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…
If you have Nashville Tennessee
on your travel bucket list, chances are you are either a country or rock music fan or a Southern food aficionado, or perhaps a combination of both. I probably fall into the former category more than the latter, and while I’d argue that I subscribe to the general foodie tribe, I have never been a Southern cuisine expert. Nashville was about to change that. The historical city was also about to teach me a bit about Southern hospitality, service and luxury.
The glorious and posh Omni Hotel
in downtown Nashville, boasts a number of decadent events throughout the year – there was a local soiree happening the evening I hung out at its local bar, which drew local politicians, entrepreneurs and music celebs. Three hours earlier, I was upstairs at the Mokara Spa
getting a treatment, which was sure to put me in the mood for a night of relaxation and fun.
Like most spas, they offer traditional treatments like Swedish, Sports, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone and Maternity massages, but they also offered a massage called the classic Mokara Massage. Here, you can customize depending on your specific needs, whether you are…
As part of our Omni Homestead
experience in Hot Springs Virginia
, we headed to the nearby Jefferson Pools
in Warm Springs
(just down the road
), which is a mystical and magical place where you can soak in naturally warm waters. It’s more than a soaking bath however as it boasts so much history that you’ll feel as you’ve gone far, far back in time.
The Jefferson Pools are actually part of the Omni Homestead although it’s roughly a 15 minute drive to get there from the main resort. Two major springs from the Allegheny Mountains flow through the property which feed the Jefferson Pools; the springs are naturally heated and do not require any chemical treatments.
Unaffected by changes of the seasons, the waters remain at a natural body temperature all year and flow at the astounding rate of 1,700,000 gallons per day. The waters have an unusually high level of mineral content and are sulfur based, unlike the Omni Homestead pools, which are magnesium based. The water is so crystal clear that a book can be read through them.
What makes them so historical and legendary…
Driving into rural Virginia
after the long haul from the cloudy and traffic-ingested Bronx
was a welcome retreat. It was a cold January day and the only thing to kick our trip into gear were the two piping hot cups of coffee from the Bruckner Boulevard Dunkin Donuts, the very last stop before we said adios to the Big Apple.
After four smokestack sitings from factories along the way in Newark and Covington and serenly beautiful skies in Maryland and West Virginia as the sun began to set, the rolling hills and loveliness of Virginia presented themselves to us. Alas, we were getting close. Hot Springs Virginia couldn’t have been a more perfect choice for the first stop on our treasured cross country trip from New York to California. It is surrounded by healing baths and hot springs, rolling hills where deer and horses graze and illuminating skies.
In the heart of it all is the classically traditional Omni Homestead property, which lies sprawling across a few hundred acres.
Historically rich in every way, most notably in its antiquated southern decor, you can almost feel Thomas Jefferson emanating through the walls. It…
Some people’s idea of the perfect vacation involves sea, sun and beach life. Others prefer culture; cities, dining and museums. Still others live for adventure travel, abseiling and white water rafting their way through the world.
But one of the most rejuvenating kinds of vacation is one focussed on relaxation, on calming the mind and centring the body. You’ve probably read about the many yoga retreats available around the world, but have you ever thought of paying visit to an ashram? While the term once referred only to a spiritual retreat or monastery, the term ‘ashram’ is now used for a range of Hindu or Buddhist cultural centers where you can study and practice meditation, yoga and music. These oases of meditation and spirituality are a balm for the mind, body and soul.
Here are ten of the world’s best ashram experiences:
Photo courtesy of Sacred Earth Journeys.
1. Explore Sacred South India
Venture into the lush, colorful lands of Southern India with this 15-day Sacred Earth tour. Blending yoga, spirituality and sightseeing, the trip features a visit…
I’ve stayed at about ten Four Seasons properties over the years — see the write up on one of my most memorable stays at the Four Seasons
on the Big Island of Hawaii. Despite the fact that each resort is unique and has a broad range of styles, fans know what to expect regardless of where they are in the world.
Recently, I had an opportunity to stay at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado
in Santa Fe
, which is less than a half hour drive north of Santa Fe New Mexico. Because the resort is outside the city center, it has a rural desert feel to it as you approach its entrance and unlike every other Four Seasons resort I’ve experienced, it’s uncannily quiet when you arrive.
The rooms and suites are spread out across adobe-style two story buildings all of which have a natural exterior, allowing them to blend well into the desert-colored environment that surrounds the property. If you want a view, I’d recommend requesting a room on the second floor facing the mountains – the other benefit of course is that second floor rooms are much quieter, although noise is not really…
It’s time for you to stretch your limits. Here’s ten great yoga retreats that fuse flexibility, strength training and curative stretching with something else. Maybe you want to cultivate compassion by volunteering at an animal rescue center, conscious living with permaculture or awareness by giving a Thai massage. In 2015, take advantage of these amazing ways to jump start a year of wellness travel.
1) Yoga & Glow-in-the-dark Kayaking (Puerto Rico)
Visiting Vieques Island proves you can enter a whole new world without leaving the country. Travel eight miles off the coast of Puerto Rico for a totally different lifestyle. Not home to even a single traffic light, the local Viequense still travel by Jeep and horseback on the island’s Paso Fino horses.
Join the W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island for an exclusive three or five-day ENERGIZE yoga retreat with celebrity yoga teacher, Tara Stiles. Kick-start a healthier lifestyle with Strala yoga classes, wellness assessments, immersive nature escapes, cooking classes with the resort’s chef and more. While there, night kayak atop the bio-luminescent bay water that literally sparkles with light, as it’s filled with plankton that glow when disturbed. You can…
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