The bright sunshine and gently waving palm trees lining the streets of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., easily deceive guests into believing it really is the perfect summer’s day. During my visit, though, the high temperatures on a chilly, northern Florida winter afternoon barely crept out of the 40s. However, as I stepped into The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, the lobby transported me to a light, airy and altogether pleasant atmosphere that made me instantly forget my complaints about the weather. Crossing the spacious lobby and passing the small shop to the right, I made my way into the spa’s inner sanctum, perfectly separated from the lobby in such a way that tells guests it’s time to leave the outside world behind. I happily obliged. The large central space I found myself in housed the spa’s café, a waiting area scattered with small groupings of comfortable chairs and sofas, and a large fountain that immediately drew my eye. With a bit of time before my appointment, I indulged in a quick lunch with my traveling companions, and we seated ourselves at a café table for five. A friendly and eager server rushed over to offer mimosas. I gladly accepted, seeing no good reason to ever turn down a mimosa. The lunch menu offered a variety of healthy and tasty options. We were all a bit conflicted on what to order as there were so many tempting offerings, but our server convinced us to try a few of her favorites. I chose the grilled flat bread with chicken and was not disappointed in the slightest. Cooked just to crunchy perfection, the chicken married nicely with the mozzarella, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and balsamic reduction. After lunch, I changed into my fluffy white robe in the locker room. Further exploration revealed spacious and private stalls for showering and a separate and smaller ladies-only waiting area outfitted with limited seating and magazines. I opted to wait in the larger space, where I enjoyed some leisurely small talk with a few other guests. I noticed that, since my arrival, the spa was becoming a bit busier and the waiting and dining spaces were quickly filling. Before I could people-watch too much, my therapist fetched me and led the way to a treatment room situated down a few dimly lit hallways.
After discussing my problem areas and preferences, my specialist gave me a few Zents body oils to sniff as she told me the name and ingredients of each one. Having already used the line of body products, I only considered briefly before choosing the “Earth” scent, which incorporates sandalwood and frankincense. A close second was the coriander-, lemon- and mint-infused “Water” fragrance. The spa has an exclusive partnership with Zents. Selections from the line are also available in the guestrooms at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, as well as its sister property, The Lodge & Club. I chose the Ponte Vedra Signature Massage, which focused on my problem areas, mixing both gentle and firm pressure while still giving needed attention to the rest of my muscles. By the time the hour-long treatment ended, all of the tension was gone from my neck and shoulders, where I carry the majority of my stress and anxiety. During the course of the massage, my treatment specialist said it seemed I clench my jaw a lot, which could contribute to the tension in my neck; after thinking about it, I realized she was right. Just as I felt completely relaxed and on the verge of falling asleep, she informed me all too soon our time was up. With a small window of time before the next activity on my agenda, I lounged about the waiting area with a drink only for a few moments before returning to the locker room to get dressed. After I checked out, the front desk staff presented me with a kind thank-you note for visiting and told me my car would be around soon. I was sorry to go but hopeful I would be back to further explore the menu of treatments. The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club offers a full range of massages, facials and other treatments and salon services. The spa also features a beautiful and private hydrotherapy pool outfitted with four grottos, which guests can enjoy during their visit in addition to a steam room and sauna.
The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
302 Ponte Vedra Blvd. Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 tel 904 273 7700 pvspa.com
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Southwest Airlines is adding new flights to, from and within Hawai’i, beginning mid-January 2020. The airline will add a new daily service between Sacramento International Airport and Honolulu (HON), plus new non-stop flights between Oakland (OAK) and San Jose (SJC) and both Kauai (LIH) and the Island of Hawai’i (KOA).
The Luxury Collection welcomes its eighth property in China with the opening of Na Lotus Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nanning. The property is situated in the capital of the Guangxi Province, in a high-rise landmark building in the business district.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Qantas will start using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Sydney–Santiago route starting in late June 2020.