Encinitas, United States

Twelve Senses Retreat

Price per night from$399.96

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (inclusive of taxes and fees) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD399.96), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


Peace offering


Spiritual side of Encinitas

Sometimes the world bends not with a bang, but with a whisper, or perhaps the good vibrations of a singing bowl. Encinitas sanctum Twelve Senses Retreat is a quiet revolutionary, where sustainability starts with full solar power, and trickles down to the tips of your toes with organic vegan pedis. The concept might delve into the dozen senses posited by 19th-century philosopher Rudolf Steiner, but just four rooms each take on a natural element, with coloured Shou Sugi Ban woods, Buxkin recycled wall panels, paintings supercharged with crystals, Mexican handicrafts and other storytelling details. Wellness presented sincerely and stylishly, this retreat finds the powerful in peace.

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Free late check-out


Photos Twelve Senses Retreat facilities

Need to know


There are just four rooms, each styled after one of the four elements.


11am, but flexible for free until noon, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Evening check-outs till 6pm are available on request from Sunday to Thursday for $100, if the room is free. Guests check themselves in using a code sent by the hotel.


Double rooms from £309.64 ($400), including tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include a delicious daily-changing, organic, seasonal breakfast.


The hotel’s spaces – leafy balconies, a city-view deck, art-dressed walls – make an attractive backdrop, as does wider Encinitas. Record your stay for posterity, and look fabulous doing so, with a photoshoot; the hotel can arrange a skilled snapper, all you need to do is bring the ‘lewks’.

At the hotel

Rooftop deck with a fire pit, small kitchen garden, space for yoga and sound healing, e-bikes to hire, library, boutique, beach chairs and umbrellas (on request), charged laundry service, free WiFi. In rooms: Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speaker, minibar (with a free half bottle of wine, Kettle chips and Cascade spring water), Ironsmith coffee, Fellow Stagg kettle and tea-infuser by Mexican artisan Anna Lebrija, Google Nest climate control, and Coyuchi waffle bathrobes.

Our favourite rooms

Stoke those flames of passion in the Fire room, whose smoky interiors, warmly lit with copper lamps, and a cheekily voyeuristic shower give it the seductive edge. To feel back to nature, the Earth room’s large leafy terrace, bedecked with bamboo, and a refreshing alfresco shower, will ground you in serene style. And, guests have found the fully vegan Air room as head-clearing as its name suggests, with its neutral hues, hammock for two and paintings made using energy-purifying crystals; it’s ideal for digital nomads or those with a novel to finish – the owner’s father worked on his book staying here. Whichever you choose, you’ll be doing the environment a favour: zero VOC paints, flooring made using crushed seashells, Ethnicraft beds, Buxkin recycled leather or wool wall coverings, and lots of local handicrafts, make these elegantly ethical.


There’s no physical spa (visiting practitioners carry out treatments on the roof deck, yoga space or in guest rooms), but the spirit is very nurtured here. Of the range of massages, those infused with CBD and essential oils are the most relaxing, an acu-microcurrent facial uses acupuncture and gentle electric pulses to encourage circulation and lymphatic drainage, and mani-pedis use non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free polishes from Sundays.

Packing tips

Yoga gear is a must, or at least something you can comfortably lie down in as ethereal sounds heal you, and rash vests or wetsuits will get a work-out along the coast. A covetous nature might be at odds with the hotel’s holism, but it’s hard not to want things when browsing the ceramic diffusers, pour-over coffee jugs, espresso cups and 3D ‘Tic, Tac, Toe’ game (all made in Mexico) the hotel sells. Leave space in your luggage for these.


Meeting up with Cali friends? ‘Daycation’ passes can be bought to allow them access to activities, discounts on spa treatments, snacks, drinks, free surfboard waxing and more.


Four-legged friends are welcome in all rooms for $50 a day. See more pet-friendly hotels in Encinitas.


Little ones can stay in all rooms for $100 a day (includes breakfast). However, parents seeking peace might find smalls a distraction.

