at home courtesy of his DVD; I gained strength and lost weight (8 pounds) from scenic and strenuous hikes tailored to meet our individual needs and from daily strength training. The cuisine was delicious and I was never hungry. And Katresha’s skin products were simply amazing. (I was able to bring them home with me but am still trying to replicate the delicious meals). Most of all, I miss the people of The Pearl: Katresha and Geo and their extraordinary staff who were unfailingly positive and supportive to all of us. I felt at home at The Pearl and plan to send people I love so they can be touched by its magic, too.
Julie

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
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Thank julie j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2012

The Pearl is a place better experienced than described, but here is my story:

I entered the Pearl on June 18, 2012 at age 58, and left a week later with a lightness of being I had not felt since age 17. As a result of this feeling of joy and happiness I resolved to make permanent life-changes that are still working for me seven months later.

Whether this was attributable to the cleansing diet, my spiritual connection with the program, or the combination thereof is unknown, but it certainly was not the 13 pounds I lost during the week – since I still weighed in at over 260 pounds.

10 days later I had a life insurance physical examination, and my health numbers had plummeted. My resting heart rate was down to 58 BPM from 83. And my cholesterol had decreased to 220 from 250, and my fasting blood sugar fell to 70 from 107.

It is now December 31, 2012, and I weighed in this morning at 200 pounds, a 83 pound weight loss in seven months.

My body/fat ratio is now 15%, my resting heart rate 52 BPM, my cholesterol 190, and I look and feel 20 years younger. Every objective and subjective measurement of fitness and health in my life is now optimal. Even my intraocular eye pressure, which prior to the Pearl was “borderline for Glaucoma” has fallen (as of my last eye exam in September of 2012) 20% to well within normal limits. I am truly healthy for the first time in my 59 year old life.

I walk up and down hills for a minimum of one to two hours a day, seven days a week, and have eliminated processed foods, cow dairy, bread, processed sugar, alcohol, and coffee from my life (but eat everything else, including pasta, the occasional 16 oz ribeye steak and French-fries).
These life changes were inspired and facilitated by my experience at the Pearl.

While the Pearl downplays the spiritual aspects of the program, I credit my spiritual “unblocking” during my stay there with my ability to embrace and implement these lifestyle changes; That and experiencing life for a week without the numbing effects of alcohol, caffeine, processed foods and chemicals while getting back in touch with my authentic self.

A few more comments: I had never done ANY Yoga before the Pearl, I had not exercised at any fitness level for over two years, and if I could undertake and complete this program you can as well. I spent two hours a day on a Yoga matt next to some VERY fit people (and a beginner or two as well), and everyone – fellow guests and staff - was friendly, nurturing and supportive. (I still correspond with many of my fellow Pearl guests.)

If you are looking for a way to jumpstart spiritual, health, and/or physical changes in your life, the Pearl is a wonderful place to start.

There is a large portrait of one of the co-owners of the Pearl, Geo Moskios, hanging in the sun porch/massage waiting area of the Pearl. I looked at a catalog of the artist’s work and Geo’s portrait is entitled “Healer”. The painting could not be more aptly named.

--Stephen Gianelli, San Francisco, California

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank StephenGianelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2012

Then here is my answer!
I recently traveled across the world from Perth, Western Australia and spent an amazing two weeks at the beautiful and peaceful retreat called The Pearl Laguna, Hiking and Yoga Spa. This fabulous spa was founded by Geo and Katresha Moskios, two of the worlds most renowned yoga teachers and also two of the most caring and motivating people you will ever meet.
The Pearl Laguna is an intimate retreat nestled amongst trees in the Laguna Canyon and has twelve beautiful bedrooms all with marble bathrooms. Even the New York Times rated this five star Spa the best!
Laguna Beach itself is a quaint seaside village full of fabulous art galleries and about an hours drive south of LA and an hour from San Diego. So easily accessible especially from Orange County Airport.
From the moment I stepped into the very spacious Zen living room, complete with its cheerful open fire, I was greeted by the wonderful warm staff of The Pearl Laguna. From then on I didn’t have to think about a thing for two weeks!
No watch, computer or mobile phone. It was bliss just being completely cared for.
The day begins with Geo’s Signature Power Yoga, followed by a delicious breakfast and hiking in the beautiful Laguna Hills.
One day we hiked 11 miles to the beach and enjoyed a delicious lunch in a gorgeous park overlooking the ocean. I must say it was great to get those hiking boots off and soak my feet in the ocean.
Everyday I had a first class massage. They were all heavenly. Then it was off to the sauna and jacuzzi, before taking time to rest. Most evenings began with a fireside chat, then yoga, sometimes with the inspirational Katresha, then a beautiful dinner and a different herb tea and then that wonderful bed with its gorgeous crisp white linen and then a well earned sleep.
We were served the most delicious vegetarian meals, beautifully and stylishly presented. I can’t wait for Katresha’s new cookbook to be published.
So thank you to all of the wonderful staff at The Pearl Laguna. I feel nurtured and nourished and have continued to keep up what I learnt! In fact I am so inspired to keep up my exercise that I am training to do a Cape to Cape walk here in Western Australia along our beautiful beaches.
I will be back!

Room Tip: They are all different and beautifully clean and private!
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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Thank JenniferPerthWA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Pearl Laguna

Address: 21095 Raquel Rd, Laguna Beach, CA 92651-1129 (Formerly Blue Pearl Laguna)
Region: United States > California > Orange County > Laguna Beach
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Laguna Beach
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Blue Pearl Laguna Hotel Laguna Beach

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