June 17, 2024


Passion For Fashion

Turn your home into the spa you wish you could travel to

5 min read

A little spa weekend in the Arizona desert with girlfriends is what Buffalo sales executive Christa Adymy had been looking forward to. But 2020 had other ideas. A spike in coronavirus cases and ongoing travel restrictions put a crimp in her self-care plans – and for many others across the region who are craving warmth and pampering this winter after a long pandemic year.

On to Plan B. This winter, as hunkering down becomes de rigueur and the nights turn cold and dark, creating a spa-like retreat feels not just optional, but essential. Whether you’re budget conscious or a big spender, here are a few ideas for turning your home into the spa you wish you could travel to this winter.

Bring the heat: Mobile saunas for splurgy spa staycation

Spa Fleet's Cloudberry mobile sauna.

Spa Fleet’s Cloudberry mobile sauna.

Nils Schlebusch

Can’t get to Arizona? Have the heat come to you.

For those who want to indulge their pandemic pod and create the ultimate warming spa retreat in their own backyard, Spa Fleet’s wood-fired Finnish-style sauna may be just the ticket. Delivered to your home on a 14-foot trailer for the weekend or longer, Spa Fleet’s cedar Cloudberry sauna can accommodate up to 8 people and includes a changing room, music system and enough firewood to keep the sauna burning for at least 15 hours.

Better yet: the unit works off grid – the battery lasts about 30 hours, after which you need to plug it in to recharge – so you can tug the wheeled sauna into the woods or near a stream or pond for the ultimate escape on your own (or a friend’s) property.

That water feature could come in handy. “I personally like to jump into an ice cold lake after taking a sauna,” advocates Henning Grentz, Spa Fleet’s sauna designer and builder, who created Cloudberry to recapture the Finnish spas from his youth in northern Germany.

Upon dropping off Cloudberry at your house, Grentz will set up the first fire and provides instruction on how to use the systems. After each rental, he employs a four-step cleaning method to sanitize the sauna in between customer use, including using an ozone sterilizer to kill virus, bacteria, mold and mildew.

Details: Spa Fleet’s coverage area blankets a two-hour radius from High Falls in Ulster County – including across the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Capital Region all the way to the Berkshires and Vermont. Rates: $650 for up to two nights and $125 for each additional night; discounted weekly rate is $1150.

Hot tub time machine: Infuse your backyard with aprés ski vibes

Everyone knows the hot tub is an essential part of any ski or spa weekend, and Best Hot Tubs’ rental program lets you pretend you’re relaxing at the slopes from your outdoor patio for a weekend or the entire winter.

A rental hot tub doesn’t require electrical infrastructure investment either. While most installed outdoor hot tubs use a lot of power to keep pumps running and stay hot, the smaller plastic plug-and-play hot tubs available for rent can be plugged into standard 15- or 20-amp outlets, says Bill Renter, president of Best Hot Tubs. Don’t have a flat deck or patio? They’ll bring gravel to level out a spot in your yard for an extra fee – you just need to be near an outlet as the tubs won’t run on an extension cord.

Details: Best Hot Tubs has a fleet of six hot tubs available for rent this winter. Coverage area is within one hour of Windham, Greene County. Rates range from $395 for a weekend rental on up to $3400 for a three-month seasonal rental. (518) 734-9100

Bathe like a boss: Create an epic escape in your home

Lyon Porter, co-owner of Urban Cowboy Lodge in the Catskills, urges making the mental shift from a shower or bath being a thing of utility to being more of an experience.

Lyon Porter, co-owner of Urban Cowboy Lodge in the Catskills, urges making the mental shift from a shower or bath being a thing of utility to being more of an experience.

Courtesy of Urban Cowboy Lodge

For most people, making better use of the bathtub and surrounding space will be the easiest — and certainly most affordable — way to channel a spa this winter. And you would be very on trend. After all, the uber cool and dreamy Urban Cowboy Lodge in the Catskills makes its deep-soaking tubs a focal point of their rooms for a reason: “We are obsessed with putting claw foot tubs in spaces outside of the bathroom and bringing the spa into the actual bedroom space,” says Lyon Porter, co-owner of Urban Cowboy Lodge.

While hot tub jets make for a richer spa experience, really any tub will do. It’s what you put in and around it that matter: think candles, essential oils, aromatherapy diffuser. “The right lighting … burning some Palo Santo, [using] bath salts and scrubs” will all help ease you into the right mindset for relaxation, says Porter, who suggests making the mental shift from a shower or bath being a thing of utility to being more of an experience.

What you put on afterwards counts for something, too. If you’re working with old and ratty towels, now’s a good time to scour the Internet for sales and consider purchasing new bath linens and maybe a plush new robe while you’re at it. Enchasoft Enchante Home Turkish Cotton bath sheets are about as luxurious as towels go, but Coyuchi’s Mediterranean organic flatweave towels may make you think you’re visiting a Turkish bath, not just escaping to the privacy of your bathroom.

And about that bathrobe: Porter recommends Pendleton robes, saying: “The right robe is very important after one has the perfect bath.”

In-home spa treatments: Elevate personal pampering

Let’s not ignore other treatments that elevate your in-home spa game during cold winter months that can wreak havoc on your skin and post-shoveling aching body.

When fatigued muscles cry out for more than a hot soak, infrared sauna bags are a great option for detoxification if you can’t get to a spa for a massage, says Lisa Bare, owner of Haven Spa in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County.

She also recommends splurging on an LED mask if you’re missing your regular visits to an aesthetician. The contour face light mask by Omnilux provides “tons of benefits for the full body but also specifically for the skin,” says Bare, who praises the pricey mask’s skin-calming and rejuvenating properties.

Finally, you may not be able to physically travel to her spa during these days of covid, but Shelley Narath, director of spa at The Spa at Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Ariz., has ideas for at-home muscle de-knotting and relaxation.

“For the ultimate home experience for the massage goer, I would recommend a Theragun – these devices will help you soothe tense muscles while at home,” she says. Used in a lot of high-end fitness facilities, Hypervolt by Hyperice is another top massage gun on the market to work those tired winter muscles.

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