Rudding Park Spa for Wellness

Rudding Park Spa Embraces Nature for Wellness

Rudding Park specializes in escapes. The sprawling estate welcomes those

Rudding Park luxury hotel, Spa and golf
Rudding Park, Harrogate, UK regency manor house, courtesy Rudding Park.

who come to soak in the restorative waters while they enjoy nature’s healing balm. You’ll find it on the outskirts of the historic spa town of Harrogate. Since Victorian days, the area has drawn visitors with its mineral springs and many beautiful parks. Here they walked, visited, soaked and drank the waters.

The elegant Regency style sandstone manor has long been a popular destination for golf, weddings and holidays. This spring it unveiled its newest expansion, The Spa. It has quickly become the place to escape for guests and locals.

Few spas can claim fully booked days in less than two months. Spa memberships have already been capped and have a wait list. The Spa accomplished both of these and there is good reason for its swift popularity.

Rudding spa embraces nature…

Instead of tucking away, Rudding Park Spa reaches out and embraces

Rooftop Spa gardens embraces nature at Rudding Park
Rudding Park rooftop spa overlooks gardens and manor. Image courtesy Rudding Park.

nature. Window walls, patios, pools, and gardens surround you. Lounge areas direct your gaze outward calming and inviting. As you work out, swim, or soak, the views beyond relax and soothe your mind as well as your body.

Rudding Park Spa uses its surroundings and natural spring waters to create an ambiance of complete wellness.

Hotel guests can access the exquisite indoor pool, sauna and bucket shower. Those who want to enjoy all that the spa has to offer schedule for treatments or packages.  Limiting the number of the packages offered for a full day, morning afternoon or evening means an enhanced experience for guests and a well-being work environment for staff.

The Spa’s mission: “Wellness of mind, body, and soul.”

Every aspect is state of the art… in a peaceful and serene environment. It seamlessly blends amazing cutting-edge experiences into the relaxing historic setting.

Handpicked staff offer the highest quality of service. You’ll drift off into

Couples experience suite Rudding Park Spa
Couples room with copper bath, courtesy Rudding Park.

bliss as skilled therapists work their magic in your bespoke (custom) treatment. But facials, body treatments, massage and more are only part of the experience.

Infinity Pool Rudding Park spa
Rudding Park infinity pool courtesy Rudding Park

Enjoy pools for swimming, pools for hydrotherapy, indoors or outdoors, it’s your choice to take advantage of any or all. Lounge in a steam room or you can relax in the panoramic sauna or herbal steam bath. And, don’t miss the ice shower or tropical rainforest thermal experiences. Each works to restore and soothe your senses.

Step outside the spa to the rooftop garden complete with its own pools, sauna, shower and sun deck. Skies, gardens and ancient trees surround you. Quiet, peaceful. It’s the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon.

But Rudding Park Spa has even more to offer…

Take time to discover the unique mind and sense zones. Each room offers its own sensory experience so you can savor one or explore your way through all of them.

  • The video wall treats your gaze to picturesque landscapes. Lounge in the
    Visual sense experience at Rudding Park Spa
    Visual room at Rudding Park Spa transports you to tranquil vistas.

    oversize rattan swing and soak up scenes of waves lapping on beaches, wildflower meadows, and expansive mountain vistas. Enjoy it alone or relax with friends.

  • In the relax room you’ll find silence and serene lighting. Unwind as you recline on a sleek comfortable lounge – it’s the perfect place to find peace.
  • In the audio room, snuggle into a quiet niche. Listen to meditation or
    Audio relaxation experience Rudding Park Spa
    Enjoy meditation or relaxing music while you snuggle into a private niche at Rudding Park Spa

    soothing sound tracks on your own personal headphones.

  • The mind room offers a unique setting to stimulate your awareness. Coloring books, puzzles, and books from their spa library allow you to settle and center alone or chill with friends.
Don’t forget your sense of taste…

Many of the spa packages include a welcome beverage and a snack. But should you fancy something a bit more substantial, tasty delights await you at Horto Restaurant. Horto’s name, referring to horticulture, gives you hints as to its kitchen garden inspiration.

Situated right next to the spa reception area, Horto, with its own wall of

Horto pudding Rudding Park Spa
Horto amazing fruit salad pudding. Photo, Judith Culp Pearson

windows, is casual and inviting. During the day, you are welcome in your robe, no need to change. Simply wander over and enjoy the fresh garden, farm to table choices that will please your pallet. This is not the time to skip the Puddings either… they’re amazing!

Plan your escape…

The entire property encourages you to disconnect from your hectic routine from the moment you enter. Go leisurely. Enjoy, savor, de-stress, relax, and enhance your entire well-being. That’s what Rudding Park and The Spa are all about. Because spa packages do sell out, book early to get your preferred dates and the experiences that have you daydreaming. Weekends can be particularly busy.

