While Williamsburg is famed for all things Colonial, pampering at the renovated Kingsmill Spa is cutting-edge.
“I wanted to set us apart, to be more contemporary” than other area relaxation havens, says spa manager Shari McGhee, of the facility at the AAA Four-Diamond condominium resort in Williamsburg, Va. Wallpaper adorned with tiny Swarovski crystals and stones embedded around mirrors in dressing rooms reflect her fresh approach.
Shampoo chairs adjust to clients’ heights and have cushy neck rests. Handmade organic products from Hungary’s highly regarded Éminence line are used in facials and body treatments in the intimate 5,000-square-foot spa’s seven treatment rooms.
McGhee, a vivacious blonde, says she “tiptoed” into adding more organic components to the spa—such as ammonia-free hair dye and nail lacquer with no formaldehyde—when “I realized that people are integrating (more natural) components into all aspects of their lives.”
As opposed to spas where offerings are standardized, “every service is tailored,” she says. “The client is in control of what is done.” That approach is appreciated by veteran spa-goers, who know their body’s needs are different from the next client’s.
More than four dozen services are available. A good start is Kingsmill’s 50-minute
“Customized Holistic Healing Service” on a heated table in a room with soft instrumental tunes playing. “It’s a tease of just about everything we do” in the spa’s body treatments, says therapist Donna Jo Coffie, who keeps up with the latest trends via classes and seminars.
The customized healing service begins with a choice of scented aromatherapy oil. It combines soothing Swedish strokes with deep-tissue massage if desired, plus reflexology pressure-point work on hands and feet and the warming comfort of smooth heated river stones to melt away tension on the back. More options can be included, such as “cupping” using suction to increase circulation and hands-on Reiki techniques to balance energy. Throughout, enjoy the laying on of moist heated compresses.
The holistic treatment and another sampler massage option are administered by skilled therapists such as Coffie, who has worked at the resort for 19 years.
The adventurous can opt for a restorative Lomi Lomi traditional Hawaiian massage, with the barefoot therapist using long graceful, sweeping movements to tease knots from stressed-out bodies while music from the islands plays.
Those seeking the unusual will find it in the moisturizing Decadent Chocolate Wrap. It’s like being enveloped in chocolate pudding—just don’t try to eat it. The
“Kingsmill Signature Experience” offers six hours of bliss, including massage, wrap, manicure, pedicure, facial and spa lunch. Services for couples and female spa newbies aged 12-16 also are on the menu.
Men, a growing customer base at Kingsmill’s spa, appreciate a deep-tissue massage after a round of golf on one of the resort’s three championship courses or a Signature Hydrating Pedicure with paraffin wax that guarantees happy feet.
Spa guests, limited to those staying overnight at the resort and Club at Kingsmill members, also have free use of a sauna and steam room.
Before or after treatments, guests unwind in a relaxation lounge, where they can snuggle under a cloud-soft blanket on a chaise overlooking one of the resort pools and the James River. In warm weather, white rockers on the porch of the quiet area are in demand.
Some spa-goers choose to pair pampering with a glass of wine or lunch delivered when you request it. This option is popular with bridal, bachelorette and girl-getaway groups. Fare includes baby spinach salad with candied pecans, apples, strawberries and goat cheese, raspberry vinaigrette; chicken and brie sandwich on ciabatta with roasted red peppers and aioli. For dessert: strawberry swirl cheesecake and waist-friendly diced fruit with mixed berry sorbet.
Whatever the reason for booking a soothing session, it’s hard to resist slipping back to your room for a restful siesta on one of Kingsmill’s plush pillow-top beds.
For more information, visit kingsmill.com/spa/spa-experiences or call 800-965-4772 or 757-253-8230; or for the salon: 757-564-5353.