The most important thing about the Mayflower Spa is that it is small. Its owners—the mother/daughter team of Adriana Mnuchin and Lisa Hedley—like to use the word "residential" to describe the sparkling modern facility, which accommodates a maximum of 28 guests at a time and is just up the hill from the proprietors’ sumptuously dark and famously stately Mayflower Inn. This oasis they have created amid the rolling hills of Washington, Connecticut, manages to be at once earthily spiritual and indulgently luxurious.
The details are delicious: the diaphanous fabric swirling to a knot above the four-poster beds, the giant 1986 De Kooning in the salon, Wellies at the ready in case of a shower, pale pink plastic Sensi slippers that perform reflexology on you as you walk, hand-painted dragonflies on the wall, and a cornflower-blue journal to help purge the mind while treatment technicians and exercise instructors go to work on the body. An excellent shop on the premises has the good sense to sell those addictive Sensi slippers along with Calvin Klein maillots and Barneys-worthy jewelry.
The spa is equally detail oriented in dealing with clients. Weeks before their arrival, guests who sign up for the three-, four-, or five-night stays are thoroughly quizzed about their fitness, health, and nutrition goals. Want maximum cardio? You got it. Aspiring to up your yoga practice to the next level? Consider it done (especially if you’re there when Ashtanga great Stan Woodman or cult yoga instructor Jessica Bellofatto—both personal friends of Hedley’s—are teaching). Aching to do nothing more than sleep and dangle your toes in the cupola-covered Jacuzzi? That’s fine, too. You’ll get precisely what you ask for, plus a tailored menu of facials, wraps, and scrubs, all of which borrow from Eastern cultures. (Do not forego the Mayflower Sweet Surrender—it packs in enough craniosacral, lymphatic, and acupressure work to zen you out for days.)
The food philosophy at the Mayflower is refreshingly epicurean: Beautifully presented colorful, protein-rich dishes abound; blueberries, almonds, and flaxseed oil have never looked so appealing. If you would like eating habits to be a focus, time with the spa’s nutritionist will be booked into your personal schedule.
Mnuchin says her definition of success is a clientele that comes back. This means you’ll never feel pressured into an activity that’s not wholly appealing to you, nor will you leave feeling that you’ve missed out on anything you wanted to try. The one aspect of this bucolic retreat that’s universal? Supreme comfort. From $4,500 for a 3-night stay; 860-868-9466; mayflowerinn.com.