Photo credit: tablehopper
Have you ever been somewhere for the first time, and you got so mad at yourself for not having gone there sooner? Experiencing my first mud bath at ~INDIAN SPRINGS~ in Calistoga California was like that. As soon as I pulled up to the spa—with its charming Mission Revival historic building, palm trees, and punchy orange table umbrellas—I felt like I was visiting a resort in Palm Springs that had been magically dropped down into Calistoga.
Talking to some of my long-term San Francisco friends, they remember when it was Pacheteau Baths, up until 1988, when Pat and John Merchant bought the property and renamed it Indian Springs. But the history of this land stretches back 8,000 years, when the Wapoo Indians settled here, creating sweat lodges and enjoying the mineral waters.
It’s pretty remarkable: the Indian Springs property has four geysers, and all the volcanic ash they use for the mud baths is from the property as well. Back when Sam Brannan owned all of upper Napa Valley, he envisioned the area as a resort. He built the original spa, mud baths, pool, and a racetrack—in 1861! Leland…
While I had visited Lake Placid New York
a few times as a child, and grew up in the Adirondacks
, I hadn’t recalled the name Mirror Lake
when I began to do my research on the area for a family stay this past summer. What’s odd about this is that while Lake Placid is the bigger and more renowned lake in the village of Lake Placid, the real gem of the area in my opinion is the smaller, quieter and more serene Mirror Lake,
which runs along Lake Placid’s main drag on one side. A great walk to do in fact is to circle the lake by foot as there are plenty of great views and nature to take in en route.
This precious lake has a few great things going for it — its water is clear and clean, which is partly because they bring crushed limestone into the lake each Spring to help keep it clean, which helps counteract the effects of acid rain, a big problem in the Adirondack Park. It’s also not very deep, making for warmer swimming than some of the deepest lakes in the region. Unlike Lake Placid, they don’t allow motorboats on the lake,…
Located on acres of land that also houses an 18 hole golf course in rural Maryland but less than an hour’s drive from Baltimore Maryland
, you’ll find the Turf Valley Spa & Golf Resort,
which has an on-site spa that exceeded my expectations. No two spas are alike as regular spa visitors know — the ambiance, the treatment experience and the service are divided into equal parts for me and if one is out of sync, you leave unhappy, especially at a 4 or 5 star resort.
What I loved most about the spa was the ambiance — warm inviting colors warm your soul as you walk through the doors, from the lobby to the sitting room.
While they had plenty of massage and special body treatments on offer, I opted for a facial instead and am glad I did. My esthetician was fabulous, and with years of experience, was able to customize one for me despite what they had on the menu. Of course, given how much travel I do and sun I take in, I wanted an antioxidizing and anti-aging treatment.
One of their best facials for this is one that infuses your skin cells…
I’m not sure we would have discovered Haven on the Lake
if it weren’t for our Tourism Board pals who suggested we must experience the place given our increased coverage of wellness. We were traveling down the Eastern Coast in late August, making a stop in Baltimore and later, Columbia
, and this yogi, pilates and wellness gem of a spot is only a stone’s throw away, a mere 20 or so miles from Baltimore.
We learned fairly early on that Haven on the Lake’s biggest draw is pilates since they have great equipment and fabulous instructors on-site. The pool of course is oh so lovely and where I spent most of time, migrating back and forth between the main pool and the over-sized hot tub.
They have something called HEALING ENVIRONMENTS
at Haven on the Lake, which btw, is indeed on a lake, on the ground floor of a Whole Foods, which is convenient stop after your classes. KidSpace offers an interactive play area at the resort with opportunities for both individual and group participation so your kids can “play” while you do.
The healing environments include the following:
When I did my scouting of upstate New York gems for the summer, I ran across Whiteface Lodge
in Lake Placid
and could have sworn we had dinner there many moons ago as a child. It could be that there was a lodge with a similar name but the truth is, the lodge hasn’t been around for that long.
Above, private access to Lake Placid via their Canoe Club, a five minute drive from the hotel property – courtesy of the hotel.
It was originally created to be provide that upscale feel in the heart of an old Adirondack town with great skiing nearby. The upscale, all-suite lodge is only one mile from the shores of Lake Placid which is fabulous for summer and fall visitors and 22 miles from the ski slopes of Whiteface Mountain
. Well positioned in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Mountains
and tucked into the picturesque woodlands of the town that was once home to two Winter Olympics games (1932 and 1980), the latter of which I came as a child to see a bobsledding race.
With a 5-6 hour drive from New York City or Boston, it’s not…
We had an incredible stay at Mirror Lake Inn
this past summer and during that stay, I tried out their top notch spa in the middle of paddle board and kayak spins on the lake. The resort faces the glorious Mirror Lake
which is serene even when it’s windy out, so much so that you’ll find yourself having one meditative moment after another. Combine a warm and classic meets rustic and luxury inn with stunning views of a calming lake and you have a perfect wellness travel escape in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains.
This AAA Four-Diamond property gets many of its kudos no doubt for its stunning views of the lake, but rest assured that their exceptionally friendly service and the fine touches inside the rooms deserve a huge call out as does its spa which is on the ground floor of the inn, below the lobby area where you can get warm homemade cookies and tea anytime of day.
Above photo credit, Mirror Lake Inn.
There are a variety of treatments you can choose, from body wraps and massages to facials and customized deals. All treatments include exclusive use of their…
Who doesn’t love a luxurious spa treatment from time-to-time? And, truth be told, body work is something that your body craves — touch is essential to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Massage moves toxins through our bodies and a pampering environment and ambiance helps us to relax and forget about our stresses for awhile. What a better place to get a l’il pampering than a Four Seasons property? On an East Coast jaunt last month, we had the opportunity to experience the Four Seasons Baltimore
, which sits on the fabulous harbor, all of which boasts glorious views. (be sure to read my write-up
As part of that experience, I had a spa treatment while on-site, which couldn’t have been a perfect way to wind down the day. Since it was summer, we spent a lot of time on the water, whether that be on a harbor cruise, a sailboat or in the pool (the Four Seasons has a fabulous outdoor pool and jacuzzi btw), so given the circumstances, it didn’t make sense to have a facial. Since I’ve been testing out a number of massages lately (from east coast to west coast of the states, the…
Who doesn’t want to lap up a l’il luxury when they’re on vacation? One of the things I love about the Northeast is its tradition and the fact that so many of the luxury hotels and establishments are housed in historical brick buildings and have a sense of grace and charm that so many modern hotels lack. We were fortunate enough to spend time at The Rittenhouse Hotel
on a recent trip East where we not only dined well (Lacroix is suburb) and slept well (decadence at its best), but was rejuvenated at their luxury spa.
The hotel and spa is located on a square, which was named after celebrated Philadelphian David Rittenhouse
, and its modern layout was completed in 1913 to the design of Beaux-Arts architect Paul Cret although I’d call it an updated classic look, where you still feel East Coast elegance all around you. Apparently, the Academy of Notre Dame was also established there. Imagine a spa among such history?
The Rittenhouse Spa & Club
is its official name and beyond their luxurious spa and spa services, they have a gym and health club stocked with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment, a range of top-tier cardio machines…
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