For many of us, personal grooming has taken a holiday during the pandemic. It’s a relic of Before Times, like kitten heels and actual pants. But the real world — and for many of us, the workplace — is calling. So, it’s time to soothe those rough edges, figuratively and literally, and start looking presentable again. Since you probably spent no money on salon visits last year, why not spring for a spa treatment? New England spas have missed you dearly, and they’re not daunted by your raggedy cuticles and raging “maskne” (acne caused by mask-wearing.) To that end, they’re are offering targeted treatments, aimed at remedying those beauty woes (and that godawful crick in the neck you got while working in bed.) Here’s a look.
The Spa at Encore Boston Harbor
A little bit of Las Vegas in the city — that’s what you get at The Spa at the Encore. It’s super glam, so you’ll instantly feel transported to someplace sexier than . . . Everett. Maskne is real, and they’ve got a super-charged facial to tackle it. The Oxygen facial (50 minutes, $240; 80 minutes, $295) combines Intraceuticals oxygen treatments and hyaluronic acid (dermatologists love that stuff) to infuse the skin with vitamins and antioxidants. Buh-bye, dull, dehydrated, blotchy skin; hello, dewy elasticity.
If your face is fine, but your stress level isn’t, consider the spa’s Ayruvedic Retreat (110 minutes, $360.) It starts with a Chakra balancing massage to ease stress and muscle tension, followed by a face massage and Shirodhara scalp treatment. Your sinuses never felt so good, especially during allergy season. www.encorebostonharbor.com.
Spa Fjör, Hotel Viking, Newport, R.I.
Hotel Viking’s recently renovated Spa Fjör offers six treatment rooms, and a newly expanded relaxation room with a 12-foot-by-7-foot wall made of Himalayan sea salt. This mineral is believed to have healing powers. If you want a treatment that encompasses the best of spa-land, consider their new service, the CBD-infused Spa Fjör Synergy Massage. This unique experience combines the ancient art of cupping, Lomi Lomi massage, Thai stretching, and sound therapy with tuning forks. How can you not be relaxed? 80 minutes, $225.
Still in the WFH zone? Switch up your surroundings with the hotel’s Self Care Sunday Package. With an overnight stay on Sunday, you’ll get an in-room spa kit and late checkout on Monday, so the Hotel Viking is your home office for the day. From $399 per night; www.hotelviking.com.
The Spa at Norwich Inn, Norwich, Conn.
Floral-scented spring treatments are on the menu at this award-winning spa, located near Foxwoods Casino. Through May 31, they’re offering 100 percent organic, customized Spring Botanical Facials (50 minutes, $135), and blossom-fragrant manicures and pedicures ($55/$65) using nutrient-dense products from Connecticut-based Wild Air Skincare. Gardenia oil is the hero ingredient; the aroma is amazing, and gardenia oil is believed to have antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. Crushed hibiscus flowers, added to the scrub, aid exfoliation.
If you can swing a spa day, this lavish property (27 treatment rooms, pools, sauna, salon) is a value-packed option. The Relief Day Spa package includes a 50-minute massage (your choice of CBD, aromatherapy, or hot stones), a two-course lunch, and a 50-minute Relief Manicure or pedicure. Think healing balms, exfoliating scrubs — all the extras, to make up for bereft-of-pampering 2020. They also add a $25 voucher for their boutique. The tab: $250. www.thespaatnorwichinn.com.
Topnotch Spa, Stowe, Vt.
Your happy hormones might kick in before you even enter a treatment room — Topnotch Resort’s outdoor pools and whirlpool offer blissful soaking with views of the Green Mountains. But there’s happy, and there’s hoppy. “Come on, get hoppy” (with apologies to the Partridge Family) is the theme of the Total Hops Massage. Hops, don’t you know, are naturally high in antioxidants, and this massage with hops and herb-infused oil is designed to reduce inflammation while moisturizing your winter-parched dermis. Post-massage, they’ll hand you a draft beer, and a bar of hoppy exfoliating soap to take home.
To entice you to journey to Stowe, they’re offering the Topnotch Spring Fusion package. Book a room or suite this spring and receive a $100 credit for both The Roost restaurant and the spa for each night you stay. (Example: a two-night stay nets you a $200 credit at The Roost and a $200 credit at the spa.) Rooms from $399. www.topnotchresort.com.
