Leave the madness of LA behind. Three-and-a-half hours' drive from the City of Angels is the serenity of Southern California - think wide-open spaces and big sky.

The all-suite, five-star Rancho Valencia is snuggled away in 45 acres of olive groves and gardens. All roads on the estate lead to the Club House. Here, you'll find The Pony Room bar - a nod to the region's equestrian heritage - and the elegant-cosy Veladora restaurant, with its mammoth open fire and views of the surrounding canyons. Once you've eaten breakfast here - mini pastry appetisers followed by Huevos Rancheros (eggs, black beans, bacon, tortilla, salsa and guacamole) - you'll definitely need a mid-morning nap.

Each suite is designed to be as homely as possible; kitchens, log fires, secluded patios (most with plunge pool and outdoor fire), and you wake each morning to fresh OJ. Fitness and wellbeing are big here. Along with 18 tennis courts, you'll find a 'floating' yoga studio, croquet lawn, bike hire and Pilates classes. Last night's overindulgence - sampling the 100 varieties of tequila with lobster burger chasers - will be all but forgotten with a sweep of a racket!

WOW FACTOR The Sixth Sense Signature Ritual at The Spa. A fully naked soak in a (very private) al-fresco rolltop bath followed by a blissful 90-minute massage with myrtle, jojoba, avocado and olive oils.

GO A suite costs from £415 www.ranchovalencia.com