Dip into relaxation in Asheville, North Carolina.
By Hope S. Philbrick
“This is the best thing ever,” said my husband after emerging from underneath a therapeutic waterfall.
I’d already tried it. He was not wrong.
The surprise: This guy is rarely persuaded to get into a pool.
We’d already been in The Spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn for a few hours. Even though we weren’t scheduled for treatments, our day passes gave us access to enjoy the 20 pools, hot tubs, plunge pools, steam rooms, and other watery amenities as long as The Spa was open.
Sparkling blue water always inspires me to jump in, but Dean would rather keep dry. Here, however, we discovered the glorious exception. We were both happy to splash, dip, swim, flip, float, submerge and soak, long after our fingertips got prune-y.
The Spa is a haven that cost $50 million to create. The money was well spent. The cavernous rock walls, arches, tunnels and pools appear to have always been a natural part of the historic property, not a modern-day add-on. And the design pulls off the contradiction of making The Spa appear to be in a deep underground cave even though it’s hovering near a mountaintop.
The Spa boasts a total of 43,000-square-feet; the amenity space occupies 18,000-square-feet of that with separate men’s and women’s areas as well as shared space. Amenities include indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs plus indoor steam rooms, eucalyptus inhalation rooms, saunas, waterfall whirlpools, a relaxation pool, mineral waters, cold plunge pools and a lap pool that stretches under 6,500 fiber-optic stars as music plays underwater.
In the main indoor pool area two whirlpools offer both wide and narrow therapeutic waterfalls. Stand or squat under one and the high-pressure water works muscles harder, faster, more consistently and effortlessly than a team of massage therapists ever could. You will emerge feeling better than you went in.
And that is the best thing ever.
- The Spa is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
- On weekends and holidays, day passes and spa treatments are only available for overnight resort guests. On Monday through Thursday, excluding holidays, day passes and treatments will be available to both day guests and overnight guests of the resort, based on availability.
- Spa day pass rates are $75 Mondays-Thursdays for resort guests; $95 Mondays-Thursdays for non-resort guests; and $105 Fridays-Sundays for resort guests only. Twilight spa passes may be purchased beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays only; rates are $60 for resort guests and $75 for non-resort guests.
- Day passes are not sold in advance and cannot be refunded or transferred.
- Odds of Encountering Children: Near zero. The Spa is exclusively available for guests age 18 and older. Huzzah!
NEW: Relax Well Treatment Pod…
The Spa added a new Relax Well Treatment Pod during the summer of 2017. The pod combines first-class relaxation and cutting-edge wellness technology. It’s utilized in the Color and Light Wrap with Aura Imaging Treatment, but is also available for some new and innovative body treatments. This multi-sensory pod includes 12 different programs that can enhance the traditional body treatment or wellness regime. Unique features include: adjustable thermal sauna, whole body massage vibration and gem therapy, calming rejuvenating aromatherapy, mood enhancing ambient lights, healing salt mist and soothing music. Try out the comfortable, relaxing, healing pod for what’s described as “the ultimate treatment experience.”
Where To Eat…
When you’re whiling away hours at The Spa, the most convenient way to quench thirst and satiate hunger is to head out to the tiered outdoor terrace—in cooler weather, first grab a warm towel and robe—then snag a seat under an umbrella and/or near a lit fireplace and keep on relaxing. A server will be by to offer menus, take orders and deliver whatever you crave, whether it’s fresh juice, a light hummus snack, creative smoothie, or healthy breakfast, salad, wrap or sandwich. It’s all very ahhh + mmmm.
If you’re ready to dry off, get dressed and exit The Spa, the resort offers several other dining options, including…
Sunset Terrace combines breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountain views with mouthwatering cuisine. Chef Philip Bollhoefer partners with local farmers to feature the season’s best produce along with hand-cut steaks, chops and fresh seafood. Traditional American steakhouse fare gets a Southern twist in dishes like Carolina bison meatballs, Carolina day boat catch, crab cake sandwich, roasted beets with local cheese, and more. Prepare for serious YUM. And, you’re on vacation, so go ahead and get a glass of wine: Sunset Terrace is a nine-time recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen
This menu showcases North Carolina craft beer, small batch bourbon, handcrafted cocktails and seasonally-inspired food in a setting that is as comfortable as it is picturesque. Chef Philip Bollhoefe favors locally-sourced ingredients from area farmers. His menu gives classic favorites a regional spin. On the fall menu, don’t miss the soft pretzel; it’s served with an addictive cheese sauce that no tongue should go a lifetime without having tasted. If you’re unfamiliar with the lineup of options, trust your server for local beer recommendations.
Where To Stay…
On property, of course: Guests have enjoyed this resort atop Sunset Mountain for over 100 years! The Omni Grove Park Inn offers a range of accommodations. The oldest rooms are in The Main Inn and showcase Roycroft Arts & Crafts furnishings and décor; larger, more modern rooms are in the Sammons and Vanderbilt wings. Throughout, King and Queen beds are dressed in luxurious linens and windows offer gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, gardens, golf course, and/or courtyard.
- WiFi Internet service included in Resort Service Charge of $25/day, which also includes local calls, in-room coffee and tea, on-property shuttle services, a guided history tour, daily newspapers located in the Great Hall, and access to the Sports Complex
- Pet-friendly rooms are available for an additional charge
- Mini refrigerator in each guestroom
- Check-in at 4 p.m.; check-out at 11 a.m.
- Located in residential Asheville, with easy access to all the city has to offer
- Odds of Encountering Children: Varies, but generally lower than at national chain hotels. Guests must be 21 years or older to reserve a room. What’s more, the “Good Night’s Rest Policy” ensures a peaceful stay: Under this policy, the hotel requires that only registered guests enter guestroom elevators and rooms after 10:30 p.m. “If a disturbance is created, as a result of a party or noise from a guestroom, all guests in the room will be asked to leave the hotel without a refund. These guidelines are in place to ensure every guest enjoys a peaceful and pleasant stay in our hotel.” This proves that The Omni Grove Park Inn “gets” us, so we give it a 21 Plus Salute!
Asheville, North Carolina…
Asheville, North Carolina is such an adults-oriented destination bursting with high-quality food, art, adventure, nature, appealing accommodation options and so much more to explore and adore, we’re increasing our coverage of the city. See what we’ve already discovered by searching “Asheville.” Stay tuned for more!
– Photos courtesy The Spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn
First published on this site June 9, 2015.
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.