For the latest in their specials and offerings visit www.ruddingpark.co.uk/offers/. Choose from the Sleeping Beauty Spa Break, Spa and Horto, Escape with Me or Time for 2 and more. So many choices.  Plan now for your own unique, personal escape.

 

Eugene Fun Enjoy the culture, diversity, outdoors without Portland’s traffic

Experience Eugene…. Portland Fun

Without the Traffic

looking south across downtown Eugene
Eugene, Oregon Courtesy Almay Photo
By Judith Culp Pearson
 

Eugene offers fun quirkiness and the diversity of Portland. But there is a key difference… you get that fun feeling and gorgeous scenery without the big city traffic. And, it’s

home to the University of Oregon Ducks! It’s laid back, casual, sophisticated, cultural and quirky all at once. It’s a beautiful outdoors playground.

 

At the southern end of the Willamette Valley, the hills tuck in and the valley narrows. The city takes advantage of two high Cascade snow melt rivers, the Willamette and the McKenzie. They create a habitat for wildlife and a place for people to have a great outdoors experience.

Whether you arrive by car, Amtrak train or air, you will find getting around Eugene easy. The airport is user-friendly. They say fly EUG, it’s EASY. Easy to get around, easy to park, easy to find a cab, a shuttle or a car.
 
Amtrak riders disembark only blocks from the heart of downtown and hotel properties. Cabs and the local bus service can whisk you wherever you want to go if you don’t want to rent a car.

 

Outdoors fun is one of the most popular activities.

There are over 46 miles of shared use paths. Want to hike? We have lots of

miles of walking / biking paths along the river
Wooden bridge along walking path

that too. Many of the trails run alongside the river and delta ponds.

See the town like a local. There are at least 10 different resources for renting a bike. With all those paths plus 187 miles of on-street bicycle lanes, it’s a great way to get around. Check out this web page sponsored by the city. You can even download a free bicycle map. https://www.eugene-or.gov/3260/Bike-Rentals
 
If you like watersports those are aplenty. Rent a canoe at Alton Baker Park and explore the inlets. Kayak, boat or sail at Fern Ridge Reservoir. With its 9000 acres, you can paddle narrow inlets, or sail across wide expanses. Catch white crappie, brown bullhead catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, and native cutthroat trout. Many easily accessible parks dot the shoreline offering great picnic locations.
 
You’ll find diverse arts, music, and theater rub shoulders with baseball, track and field and football at Autzen Stadium. Kids sports, soccer, hockey, and golf are all there to tempt or entertain you.
 

Go for a Broadway play, the symphony or a ballet at the Hult Center.

Hult center offers diverse cultural entertainment, symphony, ballet, opera, Broadway plays
Hult Center

Wander through the many galleries located throughout the downtown. Like classical music? You can enjoy nearly three weeks of events at the Oregon Bach Festival. It runs late June to mid-July. http://oregonbachfestival.com/

 
And then there is the food. Many restaurants feature fresh, locally sustainable regardless of cuisine. Cafes, food trucks, fine dining… you will find the diversity delightful.
 

Here are 5 fun Eugene activities you might want to include:

 

1. Tour the markets.

5th Street Market has made a name for itself as a premium attraction. It’s located on the site of a historical market where vendors could rent space for $5.00 a day. Now you’ll find diverse boutiques and great food options like Marche, Provisions and the food court. Plus the market there are lots of local merchants along 5th and 6th Streets. Restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries vie for your attention. In good weather, your dog can join you in one of the outdoor patio dining areas.

 
Local produce,meats, flowers, baked goods and more at the Eugene Farmers' Market
Eugene Farmer’s Market

On Tuesday and Saturday, you can experience the Lane County Farmer’s Market. It

offers a wide diversity of fresh, organic produce and flowers. You find farm fresh eggs, meats and honey as well as a wide range of prepared foods you can enjoy there or take home. It’s held on Oak St and 8th, only a few blocks from 5th Street Market.

 
On Saturdays, the Saturday Market joins the Farmer’s Market across eighth street at Oak. Across two park blocks, you’ll find over 200 local artisans offer handcrafted wares. Before you reach the International Food Court, you’ll catch aromas and spices of Asia, India and local favorites. Made fresh on site with local produce when possible. Music from the entertainment stage carries across the venue. It features live music of every imaginable type. Bring the family, there is something for all ages. But please, no pets allowed.
 

2. Museums on University of Oregon campus.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is beautiful architecture. It was built without windows to protect the treasures inside. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here you will find an extensive collection of American, European, Korean, Chinese and Japanese art. Visit Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm, Wednesday until 8pm. You’ll find it at 1430 Johnson Lane.

