Get pampered at Lonesome Valley in Jackson County, North Carolina
By Hope S. Philbrick
If scientists were to study it, I’m pretty sure they’d conclude that it’s humanly impossible not to sigh in contentment when pulling into Lonesome Valley. Now that the 800-acre community has added a spa—it opened on June 7, 2014, in the former Caretaker’s Cottage—there’s even more reason to exhale upon sight of the place.
To reach my appointment, I drove across Jackson County for an hour (it’s a large county!), feeling tension build in my neck and shoulders as I maneuvered the mountain roads. I was stressed by the roads, aggressive drivers, other deadlines and pressures weighing on my mind, and anxious to get a massage. I pulled in and ahhh—seriously, how could you not relax at the sight of manicured rolling hills and colorful gardens offset by a rocky cliff? The sprawling grounds look like something a painter dreamed up, except you’re standing there looking at it all for real. Immediate relief.
Things would only get better.
The folks behind the reception desk welcomed me with a robe, slippers and a glass of water. “No rush!” they said while escorting me to the changing room, which had a huge stone shower that got me thinking I really should remodel my bathroom at home. But I moved quickly, aware of the clock.
Once changed, I had my choice of three waiting areas to use before (and after) my treatment: the front porch, the entrance space and a seating area near the fireplace. I opted for the fireplace before getting called into one of the three private treatment rooms.
Canyon Spa offers a range of body and facial treatments, therapies and natural products to promote wellness and relaxation. I chose a stone massage, which incorporates essential oils, steamed towels and heated river stones into a full-body massage plus includes Canyon Spa’s signature face, neck and scalp massage. ($135 for 60 minutes; $195 for 90 minutes.)
The therapist explained that any number of additional enhancements could be added for $20 each, including body brush exfoliation, foot scrub and wrap, aromatherapy, aqua gel face masque, and collagen eye or lip masque. I decided to try the dry brush exfoliation, which sounds painful but proved to be as relaxing as how a kitten must feel when getting its neck scratched.
Canyon Spa uses two product lines: Privai, which is antioxidant rich and botanically based and the all-natural, award-winning Farmhouse Fresh line. Some treatments use farm-fresh ingredients from the Canyon Kitchen garden.
The therapist was skilled at releasing tension in muscles I didn’t even know that I had. She mixed long and short strokes, customized pressure, and thumbed key points. The hot stones were seamlessly incorporated into the massage and tiny stones tucked between toes proved to be surprisingly effective. The hot stones, hot towels and a warm pack of buckwheat helped relaxation sink deep below the surface.
I arrived in a rush but by the time I stumbled out of my treatment I didn’t even care to glance at a clock. It was time well spent.
Any visit to Canyon Spa is bound to be ahhh-some. Improve your day even more by dining at Canyon Kitchen.
94 Lonesome Valley Rd.
Sapphire NC 28774
Canyon Spa is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Odds of Encountering Children: Minimal. Children are permitted, but rare customers.
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
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