The Spa at Cliff House Maine, Ogunquit
Wearing statement earrings with sweatpants became a thing on Zoom, but the Cliff House spa makes better use of gemstones: They’re now offering treatments that feature these colorful sparklers. The Gemstone Balancing Massage (50 minutes, $170; 80 minutes, $230) incorporates crystal massage tools and wild-crafted, organic body oils infused with pulverized amethyst, carnelian, garnet, and rose quartz. Their Gemstone Facial (50 minutes, $175; 80 minutes, $240) uses the highest grade of Colorado river water, plus gemstone-infused products and a face mask made of 250 hand-polished amethysts. “Applied to the skin, this reduces inflammation and puffiness,” says Michelle Langstaff, massage therapist and esthetician at the spa.
Why gemstones? These semi-precious stones are said to possess properties that enhance well-being. For example, the energy of carnelian is associated with confidence and creativity, while rose quartz is connected to joy, an open heart, and love. www.cliffhousemaine.com.
Miraval Berkshires, Lenox
Work on the Inner You at Miraval. Their multi-step program, “Path to Resilience: Cultivating Mental Wellbeing in the New Year” features workshops designed to foster positivity and mental wellbeing after an unprecedented year. “There’s so much uncertainty in the world,” says Simon Marxer, director of spa and wellbeing. “We want to help guests find balance, with the goal of ultimate renewal in 2021.”
Five programs address key pillars of post-pandemic wellbeing. These include building a renewed connection with oneself and one’s community; growing appreciation for the outdoors to connect with nature and reset; and creating healthier habits with one’s digital devices. Could this be the year you explore “Awakening Your 2021 Superpowers,” a workshop designed to help discover one’s spiritual gifts using Chinese astrology for more empowered, intuitive living? In the Bowl of Light Meditation program, guests use a bowl made in Miraval’s pottery studio as a symbolic inner bowl of light, to reflect and meditate on the things in life that may obscure their brightness and, together, take symbolic action to release those limitations. From $649 per person per night: www.miravalberkshires.com.
The Spa at Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham
This is the stuff post-pandemic dreams are made of: a luxurious spa treatment on Cape Cod, just steps away from the ocean. Treatments here are inspired by local bounty from land and sea; the Spa’s signature product line uses homegrown botanicals from the inn’s farm, honey from their beehives, cranberries sourced from local bogs, and salt from the sea. Among their current specials, we’re craving the Spring Renewal Body Scrub and Facial Treatment (90 minutes, $275.) This super-hydrating experience (see ya, itchy winter skin!) starts with a lemongrass mimosa scrub containing micronized walnut shells for exfoliation and bamboo extracts for softness. Next comes a facial massage and a white tea facial mask to hydrate and firm skin. While the mask is setting, you’ll get a soothing application of lavender body oil, and then a hot oil scalp massage, with a serum and moisturizer from the Naturopathica line. Could you be more relaxed? Doubtful.
Splash out with an overnight at one of the inn’s 12, adults-only spa suites, located above the spa. Rooms are outfitted with hydrotherapy tubs, saunas, steam showers, and fireplaces. In-room massages and body treatments are available upon request. Rates from $795. www.chathambarsinn.com.
Mirbeau Inn & Spa, Plymouth
A stay and a meal at this gracious French-style manor house in The Pinehills will be enough to stimulate your senses, but why resist their luscious spa? To address the anxiety brought on by the pandemic, spa director Diane Scott is a big believer in CBD oil as a massage enhancement. The active compounds in hemp interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates things like mood, appetite, and sleep, and restores the body to help deal with stress, she says.
For the ultimate in relaxation, Scott recommends the Pure Zen Journey, a CBD bath ritual. It begins with an all-natural body brush exfoliation, followed by an infused rosemary and mint Epsom salt bath, with vitamin E, coconut, and CBD oil to melt away tension. This is followed by a massage with a cooling, menthol-rich CBD lotion and oil. Make it a mini-vacation (pretend it’s the actual French countryside) with the Perfect Getaway Experience. Pure Zen Journey, 100 minutes, $300 / $270 (Monday-Thursday). Perfect Getaway package includes overnight accommodations for one night, a $300 spa credit, and a $100 dining credit. From $640. www.mirbeau.com.
Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be reached at email@example.com