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
West Palm Beach, Florida, recently welcomed AKA West Palm, a hotel residence offering long-stay accommodations. As AKA’s second South Florida property, AKA West Palm features 215 hotel residences comprised of studios, one- and two-bedroom spaces, and Penthouse suites. The five-story hotel blends modern luxuries with comfort and simplicity, with sleek kitchens, washers and dryers, and private terraces. Room furnishings contrast with a backdrop of stone, metal and wood to create simple, clean lines with minimal contrast.
Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.
Birmingham, Alabama, was named for the city in the English Midlands that kept the fires burning, warmed the homes and made much of the steel for the United Kingdom’s industrial revolution. Decades later, the American city also made steel, so much of it, in fact, it became known as the “Magic City” for steel production, and the moniker stuck. But today’s Magic City makes more than steel, taking the raw product a few more steps to become a major center for automobile parts manufacturing and more, including Honda, Mercedes-Benz and U.S. Steel. Thanks to local leadership and long-term planning, the magic still works for Birmingham, as evidenced by its role hosting The World Games 2022 last summer.
As New York City’s leading Latino cultural institution, El Museo del Barrio welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American cultures. El Museo’s wide-ranging collections and exhibitions represent these cultures’ richness, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations and educational programs. Ranging from pre-Columbian to modern and contemporary art, the permanent collection totals more than 8,000 objects.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown recently reopened its Fairmont Gold, introducing amenities, a contemporary new style in the Fairmont Gold Lounge and dedicated concierges. The 48-room, three-suite Fairmont Gold, positioned as an urban oasis, takes over the entire ninth floor of the hotel and delivers exceptional service to meet guests’ needs.
The results are in! For the 19th consecutive year, Global Traveler conducted its GT Tested Reader Survey, asking frequent luxury travelers to name the best in a variety of travel-related categories. More than 22,000 people responded. Global Traveler’s inaugural awards were celebrated in 2004.
ISN’T IT TIME? It's time to treat yourself to the vacation you deserve, and Celebrity Cruises® offers the perfect escapes. With an award-winning fleet of ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the world, Celebrity will take you almost anywhere you want to go in style. Enjoy stunning staterooms and suites, culinary experiences imagined by Michelin-starred chefs and intuitive service. Celebrity makes sure your vacation is effortless from the start, which is why drinks, WiFi and tips are Always IncludedSM on every sailing.
Originally a thriving Colonial seaport, Newport became the summer playground for the Gilded Age’s elite in the late 1880s. Today their mansions dot the coast of Aquidneck Island, and their favorite pastimes — sailing and tennis — still dominate the city’s recreational offerings. In fact, Newport hosted the first U.S. Open tennis championship in 1881 and golf tourna- ment in 1895 and hosted the America’s Cup from 1930 to 1983. You can experience most of Newport on your own, including the mansions, but don’t rule out a guided tour or two when you visit.