It's been 40 years since I last visited this part of New Jersey. Skiing at Vernon Valley was a great winter weekend activity during my junior high and high school years. We'd leave school on Friday afternoon, drive about an hour and a half and ski all evening on the lighted slopes. Much has changed in the passing years. Vernon Valley and nearby Great Gorge no longer exist. They have been replaced by Mountain Creek Ski Area. Other changes include the addition of eight golf courses, four lodges, a number of restaurants, a bike park, a water park, lots of real estate development and...two spas. It was, of course, the spas that brought me back. I experienced both.
Minerals Resort & Spa at Crystal Springs Resort in Vernon, New Jersey
My first appointment was at Elements Spa at Minerals Resort & Spa. Elements Spa is located on the lower level of the hotel. I went down the stairs, let the gym attendant know where I was going and passed through the turnstile. The entrance to the spa is at the back corner of the large gym. Fortunately, once through the spa doors, I never knew the gym was there.
Entrance to Elements Spa at Minerals Resort & Spa
I checked in at the reception desk, filled out a short form and was escorted to the women's locker room down a curving hallway lit with softly glowing amber colored walls. I thought it was a nice transition into the spa proper.
Hallway to Locker Rooms, Lounge and Treatment Rooms in Elements Spa
We passed through a curtain of metal beads that separated the hallway from the lounge area and the door to the women's locker room.
Women's Locker Room in Elements Spa at Minerals Resort & Spa
Once in the locker room, I was given a key to a locker and a copy of my itinerary. I exchanged my clothes for the soft microfiber & terry robe and sandals that were in my locker. I was a little challenged by the high tech features in this area. I had to ask the attendant how to get the water to come on in the lovely copper sink (wave your hands behind the spout - not intuitively obvious).
Copper Sink in Women's Locker Room in Elements Spa
While there were showers, there was no sauna or steam room. I didn't miss them. I relaxed in the lounge and enjoyed a cup of tea sweetened with little red and purple chips. As the dehydrated chips became wet, they unfurled into tiny flower petals - rose and violet - that floated to the top of the tea. Nice touch!
Lounge in Elements Spa at Minerals Resort & Spa
My esthetician, Patty, came to collect me before long. She escorted me down the hallway to my treatment room. The back wall of the room was a hand-painted in soft, earthy colors. I found it very grounding and relaxing.
Facial Treatment Room in Elements Spa at Minerals Resort & Spa
I was having the Spa Potion Facial - a facial that is customized to the guest's specific needs. After I got settled onto the treatment table, Patty cleansed my face, covered my eyes and took a look at it under a bright light. She recommended a deep cleansing and anti-aging facial. That sounded fine with me. A number of steps followed - each with a different and very pleasant aroma, along with a periodic break for warm, moist towels to remove product. Patty also massaged my neck and shoulders while a product was working on my face. She did the same with my arms. After massaging each arm, she placed a warm, moist towel over it. Nice touch! When she finished the facial, she told me she used glo therapeutics products and recommended that I leave them on that day as long as possible, so the anti-oxidants, peptides and Vitamin C could have maximum effect. She also recommended two products for home: 1) Conditioning Hydration Cream to hydrate, strengthen and fortify dry skin with an antioxidant-rich blend of moisturizing ingredients and 2) the anti-aging Super Serum to help tighten and strengthen the skin's cell matrix. She left the room, so I could put my robe on.
Hallway from Treatment Rooms to Lounge and Foot Soak Area in Elements Spa
Patty was waiting for me on the other side of the door with a champagne flute of water. She escorted me to the foot soak area where Katie was waiting for me. Patty and I said our goodbyes, then Katie asked if I would like to have a foot soak - a ritual the spa offers everyone after their treatments. I said I would, and she pulled aside the beaded curtain allowing us to pass through.
Foot Soak Area in Elements Spa at Minerals Resort & Spa
Katie invited me to sit down and test the temperature of the water. It was perfect. She added salt and rose petals to the warm water, and I put my feet in. She offered to get me a cup of tea, which I accepted. I sat there and sipped my tea for 10 or 15 minutes. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I have had lots of foot soaks before treatments. It is a hospitality custom that has its roots in ancient civilizations. This was the first time I had one after a treatment. When the soaks have come first, they've been part of the treatment time, and while pleasant, I alway felt that they shortened the actual service. However, they did provide an opportunity for the provider to ask questions to optimize and personalize the treatment and for me to relax.
The soak after the treatment gave me time to continue the relaxation created by my treatment but also allowed me to savor the treatment, recover, reawaken and slowly emerge from my super-relaxed
state - an essential element of any spa treatment that is too often overlooked. This foot soak was not part of the treatment time. There was no rush. It really was a wonderful way to end my experience at Elements Spa.
Elements Spa has a total of nine treatment rooms including facial, massage, wet, couple's and the signature Elemental Journey couple's suite. It also has areas for makeup, hair, nail, waxing services.
Massage Treatment Room
Couple's Treatment Room
Wet Treatment Room
The Elemental Journey Couple's Suite is comprised of four private and separate areas.
1. A massage room for two where couples
a relaxing side-by-side back and neck massage and a body polish to exfoliate and detoxify.
2. A spacious soaking tub where couples are massaged by cascading waterfalls and relax in swirling mineral waters.
3. The wet-treatment sanctuary provides moisturizing steam and gentle rain showers. Couples apply nutrient-rich mineral muds to each other to replenish and condition skin.
4. Showers with natural washes and emollients.
treatments available at Elements Spa at the time of my visit include:
- Native Spirit Wrap
- Detoxifying Mineral Mud
- Crystal Salt Glow
- Elements Body Polish
- Moisturizing Mountain Rain
- Shared Tranquility
- Sacred Stone
- Deep Tissue
- Sports Therapy
- Golfer's Delight
- Indulgent Additions
Signature Treatment For Two
- Elemental Journey For Two (2 hours)
- Elemental Journey For One (2 hours)
- Day Dream (6 hours)
- Earth Elements (5 hours)
- Mom's Time-Out (4 hours)
- Fitness Renewal (3 hours)
- Gentlemen's Journey (3 hours)
- Elements Escape (2.5 hours)
- Sport N' Spa (full day)
- Radiance Jessner
- Copper Firming
- Glycolic Peel
- Lactic Acid Peel
- Vitamin C Facial
- Clear Skin
- Sensitive Skin Calming
- Back Treatment
- Spa Potion Facial
- Gentlemen's Facial
- Series of 6 Microdermabrasion
- Vitamin C Hand Repair
- Restorative Eye
- Hydrating Lip
- Pure Collagen
- Décolleté Treatment
Hands & Feet
- Polish Change
- French Polish Change
- French Manicure
- French Pedicure
- Elements Hand Ritual
- Elements Foot Awakening
- Golfer's Foot Renewal
Hair Services, Waxing