Sustainability efforts

Mother Earth would undoubtedly give Twelve Senses Retreat a five-star review for its dazzling sustainability efforts. The owner’s modernist home was partly torn down and rebuilt in eco-friendly fashion working with Alliance Green Builders, using full solar power, adding an accoya wood façade from Delta Millworks, using zero-VOC paints throughout, landscaping with native and drought-tolerant plants to reduce water usage, insulating using 85 per cent recycled newspaper and AeroBarrier sealing, using a mini-split HVAC for green climate control, and providing water from a low-alkaline source. But, it’s the details within the big picture that make all the difference. Say, the limestone flooring composed of crushed seashells; Seaform tiles made using recycled ocean plastics; Buxkin wall coverings made from felt, leather wool and carbon-negative cork; durable, insect-resistant, charred Shou Sugi Ban woods; Google Nest smart thermostats; Ethnicraft beds with organic latex mattresses and Coyuchi linens; and art and handicrafts from local and Mexican artisans. Mani-pedis use vegan Sundays polish, cleaning products are plant-based and sage is burnt in rooms to purify them. When it comes to dining, all ingredients are sourced from local farms, makers and markets; waste is composted; and a small kitchen garden provides herbs and fruit. And so you can do your bit, there are recycling bins placed around the hotel.

Food and Drink

Photos Twelve Senses Retreat food and drink

Top Table

You can either take breakfast settled on your sun-kissed balcony’s Acapulco chairs (or swaying on the hammock for two if you’re staying in Air), or on the roof deck. We prefer in-room privacy.

Dress Code

Follow the hotel’s ethical example, sporting natural materials, sustainable brands and pre-loved wares.

Hotel restaurant

Days don’t just start with sun salutations and intention-setting here – they also kick off with a good nourishing. Twelve Senses only serves breakfast, but they make it count and change it from day to day, with artisan breads from local bakery Prager Brothers, boxes laden with fruit and veggies from Garden of Eden Organics and Coastal Roots Farm, coffee from Encinitas fave Ironsmith, and figs, passion fruit and herbs from the hotel’s own garden. Expect avo on toast with poached eggs, colourful berry mixes, wake-up shots and granola and yoghurt bowls, plus some vegan and gluten-free options.

Hotel bar

The roof terrace overlooks lush plantings of palms and fragrant trees and out over the city to the coast. Yet the space feels intimate, with just four tables and black wicker chairs, and a cosy corner sofa. There are hard and soft drinks (including a complimentary half bottle of wine) in your minibar which you can bring up here, or you can BYOB, and there’s an alfresco kitchen on the roof which can be used for private events.

Last orders

Breakfast baskets are dropped at your door between 8am and 10am.

Room service

Just breakfast; a menu will be left out with choices for the next morning. If you order take-out, there’s cutlery and crockery to borrow, and you can chill your drinks with the ice machine on the roof.


Photos Twelve Senses Retreat location
Twelve Senses Retreat
1004 Nardo Road
United States

Twelve Senses Retreat sits close to the coast in free-spirited city Encinitas, a half-hour drive north of San Diego and a 10-minute drive from surf hotspot Swami’s Beach.


The closest airport is San Diego International, a 30-minute drive away (longer during commuting hours). The hotel can help to book transfers (in a limo if you’re feeling particularly fly), or there are plenty of Ubers and Lyfts that’ll go the distance (prices one-way range from $70 to $100).


Encinitas is the closest rail station, a five-minute drive away, or Solanas Beach is a 10-minute drive. Both are on the NCTD Coaster line, which runs from San Diego to Oceanside, where you can transfer to the Inland Empire Orange County line if you’re planning to Amtrak it across state. Transfers can be arranged from both stations (with 24 hours’ notice), for $15 from Encinitas and $25 from Solanas Beach.


Encinitas might lie close to one of America’s great coastal highways (the legendary 101), but it’s one of the more compact, walkable cities on the west coast, especially if you’re as Earth-kind as the hotel, who can arrange bike hire ($25 a day) too. However, it’s hard to resist the call of the blacktop, especially along this On the Road stretch, and a car will make exploring more efficient; rentals can be picked up in San Diego and there are free parking spaces on the hotel driveway.

