Enjoying time at The Mayflower

love-opera-victoria-bakerA couple of weeks ago my little sister came for a visit. She’s a student at La Sorbonne in Paris and I wanted to make sure we made the most of her time off.

She’s very difficult to please, so planning some fun things for us to do together was going to be a challenge, albeit an amusing one. She’d never been to a spa before and what girl doesn’t enjoy a spa day? Surely even the pickiest of sisters would enjoy that.

I searched around, knowing that I had to find a spa with all the amenities: pool, steam, hot tub, relaxation room, soothing music…the works. I kept coming up short until I came across the Mayflower Grace, a Relais & Chateaux property in Washington (Connecticut, not D.C.), which is about an hour away from Greenwich.

Renowned as one of the Northeast’s most distinguished hideaways and best spas in New England, The Mayflower is a 58 acre estate with a 20,000 square foot Spa House, luxurious accommodations and dining by award-winning Chef Jonathan Cartwright. I knew it would satisfy even my sister’s impossibly high standards and it no doubt will satisfty yours as you can see at www.gracehotels.com/mayflower

Upon arrival at the spa I was immediately struck by the serenity of the all-white relaxation room. Modern and impeccably designed, my favorite features were the lounge chairs facing the park. Covered in unspeakably soft 100% Kashwere blankets (a unique fabric that first caught the public’s attention when it made Oprah’s Favorite Things List in 2005) it was the perfect meditation chair.

I’ve been trying to meditate successfully for about a year now without consistent results. But as soon as I sat in the chair in that luminous room, the light streaming in those enormous windows, I just slipped effortlessly into the elusive silence all meditators seek.

It wasn’t all spiritual of course. We went swimming, took a steam, a dip in the hot tub and my sister enjoyed the best massage ever. It was a perfect girls getaway. I especially enjoyed the Red Flower brand of toiletries used throughout the spa. Ladies, please try some. Here’s the website www.redflower.com

We had dinner at Jonathan Cartwright’s Muse. The restaurant is part of the Mayflower Grace. The décor was crisp and modern and the service exceptional. Jonathan Cartwright is a formidable Chef, renowned for his New England specialties. Highlights of our meal were the truffle risotto, lobster bisque and local cheeses.

After dinner, happy and exhausted, we headed to our four poster beds and watched the fireplace roar until we fell asleep. The next morning we did the whole spa experience all over again. We felt blissfully disconnected from our everyday lives.

Hats off Mayflower for making me look like the coolest big sister ever…the title won’t stick of course, but it was fun while it lasted.

Victoria Baker, of Greenwich, is an opera singer. Winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists all over the world (notably at Lincoln Center). Should you have any questions that deserve answers and may be in print please call 203-531-7499 or e-mail [email protected]

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