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Monday, July 22, 2024

Twelve Senses: A Delightfully Conscious Retreat

By Dorie Morales


As a German woman who made her way to the U.S. in 1996, friends of Anke Bodack will say that everything she experienced in her life perfectly positioned her to create the Twelves Senses retreat — a small but exceptional holistic wellness getaway located in Encinitas, California. 

Bodack grew up with parents who enjoyed hosting people in their home — not to make money but to meet people. Her father traveled often by train and was frequently known to tell the people he met aboard that they could stay at his home upon arriving at their destination. Bodack’s mother would cook and play the role of hostess. Once stateside, Bodack’s life was full of twists and turns and took her on a path from New York to California, doing color and material design for various automakers. Eventually, Bodack opened her own design firm but found the life of an executive to be less fulfilling than what she’d imagined. 

Eventually, she found inspiration through a trip to Mexico in which she visited an incredible B&B where the owners made everything from scratch. That experience led her to begin the journey of looking for properties that she, herself, could develop into a retreat. When her search continued to come up short, her son suggested that she create a B&B within their very own home. And that’s what she did. 


A Remodel and a Dream

Encinitas is a popular beach town close to Swami Beach — a world famous surfing destination with a laid back atmosphere where many come to experience sun, surf, and a renewed sense of self. To create the retreat, Bodack refinanced her 1950s-era home in 2019 and took money out of her retirement savings — a move that would make anyone uneasy. A full two-thirds of the home was remodeled to turn it into Twelve Senses, all while Bodack and her son were living in the house. 

Bodack worked with Alliance Green Builders on the project, who supported her vision to use sustainable materials and finishes. For the exterior, she chose Accoya from Delta Millworks — a type of acetylated wood that is ecologically friendly and doesn’t contain toxic substances. The wood throughout the property has been charred using an ancient Japanese method called Shou Sugi Ban to protect it from rot and fires, making it impervious to future damage. On the rooftop patio, guests may be interested to know that the tiles are made from reclaimed ocean plastic. 


What Are the 12 Senses?

Bodack chose the name Twelve Senses based on the 12 Senses philosophy created by 19th century philosopher and architect Rudolf Steiner. 

She says, “I chose it because I have always been interested in design on a multi sensory level.”

An intentional way of living that expands far beyond traditional knowledge of the most common five senses, Steiner’s approach considers the way the soul experiences the external world: touch, life sense, self-movement, balance, smell, taste, sight, temperature, hearing, speech, thought, and ego. 

“The Twelve Senses are best experienced in nature, and since sustainability has been my passion in my design career from the beginning, it felt like full circle for the guest to be invigorating and replenishing their senses, just like they would in nature,” says Bodack.


Bringing Consciousness to the 12 Senses

When designing the rooms at Twelve Senses, Bodack designed four rooms with the elements of nature in mind. Drawing on her previous design experience with autos, she even utilized a few of her favorite recycled materials that she incorporated into vehicles. Her intention in the design of each room is as obvious as it is beautiful. The Fire Room addresses the senses of identity, movement and temperature, utilizing dark, rich colors to invoke feelings of transformation. The property’s Earth Room is based on Steiner’s principles of movement, taste, and speech. Natural tones abound in the space, invoking feelings of restoration, nurturing, and grounding. Bodack’s Water Room focuses on the senses of sound, taste, and life. Here, beautiful aqua blue tones envelop guests to provide a restorative, calming, and peaceful experience. Finally, Twelve Senses’ Air Room brings to life the senses of thought, balance, and smell. Connected to our very breath, air is cleansing and restorative. This special room is made with vegan materials and surrounds guests with a peaceful color palette using natural materials and various shades of white and cream.


Amenities at Twelve Senses

Within the rooms, guests can catch a wonderful night’s sleep on Coyuchi organic crinkled percale sheets, then wake to restorative sessions of yoga and interactive sound healing. Of course, traditional resort amenities like massages, manicures, and facials are available, as well. 

If you’re feeling peckish, the food at Twelve Senses is not to be missed and reflects whatever is in season. Sourced mostly from local farms, bakeries, and suppliers, each dish is made with love, and the menu, which includes vegan and gluten-free options, changes daily.


Energy Saving in Encinitas

Twelve Senses doesn’t just talk about sustainability — it’s built into everyday life at the retreat. Two solar photovoltaic systems generate on-site renewable electricity, cellulose insulation made with 85% recycled paper mitigates temperature changes and improves energy savings, the use of AeroBarrier envelope sealing within the construction increases energy efficiency, comfort, and air quality, and Nest thermostats provide smart controls to reduce the load on heating and cooling systems within the property.

Staying at Twelve Senses

We highly recommend staying with Twelve Senses and simultaneously supporting its partnership with Kind Traveler to give back to the Changing Tides foundation. With a $10 donation, you’ll receive an average of $44 off the going nightly rate. 

For more information, visit www.kindtraveler.com/content/twelve-senses-retreat.


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