Worth getting out of bed for

Encinitas, set atop the gorgeous flocked cliffs of SoCal’s golden-sand coastline, rides the laidback ‘tude of Sixties surf culture like a barrelling wave. Concurrently, the hippies who settled here have left a strong heritage that’s more enchanting than eye-rolling. Twelve Senses Retreat has an especially warm aura, unsurprisingly as everything, from the beds you sleep in to the day-to-day pastimes are designed to keep you and the Earth in good spiritual health. Book a private yoga class (choose from vinyasa flow, restorative flow or kundalini), let soundwaves wash restoratively over you in singing-bowl sessions, get a good grounding in, well, grounding yourself, partake in reiki or meditation, have your tarot read (seasonal), or get hands-on healing with the hotel’s trusted practitioner of integrative energy therapy. Owner Anke Bodack comes from a design background and the thoughtfulness of Twelve Sense’s materials, operation and style warrant a guided tour, where you’ll learn about its sustainability efforts and can even take names of vendors if you’re thinking of going greener, too. For surf and paddleboard lessons with instructor Daniel, Swami’s and Moonlight beaches are both about a 10-minute drive or e-bike away (the hotel can arrange hire for $25 a day). Canyon hikes accompanied by goats, a visit to the Butterfly Farms, or meandering past the koi ponds, prayer nooks and babbling streams of the Meditation Gardens will put you further into the chill-out zone. It’s also the site of the Self-Realization Fellowship, which educates about the teachings of guru Paramahansa Yogananda, a larger-than-life figure in the city’s history; and around the time he built his – now gone – temple, La Paloma Theatre was one of the first cinemas to show ‘talkies’. A delightful vintage building, it still screens classic and indie films today.

Local restaurants

In the Cali sweet spot for fine produce – by coast, farmland and rolling vineyards – Encinitas isn’t short of superlative dining spots. Celebrity chefs have taken a shine to its sunny nature; take Vaga from chef Claudette Zepeda, which offers ‘wanderlust’ cuisine, with a menu of hamachi crudo flavoured with beet, pomegranate and yuzu kosho; roasted bone marrow with tomatillo sambal and harissa bacon jam; and kurobuta pork chop with mole sauce and green apple. Or Herb & Sea from Top Chef finalist Brian Malarkey, which serves top catches at the oyster bar and in Med-style meals, alongside the likes of fig and fontina pizza or steak in a sherry demi-glace. Thai eatery Birdseye Kitchen gets flamboyant with flavour in dishes such as Lao sausage with bang-bang sauce, shrimp tamarind-coconut curry, and lemongrass-infused broths. Hit up Urbn pizza for pies drizzled in bourbon barbecue sauce or topped with gouda and garlic-chicken alfredo; and go south of the border (or at least to Baja) for a shot-fuelled date night at Death by Tequila, where the many salsas, zingy oysters and ceviches, and the carne asada and carnitas will give you life. 

Local cafés

If you like the Ironsmith coffee left in your room at Twelve Senses, why not grab a brew from the source in the Brooklyn-style café with its bean-savant baristas. Complete your morning kick start with something sweet from VG Donuts, who have glazes, sprinkles and nuts galore, plus fruity pastries, cookies and wedges of pie. And for lunches of stacked sandwiches, biker-themed Moto Deli knows how to satisfy in bread.

Local bars

Grape? Grain? Tequila? Encinitas’ drinking scene has got you covered. Beer novices and nerds are welcome at Culture Brewing Co, where pilsners, goses, IPAs and sours flow from the taps. And keep an eye out for yoga sessions and silent discos. For something vine-r, Solterra Winery has very drinkable bottles from Cali Wine Country, San Diego County and Baja, and for cocktails, Twenties-themed drinkery the Roxy holds a spirits-sloshed happy hour(s) (Tuesdays to Sundays, 3pm to 6pm), tequila Tuesdays with shots of Casamigos, and champagne brunches. We like their blast-from-the-past libations such as Giggle Water with rye, rosemary-honey syrup and lemon; and Clip Joint, with coconut rum, elderflower liqueur and lime.


Photos Twelve Senses Retreat reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this spirit-stirring hideaway in Encinitas and unpacked their bundles of sage and travel-size essential oils, a full account of their self-reflecting sojourn will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Twelve Senses Retreat in SoCal…

We thought the senses ended after sight, smell, taste, touch, sound and seeing ghosts, but 19th-century philosopher Rudolph Steiner has doubled down on our range of experience, throwing the likes of equilibrium, ego, thought and more into the mix. Prepare to feel the full spectrum at Twelve Senses Retreat, a holistic bed and breakfast in California’s laidback beach town and surf haven Encinitas. Owner Anke Bodack has used her design background to convert her chic modernist home (you can spy it by its sultry charcoal-hued frontage) into an authentic safe space which puts sustainability first. Full solar power, a wholly vegan suite, recycled and upcycled materials, all-natural accessories, and artisanal handicrafts (Mexican pottery, paintings infused with energy-giving crystals) make the four rooms – each styled around an element – shining eco-chic examples. And activities such as reiki, sound healing and integrative energy therapy show the hotel’s sincere striving for wellness. So, if you need your spirits lifted, head cleared and a little detoxifying, then come to your senses (all twelve of them) at this soothing spot.

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Price per night from $399.96