Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville, North Carolina
Register visited this subterranean resort spa in North Carolina in July 2002
Read about Julie's 2009 experience
at The Spa at Grove Park Inn Resort HERE
last time I was in Asheville, my family was taking a road trip to Mammoth Caves
in Kentucky. We returned to Delaware via Chattanooga, TN, and Asheville, NC. We
saw Rock City. We saw Ruby Falls. We saw the Chattanooga Choo-Choo. We saw Biltmore
Estate. We drove through the absolutely lovely Blue Ridge Mountains. My son was
forward 11 years. My son is 18. We are on another road trip. We are on our way
to Atlanta so my husband, son and his friend can run in the 10K Peachtree Road
Race on July 4. My husband and I are in the lead car. My son and his friend follow
in another. They will leave us in Atlanta to continue on to New Orleans. On our
way to Atlanta, we drive through the absolutely lovely Blue Ridge Mountains. It's
just as nice as I remembered. We stop for a few nights at The Grove Park Inn in
boys are in one room and my husband and I in another, both located in the historic
part of the Arts-And-Crafts-style inn which was renovated just last year. We get
a kick out of the enormous fireplaces in the Great Hall and the motivational quotes
from the early 1900s painted here and there on the rock walls throughout the inn.
Perhaps the most unusual feature is the elevator to our fourth-floor rooms. It's
located in the chimney of one of the massive fireplaces, placed there to conceal
the noise of the machinery, and has an attendant to run it.
boys are essentially on their own with instructions to not get carried away with
spending, and we don't see much of them during our visit. Looking forward to having
some "quality time" with my husband, I have arranged for us to have
a Couples Retreat at the Spa. The Spa, new in 2001, is underground. I suspect
the location, between the two newer wings of the inn, dictated the subterranean
choice. Anything higher would have ruined the view of the golf course, Asheville
and the Blue Ridge Mountains for the rest of the inn. Unfortunately, during our
stay, the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the inn is diminished by a haze
from a huge fire in Quebec (which, sadly, is also there days later on our return
trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive).
appointment for the Couples Retreat is for 8:30 a.m. We start our day in the well-equipped
gym at the Sports Complex at 6:30. The Spa has a workout room, but the spa doesn't
open until 8. We spend a half hour in the cardio room. I use the elliptical machines,
and my husband uses the treadmill so he can run (he's preparing for a 10K run,
remember). Then we spend a half hour or so on the weight machines, take showers
and head over to the Spa.
go back through the main inn and take the outside stairway from the Sunset Terrace
to The Spa. It's the scenic route and has lots of steps but goes past lovely gardens
and along the waterfall that cascades in front of the spa's entrance.
check in at 8, are invited to sit in the waiting area behind the reception desk,
are given health forms to complete and are told an attendant will be with us shortly.
Jeff is called almost immediately and disappears into the Men's Changing area.
I wait. And wait. Getting antsy, I am finally called by an attendant at 8:20.
The receptionist asks the attendant to wait while she checks two more guests in.
I ask if I will be able to make my 8:30 treatment. The attendant agrees that we
can't wait and takes me into the locker room. Normally, a tour of the facilities
would precede a locker assignment and robe/slipper distribution but, because of
the time, we go right to the changing
room. I change quickly and am escorted past the vanity,
showers and inviting women's
lounge, down the stairs, into the treatment area to the co-ed lounge where
my husband and my therapist, Andriette, are waiting for me.
warmly greets me with a two-handed handshake and explains the treatment we are
about to have. "A lavish treat for just the two of you. Start with a candle-lit
couples massage, and add an aromatic bath sprinkled with fresh rose petals, surrounded
by more candles. Sip champagne, while feeding each other chocolate-covered strawberries." She then escorts us to the couples treatment room where we find two end-to-end
massage tables with rose petals sprinkled on top, a whirlpool tub for two, a table
with a bottle of champagne chilling
and snacks like chocolate-covered strawberries and Pepperidge Farm cookies, soft
candlelight, and Jeff's therapist, Kari.
Our individual therapists consult
each of us, asking about our state of being at the moment and what needs particular
attention during the massage. We then are asked to choose an aromatherapy scent.
I choose the energizing oil which contains peppermint and jojoba oil. Jeff chooses
the detox oil which contains lemongrass and rosemary. The third choice is a relaxing
The therapists leave while we get onto our individual tables. They
re-enter and softly ask about the amount of light and heat in the room. The light
can be controlled with a dimmer switch, and each table is under heat lamps which
can be turned on if we are cold. The light is good. The temperature is good. The
music is soft and soothing. The room is hushed. I can just hear the waterfall
outside the door.
