Wow...if you want to experience the "ultimate" in spas, one place to try is the Grove Park Inn and Spa in Asheville, North Carolina! Being a spa junkie for years, I dreamed about visiting this particular spa after viewing the photos online and finally had a chance to experience it first hand in March! Photos do not do justice to the beauty of this pampering destination! The main room of the spa is like being in a mythical cavern underground with three cascading waterfalls. It has two pools with relaxing music piped in underwater. If you can float, you've got it made and may never want to leave the pool! They're filled with mineral water at the perfect temperature. Then, if that were not enough, there are two hot tubs flanking the pools with waterfalls that provide a natural massage. All you have to do it change your positions under the heavy streams of water and it works on all your muscles. Be ready to feel like a tranquil jellyfish! Lingering is encouraged on a chaise or chair with ample hooks for robes and plenty of thirsty towels.
But wait there's much more...next you go outside to a deck with a huge fireplace and large hot tub with the customary section of water jets and also an area that has none for those who would like to just soak and chat. This outdoor hot tub experience is further enhanced by a spectacular view of the golf course and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Since the spa is typically open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, you can even enjoy this outdoor hot tub experience under the stars!
Of course, both men and women have separate locker rooms and like any world-class spa, you are presented with a locker, cuddly soft robe and spa sandals. I found the facilities to be impeccably clean and well organized for convenience and comfort. The staff was properly adept, efficient, cordial and helpful. While you wait for your spa treatment, you can relax in a cozy area complete with fire in a rock fireplace, buttery leather chairs with foot ottomans and there are even soft throws for added warmth. You can snack on healthful goodies, flavored water and assorted teas too. I could have been happy sitting in the waiting room all day with a magazine or a book! If you get hungry, there's a cafe where you can enjoy "good eats and drinks" in your spa robe.
Enjoying the spa can consist of a day pass to enjoy the spa amenities which include: mineral pools, an inhalation room, contrast plunge pool, waterfall massage pools, steam room, dry sauna and outdoor hot tub and/or the fitness room. The other option is to book a special treatment and then all of the spa amenities are included. As with most high quality spas, the Grove Park Spa offers therapeutic body treatments, massage, facials, manicure and pedicures for both men and women. There are even some special packages for couples.
I chose the Spirit of Renewal massage with Kathy H. and can I tell you...it was bliss! I floated out of the treatment room and was led to a softly lit room where I parked myself in a plush leather chair by the stone fireplace with a warm aromatherapy wrap caressing my neck. I thought to myself...I must have died and gone directly to heaven! But I eventually came back to earth and headed back to the grotto and my mineral pool with the soothing music....ahhhhhhhhh!
Leaving the spa is tough, but when you really have to...don't worry...they have everything there to get you ready to return to "the real world" in the form of showers with all of their signature items: shampoo, conditioner and body wash, fluffy towels, razors, an automatic squeegee for your wet bathing suit, bags for your suit and a room filled with everything you need to dry and style your hair! Okay, so there's no makeup artist in the room...or a hairdresser...you're just going to have to do it yourself! Imagine! Grin!
Unfortunately, shutterbug that I am, it is prohibited to take photos in the spa...anywhere! You can see photos online. I was able to take this one outside the doors of the spa of the waterfall and rocks that are a backdrop for the main clubhouse. I feel fortunate for being able to experience the spa and hope that if you have the good fortune to visit, you too will have a "bliss filled" experience as well. Sometimes you have to give yourself a gift and the Grove Park Inn has "My Seal of Approval!"