 
A short walk across campus is the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. It highlights the university’s anthropological, zoological and paleontological artifacts. It focuses on the natural and cultural history of the area. Hours are Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm. 1680 East 15th Avenue. Website: http//natural-history.uoregon.edu/.
 

3. Relax and enjoy a sunset

Sweetwater’s patio is a great spot to watch the Willamette River while you

Sweetwaters patio

dine or sip your favorite beverage. Located at Valley River Inn, it is blessed with an amazing river view. Accessible from either the parking lot or the walking path along the river, it is a popular place to gather.

 
The patio is perfect to enjoy a warm summer afternoon, the river and your favorite brew. If it’s a bit chilly to sit outdoors enjoy the views from the panoramic windows. They specialize in fresh, local Northwest cuisine. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
 
Whether you want fine dining, or just enjoy a glass of wine and the view, this is a popular place to relax and do just that. Sweetwater is located at 1000 Valley River Way (541) 341-3462 http://www.valleyriverinn.com/dining.htm.
 

4. Enjoy a game.

No matter what time of year you visit there are great

Autzen Stadium home of Oregon Ducks Football
Autzen Stadium

sporting events to watch. In summer, take in a Eugene Emeralds baseball game at PK Park. The whole family will love it. Kids love their special activities. They get to run the field, play games and visit with Sluggo, the team mascot. http://www.milb.com.

 
Track and field events take place on campus at historic Hayward Field. It’s great family entertainment. Parking nearby can be iffy. But public transportation will whisk you there and back again without any issues.
 
Starting In September, the acoustics at Autzen Stadium roar as fans cheer the Ducks football team. GO DUCKS! The games sell out so get tickets well in advance.
 
Come early and meet up for tailgating. Casual to sophisticated, it’s considered an art form and a great way to spend time with friends.
 
Avoid the traffic… take advantage of park and ride centers strategically located around town.
 
In the winter, it’s back to campus and Matthew Knight Arena for basketball. (This fabulous arena is also a great location to catch a concert or other special event.)
 
www.goducks.com gives you details for all the different sporting events associated with the college. For information on upcoming events and tickets visit http://matthewknightarena.com/ticketsales.php.
 

5. Experience the Eugene Ale Trail.

The area has a legacy of home brewing

Eugene's ale trail is the ultimate pub crawl
Ale Trail

before, during and after prohibition. The ultra pure water of the McKenzie is a brew crafters dream. Add a strong emphasis on local and regional hops and grains and you have a great recipe for great brews. The close proximity to many of the many beer tasting rooms makes it easy to do the ultimate pub crawl.

 
You can pick up a Passport from any participating brewery or bottleshop. They are also available at The Downtown Eugene Visitor Center at 754 Olive Street, or the Adventure Center in Springfield.
 
As you visit each brewery, ask them to stamp your passport. Collect eight stamps from eight participating breweries in the Eugene-Springfield area. They will earn you a 64oz amber Eugene Ale Trail growler.
 
Visit their website for complete details. You’ll also find suggestions for safe transportation. They recommend either a chauffeured driver or designated driver. https://www.eugenecascadescoast.org/eugene-ale-trail/.
 
Eugene residents are a friendly lot and they love living where they do. They are happy to share their city, its beauty and its quirky side. For more help planning your trip, visit https://www.eugenecascadescoast.org/eugene/.

Skip the Boozy Bachelorette – Celebrate with a Bachelorette Spa Wellness Retreat

Escape to a spa for your bachelorette retreat
Getty Images

In the past, brides, as well as grooms, have celebrated their upcoming nuptials with a weekend away partying. But with the growing focus on health and wellness millennial brides are opting for something more low key. A de-stressing bachelorette spa wellness retreat.

If you’re a bride or know a bride, it’s a great way to arrive at the wedding, relaxed, pampered and calm.

It might be just you and your bridesmaids or include some of your best friends. It’s a time to enjoy each other’s company and bond. Find somewhere local or pick a destination location.

Make it personal and include activities you and your friends enjoy.

  • Spa treatments
    • Massage
    • Facials
    • Manicures
    • Pedicures
  • Yoga together
  • Outdoor activities
    • Hiking
    • Horseback riding
    • Water sports
    • Skiing
    • Local walking tour
  • Personal fitness advice
  • Cooking class
  • Wine tasting

If fitness is a goal, find somewhere that offers healthy food choices that taste decadent. If the spa you want to visit isn’t in a hotel, is there a nice one nearby that meets those needs? It’s great to keep the group together for the best bonding and fun.

Some hotel resorts offer a great wedding location. They may also offer a package that will allow you and the girls to arrive a few days early. You can have your bachelorette spa retreat on-site. You will feel pampered, rested and relaxed for your magical day.

Their event planner can assist you with all the details and support services you will need.

Here’s a link to Brides for more ideas.

