Image: Lake Austin Spa Resort
Okay, all you spa lovers and foodies out there—we’re serving up your favorite dish: resorts that offer not only a delicious menu of rejuvenating spa treatments, but culinary classes and experiences that cater to the most discerning epicurean. Add a little flavor to your next vacation by making reservations at a culinary spa getaway—here’s what’s cooking at just a few we found to whet your appetite.
Lake Austin Spa Resort – Austin, TX: The resort’s Culinary Experience™ program takes place one week out of every month, partnering the resort’s culinary team—led by Executive Chef Stéphane Beaucamp—with prestigious restaurateurs, cookbook authors, James Beard award winners, and TV personalities to provide guests with healthful, gourmet, gastronomic adventures like daily cooking demonstrations, tours of the on-site organic gardens, wine seminars, knife skills, fresh pestos and salsas class, and more. The program is complimentary to overnight guests of Lake Austin Spa Resort.
The Essex Resort & Spa – Essex, VT: The Essex Resort & Spa invites you to “discover your inner chef” in its prestigious Cook Academy. In the boutique-size classes, collaborate with resort chefs and test your culinary skills while crafting dishes created with local Vermont ingredients. Classes are typically paired with a three- or four-course meal and glass of wine; there is also a weeklong Camp Cook for younger gourmands to get hands-on in the kitchen.
Travassa – Austin, TX, and Maui, HI locations: Travaasa invites you to choose your adventure, which includes the culinary experience (spa, fitness, adventure, and culture are the others, if interested). At Austin, indulge in wine tastings and hands-on cooking demos that educate novices and gourmets on Travaasa house recipes. In the Hana, Maui, locale, learn about Hawaii’s rich, diverse culinary history; take a mixology class; learn how to husk a coconut, and more. Travaasa’s “Juicing 2.0” experiential class is offered at both locations as well.
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort – Braselton, GA: Inside Chateau Elan’s Viking® Culinary Studio, savor time with the resort’s international chefs and learn your way around the kitchen with public cooking classes, Saturday cooking demos, private culinary events, team-building events, and more. Or, if you’re like me, and reservations are your idea of cooking, book one of Chateau Elan’s Epicurean Packages.
Here’s the dish on a couple more culinary packages similar to Chateau Elan’s mentioned above; gastronomists may also enjoy reading Sensory Ecstasy: 10 Spa, Wine & Dine Experiences, based on our Spafinder Wellness 2012 Global Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast.
- The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, North Carolina, presents the Culinary Artist Package, which includes an artful three-course menu with wine pairings at Herons, the resort’s signature Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond restaurant.
- Salish Lodge & Spa’s Epicurean Escape: This promotion at the Snoqualmie, Washington-based resort spa includes a one-night stay; four-course dinner for two in The Dining Room (or a dinner credit up to $200); and an in-room “culinary gift.”