The Best Spas Ever
May 16, 2011 10:27 AM Subscribe
I just spent a day at the spa at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. Help me find similar spas... anywhere.
posted by jph to travel & transportation around Asheville, NC (7 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
The spa at the Grove Park Inn is what I would consider the peak of luxury and relaxation. If this is a one-of-a-kind experience, I'll happily go back to Asheville, but I'd love to hit just about any similar spa, anywhere I can find it.
Here's the Grove Park experience: A concierge walks you past the cafe to the locker room and assigns you a locker, and invites you to change into your swimsuit and fluffy robe. He gives you a tour of the locker room, which includes private showers, a bathroom, and everything you might need for grooming (shampoo, razors/cream, mouthwash, cotton swabs, combs, blow dryers, lotion, etc). He then walks you out to the quiet men's (or women's) fireside lounge, which has windows, coffee, tea, water and snacks, and shows you the adjoining single-sex patio outside. He takes you down through a series of caves(!) to the zen rock garden where you can rake your own sand designs and the dry (eucalyptus infused) sauna, the contrast pools, and the steam room. As he walks you out, he shows you the iced peppermint handtowels that you can use to refresh yourself after a hot lurk in the steamy part of the caves. He then takes you out to the co-ed common area - a wide, high hall still done to resemble caves - with mineral baths, the lap pool, the massaging waterfalls and an entrance to the outdoor whirlpool and fireplaces overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. The pools are a comfortable temperature and aren't overcrowded. Decorative waterfalls rush down as a centerpiece in the room. When you submerge yourself in the mineral and lap pools, you find that they've piped music in underwater and you find yourself suddenly sad that you don't have gills so that you can go on your own little Jacques Cousteau adventure. You soak for a couple hours or a couple minutes or a year, you can't tell because there are precious few clocks and you've been forbidden access to your cell phone. And you go lounge around in the sun. Or you go and sit by the fire and read a book and drink coffee. Eventually, when your appointment time is nearing, you find your way to the lounge and wait for your therapist and you're taken away to a private wing for your massage or whatever you're getting done.
Are there similarly amazing spas out there? Entrance for a day (8am to 9pm) is $55, but I was happy to pay $130 and get a massage as well as a relaxing day in the pools and lounges (which included gratuity and facilities fees). I don't care where a spa like this is (though, Houston would be a total jackpot), I just want something as amazing and I'll happily build a trip around it.