 

10 Tips for incorporating wellness into your travel

Wellness Lifestyle Travel

You feel good with your commitment to a healthier wellness lifestyle. Your stress is more controlled, your body feels better, and your clothes fit better. You exercise regularly. You focus your food choices on fresh organic, local, seasonal…

Now you want to maintain those choices while traveling. It can be a challenge. Long hours sitting in transit, airport and hotel food.

Here are ten tips to help you incorporate wellness into your travels.

1) Plan ahead and take favorite snack foods with you.

While you cannot take beverages through security screening, you can take

Healthy travel snacks

food. Proteins, (nuts, seeds, organic snack bars), firm fruits/vegetables, dried fruit… a little advance planning can have you feeling better about your choices.

2) Schedule time to move between flights.

Instead of racing from one flight to another, consider giving yourself a little more time. Walk the airport, explore, make use of the yoga room to stretch and rebalance. All airports have places to walk, more are adding gyms, quiet rooms and massage.

3) Check your destination hotel.

Look for those that feature healthy lifestyle choices. Fitness facilities, access to bicycles, walking paths, yoga and more. Increasingly properties are making healthy food choices available. Don’t see what you are looking for on their website? Call them and ask questions to see if they can accommodate your needs. If not, are there restaurants or grocers nearby that feature organic, seasonal local?

Use internet search engines to help you plan. Find healthy choice restaurants and grocers near where you will be staying. Keep a list of those who meet your specific preferences.

4) Locate the nearest farmer’s market.

Farmers market

This is a great place to find

Healthy travel snacks

seasonal organic items. Often they include vendors offering prepared healthy selections.

5) Ship it ahead.

Consider shipping your own care package of non-perishable foods ahead of time. On arrival, collect the package at the hotel’s business office.

6) Schedule your travel to include time dedicated to your fitness activities.

Don’t let a tight schedule prevent you from a morning walk or time at the gym.

7) Opt for in-room fitness.

Incorporate exercise

Many savvy travelers carry lightweight packable devices like stretch bands. These plus normal in-room furniture allow them to get an exercise routine in. This is a bonus if the weather is inclement or the hotel’s fitness center gets high use. Some hotels also have fitness tools available for in-room use including DVD workouts.

8) Skip the elevators… take the stairs.

If you are staying at a larger property, select a floor that coincides with your fitness level. Then instead of standing around waiting for the elevator, take those stairs.

9) Track your fitness goals.

If you don’t have a personal activity device, there are free applications you can download on your smartphone. Most can track your distance, steps, kcal, time spent and movement speed. Some can be set up with alerts and reminders.

10) Relaxation time.

Relaxation and focused breathing is a proven way to

Time to relax

destress. Work stress, travel stress, too much technology stress. All benefit from dedicated time to relax. Yoga, meditation, and massage are recognized “safety valves” to reduce stress and enhance wellbeing. Schedule some into your trip and renew.

With a little preparation and planning, your next trip can be a wellness fitness trip. You’ll feel better, be more alert, have more energy and come home rejuvenated.

Wellness abounds at Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls wellness unmatched

Winding your way up the long drive is like driving into a 3-d postcard.

Cedar Falls Manor has always offered wellness
Cedar Falls Manor offers wellness retreat

The 18th-century red sandstone mansion is the essence of beauty. Situated amidst 44 acres it’s a park with its gardens, woods, and lakes.

 Health farm and spa 

Designed as a health farm and spa, Cedar Falls has been offering wellness retreats since 1982. But the “health” tone has changed. Originally, you had to earn your way to the fabulous meals via diet and exercise.
 

Today’s guests retreat to relax and renew. Most guests are female visiting

Gardens offer a lovely place to walk or relax and unwind in nature
Cedar Falls Gardens

alone or with friends. Every year a high percent of them return for an annual retreat.

 
The atmosphere is that of a manor home, not a hotel. Built in 1830 it has been completely restored to better than original by local craftsmen. The detail of the craftsmanship is a visual delight. Luxury but deliberately unpretentious.

Wellness unmatched 

Cedar Farm doesn’t see themselves as a hotel with a spa. Instead, the focus is the health farm. Wellness abounds. Lots of nature to lure you out for a round of golf. They offer a 9 hole 18 tee golf course. The natural features make it fun and challenging for all levels of golfers. The golf course is complete with its own cabin to cater to the needs of the golfers.
 
A diversity of outdoor opportunities to encourage you to stretch and move:
  • Body conditioning

    The outdoor pool is open all summer for guest exercise
    Outdoor pool for exercise and restoration
  • Pool (summer only)
  • Pilates
  • Country walks alone or organized walk
  • Photography in the gardens or terraces
  • Tennis court
  • Golf
    Yoga and Pilates in the former ballroom
    Yoga and Pilates room

     

Or head to the gym to work out. Need some help? Your personal fitness trainer will guide you into the right moves.
Too cool for outdoors? Relax in the indoor hot tub, pool, and conservatory.
 

