Therapies that incorporate healing techniques from centuries past.
A brick path past a pond set in a verdant lawn and ivy-covered tree beds lead to the wisteria-laden arbor entry to The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg. The red brick walled, tri-level spa facility was once the former museum that housed the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, which she donated to Colonial Williamsburg. The rebuilt, stand-alone building is conveniently set between the Williamsburg Inn and the Williamsburg Lodge (very near the DeWitt Wallace Gallery where the folk art collection is now on display).
The spa combines the aesthetic appeal of the 18th century with contemporary comfort and design as well as up-to-the-minute amenities and techniques. There’s a spacious boutique in the reception area, a large nail salon, rooms for private groups such as wedding parties, a high-tech fitness center and a heated, indoor lap pool. Just outside are the two outdoor pools and restaurant and terrace at the adjacent Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg.
Inside the spa, tile floors, Yarmouth blue cabinetry and 12-pane windows (they are shuttered in treatment rooms) give a sense of classic modernity within the 20,000-foot space, while decorative objects — pottery, pewter and baskets — retain some of the elements of a restored community devoted to the Revolutionary period of American History.
Treatments are also inspired by historical context. The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg offers a menu with wellness services that incorporate authentic touches from the past centuries. The 17th-century treatment is inspired by the Native Americans' use of sweat lodges and steaming hot stones to eliminate toxins. Guests will experience a treatment that includes a hot stone massage and a herb-infused, steaming linen wrap to encourage the release of toxins.
Colonial Americans integrated imported fruits and locally grown herbal concoctions — using lavender, cypress, juniper and rosemary — to make at-home skin care products that exfoliate and moisturize. Here, experts use a variety of herbs in treatments like the 18th-century Colonial Orange & Ginger Scrub & Massage, a 120-minute treatment that features an exfoliation and soothing foot soak.
In recognition of the African-American community that has been intrinsically involved with Williamsburg throughout the centuries, the 19th-Century African Traditional Bath & Strengthening Massage involves a herbal dry brush exfoliation, a bath soak, concluded with a shea butter rub down.
English settlers continued some of their European traditions, so there are Vichy water treatments and, of course, up-to-the-minute skin care technology including microdermabrasion.
For history buffs and casual vacationers alike, experiencing Colonial Williamsburg is a must-do, and The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg is just one more appealing reason to visit.