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October 21, 2021 –

When guests enter Golden Door, the San Marcos, California spa resort known worldwide for its “life-changing” wellness programming, the first scene they’ll encounter is a long wooden bridge under a canopy of leaves that runs straight and then makes a sharp left turn.

Guests are told that when they turn that corner, they’re leaving the stressors of the outside world behind.

Now, Singapore Airlines is working with Golden Door’s experts in mental and physical health to give travelers that same feeling as they board a plane and turn down the aisle to settle in for a long-haul flight.
The new Singapore Airlines partnership with Golden Door, announced Tuesday morning, includes new menus, in-flight exercises, and sleep education, and will launch on Los Angeles-to-Singapore (SQ37) flights in January before expanding to nonstop flights to Singapore from San Francisco, New York JFK, and Seattle.
But how do you take the magic cultivated across 600 acres of Southern California avocado and citrus groves, hiking trails, Japanese-inspired gardens, and biodynamic farmland, and translate it to a 50-square-foot first class suite 36,000 feet in the air?
The answer is multifaceted and requires experimentation between chefs, nutritionists, and personal trainers — but at the end of the day, it comes down to one simple concept: teaching passengers how to pause.
“You have the right to pause,” Kathy Van Ness, general manager and COO of Golden Door, said. “And that right will help you live longer.” Guests at Golden Door are there to take time out of their busy lives to care for their bodies and minds. And on a 17-hour-plus flight, travelers are afforded a similar opportunity to use a time out in their favor.
“We build our programs around the world’s longest flights… to have that time to dig into the content that Golden Door is creating,” Betty Wong, SIA’s divisional vice president of in-flight services and design, said.

While Frey grows his own ingredients in his fragrant on-site gardens, Singapore Airlines’ innovative use of aeroponic farming should leave little to be desired in the vegetable department. Using detoxifying combinations and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric, verbena, mint, and olive oil, the new wellness dishes are designed to satisfy but also pack in nutrients, helping ease the body into a long journey and new time zone.

Sample dishes include citrus grilled shrimp salad with honey-glazed mushrooms, blackberries, sourdough croutons, and balsamic ginger dressing as an appetizer; portobello meatballs and risotto with heirloom tomato sauce and wilted greens (a personal favorite) as a main course; oatmeal with goji berries, blueberries, quinoa, almonds, and honey drizzle for breakfast; and vegan coconut ice cream with mango for dessert.
At Golden Door, dinner is the main event that gets all 40 guests — mothers and daughters, CEOs and city dwellers, often times movie stars and media moguls — to gather together each day. On flights to Singapore, especially amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the social scene won’t be the same. Van Ness and her team are hopeful, however, that the feeling of rejuvenation upon departure will be.
“Our goal,” she said, “is to affect every single person inside that plane in a positive way.”
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