My wife and I have had a long-standing commitment to how our skiing culture ultimately would evolve in our family: I get lost with the kids on the slopes while she loses herself in the relaxation of the nearest spa.
While the downhill bug thankfully filtered down to each of my three offspring, it has failed to ever permeate my wife’s winter aspirations. She always has been more than content to keep watch in the lodge while the rest of the family ventures into the outdoors. And now that the youngest has made her way onto skis, it has freed up plenty of time that my wife might have normally spent corralling logistics.
That has put her on a spa-sampling plan this ski season.
What follows then is a roundup of some of her favorite spas in New England ski country in addition to the ones that remain on her to-do list.
Topnotch Resort | Stowe, Vt.
Topnotch always will finish high in our household’s balloting seeing as how it’s where we had our wedding reception 16 years ago, but the resort’s ability to reinvent itself over that same period of time speaks to its viability along with its long-standing dedication to luxury and service. Nestled in the shadow of Stowe Mountain Resort, Topnotch is an opulent destination for pampering in a town already brimming with options. There are 30 treatment rooms here, including a couples suite complete with fireplace. Choose from a variety of massages as well as body wraps and treatments, salon, nail and facial services. The indoor hot tub is an instant sign of the spa’s tranquility with its cascading waterfall, while the outdoor Jacuzzi is open year-round with the accompanying pool, providing the perfect offmountain view of some of the best skiing the East has to offer … whether you choose to experience it or not. topnotchresort.com
Mountain View Grand Tower Spa | Whitefield, N.H.
Modern luxury meets yesteryear at the Tower Spa at Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, located on the top floor of the historic resort with astounding views of the White Mountains surrounding the premises. The slopes of Cannon Mountain can be seen in the distance of the spa, which features a host of spa services including body, facial and massage treatments as well as manicures and pedicures. For the spa’s signature offering, though, check out the Grand Tower Experience, a two-hour session in the tower treatment room complete with Swedish or aromatherapy massage ($400 per couple). Add on some enhancements, or just relax in the lounge with your partner. mountainviewgrand.com
The Spa at the Equinox | Manchester Village, Vt.
Located within a half-hour of Magic Mountain and 15 minutes from Bromley, the Equinox spa is an ultimate luxury to behold after your ski experiences in southern Vermont. The native products on hand at the Equinox make this a truly Vermont practice, delivering peace and tranquility from within the Green Mountain’s own resources. Signature treatments abound here, including Reiki and Shiatsu wellness packages, body treatments and combo spa packages. The indoor pool is open year-round with striking views of the mountain landscape surroundings its landscape. equinoxresort.com
The Bethel Inn Resort | Bethel, Maine
Let’s face it — there is plenty of terrain at Sunday River that can call for a good muscle massage as an après treat. That makes the options available at Bethel Inn Resort intriguing for both skiers and non-skiers. Massage services are available seven days a week and include Swedish massages, head, neck and shoulders, and a sports and deep tissue massage, perfect to work out the kinks after an afternoon attempting to master Obsession on White Cap. The spa also offers a variety of facials as well as couple massages and a Maine stone bodywork, featuring hot or cold stones from Vacationland, smoothed out to ease tension. Figure a day like this to go from the challenge of Oz at Sunday River to the ahhs at the Bethel Inn. bethelinn.com
The Spa at Spruce Peak | Stowe, Vt.
Fresh from the physical challenges of the Front Four at Stowe, head on over to the newly branded Lodge at Spruce Peak for a spa experience that mirrors the organic feel of the resort itself. There are a variety of spa services here, ready to be customized to each individual desire, including holistic and healing massages focused on balance, vital energy and reflexology. There’s also a kids spa for smaller guests (rules stipulate that you have to giggle, have fun and chillax), and a heated outdoor pool, open year-round, that accompanies a luxurious Jacuzzi that helps spell relaxation after a day on the hill like few other spots in New England can manage. sprucepeak.com
The Spa at Omni Mount Washington | Bretton Woods, N.H.
The ability to step back in time is only part of the experience at the Mount Washington Hotel, which has greeted guests at the base of Bretton Woods for more than 100 years. What the spot offers in history, it also delivers in its state-of-the-art spa offerings. Skin care and body treatments can be had here, along with a special list of packages and spa vacations. The Mount Washington Signature Body Ritual promises the ultimate in hydrotherapy, while the Ultimate Zents Journey is an “ultra-hydrating 100-minute ritual will quench the skin and soothe the mind.” Also on the menu, the Coffee Bean Body Polish sounds just about perfect for the caffeinated soul. The 25,000-square-foot spa features unmatched views of the surrounding Presidential Range, giving it a natural authenticity to go hand-in-hand with the freedom of mind, body and soul. omnihotels.com/hotels/bretton-woods-mount-washington/spa
Canyon Ranch | Lenox, Mass.
While we don’t spend too much time skiing in western Mass. as a family, my wife has made it known that she’d be fine with exploring the Berkshires as a wintertime destination, mainly because she’d like the ability to visit one of the highest-end spas that New England has to offer. At the Canyon Ranch, guests will find 100,000 square feet with a number of alternative treatments available, including herbal rejuvenation, tarot card reading and therapeutic Qi Gong, an ancient Chinese mediative exercise. Digital detox options include aerial yoga and meditation in order to find avenues of communication aside from online social media. Whether it’s a massage, a dance class or an Ayurvedic treatment, the Canyon Ranch promises a balance of body and soul with a promised tranquility some might figure to find only in the mountains. www.canyonranch.com/lenox
The Spa at Woodstock Inn and Resort | Woodstock, Vt.
There have been a number of times en route to Killington that my wife has hinted to me the welcome possibility of dropping her off in idyllic Woodstock for a period of time so that she might pamper herself at the Woodstock Inn. This contemporary spa features an indulgent number of custom treatments on its menu, including four seasonal signature offerings that reflect the forests, fields, mountains and air of Vermont. The list of treatments here can be overwhelming with the sheer number of possibilities available for pampering yourself. But the tranquilly upon arrival also can help clear your mind, lending to a storybook treatment just as satisfying as the small Vermont village that it calls home. woodstockinn.com
The Spa at Christmas Farm Inn | Jackson, N.H.
If the quaintness and rustic quality of Jackson, N.H., is hard to compare as far as an idyllic New England village is concerned, then the Spa at Christmas Village is the perfect accompaniment. The full-service Aveda spa brings a natural approach to its relaxation and rejuvenation offerings, including six treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge and indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs. Treatments here include massages, nail services and facials, all in addition to a kids spa and waxing. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect New England winter day of enjoyment for my family than having the majority of us skiing on the old-school trails of Black Mountain while my wife enjoys the luxurious nature of a spa day in the village below. That is, indeed, a match made in my family’s skiing heaven. christmasfarminn.com