Please help me find a wellness escape where I can recover (East Coast)
November 16, 2013 1:41 PM   Subscribe

One of my oldest friends just died and I'm feeling serious Crohn's pain starting to creep up again, threatening my remission. Everything in my life right now is stressful and exhausting, and I know that if I do nothing I will have a full-bore flair on my hands by thanksgiving. I need help finding a health resort/ wellness retreat on the East Coast - optimally between DC and Boston. My wealthy uncle says money is no object, so my only real stipulation is somewhere that isn't too scary/isolated for a young woman alone.

My uncle says he will pay for anywhere I want irrespective of cost, except a canyon ranch property for some personal reason he won't discuss. I'm in Philadelphia and flying really exacerbates my GI issues, so I can't travel too far - NY, NJ, MD, DE, DC (and northern Virginia), PA, CT, RI, MA... potentially even VT, NH or southern Ontario for something really special.

Looking online, all the 'best of' places were out west, pretty much without exception. I feel like there must be some non-Canyon Ranch place on the East Coast with good atmosphere and activities/services, right?

I'd be so, so grateful for your help. I had active disease from the time I hit puberty to age 21, and remission is the best thing that's ever happened to me. It's given me my life back. And I'm terrified of going back to that bleak and painful place now that I've had a taste of freedom.

posted by howgenerica to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sorry about your friend and that you're going through this right now.

Have you seen Kripalu in the Berkshires (western MA)? They do an R&R Retreat as well as other wellness-related programs. They also have a digestive health program that a woman with Crohn's wrote about, though it looks like that's not until February. Reviews are mixed, as it sounds kind of stripped-down and not ultra-fancy, but I don't have any personal experience with it.
posted by dayintoday at 2:24 PM on November 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

My first Kripalu retreat is scheduled for next Spring, so I don't have personal experience (yet), but three of my closest friends all vouch for this place. Two went alone (the third with her mother) and felt very taken care of.

I would not describe it as bare-bones unless you stay in the dorms. One friend said it is a place where you can very much have the retreat you need to have - in other words, it is pretty customizable. She did say the food was amazing at every single meal.

Sorry you're having a rough time.
posted by minervous at 3:07 PM on November 16, 2013

With money as no object, I would consider going to stay at Mohonk Mountain House. It's in a safe and beautiful setting. They do have spa services there. While not specifically what you are asking about, I think you could make it work for your purposes.
posted by gudrun at 3:35 PM on November 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Kripalu, definitely. I've gone solo a number of times, hiked miles in the woods, stayed in the nice rooms and the dorm-style, and every time felt cared for and totally safe. It's a place where everyone seems to become a most magnificent version of themselves, if only while they're there. I've never done the deep cleans or detox programs, but the food is very good and very healthy without being boring.

I've also been to Canyon Ranch and...well, it's nice and all, but it's like a super uptight hotel where Every Single Person checks in with you to make sure Your Stay is Going Well and Can They Do Anything For You? If you need boutique medical care, it does offer that.
posted by cocoagirl at 5:20 PM on November 16, 2013

I'll strongly second Mohonk, it's beautiful. I would advise against a specifically "health"-focused retreat or resort, because you'll invariably be served a high fiber diet that (based on my experience and knowledge of IBD) is more likely to exacerbate a flare than anything else.
posted by telegraph at 7:50 PM on November 16, 2013

I went here recently (with my mom) and it was absolutely wonderful. Amazing food and service, peaceful and restorative, excellent fitness and creative offerings, beautiful spa. Feel free to memail if I can help w questions.

Haven't been to Kripalu but that's the other place I'd suggest. May be a better setting for the solo traveler. (Based on a similar yoga retreat vacation I went to in CO by myself)

I am sorry you are going through a rough time.
posted by NikitaNikita at 10:48 PM on November 16, 2013

I spent a week at Hilton Head Health in Hilton Head, SC last summer, and I think you might enjoy it. They are very focused on weight loss but nobody enforces participation in activities - I used it more as a retreat, spending time sitting on the beach or by the pool rather than fitness classes. I think that if you talked to them they would be able to customize a diet for your GI issues. Bonus: the weather is beautiful this time of year. From Philadelphia, Hilton Head is a two hour flight to Charlotte, followed by a one hour flight to the island, with a layover in between.
posted by Daily Alice at 4:57 AM on November 17, 2013

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