A couple of days at a spa works wonders for relationships.
Travel writer Roy Stevenson, here.
Recently, while completing my assignment of visiting and experiencing spa treatments at seven luxury Pacific Northwest spas, my wife and I enjoyed our final two spas in British Columbia in royal style.
First stop, Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Set in 22 acres of arbutus and fir forest nestled beside the ocean, Tigh-Na-Mara Resort’s oceanfront location offers two miles of sandy beach that we strolled along on our first night.
The next day, our visit to the Grotto Spa was one we’ll remember for a long time. After changing into plush spa robes, we thought we’d be going in for a massage, but it turned out to be very different. We were taken upstairs to the spa’s Treetop Tapas & Grill, where we endured a 14-course series of gourmet delicacies washed down with wine and juices of our choice—all with our own discreet, personal waiter. We didn’t come close to finishing all 14 courses, but we gave it our all.
Too full for massage treatments, we were led into the Grotto Mineral Pool that we had all to ourselves for the next half hour. Designed to emulate a natural stone grotto, this 2,500-square-foot warm indoor water pool is infused with natural minerals and trace elements that detoxify the body and rejuvenate the spirit. The Grotto Pool has a two-story waterfall, an invigorating glacial plunge cascade, and a whirlpool where we finished up. All very romantic!
Later I found out that this is the #1 Spa in Western Canada, offering signature treatments and services. It features 18 treatment rooms, a nail room featuring European Pedicure Thrones, a full-service hair salon, and three private day suites for two with handcrafted copper soaking tubs and treatments tables. Treatments include body wraps, massages, manicures, and pedicures and facials.
Our second stop, the Rockwater Spa at Rockwater Secret Cove Resort, was another one for the books. Located on the B.C. Sunshine Coast north of Vancouver, we stayed in the Resort’s deluxe tent accommodation. Yes tents! Doesn’t sound very luxurious, but these were no ordinary camping tents—they were glamping tents with heating, king-size beds, and bathrooms. For hours, we admired the tranquil view of the cove and sea from our tent suite, interrupted only by a five-minute boardwalk to the gourmet restaurant in the main lodge.
And our spa treatment? A couple’s outdoor massage in one of the two spa-tents nestled in the forest, on a bluff overlooking the ocean. I was lulled into a deep sleep from the sounds of the breeze whistling past the tent and the ocean waves lapping on the rocky shore while receiving my healing massage—and was told afterward that I snored gently through the whole thing!
How did I land this choice assignment? The editor of a local travel magazine accepted my query for a story about the top luxury lodges in the Pacific Northwest, and I thought, “Why stop at just one article?”
After researching the lodges for my story, I found that most had spas attached. I queried a number of women’s magazines with a story about the spas and the treatments at these luxury lodges, and got an assignment from that, too.
I had to find a listing of women’s magazines to query with my spa story. I compiled my list from my Writer’s Market reference book, the Internet, and from collecting a few women’s magazines off the racks at my local Barnes & Noble. I wrote what I hoped would be an enticing query letter and fired it off to the editors of the women’s magazines, and got my “hit.”
If you take the Ecuador Spa Writing workshop through AWAI, you’ll learn how to do all of this, and will emerge from the course with more than enough information to do these steps yourself—and hopefully land some sweet spa assignments like mine. My travel writing career started in 2007 with an AWAI Travel Writing Workshop, and I’m now a full-time travel writer. When I visit these lovely resorts with my wife and we are lavishly pampered, I know I made the right decision.
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