There are so many ways to overdo it at gorgeous Mohonk Mountain House — hiking, skating, rock scrambling — that the spa invented a special treatment for people who ache all over. It starts with a nice 15- to 20-minute soak in warm water infused with anti-inflammatory magnesium salts and sweet birch essential oil. The bubbling hydrotherapy tub is lit a soothing blue, and never cools off the way it would in a bath at home. It helps you relax even as the muscles are being prepared for deep work.
Shiloh Pileggi is a 20-year massage therapy veteran who led the creation of this service to facilitate deep work and relax sore muscles. The treatment begins with a back massage using Yoga Balm, made from organic oils and Yakima peppermint, and infused with wild frankincense for an overall cooling effect on your warm skin.
A historic Victorian castle built atop the Shawangunk Ridge in New Paltz, Mohonk Mountain House is known for its great hiking, cross-country skiing, rock scrambling, and one of the country’s finest resort spas. Fully equipped with steam, sauna and outdoor soaking pools, the Victorian-themed spa blends seamlessly with this beloved property, still owned by the Smiley family who started it all in 1869.
After more back massage with an anti-inflammatory arnica oil, the therapist passes cool, round stones over your skin, which feels refreshing after the hot bath. There’s a therapeutic reason for this: the contrast in temperatures between hot and cool helps stimulate your lymphatic system, which removes waste from the body. Next come warm steamed towels — another temperature change that feels quite soothing.
You flip over, get a heated neck wrap, and the therapist bends your leg at the knee so she can reach the entire leg and incorporate stretches that help her go deeper with less discomfort. This treatment spends quite a bit of time on the legs, in particular those pesky, super-tight IT bands that go down the outside of both thighs. The result is unusually grounding, even if you aren’t sore.
Leave time to enjoy the chilled blueberry white tea and grapes the therapist gives you afterwards in the relaxation rooms that echo the Victorian feel of the resort. The space’s wide windows will give you a stunning view of the surrounding mountains.
Maximum Muscle Rescue: $225 for 90 minutes (gratuities included); 855.421.4101; www.mohonk.com