The focus is wellness and relaxing restoration.

Forget business. Lounge in your lovely plush robes and slippers. You are welcome to wander throughout the home and to the pool, spa or conservatory. No need to get dressed until you are ready for dinner.

Indoor spa offer wellness year around
Indoor Pools and conservatory
 

The spa is first class with a wide diversity of treatments and facilities. Enjoy its friendly caring approach and superb guest services.

Guests can relax and enjoy a beverage in the spa lounge
Spa lounge and beverage bar
  • Beauty treatments
  • Body treatments
  • Body wraps
  • Facial treatments
  • Hot stone therapy
  • Hairstyling services
  • Manicures and Pedicures
  • Spray tanning
  • Natural therapy treatment
  • Mother-to-be treatments
  • Men’s specialty treatments
 
Natural therapies are a unique twist. Their goal is to help you feel better about yourself inside. Back problems, headaches, depression are all dealt with. Likewise work-life balance, stress reduction, re-energizing and nourishing your spirit.
 
Guests can come and spend a health spa day, or opt for overnight packages. The Spa Stay package includes your room, meals and their most popular treatments. The Spa Overnight package includes your room and treatments of choice – build it yourself.
 

Groups

For small groups of up to four, they have the option of the South Lodge. It is self-contained and includes full access to all the facilities of the main house.
 
Groups can also reserve the spa for their private use in the evenings. It is a great option for a special event and to experience a sampling of what Cedar Falls Spa offers.
 
The Spa features Clarins and Espa products. Treatments are very popular. Advanced booking is strongly recommended.

 

Oasis of Tranquility is designed for enhancing wellness
Oasis of Tranquility
Take a break and visit the Oasis of Tranquility. This quiet zone is designed in the style of a Turkish Hammams. Enjoy sumptuous decor and lounging beds. Salt lamps, the furnishings, and aroma help you switch off and restore. Beware – this is a technology free zone. No phones or other devices allowed.
 

Dining is a healthy indulgence.

Meals here are healthy choices prepared to gourmet tastes and enhanced by views of nature
The dining room offers soothing nature vistas and healthy food choices

Lunch is a tempting buffet. Traditional afternoon teas, cakes, and pastries will tempt you. Want something more than coffee or tea? The bar is open with offerings for your pleasure.

 
After you change from your robe and slippers you can enjoy an amazing dinner. Enjoy the exquisite food while you relax with stunning garden views from its generous windows.
 
Dinner a three-course foodie’s delight. Savory rich Venison Terrine, Five Spice Sea Bass Fillet, and seasonal specialties. The menu brings you the best of fresh local produce and regional offerings. Be advised… desserts are decadent.
 
After dinner relax on your own or join other guests for an evening talk in the drawing room at nine pm. Guests enjoy a wide diversity of wellness and local topics. After the evening talk, things go quietly. In its rural setting, it’s a serene tranquil spot for a great night’s sleep. Snuggle into that comfy bed and let your stress dissipate and your body renew.

Fishmore Hall SpaShell

 SpaShell at Fishmore Hall

Fishmore Hall has brought the unique SpaShell concept to the historic

Fishmore Hall is located outside market town of Ludlow
A mile from historic Ludlow is the restored manor Fishmore Hall

market town of Ludlow. Tucked just a mile down the road from the edge of town, Fishmore Hall is a lovely Georgian manor.

The property owner, Laura Penman, lovingly rescued this elegant home and restored it. The bedrooms are contemporary, the en-suite baths luscious. The result is warm, welcoming and delightful.

Adding a spa

When I visited the property last

Part of the back gardens were prepared for the spa with minimal disruption to guests
Part of gardens prepared for spa
Fishmore Hall Dining with view of spa gardens

August they were excitedly awaiting their new spa.  The spa is a real bonus as the nearest existing spa is 26 miles away.

As with any hotel, remodeling or construction can be a challenge. It can interfere with the guest experience. Noise, mess, workers. Ms. Penman wanted to add a spa but didn’t want to impact her guests.

She met Alistar Johnson of Spa Creators UK, Ltd. at a trade show.  With over 20 years of designing, developing and managing spas he offered a brand new concept. SPAShell. It solves many problems.

SpaShell project

The project includes five years of total management to assure its success.  With over 20 years experience, the SPAShell business model has proven successful. It allows properties to add a revenue stream with strong ROI. The facility itself increases the asset value of the property.

The turnkey concept comes complete with the spa and five years of total management. What truly makes it unique is the construction.  All off site!  Construction includes top end materials expected in any high-end spa.  But manufacture is done in a modular format.

l
Exterior of SPAshell at Fishmore Hall

The spa location is prepared and groomed simultaneous with construction.  Then they load the spa pods onto lorries (trucks) and deliver. Completion of set-up is usually about two days scheduled for minimal impact to hotel guests.