Andriette's massage is wonderful. She pays special attention
to my neck, shoulders and back, always needing relief from hours in front of a
computer. The massage ends with hot towels on my back - a nice touch.
are instructed on how to use the whirlpool and left to enjoy the bath, sip champagne
and feed each other chocolate-covered strawberries for 50 minutes. Ten minutes
before our time is up, the lights are brightened and dimmed to signal the end
of the bath.
we dry off and slip back into our robes, Andriette leads us to the spa lounge
where she gives us heated, clove-scented
pillows to put around our necks and a Gan
Bei "Virtual Buddha" tonic (which we eventually buy in the Spa Retail
Shop to take home). We sit and talk some more. It is so nice not to feel like
we have to rush to do something or get somewhere.
we decide to go enjoy the pools. We go back to the changing rooms, put on our
bathing suits and meet at the lap
pool. This part of the spa is extraordinary. Leading to the common pool area
are separate women's and men's thermal areas with hot/cold
plunge pools, steam room,
inhalation room and sauna.
Showers are located right
before you enter the main pool area,
and everyone is asked to take a shower before going in the pools. Stacks of towels
are there if you need them. The main pool area is simply amazing and delightful.
A red waterfall cascades from
high above, splitting the area into two contrasting areas - a dark cave-like atmosphere
surrounds the lap pool where most of the light
comes from torchieres on stone columns, and a bright, light-filled area surrounds
the mineral pool which is under skylights high in the "cave's" roof.
Both pools feature underwater music. Perhaps our favorite pool is the therapeutic
waterfall pool where we can stand under the cascading water and "massage" our necks and shoulders. On second thought, we really enjoy the outdoors
whirlpool. We stake a claim in one of the two covered porches and alternately use the pools and order food and drinks from the Spa Café
waitress who periodically comes by. By the way, there is no spa food in the Spa
Café. My son and friend stop by to join us for lunch and then head off
on their own. We spend the entire day there. It is fabulous! It is relaxing! It
is, well, romantic!
And how do the 18-year-olds fare at The Grove Park Inn?
Very well. Very well, indeed! They have room service twice - ordering pizza each
time, play Nintendo, watch six movies, work out in the gym at the Sports Complex,
have day passes to the Spa where they use the thermal area and the pools (and
join us for lunch - a highlight of their day, I'm sure!), and generally enjoy
My son on a road trip at age 7
My son on a road trip at age 18
I would love to return to the Grove Park
Inn some day. The Fire, Rock, Water, and Light Treatment at The Spa beckons. Jeff
would like to come back to play on the Donald Ross golf course. My son wants to
try a massage. There's something for everyone! This time, I'll try not to let
11 years pass before I get back to Asheville!
HERE for a Photo Tour of the Spa Entrance,
Reception, Retail Area, Women's Changing Rooms, Lounge, Sauna, Steam Room, Plunge
Pool and Showers at The Spa at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
Click HERE for a photo tour of the
Treatment Rooms at The Spa at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
Click HERE for a photo tour of the
exterior of The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
Address: 290 Macon Avenue,
Asheville, NC 28804
Toll Free: 800-438-5800
Web Site: www.groveparkinn.com
As spa services are always very popular with guests, it is strongly
recommended that you make your spa appointments when you make your room reservation.
Appointments for services are subject to availability. Friday through Sunday treatments
are for Resort guests only. Please inform your reservations representative if
you are pregnant or under a physician's care
Spa is appropriate for guests 18 years of age and older. Please inquire with the
Sports Complex for extensive children's programming, or with the Concierge Desk
for child-care services.
a Spa day pass, which lets you enjoy The Spa's many amenities (such as the pools,
saunas and outdoor jacuzzi) without a treatment. A Spa pass is included with the
purchase of a treatment. A daily fee of $50 for resort guests. $75 for non - resort
guests. Limited availability. Please phone ahead for availability. Day passes
are not sold in advance.
For your convenience, a 20% service charge
will be automatically applied to your bill and distributed to the staff. Gratuities
are appreciated but not expected.
arrive a minimum of one hour prior to your first treatment to allow time to enjoy
the facility and to prevent delays for other guests. Arriving late may result
in a shortened service.
Bring swimsuits and sunglasses for the pool areas and loose clothing if you are
receiving a Shiatsu or Reflexology treatment. (Robes and slippers are provided
for use by all guests).
Spa is a non-smoking facility.
Cell phones, laptop computers are not permitted
in the spa.
Tours of the facility are available by reservation only.
Spas in North Carolina
North Carolina Spa Directory
Blue Ridge Parkway
Museum of the
Convention & Visitors Bureau
copyright 2002, Julie Register
Lantana Spa at JW Marriott San Antonio
Farm to Treatment Table Lavender Experience
This package is available Saturdays only, May 12 – July 14 (excluding June 8), must be booked one week in advance and requires 48 hours notice for cancellation.
Hill Country Lavender Farm tour,
a bottle of organic lavender massage oil made at the farm,
lunch at Replenish Spa Café with items featuring lavender, and a lavender-based spa treatment featuring the organic lavender massage oil from the Hill Country Lavender farm.
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I'm a believer.
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