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All I Want For Christmas

A couple’s retreat becomes a seasonal ritual

JEFFERY JOHNSTON PHOTOGRAPH

Thinking about the myriad feasts, rituals and parties in the coming weeks is enough to send some of us running over the river and through the woods to escape. But what if there’s a way to relax so much before the madness that by the time it happens, you just sail serenely through it? This thought came to me one day as I was contemplating Christmas wrapping paper at Gordon’s. I had a vision right there in the gift-wrap aisle: A couple’s spa retreat.

After coordinating a date and time with my significant other, Mark, I booked a three-hour session at the spa at the Ritz-Carlton. Our treatment would include a couple’s bath, $75, the “Deux Massage,” $145 each, plus dinner in the Spa Café.

We arrived at the spa an hour prior to our treatments to relax in separate lounges. The facility also has sauna and steam rooms, as well as a whirlpool. We each were lead away by separate concierges, settled into our soft, fuzzy robes and chilled out with a glass of complimentary Champagne. About 50 minutes later, my massage therapist came by to ask what scent we’d prefer for our couple’s bath. I went with calming lavender and a few minutes later, Mark and I were reunited in a darkened, candle-lit, room. Soothing music played quietly in the background, the large whirlpool bath was strewn with rose petals, an ice bucket with chilled water rested to the side of the tub and the entire room was infused with Niven Morgan lavender mint.

When the whirlpool jets stopped 20 minutes later, it was time to dry off, robe up and head into the massage room. We both were already in a deep state of relaxation, so over the next 50 minutes on the massage tables, I was kneaded into a stupor and Mark says he fell asleep more than once.

Post-treatment, we hit the Spa Café, where we enjoyed one more glass of Champagne, along with the food we ordered upon arrival. I devoured perfectly cooked salmon on a bed of Caesar salad and Mark noshed on a trio of sliders. We chatted about the food, the fabulous pre-treatment bath and the service.

On the way home, we both agreed the spa felt like its own little world and didn’t seem like it was attached to a busy hotel. We also agreed that a new ritual was born. Look out holidays; the Spencers’ are relaxed, rejuvenated and ready.

Ritz-Carlton, 921 Canal St., 524-1331, RitzCarlton.com

 

 

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