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The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg - Spa Review

Awash in History

by Sandy Samuels

A treatment room and an assortment of herbs at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg
A treatment room and an assortment of herbs at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg

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 recently 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.

A couple enjoys the 17th-century–inspired Cleansing Hot Stones Experience at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg Three spa-goers on a stroll at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg
The 17th-century–inspired Cleansing Hot Stones Experience
Three spa-goers on a stroll at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg

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 five centuries. The 17th-century treatment is inspired by the Native Americans' use of sweat lodges and steaming hot stones to eliminate toxins. Here, guests will find a steam room as well as a treatment that includes 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 inspired Colonial Herbal Experience, a 120-minute treatment that features ginger and orange in its products.

The 18th-century-inspired Colonial Herbal Experience at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg A man receives a massage at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg
The 18th-century-inspired Colonial Herbal Experience
A man receives a massage at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg

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. In recognition of the African American community that has been intrinsically involved with Williamsburg throughout the centuries, a new treatment, The Shea Butter Massage, has been added to the spa menu. It utilizes Molo Africa products—natural ingredients farmed throughout Africa from the organization Rooted in Africa—for moisturization, skin nourishment and relaxation.

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.

The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg
307 South England St.
Williamsburg, Virginia 23185
757-220-7720
800-688-6479
www.colonialwilliamsburgresort.com/spa


PLH092308

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