Health and Wellness in San Luis Obispo!
San Luis Obispo (SLO) is located north of Los Angeles. The city has a population of around 46,000. I recently visited on a hosted trip with a group of journalists. We came to learn about SLO’s sustainable lifestyle. The beautiful Mission San Lis Obispo de Tolosa sets the architectural theme for the charming downtown. There is a lot of lovely public art, and much of the dining is in outside spaces. With a Mediterranean Marine climate, the temperature is balmy, and the area is perfect for wine growing country. During our trip, we focused on health, wellness and sustainability.
Hotel Cerro & Brasserie SLO
I loved my room at the Hotel Cerro. It was on the second floor; the room was huge and best of all was a wonderfully deep tub. Each time I soaked, I used the Hotel Cerro’s own line of natural botanical skin and hair care products which they make with blends of fragrant essential oils. The room also boasted a great desk to work at when I wanted to do a bit of computer time. This was a great place to destress and relax.
The Hotel Cerro is a small 65 room luxury hotel. They offer a complimentary refillable water bottle which I carried with me every day I was there. In the room they also had a teapot and tea available which is perfect for a tea drinker like me. That is so appreciated, a thoughtful detail.
Kelsey Prins of Hotel Cerro provided a tour of the hotel. This is a relatively new build using historic storefronts and as much of the original building as was feasible. On the second floor there is a chef’s garden that guests can enjoy, and the cook uses fresh produce in recipes in the restaurant, the Brasserie SLO.
Kelsy pointed out the flowers, “The chef also used edible flowers in cocktails, and they use them in the spa, the roses for oils,” Kelsey added.
We ate in the outdoor area, with a beautiful Fig Tree at the Brasserie. For dining at the Brasserie, I choose the Chef’s selection for the evening, a flatbread pizza with fresh vegetables. The cuisine at the restaurant reflects the food of the region.
The hotel also has a beautiful spa and a rooftop pool terrace with a great view. Best of all though was the helpful staff. They were wonderful answering questions and they helped me with a computer glitch when I needed assistance. Sustainable, beautiful, relaxing and located in the heart of the city, we walked too almost everywhere!
SLOCO Health & Wellness
While in town we had the wonderful chance to experience Sloco’s new health and wellness model that the owner updated during COVID. She now offers an array of therapies that don’t require touch,even though typical massages are available as well. During the visit, they offered whole body cryotherapy, private infrared sauna sessions, Normatec compression therapy, photo biomodulation/redlight therapy, dry salt therapy/halotherapy, and Soma dome meditation sessions. “There are only 150 in the world,” one of the young women at the spa shared.
I was game to try to dry salt therapy, which was in a small shower like stall. My lungs felt clean and clear afterwards and the session was relaxing. I was especially glad to do this since I had been on an airplane and would be soon boarding one again. During the relaxation period for meditation, I used it as prayer time.
They also offered acupressure on the ear using small seeds. I choose points to reduce stress and anxiety. I also tried the compression therapy on the hips, thighs and legs, which they shared a lot of post op patients use.
The whole atmosphere of the spa was a place for self-care. “The more you do the more long-term the results,” said the staff.
I think I could easily get used to this pampering!
Health through walking
We spent a lot of time touring the city by foot. This is a very walkable and bike friendly town. By hitting the street, this is saving on gas and money, plus it is increasing health for everyone involved!
As mentioned earlier everything in downtown SLO surrounds the beautiful Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. The Mission is celebrating 250 years this year of the Spanish making their home in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range!
There are many things to tour and see. We went on a history walk starting at the Mission and passing many pieces of public art along the way. From the famous and colorful Bubblegum alley to the Web of Life Statue honoring the wildlife that you can find in this area named Valley of the Bears for the once very heavy bear population!
Slow Flow yoga at the Center SLO
I was a bit nervous about an hour-long yoga class at The Center SLO I admit. However, this session proved to be a great mind-body wellness time. The Center SLO’s vision is to “celebrate diversity, strengthen community and empower people to live their best lives every day.”
We visited the center early, did the wonderful and relaxing session, and I found I could do most all of the moves, which made me very happy. I could even still move after completion! We took a tour with owner Stephanie Stackhouse and learned that at The Center SLO they offer three studios: two non-heated studios and a heated studio using cutting edge infrared heating panels. They offer different styles of yoga and hot yoga plus barre, sculpt, HIIT Pilates, and aerial yoga. They also have a great boutique where I bought a Fairtrade purse that I love!
Everything I learned in SLO centered around self-care and sustainability. The city has made great strides in reducing waste and trying to become more energy efficient. To accomplish this, they are working with their rural partners, city restaurants, and local citizens who are all sending their organic waste to a local anerobic digester.
Tom Gratz of Hitachi Zosen provided a tour of the anerobic digester. This plant is supporting California’s organics diversion. A graphic showed that it is pulling 36,000 tons each year of organic waste that is being kept out of the local landfill. Working together with the local waste haulers, this system is not only reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon emissions, but adding energy to the local energy grid. In his presentation, Tom Gratz estimated that the energy realized from the local organic waste could provide renewable electricity for over 600 homes.
A tour of Wolff Winery showed that vintner and owner Jean Pierre Wolff is using techniques to reduce water use in Wolff Vineyards. He also will be applying compost materials created from the digester on his fields. He sends his organic waste to the digester.
Tolosa Vineyards is also sustainably farmed and is known for their wonderful Pinot Noir. Big Sky Cafe’s owner Greg Holt also is part of the group sending his organic waste to the digester.
Greg Holt also added about his restaurant Big Sky Cafe , “Using fresh ingredients from the Farmer’s Market,” Greg said it gives the restaurant a foundation of knowing where the food comes from. “I want to be as Hyper Local as possible. We are also as green as possible.”
Contributing to the general health and wellness, there is a well-attended SLO Farmer’s Market every Thursday evening from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. SLO’s Farmer’s Market offers a chance for locals, tourists and restaurants to obtain fresh produce from the local farmers.
My stop in SLO was all about self-care and sustainability. I would like to learn more about the history of the area and stop in at some of the museums and art galleries next time around! For more information on SLO, visit their website.