SpaShell facilities

Both one and two story designs are available. This single story spa has four treatment rooms. Each pair of treatment rooms opens to create a double room for couples services.

Each SpaShell treatment room has an en-suite shower and can be opened to create a couple's duo
SpaShell Treatment room

You will find all the expected amenities. Inside are a steam room, sauna, shower, locker room, reception and the treatment rooms. Outside is an outdoor Cedar wellness pool, lounge area. There is also an oversize hammock for snuggling. For the adventurous, there is a stimulating bucket and monsoon drench.

The SpaShell relaxation room offers guest views of nature and a cozy place to relax
SpaShell Relaxation room with view of cedar spa in background

A wide diversity of massage, facial, manicure and pedicure services.  They feature Elemis products and equipment. Packages also include Afternoon Tea or lunch and beverages from the highly rated restaurant.

The Spa nestles in the gardens next to the manor.  Here spa-goers enjoy lovely views across Shropshire’s rolling hills. There is a strong sense of serenity, relaxation, and privacy to enjoy the amenities. Built of natural materials, the spa blends beautifully into the countryside surrounding it.

SpaShell Cedar Spa gives guests a great evening retreat in a quiet relaxing setting
Cedar spa at night with Shropshire view in background

Since opening in late 2016, the spa has become popular with locals as well as guests. It has exceeded Laura’s hopes. Guests are now choosing to stay at Fishmore Hall to enjoy the spa.  Lunch and tea guests view the spa just outside the windows and are scheduling their own visits.

Spa Creators UK, Ltd. plans on

Drench Shower

offering SPAshell to boutique properties across the UK and Europe. For more information on SpaShell or Spa Creators, visit their website: http://www.spashell.com/.

Experience it yourself

To see and experience the Spa for yourself, visit http://www.fishmorehall.co.uk.   Arrange for a great room, fabulous food, and a delightful relaxing spa experience. Booking directly with Fishmore Hall will assure you the best value for your pounds.

Plan to spend several days… there is a lot to see and do in this beautiful area. Watch for my upcoming blog – what to see and do in Shropshire.

Here is a video on SPAshell with views of the spa at Fishmore Hall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g10FOEaMJoE&feature=youtu.be

Physical challenges require travel planning

Traveling with Physical Challenges?

Traveling with physical challenges requires planning.  I know, I grew up

Physical challenges mean you need a helping hand to enjoy travel
Sis at Wild Kingdom Lodge

around someone with physical challenges.  My sister was born with cerebral palsy. She is fortunate and with a lot of help has been able to lead a pretty normal, independent life as an adult.

Sis has some physical issues. Motor skills, balance, hearing and speech issues, and trouble judging changes in elevation.  She has the heart of a tiger. And big dreams.  It was always her dream to visit Africa. Elephants are her passion.

Finally, she had to accept it would be a physically and emotionally difficult trip for her. Her doctor advised against the arduous journey. That was a bitter pill to swallow.

My son, his wife and I decided to give her the next best thing to visiting Africa… A trip to Disney World with a stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.  The wildlife was right out the window. Giraffes, zebra, flamingos and her favorite… elephants, are in the park. She loved wandering through the African art and shopping for trinkets to take home.

Watching her so excited and blossoming was amazing.  But it did take a bit of planning.  Here are some thoughts.

Plan for Physical Challenges

Individual limitations – clearly define what their challenges are. Think about how those challenges may be affected by things you will encounter.

  • Luggage handling  What will they need through each phase.
  • Airport help – will they be able to board safely and get from gate to gate if there are transfers?  If it’s a long distance, you might consider a wheelchair assist.
  • Room needs – sis needed a handicap accessible shower. But she and I were
    Regardless of your challenges, Mickey Mouse welcomes all
    Mickey Mouse Greets You

    sharing a room and needed two beds.  Couldn’t get both in the same room.  With adjoining rooms, my son and his wife took the one with the single bed and the shower. Sis and I took the two-bed room.  While my son went for a gym workout she got her shower. This gave her a bit of privacy.  It worked great.

  • Meals – table service is easier than buffets. If your meal plans include buffets, be ready to assist them with food selection and getting it to the table.
  • Transportation – like lots of places, shuttles were the best way to get around. With the three of us, it was no problem to give sis the extra hand/support to make her feel secure.
  • Pace your tour – this varies by individual.  Physical challenges can makeyou burn more energy just getting through the day.  Be sensitive to signs of tiring and suggest a break. At a theme park, there are always places to sit and people watch. That was a real bonus.

