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The Boston Globe

Travel

Warming Trend

Hot stones and a cool bar in Kennebunk Beach, Maine

KENNEBUNK BEACH, Maine — Is there any place more desolate than a New England beach colony in the dead of winter? A drive along the shore road in Kennebunk Beach reveals a setting worthy of a Stephen King novel. The handsome gray-shingled homes are shuttered and silent, their driveways unplowed. Waves pound the deserted beach, its sandy crystals buried under a crust of snow. Gusts of wind are spiked with a sprinkling of snowflakes. Even the seagulls have vanished.

All of this makes the Kennebunk River Stone Massage at the White Barn Inn’s spa such a pleasant surprise. If you’re looking for a lovely, decadent escape, this is it. You’ll be enveloped in a cocoon of warmth, stretched out on a heated massage table alongside a fireplace, as a therapist places hot black river stones on the chakra centers of your body. “The stones hold a moist heat, which allows the heat to penetrate deeper,” says massage therapist Cheryl Cole. Not to mention, it feels amazing. And the stones really are from the Kennebunk River, according to spa director Melanie Valliere Ryll.

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