Keen cyclists will jump at the opportunity to experience the wind tunnel at Specialized global headquarters, only 30 minutes from the 131-key Rosewood Sand Hill resort outside Menlo Park, California. Hotel MD Philip Meyer, whose own favourite steed is a shiny-white Colnago, will also lead local rides, perhaps around nearby Stanford University, owner of this hotel. Yes, some areas around the 16-acre resort complex are hilly, but Meyer confirms that he does have electric bikes on hand. He also has a variety of new Mercedes, AMG Cabriolet, AMG Coupe, GLS SUV you can try out, for free, while staying here.
“We do not want anyone to be bored,” Philip Meyer told me on arrival. There was no chance of that. You can stay on property, and join communal yoga classes, outside on the sunset lawn, every Saturday and Sunday from 9am.
If it is too hot in that lovely fresh air, escape the heat, and head indoors to the 24/7 Technogym – ideal for those flying in from Asia (flights typically arrive early morning at San Francisco International Airport, under half an hour’s drive via US-101). Personally I would pair any post-flight activity with anti-jetlag pampering in the resort’s spa. I would be tempted to try a French-Japanese EviDenS de Beauté facial, which apparently is really popular with Menlo Park-area fashionistas.
Time to think of the sleep experience. Private Villas range from 550 to 3,000 square-metres in size. I actually found #1307, a 800 square metre Rosewood Executive Suite, upstairs in a two-floor west-facing block, really convenient for getting to various places (by the way the toiletries are one of my favourites, Estée Lauder’s Le Labo).
I spent the afternoon writing, inside in the cool. Just before sunset I forced myself to leave my temporary home and headed down 26 steps straight to the lovely pool, which is a generous 25-metres long.
Pool-side food is inspired by a San Francisco-based celebrity chef, Ravi Kapur, mastermind of that city’s LihoLiho Yacht Club. Temporarily forget wellness in favour of tuna poke with line-caught tuna, furikake rice, avocado, radish, spicy aioli and radish sprouts; a yacht burger topped with pineapple, bacon and kimchi – and a fried chicken sandwich with avocado ranch dressing. I would pair this with a perfectly chilled Chardonnay, say a 2017 Flowers Moon Select Sonoma Coast, from the pop-up al fresco wine-tasting garden, a few metres away in a nook between well-tended floribunda: currently featured are wines from Flowers Winery, just outside Healdsburg.
To have onsite inside scoops on California’s wine scene, by the way, try to snatch a few words with the resort’s newly-appointed executive chef Robert Sulatycky, who is also a partner in Mithra Winery – switching to my usual tipple, a red, I would try Mithra’s 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder. Exactly the opposite of the stereotype ‘celebrity chef’, Robert Sulatycky is one super-nice guy as well as a super-smart culinarian: he is also into food-tech via a company called iQKitchen. For years he played a lead role Canada’s team in the Olympics of the stove, the Bocuse d’Or – in 1999 he was awarded meat chef of the world. Now, having moved south, he coaches Team USA for Bocuse d’Or and other leading culinary events.
If wellness today is all-rounded, Rosewood Sand Hill is the ideal environment. Thanks to the so many elements, it provides great activity, fabulous food and conversations with Silicon Valley super-brains. Wow.