Perfect Relaxation At The Sundara Inn & Spa
There are very few places that get things absolutely right, but Sundara Inn & Spa does. The American luxe spa is neither where, nor what you’d expect. For a start, it’s not in New York, San Francisco or DC. It’s in Wisconsin Dells, a small “family-themed” city around an hour from Madison and two hours from Milwaukee.
The spa is high end, set in its own pine-forested glade with free-roaming wild deer, but it’s not in the least pretentious. A warm, friendly Midwest greeting heralds the start of your escape when entering the foyer with its soaring ceilings and large windows. A casual dining space is on the mezzanine level, with a corridor leading to the sumptuous rooms. Many feature spa baths and all are furnished with plump,invitingly-large beds.
It’s the spa ritual that sets the tone. Entering the spa through heavy wooden doors, the staff dole out containers of sandstone body polish. The scrub contains sand taken from excavations when the property was constructed. Flicking off the lid, citrus aromas with a hint of spice waft into the air. An exfoliating scrub under a warm shower is the first step towards relaxation.
Misting the body with a hydrating solution is step two, then it’s time to steam, the light floral scent mingling with mild eucalyptus in the moist, hazy room. In this environment, muscles are coerced into releasing tension. A luke-warm shower sets the pores tingling, and then it’s time to submerge in the central spa, the jets providing a gentle massage. The final step is to plunge into an icy-cool pool to promote circulation. It’s part relaxation and part invigoration.
If that’s not enough, the outdoor heated pool with forest views has full body spa jets in the alcoves carved into the sides, and another hot spa bubbles away here. Inside, the serene relaxation room provides sanctuary, along with free-flowing beverages from juice to herbal teas.
The spa ritual soothes weary minds and bodies, but a plethora of further treatments are also available. Many are unique – products of Sundara – and incorporate elements from methodologies ranging from Ayurveda to aromatherapy. The Sundara Body Boost, for example, involves a Vichy shower, where multiple shower-heads aim water-jets at the pressure points, while the Marma Meditation Facial incorporates the “Sundara Sleep Experience”, adding a feather bed to the massage table. But this is just the beginning.
No-one walks out of Sundara unchanged. Each spa-participant floats away with a peaceful smile on their face, a promise to return and, more often than not, a jar of sandstone body polish tucked under their arm.