- The “Awakening Theme”. Like Miraval with its “Mindfulness,” awakening is seen in their logo, their purpose, their conversation, and in time will likely join the lexicon of spa experiences even outside of The Lodge at Woodloch
- Food is some of the best I’ve ever had at a spa. Healthy but five-star quality presentation and taste.
- Exercise equipment is the new Cybex, which is smooth and puts your body in the correct position to avoid any injury
- The workout rooms all have views of nature
- The spinning bikes are so state of the art…The front handlebar section actually moves from right to left as if you were really on a racing bike
- Rooms are comfy
- The indoor pool and two-level rock whirlpools with two sections of shoulder massage waterfalls is a veritable postcard (I predict it will become their “signature” photo)
- The outdoor infinity whirlpool overlooks nature
- Treatment rooms are spacious
- Wet rooms – sauna, steam, indoor whirlpool – have views!
- Outdoor screened-in porch for cooling off and relaxation after heat treatments
- The Whisper Lounge is a huge boon to the client – a quiet place to relax after a treatment – separate from the place you lounge before a treatment where therapists interrupt the relaxation by calling out for their clients
- Hospitality of John and Ginny Lopis who are truly “hands on” – as though you were visiting their home
(Most can be easily remedied with a bit of time and training)
- Meal service was slow – better the second day than the first
- Fire alarm went off a few inopportune times, e.g. during my massage and at 6:00 a.m. (has already been fixed)
- Robes are plush but a bit too warm for my taste
- Too much food (and wine). Because the food is so delicious and the spa’s philosophy is “choice”, guests may choose to have seconds, more dessert, or to have wine, beer, or even hard liquor; it is going to really be a challenge to lose weight here. Perhaps they were so generous with the food because our group (Spa Finder Board of Directors) was part of the soft opening, and we have some board members who love to wine and dine. But if they are this generous with everyone else, people will certainly enjoy their stay here, be more relaxed, less stressed, and more fit – but they won’t likely be any thinner. That is, unless they stay long enough to absorb the spa’s lessons about choice and resisting temptation.
Conclusion: I think that this is going to become a very popular spa. They are in a great location – within driving distance of some 30 million people! And the mixture of spa and resort (and golf) will make it a vacation that spa lovers and non-spa lovers will like. Owners Ginny and John Lopis are veteran spa consultants who have built their ultimate destination spa. And they listen to feedback, both positive and negative. So my prediction is that next summer they will be selling out.
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