Mind, Body & Malibu
by ERIC ROSEN
FROM LEFT: Delicious vegetarian meals are prepared by executive chef Kurt Steeber; afternoon yoga under the trees; a private cottage room.
Summer's over, but in Los Angeles, it pays to be bikini-ready year-round, and, of course, inner peace isn’t a bad thing to have in this city either. Achieve both for a mere $5,600 a week at the newest luxury fitness retreat in SoCal, The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu. Hidden in the hills three miles above the Pacific, the Ranch whips guests into shape with a “no options” philosophy, which means there’s no getting out of four- to five-hour morning hikes on the property’s 200 miles of trails or the afternoon strengthening, yoga and pool workouts. And don’t even think about asking for second helpings on the 1,500-calorie vegetarian menu whipped up by Kurt Steeber, the Ranch’s executive chef and “Nutritional Alchemist.” At least there’s a daily massage to sweeten the deal. “By removing the overwhelming choices of daily life, we give guests the opportunity to learn and grow in a holistic way,” says program director Marc Alabanza. No material sacrifice necessary, though. Unlike the ascetic aesthetic of similar retreats that house guests in dormitories with shared facilities (such as that other fabled fitness retreat of Hollywood power players The Ashram), The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu has guests stay in private cottage rooms with en-suite baths and high-end amenities, including organic toiletries to scrub down with after all that nature time. But you won’t find any televisions, and BlackBerrys don’t get reception here, so be ready to unplug and focus on your inner well-being. Visit theranchmalibu.com.
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.