FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Stowe, Vt., Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa

Nov 1, 2010
Editorial

Chuck Baraw got it right. The CEO and owner of Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa toured far and wide before blending a spa into the landscape of the iconic Vermont resort. The result is an unexpectedly world-class spa experience in the sleepy mountain village of Stowe.

When Baraw and his team added the spa to the family-owned resort in 2003 (Baraw’s parents, Beatrice and Stuart Baraw, laid the foundation for today’s resort when they opened a modest motel on the property back in 1963), they integrated design elements Baraw had witnessed during pre-construction research. One of the simplest yet perhaps most important decisions involved separating the spa from the fitness center; they are located in entirely different wings of the main building. The philosophy? A spa is for relaxation. A fitness center is for exercise. The two are not necessarily complementary, especially when it comes to tone and ambience.

I arrived at the spa reception desk on a warm but overcast summer day, ready to indulge in a much-touted Ayurvedic treatment. The lobby area and spa shop were about what I expected in a rural spa, but I entered an entirely differentworld when I rounded the corner into the inner sanctum. A half-dozen spa guests wrapped in plush robes reclined on lounge chairs in a state of pre- and post-treatment bliss. A few flipped through magazines or sipped herbal tea, but the overall atmosphere was hushed and relaxed. I headed for the locker room, where I shed my street clothes and donned a robe before slipping into my own lounge chair to await a call from my therapist.

While the Spa at Stoweflake offers plenty of traditional spa treatments and even a few quirky options based on local products — Vermont Maple Sugar Body Polish and Green Mountain Coffee Body Treatment — it’s the selection of Ayurvedic treatments, first introduced in 2005, that make it stand out from the crowd.

Ayurvedic treatments are based on a 5,000-year-old healing system native to India. The holistic philosophy holds that every living being possesses a unique pattern of energy made up of three elements, or doshas — vata, pitta and kapha — which must be balanced to achieve wellness. Stress, an unhealthy diet, even the weather can skew that balance, leading to discomfort or illness.

I had selected Abhyanga-Garshana. Garshana involves a dry lymphatic massage done with silk gloves. Abhyanaga is a warm herbal oil treatment. The silk glove massage is said to awaken lymphatic flow, optimizing the skin’s ability to absorb the therapeutic effects of the Ayurvedic oils.

Whatever the philosophy, I can honestly say I felt relaxed and balanced following the 80-minute treatment.

Balance is a theme that carries throughout the Spa at Stoweflake. While there may be others, it is the only New England spa I have visited that has an actual labyrinth on site. To be honest, I have a difficult time with labyrinths. I can clear my mind while practicing yoga or meditating, but I have never been able to “let go” while walking a labyrinth. Still, I believe it’s a worthwhile tool for finding inner peace, and I encourage others to give it a try.

For the uninitiated, a labyrinth is a meditative pathway. The labyrinth at Stoweflake is a classic, seven-circuit path, a winding walkway formed by hedgerows, herbs and other plants. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has no dead ends; it’s meant to promote relaxation and clarity, not confusion, as visitors stroll the winding circuits to the center and out again. Dr. Patrick MacManaway, an author, holistic therapist, dowser and practitioner of geomancy (divination by means of lines and figures or by geographic features), designed and maintains the Stoweflake labyrinth, visiting periodically to tune its energy. In other words: Stoweflake takes its labyrinth seriously.

The same holds true for its spa treatments and its general focus on wellness. The Spa at Stoweflake isn’t an afterthought built into the year-round resort to capitalize on the spa market. It’s a destination unto itself created for all the right reasons.

Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa
1746 Mountain Road
Stowe, VT 05672
tel 802 253 7355

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Daily
Feb 23, 2020

The Westin New Orleans Completes Massive Overhaul

The Westin New Orleans recently completed a massive, $30 million revitalization, touching on every part of the hotel. Major renovations were made to guestrooms, social spaces and meeting and event spaces. New dining establishments and meeting venues were added as well.

Athens: A city that charms its guests and stirs their emotions

The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.

Feature
Feb 22, 2020

Istanbul Airport Adds Sleep Pods, Cabins for Naps Between Flights

Istanbul Airport added 25 sleeping cabins for passengers to nap between flights. The IGA Sleepod rents out cabins for €6 ($6.50) an hour between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and for €9 ($9.70) an hour between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

News
Feb 22, 2020

New Westin Resort Opens in Ubud, Bali

The Westin Resort & Spa Ubud, Bali opened this month. The new property caters to family travelers seeking a luxurious wellness experience.

Earn and Redeem with oneworld

oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.

Feature
Feb 22, 2020

ForwardKeys.com Study Finds International Air Travel Grew 4.5 Percent Last Year

ForwardKeys.com found an increase of 4.5 percent in 2019 was significantly slower than the 6 percent growth in 2018 and the average over the last decade of 6.8 percent per year. The increase last year was less than expected, but projections for quarter one of 2020 is more optimistic. Bookings are expected to grow 8.3 percent when compared to the same period in 2019.

Feature
Feb 20, 2020

Virginia’s Massanutten Resort Announces Waterpark Expansion

A popular Virginia stay, Massanutten Resort, is getting a big update this summer. The resort originally opened its doors in 2006.

Adventure of a Lifetime with Volvo

Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.

Feature
Feb 20, 2020

Las Vegas Airport Using Aptiv, Self-Driving Cars

Technology company Aptiv is trialing self-driving cars to see if they can safely and reliably pick up travelers at Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport.