I first experienced Sun Valley Idaho
15 or so years ago during a memorable Idaho – Montana – Utah
trip. Who knew about Idaho? I guess that’s one of the reasons that while Sun Valley might not quite a ‘kept secret’, it still gets more attention from Hollywood types, those who have second homes there and well, ski-aholics. The truth is that Sun Valley has a totally different vibe from Tahoe, Aspen and Vail, which all have exclusive resorts and plenty to do on or off ski season.
Above, The Sun Valley Lodge
Forward wind the clock to last year, my first return to Idaho since that road trip so many years ago. It started in Boise where I got to visit an old friend who moved there from Phoenix and wound up in Sun Valley, where the DENT Conference
was being hosted for its second year, an event which has not only grown on me, but its community integrates you in a way that feels like family, all while educating you and leading you through the world of technology and innovation. Read my write up on last year’s DENT Conference
is a rarity among European hotels in that it is a “certified”
organic hotel, along with other things, houses vegan and vegetarian restaurant Bardot Bistro
on the ground floor. As you enter, you feel as if you’ve entered a romantic and dreamy lounge of sorts, not necessarily a hotel and suddenly you find that you want to bury yourself in one of their comfy chairs behind one of their white sheer curtains so you can get lost for awhile.
Behind the scenes, the raison d’etre for this property is all about wellness and clean living despite the fact that its home is in the Friedrichshain district of East Berlin, which is central to the artistic funky side of Berlin more than the yoginis. That said, I was astonished how many yoga studios, or at the very least, signs, I saw throughout Berlin, both east and west.
The concept started as far back as 2004 when Naturalis GmbH was founded as a health education-training centre in Berlin. Branches were later established in Munich (2006), Frankfurt (2008), and Hamburg (2010) and with its 2012 expansion, Almodóvar Hotel was launched. Another cool factoid about the hotel is that of a…
After a week at the El Conquistador Resort
in Puerto Rico
, I wasn’t quite ready to come back to reality. While this Waldorf Astoria
property does have a top notch spa with a myriad of services available, the ‘spa experience’
extends far behind the spa. The resort embraces wellness, from it’s salad and juice offerings on their restaurant menus to the yoga classes you can do on-site.
What’s so lovely about the yoga classes is where they hold them. When I was told to meet across from the spa for our class in the Casita Garden
, I didn’t realize that the class would be set up just above the driving range of their stunning award-winning par 72 Arthur Hills
golf course. In addition to yoga, they have programs and fitness services, including Circuit Training (there’s a gym with equipment on-site)
, a fitness assessment, cycling, synrgy, TRX anti-gravity training, and meditation.
Happy feet after a fabulous yoga session in the Caribbean sun. For those who love yoga, you might also be interested in their wellness retreats, which include a Silent Meditation Hike in El Yunque Rainforest,
Paddle Board Yoga…
I hadn’t been back to Providence Rhode Island
in quite some time since leaving the East Coast. When I lived in Boston of course, it was an easy trek to Providence or Newport, great summer and fall weekend getaways, and we made those frequently enough, particularly during my first few years in the Boston area.
It was a fun filled trip in April making that NYC — Providence – New Haven
loop and given that our time was mostly focused on family adventures, getting to a couple of spas was more than just a relaxing and welcome retreat.
We stayed at the Marriott Downtown
in Providence and sometimes a Marriott experience is outstanding and other times a little more average depending on the location, but the Providence location was definitely a stand-out (see my write-up
I was astonished by how many on-site services they offered that especially catered to families — pool, gym, adjoining rooms, high end multimedia system in the rooms, etc etc. What I didn’t expect above and beyond that was a full service spa (and salon)
on the grounds, where you can pretty much sign up for any treatment you’re craving at a particular time.
Nestled within a natural arena of vermillion-colored rock formations, the Enchantment Resort
has a sense of rugged beauty about it from the surrounding Boynton Canyon
in Sedona Arizona
, yet is loaded with 5 star luxury on its grounds in a myriad of ways. The architecture is infused with nature, putting you in just the right mood to lap up a l’il pampering. Within those natural yet luxurious tentacles lies its on-site spa, Mii Amo
, which has all the extras and trimmings you need to relax and get rejuvenated.
Even if you opt out of a traditional spa treatment, you can enjoy the spa area, which is surrounded by an indoor pool area, and relaxing cushions facing windows to the mountains, where you can take a nap, sip lemon water or tea and read a novel.
The waters are heated and….relaxing and all the amenities you could ever hope to need or want, are at your disposal.
Inside, the treatment rooms race Boynton Canyon, so you can never escape from the healing nature of the red rock formations that make Sedona such a healing center.
Touted as the home of the world’s only hot springs with four kinds of mineral waters, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa Resort
is roughly 31.7 miles from Abiquiu, New Mexico, off what locals refer to as the Low Road (opposed to the High Road, which is the route we took to get to Taos Ski Valley – be sure to read my article on that stunning drive, which is packed with tons of great photos).
Set in a 1916 mission-style building, the property’s simple hotel rooms offer en suite bathrooms (without showers). While the rooms may be somewhat basic, they do have balconies and you can get some rooms (and suites of course)
that have access to a private Kiva soaking pool. The hotel rooms however are not your primary reason for staying at Ojo Caliente.
The views are spectacular regardless of what time of year you’re there (we were there in January)
and the place is a blend of a spiritual and wellness retreat and a resort getaway in the mountains.
While the property is somewhat remote on the end of a side road which almost feels like a…
When you think of Arkansas
as an avid traveler, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t luxury spa treatments. Since we were already planning to spend time in Hot Springs Arkansas
, which has a rich historical past and boasts an entire drag dedicated to thermal water bathhouses and spas, we learned about the Mountain Harbor Resort and Turtle Cove Spa
from locals, roughly an hour and a half leisurely drive away.
For nature lovers who also like to dip their toe in luxury from time-to-time, this is the perfect oasis to spend time on your alone for pure relaxation, as a romantic getaway or with your family — they cater to all three.
The spa itself sits on one side of the massive property and is surrounded by luscious forest and a gigantic lake where you can boat or swim. It has its own parking and entrance area, which is a lovely blend of rustic and luxury combined. Depending on the season, you could be greeted with flowering trees as well, as you walk through its welcoming entryway that is coated with green ivy.
Here, they have thought of…
Driving through America’s middle allows you to take several routes, the classic Route 66 being one of those. Given that it was winter, we geared our journey a little further south than we otherwise might knowing that I wanted to hit Arkansas on the way. Why? I have always been intrigued by Arkansas and figured it would be a blend of midwest and southern hospitality, which frankly was a fairly accurate experience of our time there.
I learned about Hot Springs not from online research, but from looking at an old fashioned map we got from AAA. My priority was finding foodie hot spots or places that focused on wellness and Hot Springs fell into the latter category. The town is known for its traditional hot springs bath houses, Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa
, being the oldest known one in the city and where we stayed for a few days while in Hot Springs.
The Arlington is also the largest hotel in Arkansas with almost 500 rooms and suites. In existence since 1875, think old classic style buried deep in history, with chandeliers in the lobby and hotel rooms, a baby grand piano in the dining room and live entertainment on some…
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