    Timing can ease the challenges

Theme parks tend to be busy year around. But if you can go at what is

Wild Kingdom room views make you feel like you're in Aftica
Wild Kingdom Room with a view

normally a slower time, it can make it easier. We found out that the first half of December is a great time to visit Disney in Florida.  It is between the Thanksgiving crowds and the Christmas ones.  Lines were shorter, rates a little lower, fewer masses of people to negotiate. Weather can still be warm – or surprise you. It’s smart to either take a warm jacket or plan for a shopping opportunity.

Safari Village Gardens allow those with physical challenges to get around easily
Wild Kingdom Gardens let those with physical challenges get around

Sis discovered she could go and conquer. She mastered escalators – which had terrified her. Staff also spotted her and helped us so she was able to get on and off rides. She had the adventure of her life and we all came home with some great memories.

I’d love to hear your stories/comments/questions about traveling with disabilities.

Senior travelers need planning

Senior Travelers

I love memory making trips.  On a whim of inspiration, I decided to take

Senior travelers may not be as comfortable making travel arrangements
Taking charge of the planning ensures a safer trip with seniors.

my 80-year-old Mom to New England to explore some family history.  It was the first time I’d ever traveled alone with Mom. We made a lot of memories, and I learned some tips for senior travelers.

Take charge of the travel reservations choosing flights with the fewest transfers. Non-stop are great. Avoid early morning or late night travel. Seniors have more challenges with these.  Mid-morning or afternoon travel is much easier for them.

When I didn’t have that choice, we stayed at a hotel near the airport and let them transport us and our luggage. One less hassle for me.

Plan to do less

Plan to do less than you want.  That senior traveler doesn’t have your energy levels. They will need breaks and or naps.  Plan those breaks into your schedule.  While they rest, head to the lobby to get online, or head to the gym or for a walk.

What are their favorite things? Is there something they would really like to do or see.  If they haven’t traveled much, they may have no clue. Even though we had talked about the plan, Mom was repeatedly surprised and delighted. She knew it, but all of a sudden it was REAL.

Pick a good location with a helpful hotel

Once you know have chosen places to see, locate them on a map.

Seniors need planning to get around historic sights
When visiting historical sites- be sure to take your cane

Foursquare (www.foursquare.com) is great to help you find what you are looking for and map it.

Now you can locate lodging close by. Do a search for “lodging near” and insert where you want to visit. Depending on their abilities, you may want to go for a room with disabled access.  Onsite food services is a bonus if you arrive back to the hotel with a tired traveler.

Even if your companion loves food, older people tend to have a few more issues. They will appreciate casual dining choices.

Mom is diabetic so I had to make sure we stayed to meals at regular intervals. While I’m not into fast food, McDonald’s salads did come to our rescue a couple of times when traveling from one destination to another.

When making your plans, it may be helpful to see what type of restaurants are en route.  Smartphones make this much easier today.

Plan for Assistance

They may not be able to handle their luggage. Especially true if they walk

Airline services can assure traveling seniors safely get to their gate
Take advantage of airline services for senior travelers

with a cane. If there aren’t bell persons to assist, be prepared to tote those bags. Allow extra time as you will be moving bags for two.

Take advantage of airport services. Check your bags.  You won’t be able to handle both of your luggage and be able to help them.

Make sure any medications they may need are with them in their carry-on.

I didn’t want to risk Mom having to rush to catch a plane so made arrangements for wheelchairs to whisk her along. They worked great!  From check-in to the gate and making transfers.  I made sure she had a few dollars in her hand or pocket so she could thank them.

Be aware of what the facilities are in the places you want to visit. A couple

Canes or other assistance devices may be important for seniors
Seniors may want to have a cane for stability on uneven ground

of historical sites had gravel paths. I’m a pretty small person. Pushing Mom in a wheelchair became a real problem.  Thank goodness for a couple of nice big young men who helped me get her back to the entry.  But meeting new people and finding them generally helpful and friendly is a great part of travel.

If visiting a location where there is significant walking and it is ADA compliant, consider renting them a scooter to whisk them around.

Save the memories

Take lots of pictures. They will save the memories.  There are some great online services like www.shutterfly.com. You upload your photos and convert them into a memory photo book complete with comments.  Makes a great present to help them remember your trip together.

Cowshed Spa… you have to see this

Spa in a Cowshed?

In planning a recent trip to the UK, I came across a spa called  The

Cowshed Spa at the St. Moritz
Cowshed Spa at the St. Moritz

Cowshed Spa.  This I had to see.  Was it in a barn?  I was in for a delightful visit and a few surprises.

Cowshed Spa is actually a chain of spas. The very first spa opened at Babington House, Somerset, UK in 1998… in the old cow shed. Since then they have stayed true to their vision to offer beautiful spas. Cowshed products are organic based and designed to be effective.

