Whimsical Spa Experiences Trumped by Whimsical Accommodations by Susie Ellis, SpaFinder Insider
I loved the ad Virtuoso (high-end travel network) ran with us a while ago which showed two fashionable ladies in a cartoon format talking to each other with one saying to the other, “The only thing better than a traditional Balinese massage in an open-air, thatched hut overlooking the Indian Ocean is the look on people’s faces when you tell them about it.”
It really struck a chord. I call it “cocktail conversation spa treatments” and lots of people enjoy sharing some whimsical or unusual spa experience with others. I’m not sure why that is, except it’s probably better than talking about the weather at a cocktail party.
Well, this weekend Peter and I had one of those experiences. It wasn’t the spa treatment however; it was our cottage and stay at the Winvian Connecticut which I would describe in two words – whimsical and expensive. The estate, and its 18 cottages, is described in a gift-wrapped-and bound-brochure given to each guest as one of the ever-unfolding surprises in each cottage. It is 34 pages of stately staged photos of the grounds, cuisine and setting and has goofy touches including a pair of 3D glasses used to view the page about the Helicopter cottage, a set of matches to go with the Camping cottage description, and a pop- up map of the property attached at the end. My guess is the brochure alone probably costs over $100.
Winvian is a high-end getaway located in the affluent, manicured area of Litchfield County about 100 miles from New York City and 150 miles from Boston. It’s clearly for people who want something different – for whatever reason. The least expensive room is $1450 per night and the top-end is $1950. Gulp (Luckily we got a break.) I talked Peter into it as a “honey-do” payback for the times I agreed to join him on the back of his motorcycle this past year – and as an early 23rd anniversary celebration. He scored major points for going along with the plan and being a good sport, especially when I insisted on a lengthy five-course lunch on the home’s patio (all of the food and wine was included, so I felt obliged to try everything).
I can’t do this fanciful experience justice in a blog…you just have to go to the Winvian website and see for yourself. They had 15 different architects create the unique cottages – each almost the size of a home and no two remotely alike. Every cottage has its own theme and name… Artists, Camping, Golf, Greenhouse, Helicopter (photo on the left and yes there is a cockpit and you are living in a helicopter), Library, Log Cabin, Maritime, Music, Secret Society, and Tree house (35 feet in the air – photo on the right) to name a few. The one we were in was called Woodland. It had its own indoor stone waterfall, sunken bathtub overlooking the trees, sinks carved out of tree trunks and large tree trunks holding up the two story design. And oh yes, the stone stacked steam shower has a ceiling window which gives you a view of yet more wood and trees.
Service, food, gym and spa treatments were ok. The yoga room was a standout. The story here is definitely the accommodations.
I guess time will tell whether describing our experience at cocktail parties will have made it worth the entry fee. At least I know my husband is a trooper.
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