May 22, 2008

Mirbeau Inn & Spa, New York

Situated in the storybook village of Skaneateles in central New York State’s Finger Lakes Wine Country, about 20 miles southwest of Syracuse, Mirbeau Inn & Spa blends gracious hospitality, award winning dining and a world class Spa into a relaxing vacation experience.

The French Countryside-inspired Mirbeau has earned Mobil’s Spa Four Star ranking for the first time and is now one of only two Spas in New York State to receive this award.

The spa encompasses 14,000 square feet of luxury, designed to offer a protected place of elegance and comfort. Drawing on the richness of the surrounding natural environment, Spa Mirbeau provides guests with a balanced program of classic massages, body wraps, and facial treatments.

Mirbeau Inn & Spa, New York

May 21, 2008

Skaná, The Spa at Turning Stone, New York

From the name Skaná, the Oneida word for "peace", Skaná, the Spa at Turning Stone is an unexpected oasis centrally located in the Empire State. Part of the Oneida Indian Nation's 1,200-acre Turning Stone Resort complex, Skaná follows Oneida traditions with a host of services featuring fresh herbs (such as sweetgrass, cedar and sage) and all-natural products from two of the world's leading skincare brands - Kerstin Florian and Naturapathica. Treatments focus on the use of herbal and mineral wraps, warm stone therapy, and reviving soaks to restore balance and harmony to the body, mind and spirit.

The spa's architecture is a tribute to the Oneida culture and includes a welcome area derived from a traditional arched Oneida longhouse. An American Indian sweat lodge offers guests an opportunity to experience what has been used for centuries to cleanse the body and purge the spirit of impurities. Other spa features include 12 treatment rooms, a full-service salon, co-ed mineral pool, soaking tubs, steam room, sauna, a luxurious VIP suite with plush amenities including a couple's treatment room, Boutique and the Skaná Spa Café, offering nutritious, delicious spa cuisine at breakfast and lunch.

Spa guests stay at Turning Stone's AAA 4-diamond award-winning Lodge at Turning Stone, selected by Condé Nast Johansens as its "Most Excellent Resort" in the USA and Canada. With two AAA 4-diamond hotels, a 4-diamond restaurant (Wildflowers at The Lodge at Turning Stone).

Skaná, The Spa at Turning Stone, New York

May 11, 2008

They Came to New York for the Waters

Pungently sulfurous waters burble up from the ground alongside a concrete 1970s hospital building in Clifton Springs, N.Y., southeast of Rochester, and I’m soaking in them. That is, waters from a mineral spring renowned in the 19th century for healing properties have been pumped from a stream running beneath the hospital lawn into a new spa wing, where I’ve gone more for relaxation than anything curative, and a nurse has prepared a hot bath for me.

In a serene pale-purple treatment room, I step gingerly into the tea-colored water. The vapors clear my head, and I soon feel tingly and light, yet strangely immobile. The sound of the spring outside, gurgling into tiers of concrete fountain pools, mingles with the indoor soundtrack of pan flutes. When a knock on the door comes for my scheduled massage, I’m sorry to let the water drain.

Upstate New York is hardly known as a center of mineral springs. But in the 19th century, the golden age of mineral-water spas, at least 50 New York towns, scattered from Long Island to Lake Ontario, had resorts or sanitariums drawing on water emerging from rocky places underground and laced with elements like magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and sulfur. “There were more mineral baths available in New York than in any other state,” said Charlotte Wytias, the program manager at the Clifton Springs Hospital’s spa.

All sorts of healing powers were claimed for the waters, which often carry a metallic or swampy taste and smell. But primarily, the resorts were places to go on vacation. “Life at the springs is a perpetual festival,” an 1850s guidebook said.

Read The New York Times Article