July 16, 1995 |
The room is dim and shadowy, and smells pleasantly herbal with just a hint of the ocean. Slip off the floor-length robe and give yourself up to the warm green water. A pillow cradles your head, and you lie suspended in the water, weightless, kept aloft by 70 pressurized jets that massage every inch of your body. The bubbles bursting around your ears all but drown out the soft music coming from hidden speakers, and you are reduced to jelly as an underwater hose plays over legs and belly, muscles and pressure points.
February 21, 1999 |
You're in the mood for a crushed-pearl body rub, a Dead Sea mud pack, or a polarity massage at a relaxing spa resort - but what do you do with the kids? Take 'em along. The newest wrinkle in the healthy getaway is the family spa resort where adults can be pampered while their offspring are kept busy and happy in children's programs. The health and fitness craze of the '80s has emerged into the spa trend of the '90s, and savvy managers of spa resorts are offering children daily activities.
August 4, 1991 |
A plume of dust hung over the taxi as it skidded to a halt. Muttering, the driver climbed out. Now what, I wondered. A heavy iron gate barred the way into the spa I'd just spent an hour (and two days missing airplane connections) getting to, bumping over rutted mountain roads. It looked possible to squeeze by on foot. But as I stumbled out, suitcase in hand, the driver shook his head. "Caliente," he said, pointing at something past the roadblock. A river - shallow, but too wide to leap - bubbled and foamed over the dirt path.
January 27, 1991 |
Rotten eggs! That's what the word spa always meant to me. Oh, I don't mean places like Canyon Ranch or the Golden Door - I'm talking about natural spas, where thermal waters full of all kinds of minerals bubble out of the ground. The Romans, great believers in "taking the waters," established baths in such spots as they stumbled upon while conquering the known world. I was born in a "spa" town - Clifton Springs - in upstate New York. (The Romans never got to this one.)
May 31, 1992 |
Places with mineral springs tend to have long histories. Indeed, their past often stretches beyond records, and they are known as places where people have always been drawn. They are associated with healing and with leisure, with magic and sociability. They are constantly re-created according to the temper of their times. Famous people from different epochs visit, and from Bath, in England, to Palm Springs, in California, they have often served as centers of political and cultural power.
January 1, 2006 |
The good news in travel is that the Great Escape does not require gargantuan spending. Can't afford to lease a private island villa? Book an oceanfront apartment at a fraction of the cost. Is an African safari too haute for your herd? Get a thriftier taste of wild Africa on American turf. Want to de-stress at a spa without the distress of a stratospheric tab? Calm yourself with an affordable alternative that is (almost) as enticing. Here are three very different vacations, each with choices - the island, the spa and the safari.
May 4, 2003 |
The spa at Yellow Springs, Chester County, held a prominent place socially and medically for more than 125 years in Pennsylvania history during the 18th and early 19th centuries. During the 1840s, renowned English actress Fanny Kemble, who lived in the Cheltenham area, enjoyed taking the waters at the spa. She wrote of a "beautiful valley in the midst of an exquisite spring of mineral water, rejoice in the title Yellow Springs . . .," according to "Historic Yellow Springs . . . " by Carol Shiels Roark in Pennsylvania Folklife (Fall 1974)
February 4, 1990 |
There you are braving the brisk New England dawn, hiking four miles before sitting down to a breakfast of granola and herbal tea, off to six exercise classes, climbing up the icy face of Monument Mountain, swimming 30 laps, running two miles, embracing celery, renouncing wine, forsaking chocolate and restricting your daily intake to under 1,000 calories. All right, so it doesn't sound like you. Don't worry. It doesn't sound like me, either. But, for a brief while at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires, it was me, a person ordinarily impossible in the morning, immune to exercise and allergic to diets.
April 2, 2000 |
Once we dreamed of falling in love, getting hitched, having babies, taking wonderful trips en masse. Now we know better. We know that nothing would be more wonderful than to run away for a few days from the husband, the kids, the laundry, the groceries and all that lovely driving, and bunk again with that very sister with whom we once shared those adolescent fantasies that have since dried up like so many Huggies wipes. And so we have. "I'm calling to say nothing more than this is your official two-week Skylonda countdown clock," Laura announced on the voice mail, her voice giddy, narcotic, semi-salacious, the buildup being half the trip.
October 12, 2002 |
For about a year, the people who knead people in the Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel have not been the luckiest people in the world. They were trying to put together a new massage themed directly to the city, a Philadelphia pretzel massage. They could twist you OK, but they couldn't find anything appropriate to rub all over you. They couldn't get the mustard to work right. Well, they took a different path - or in Philly, maybe a cobblestone alley - and on Oct. 28, the Four Seasons will roll out rubs linked, you might say loosely, to Philadelphia.