When most people think of taking a spa getaway, maybe with a dash of eclectic healing services/therapies thrown in, it's unlikely that Asheville, North Carolina -- long-known as the 'Paris of the South' -- will land at the very top of their list.
But if you ever find yourself in this incredibly eclectic, scenically-blessed metropolis - tucked about 125 miles from Charlotte, ensconsed between the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains -- you'll find a vast array of healthy, nurturing, eye-popping and spiritually-enhancing options.
For the height of spa luxury and amenities, the four star Grove Park Inn gets the gold, but if you're not a hotel guest, spa access is limited; the resort denies visitors spa day passes on the weekends, so if you want to luxuriate at the waterfall pool, or try the Blue Ridge Symphony Massage, be sure to plan accordingly. But visitors can get top-notch spa treatments every day at top-notch locales such as The Spa at Biltmore Village, nestled in the historic (you guessed it) Biltmore Village. This small but stylish spa offers everything from Monticelli Mud Wraps to Hot Stone massage, a comfy quiet room replete with its signature Koppla tea, and a bevy of talented therapists.
For those adventurous types looking for a truly unique healing experience, you might want to check out one of Asheville's talented array of healers such as David Serra, a massage therapist who also specializes in Chakra Balancing with Shamanic, Aegean touches. David tailored my session unqiuely for my needs, and I left feeling energized, balanced and restored.
And for another truly unique (and extraordinary) healing experience, you can try downtown Asheville's Salt Cave and Spa, above, which is a 450 square foot "salt enriched microclimate" where you can lounge in the moody ambience that's touted to help respiratory ailments, cardiovascular issues, nervous system disorders, skin problems and digestive complaints.
Have you ever been to Asheville? What's your favorite if little-known spa destination? Feel free to leave your comments. -- Mitch Rustad