to detail. That's what comes to mind when I think of Nemacolin
Woodlands Resort & Spa in Farmington,
Pennsylvania. They sweated the small stuff so their guests could
be delighted. I was. Every time I walked from my room in the
Château Lafayette to the The Woodlands Spa, rather than walk out the
front and across the way, I chose to take the longer route indoors through
the Lodge and Heritage Court Shoppes. Why? To enjoy the
details. I noticed something new with each stroll. Like the
Toulouse-Lautrec outside Lautrec restaurant, the Calder in the Lodge, the
Rockwells, the original Tiffany lamps, the bronze statue of Samuel Clemens
sitting on a park bench, works by Neiman, Botero, Cassini,
Remington,...all part of an eclectic and interesting art
collection. And the largest free-standing salt water aquarium in the
world complete with a piece of gold from a Mel Fisher treasure hunt.
Every turn reveals an cozy nook - some with fountains and stained glass -
inviting you to linger and relax. The art isn't limited to the
inside. The grounds are filled with sculptures.
Nowhere is the attention to detail more apparent or more appreciated than in The Woodlands Spa. Details like the bridge that crosses the reflecting pool to the island oasis of the spa, the beautiful, heavy, and inviting carved entry doors, crystals hanging from the ceilings for their positive energy, a 3 story black granite monolythic fountain anchoring and dividing the separate men's and women's spa entrances, window treatments of tree branches (no doubt from the surrounding 1,500 wooded acres), the stream that runs in the hallway from the spa restaurant to the spa reception area echoed by video screens of running water imbedded in the walls, and the woven twig placemats under the water pitchers in the lounges all combine to make a warm, inviting, safe, earthy feeling. The attempt to blend inside and out - to combine the elements of earth, water, and light - is quite successful. The "good" feelings are attributed to the use of Feng Shui by Clodagh, who provided the interior design & landscaping when the spa was expanded and renovated in 1999. She was inspired by nearby Fallingwater, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous designs. Now 32,000 square feet, the three story spa houses steam rooms, saunas, whirlpool baths, a Swiss shower, a mineral pool, a water path, and 28 private therapy rooms where hydrotherapy treatments, facials, massages, body treatments, and body kurs are performed.
I tried two of The Woodlands Spa's signature
treatments. The first was The Water Path ($65 for 25 minutes). I was
taken from the lounge on the main level to an open area on the lower level via a
glass elevator overlooking the lovely grounds. This area was coed and
public, so a bathing suit was required. On one end of this softly lit area
was the lower part of the fountain I saw as I entered the women's changing
area. At the other end was an entrance to the indoor pool. In
between was a large whirlpool, enclosed showers, and a long, narrow, trough-like
shallow pool, divided in two lengthwise. This was first part of The Water
Path. I was invited to step in at one end of the long pool and walk to the
other end. The warm water came to my knees. The bottom of the pool
was covered with pea gravel which was not particularly comfortable to walk on,
but I made my way to the other end. A hand rail was available if
needed. At the other end, there was a little wall I had to step
over. Wow! The other side was freezing - filled with cold water! I
walked on this side of the pool until I got to the other end, stepped over
another wall, and returned to my starting place in warm water. I made this
circuit a number of times until my feet were almost too sore to continue.
I was then taken to the Swiss Shower where 12 jets of warm water massaged
me. After that came the large whirlpool which turned out to be a mineral
pool. As in most whirlpools, different seats had the whirlpool water jets
aimed in different places. So I spent some time with the jets on my
shoulders, then moved to lower back, then legs. The water was filled with
minerals from the Sárvár
Spa in Hungary, which is said to have curative properties. A final
step was a return to the Swiss Shower - this time with cold water. The purpose of
The Water Path is to
stimulate circulation and improve immune functions while enhancing
energy and a feeling of well-being. I certainly felt invigorated
after this unique treatment. Apparently, The Woodlands Spa is the only spa
in the United States that offers this treatment.
The spa also offers:
Finally, the spa offers a gourmet spa cuisine restaurant, Seasons, which uses a selection of regional and local ingredients nutritionally balanced to promote optimum vitality. A registered dietitian is available to consult with guests on a variety of health topics, including lifestyle, vitamins and minerals, weight control, energy and healing. The restaurant is every dieter's dream. The menu is divided into sections: The Hunter Plan allows for more total calories, healthy fats; The Gatherer Plan offers nutritionally balanced, more appropriately portioned for weight loss with <20% fat; The Vegetarian Plan is free of animal products and contains many essential nutrients for max energy and helps fight the aging process. The food is fabulous. I ate there a number of times and each time was outstanding. The food was delicious and the presentations creative and appealing. Once again, the decor wowed me. The chandelier is a huge mobile - fascinating to watch. Lovely sculptures line the windows which provide lovely garden views.
In addition to Seasons, the Resort offers many other restaurants, two of which we tried - Lautrec, a French Bistro featuring contemporary, lighter French cuisine with a creative flair, and the Golden Trout, offering regional American cuisine. Both were excellent. However, Seasons was my favorite.
Our elegant room in the Château Lafayette was wonderful. It was very spacious, had a trayed ceiling with a crystal chandelier that could be dimmed, remote control cable television, mini-bar, individual voice mail, in-room safe, a data port for computer access. and a marble bathroom with another dimming crystal chandelier and whirlpool bath large enough for two. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa offer other guestroom options including suites, townhouses, and homes.
In addition to The Woodlands Spa, the Resort offers a wide variety of activities including 36 holes of golf on two PGA-rated championship courses, an equestrian center which I had the pleasure to use, 14 specialty shops, a ski facility for both downhill and cross-country enthusiasts, the Shooting Academy and Sporting Clay Course, the Activities Center, swimming, fly fishing, an arcade, hikes, golf simulator, virtual reality, tennis, croquet, miniature golf, biking, boating, fishing, in-line skating, beach volleyball, an Adventure Center with climbing wall and ropes course, and much more. Not to mention the outstanding Nemacolin Kidz Klub Program which provides both full and half days of fully supervised entertainment and activities for children between the age of 4 and 9 and the Kidz Night Out for kidz between the ages of 4 and 12 every evening in the summer season, and every Friday and Saturday in the winter.
Attractions near Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa include Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, Laurel Caverns (Pennsylvanias largest cave), Christian W. Klay Winery, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, and Ohiopyle State Park which offers environmental interpretive programs, picnicking, bicycling, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, kayaking and whitewater rafting available on the Youghiogheny River through Wilderness Voyageurs, Laurel Highlands River Tours, and White Water Adventurers.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa has won a
number of awards for the resort and restaurants. The Woodlands Spa ranked in the
Top Ten Spas In North America, 1999 Readers Choice Awards,
"My religion consists
of a humble admiration of the unlimitable superior who reveals Himself in
the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble
minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior
reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms
my idea of God."
in other words
"God is in the details."
The Woodlands Spa*
The Woodlands Spa*
Women's Lounge, main floor
The Woodlands Spa*
Coed Lounge, upper floor of
The Woodlands Spa**
Entrance to Seasons*
Seasons spa restaurant*
Some of Seasons' selections**
Château Lafayette room*
Château Lafayette bathroom*
Mystic Rock Course**
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