You don’t have to travel as far as California to have a great spa experience. New York features many establishments that can fulfill the utmost relaxation dreams. Since I tend to focus on the green, or “G,” aspect of most all I like to do, I decided to find a few places in New York to fit the bill.
In Tune With Nature
Pollywogg Holler Eco-Resort, Belmont, NY
Not for the faint of heart, Pollywogg Holler is a Great Camp-style eco-resort established in 1987. I’d say it’s as close to green and natural—other than making your permanent home in the woods as owners Bill and Barb Castle did—as you can get. The eco-resort invites you to “Reunite with Nature” with heated spring water showers, lantern light, and organic gardening.
The Holler offers individually prepared brick oven dinners and homemade specialties. It features a Finnish-style, wood-fired sauna (okay, this is the spa part), composting outhouse, and a sculpture garden, as well as 30 trails to explore nature in the surrounding area. Communing with nature is the highest form of meditation here. Just thinking about the Holler made the song “Green Acres” run through my head (Fresh air!/Times Square?!).
Pollywogg Holler would be at the top of my list for the ultimate New York Green Getaway from everything, literally. High-speed Internet access is also offered, however, so you don’t get totally lost in the woods.
For more information, visit: http://www.pollywoggholler.com/lodging.htm
The Sagamore Resort on Lake George, Bolton Landing, NY
A big “G” for the gorgeous Lake George area! Along with the beauty of Lake George, indulge in the signature spa treatments at the Sagamore Resort, which strive to “pay respect to the spirit of the land and water and seek to restore balance to the mind, body, and spirit.” Other offerings include massage therapy, body treatments, water healing sessions, facial treatments, fitness activities, and special salon services.
This luxury resort has also programmed in Keeping it Green, practices that seek to decrease their carbon footprint and support charitable recycling efforts. Rather than running continuous shuttles, they provide services on demand. In partnership with Clean the World, they collect unused portions of soaps and bottled amenities to be recycled and sent to needy families around the world.
The Sagamore Resort is mainly a luxury establishment. With all that luxury implies, here you can feel good about feeling good.
For more information, visit: http://www.thesagamore.com/spa.htm
Editor’s Weekend Pick
The Green Spa and Wellness Center, Brooklyn, NY
The Green Spa and Wellness Center is housed in a sustainable, eco-conscious building. That was my first draw. The spa features an in-house doctor and a master acupuncturist who accept health insurance. That was the second interesting difference. You are met at reception with an offer of herbal tea or water to sip while you fill out a form that facilitates treatment. Staff (my, that sounds so formal) were quite friendly, prompt, and helpful.
The three-story establishment is embellished with artifacts, collectibles, and comfortable chairs and settees. It has an elegant yet homey atmosphere. The gentle, sweet smell of incense wafted through the place and soft, meditative music soothed the ear.
After taking a quick sneak peek at the establishment, I succumbed to the gentle ministrations of Christina, my organic skin care expertician for the visit. (She also informed me that the spa has a part-time chiropractor and will soon have a cosmetic surgeon—one stop health and beauty shopping!)
The variety of treatments was quite daunting, so I opted for a no-nonsense, 45-minute, basic Organic Express facial. However, along with the blueberry cream/sweet red rose tonic/rosehip-maize exfoliant/stonecrop masque/Black Perlette grape moisturizer facial treatment, Christina surprised me with a standard décolletage massage with chocolate-mint oil. Oh, joy!
I was also surprised by their extensive array of organic and healthful products. The Eminence Organics products that were used during my facial experience were especially appealing (you guessed it, chocolate-mint). After the treatment, Christina provided me with a “Prescription Card” through which she recommended a beauty regimen, based on her assessment during the facial, to best suit my skin type.
She gave me a more extensive tour of the facility and invited me to relax a bit with tea in a sitting parlor. There was a basket, a pen, and little cards there that invited guests to “Set [their] intentions for the day…and leave [their] worries behind…” I believe I did that half-way through the facial.
There were so many routes to relaxation and healing. Spa offerings include Lava Rock Massage, Diamond Microdermabrasion (a girl’s best friend?), pre-natal treatments, men’s treatments, yoga, and meditation. Yoga materials are environmentally friendly, and the spa also offers mineral make up applications and vegan mani-pedis.
My Green Spa visit was actually my first spa experience—ever. As far as quality, cleanliness, care, comfort, tranquility, and the myriad of things you would want to consider for the ultimate in eco-conscious spa treatment and wellness offerings, it was phenomenal. It was also quite reasonably priced and they are open seven days a week.
The best part? The Green Spa is easily accessible by subway for a quick New York City Getaway and it’s featuring Chocoholics Spa-liday Specials! I give it five “G”s.
For more information, visit: http://www.greenspany.com/index.php