Monday, September 28, 2009

To Spa or Not to Spa

That is NOT even a question!

Vermont Vibes Spa Disclaimer: Please understand that a pure, "spa experience" that reflects the photos you see which describe a spa experience cost money! The facilities cost money, the wide array of treatments and their trained practitioners cost money, and to be able to operate them at resorts for day spa packages without the guarantee of hotel accommodations cost money as well! I will put it in terms Vermont Vibers can relate too - if you buy the cheap hiking boots or the cheap air mattress, they break and pop before you even have the chance to break them in. Cheap spa packages completely destroy the whole concept of a spa experience. Plus, if everyone had a spa day whenever they wanted, the experience would be dumb. Too many people, loud people, not enough cucumbers, and an annoying experience. That is counterproductive to the whole purpose of a spa experience.

With that said, I highly suggest all Vermont Vibers take the splurge and have a spa day! Save a couple hundred bucks per person and treat yourself to a day living on the other side of your daily routine. You will love it and then will be committed to budgeting for it so a spa experience becomes a cost item, not a complaint.

The Mitch and I did it!!! The weekend before The Mitch started both work and grad school we took to getting pampered. Every week is like the start of some new chaos for me, so the timing made no difference for my spa-ness. We booked our spa day at Stoweflake a few weeks prior so we wouldn't have to deal with any stress of not being able to have the treatment we wanted on the day we wanted.

Friday night we each did one of our favorite foot spas while watching Netflix (we give Netflix 100 stars - LOVE IT!). This way we classified our feet for being able to step foot into a Vermont spa and it got us in the mood. Saturday we took a hike, did garden work, and spent quality time out in the Vermont outdoors. Saturday night we listened to the spa channel on internet radio, made a very healthy dinner, and went to bed early so we could fully embrace our spa experience. Sunday morning we woke early, took a power walk, and had a healthy breakfast. These simple choices of making our weekend focused on our health and well being cost us no money to this point and we already felt wonderful and relaxed. We were ready to take it up a level and really indulge...

Off to Stowe - we arrived at Stoweflake several hours before our treatments so we could enjoy the facilities. We both enjoyed the lavish changing rooms and I rocked the cucumbers! We each spent quiet time by ourselves before meeting in the coed spa room. In addition to cucumbers, I enjoyed spending time in the hot tub, steam room, and my personal long time favorite - the sauna. There was no one in there and I had the whole facility to myself which was absolutely fantastic. The Mitch got a little lost in the men's area, but managed to find his way to the coed area where we both enjoyed the waterfall pool and then languished in the mineral bath. We both rested and neglected our reading on the lounge chairs and taking photos until it was time for our treatments...

The Mitch had the Men's Eucalyptus Wrap and I opted for the Reiki. Both treatments were amazing an while I know I should explore other treatments in the future, I really love reiki. The Mitch is a little more adventuresome than me - maybe he needs the Mountain Man Massage. Following our treatments, we both spent more time in the changing rooms for more hot tubbing, steam rooming and of course the sauna! I then fully enjoyed the women's shower facilities (The Mitch said he enjoyed the men's as well) and we met back in the lobby to head off for a spa dinner. After a cleansing weekend like that, the only food I can imagine eating is sushi, so we went to the Hani Hibachi Japanese Steak House in Stowe (The Mitch gets the steak - he is anti-sushi - sigh). Perfect ending to our spa weekend.

Spa Suggestions:

There are multiple levels of spa experiences in Vermont, but my suggestions for a true "spa" indulgence include:

The Spa at Stoweflake - With a side entrance solely to the spa and all of the facilities, Stoweflake is divine for a full day of spa and their treatment selections are fun to choose from and include fascinating options such as sound therapy.

Topnotch Resort & Spa - Located on it's own island of sorts deep in the mountains of Stowe, I would have to say an overnight experience would definitely enhance a spa day if for nothing else but to see the sun both set and rise in this glorious mountain notch.

The Spa at Equinox - While the treatment lists are not as extensive and diverse as those in Stowe, the Equinox completes the gentile Vermont image of a sprawling estate with the spa in its own building and is certainly the day spa outing option for those in Southern Vermont.

Spa at The Essex - Moving its way into Vermont's premier spa options with an amazing marketing force, The Essex offers some intriguing spa options with a unique culinary twist. I haven't checked out The Essex beyond large events, but it's definitely offering some performances on Vermont's spa channel.

Stepping Stone Spa & Wellness Center - I'm always intrigued by the Northeast Kingdom's twists on the rest of Vermont's intriguing experiences. And the spa department does not disappoint. I've come across the Stepping Stone Spa & Wellness Center and thought I would share. While I haven't been there in person, it does seem to offer the unique spa experience that is in line with the magical Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

In closure, while the Vermont Vibes Blog is dedicated to backroad experiences in Vermont (including those at the Charlotte Farmhouse), sometimes a pampering is necessary to your well being no matter where you live and it's always an eye opener to see what the folks I pass in the Vibe spend their money on!

Love and Light!

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