In addition to Cowshed spas, they are also located in the Soho group chain in the US, the UK and Europe.

Cowshed Spa, Trebetherick, Cornwall

I visited the Cowshed Spa in the lovely San Moritz hotel in Trebetherick in

Cowshed St. Moritz retail and reception
Cowshed Spa, San Moritz retail and reception

Cornwall, UK. A beautiful, coastal location, it teems with tourists during the summer. When the crowds die down, the locals book again. They have the enviable position of little to no slow season.

Cowshed calls themselves “sociable” and for good reason. Beautiful and elegant, the mood is relaxed, friendly and social.  You’re invited to come with friends, have services, visit and make new friends. They’re famous for detail manicure-pedicure area invites chatting and visiting.

Purposeful with a bit of whimsey

Treatment and product names are whimsical… Udderly Delightful, Udderly

Cowshed St. Moritz Mani-Pedi area.. come, visit, relax
Cowshed Spa, St. Moritz Mani-Pedi area.. come, visit, relax

Gorgeous. But don’t let the names fool you.  Each product meets a purpose.  All have high levels of essential oils for therapeutic results. Botanicals come from their own gardens.

Seven different mood blends focus on client’s needs and the goal of the therapy.  Tired, try Knackered Cow.  Stressed – Grumpy Cow. In a well, playful mood – Horny Cow.  The list goes on.

Dirty Cow, Grubby Cow or Mucky Cow wash skin clean and leave it conditioned.

The treatment menu is impressive.  Face, body, hands feet, waxing and a variety of packages. Men get their own special attention treatments.  The Udderly Gorgeous treatments were the most unique.  Indulgent, relaxing, pampering and designed for clients that are 12 weeks pregnant or more.

They have taken every need of the pregnant client, and their safety, into consideration. Furniture, cushioning, positioning. After the first trimester, Moms-to-be may have services until the big event.

Cowshed St. Moritz, Therapy Room
Cowshed St. Moritz, Therapy Room

Post-delivery treatments are also available to help the new mom de-stress… and get her skin back in condition.

When you are visiting Cornwall, London, Somerset, Oxfordshire, or near a Soho property, relax and have a little fun at the Cowshed.

 

Relax, Renew, Revitalize at the Ginger Tree

Relax, Renew, Revitalize at the Ginger Tree

Ginger Tree offers holistic health and beauty
Ginger Tree Clinic

The Ginger Tree sits amidst the most beautiful, serene area in England. The Yorkshire Dales.  Ginger Tree is a short 1.5-mile drive from Richmond. It attracts visitors and locals from across the area. Peaceful, quiet, secluded, it prompts relaxation.

Aske Stables

Ginger Tree is located in an impressive Victorian building. Originally built as the horse stable for a nearby mansion. Walking in the stone paved courtyard, you expect the clatter of hooves.

Aske Stables renovated into a business park with all the amenities and a gorgeous view
Aske Stables now a business park with amazing views

Renovations took place in the late 1990s. They retained the gorgeous stone exterior. Insides were redone to meet modern needs. State of the art, eco-friendly Ascot Stables opened in 2000. Now over two dozen companies call it home.

A place to escape

Ginger Tree owner, Kathy, selected Ascot Stables for the tranquil setting. She loves the relaxing gardens and ample parking.

Aske Entry and Courtyard diverse businesses get to enjoy this amazing architecture every day
Aske Entry and Courtyard stunning and serene and ample parking.  It has great proximity to local towns.  It was a winning decision and her clients love it.

Kathy is an escapee of London’s hectic pace. She brought her extensive training and skills to the peace of the Dales.

Pamper yourself with a massage, facial or body treatment. Stay groomed with natural nail care. Enlist her as your makeup artist for your special event. She even helps with hair. Here you will find what you need.

Kathy is a strong believer in natural and organic. Products must be at least

Ginger Tree Treatment Room for holistic beauty
Ginger Tree Treatment Room

70% natural and organic ingredients.  To treat the unique needs of each client she maintains diversity.

  • Environ  – physician developed therapeutic skin care for dramatic improvement.
  • Pink Boutique –  handcrafted organic aromatherapy.
  • Neal’s Yard -organic skin care.
  • Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup.
  • SpaRitual – eco-friendly vegan nail care.
  • Advanced Nutrition Program – supplements for beauty from the inside out.

Customized therapies encourage you to relax, renew, rejuvenate.

Wellness Center

Ginger Tree reception area with original fireplace now used as decor
Ginger Tree Reception with original fireplace

Her vision has been for a total wellness center. In September 2016 this came to fruition. The Ginger Tree facility expanded.

It now includes:

  • homeopathy
  • Yoga
  • pilates
  • reiki
  • reflexology.

Locals are lucky to have such a well thought out holistic center nearby.  It is the trend of the future, today!