Wisconsin's Sacred Spa
Between a whisper and an exhale, even the name, "Aspira Spa", is relaxing. The sleek feng shui-inspired design of the 20,000-square-foot spa at Wisconsin's Osthoff Resort contrasts with the Victorian style of the resort, which opened in 1886 during the Gilded Age, when wealthy urban dwellers would take the train up to Wisconsin's classic lakeside hotels.
The waters of Elkhart Lake, long considered sacred by Native Americans who lived on its shores, are featured in Aspira's signature service, Sacred Waters Massage. The water, gathered daily from the lake, is warmed up in deerskin pouches and placed along chakras or meridians of the body. Skin to skin, the animal spirit connection is powerful. Other global therapies include such cleansing and purification treatments as the Lomi Lomi massage, Balinese Lulur body silking, Balneotherapy, and a Hammam ritual. But services also incorporate the latest technology, like a Bouvier hydrotherapy tub with 250 microjets and color sequencing. When the hood goes over the custom tub, you feel like you're floating in a speedboat.
The spa is culturally chic, with a natural elegance based on simple design choices: a hand-scraped walnut floor gives the wood a rippled surface, as if a river flows through the spa; curved hallways slow one down; elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water from Chinese design blend with Native American tradition. In addition, the large spa cafeand yoga studio are unexpected surprises in this well-planned retreat. For more information call (877) 772-2070 or visit www.aspiraspa.com
By Judy Kirkwood