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Escaping to the Spa at Norwich Inn, Connecticut

by Sue Purdy


Like Thelma and Louise, my sister Linda and I periodically leave our families and escape on an adventure. Unlike Thelma and Louise, we never meet anyone that even remotely resembles Brad Pitt. To make up for this omission, we usually pick fun places where we can talk, read and just kick back and relax.

We recently paid our third visit to the Spa at Norwich Inn, Connecticut, owned by the Mashantauket Pequot Tribal Nation, and only a two-and-a-half hour drive from the North Shore of Long Island. Having just completed a major renovation, the Spa sparkles. One of the best new features is the dimly lit Meditation Room where guests stretch out on chaise lounges, cover themselves with soft, blue blankets, listen to the strains of Enya and thoroughly unwind.

Which is exactly what we did between treatments.

I'm not sure who else was relaxing in the Mediation Room, as many celebrities find this the perfect place to loosen up. When Regis Philbin wants to feel like a millionaire, he checks in for a few days. Bryant Gumble comes to the Norwich Spa for facials and Tony Bennett, Gloria Estefan, and Barbara Walters have all enjoyed the many treatments offered.

Packaged stays are the most economical way to enjoy the spa. Linda and I selected the two night stay, which included our room, breakfast each morning, four fitness classes, and four spa treatments each. The price was $695 per person and did not include the a 17% gratuity and service charge. Of course you can add as many treatments as you like. We added a few, some were wonderful, while others were a disappointment.

Wonderful treatments included:

European Deep Cleaning Facial — Aura, who hailed from Romania, was my Esthetician. She cleaned and purified my skin, exfoliated my cells, applied a masque and then gave me a facial massage. It was heaven. Linda was equally pleased with her facial, given by Esthetician Terry. Treatment cost $85.00.

Swedish Massage — I had a massage both days of my visit. I was so supple I could have slipped under a closed door. My first therapist, Irene, gave me a wonderful massage, but my second therapist, Kimberly Byrnes, was lucky I didn't kidnap her and take her home. She's been in the business for four years and says she really loves her work. I could tell. I like a deep-tissue massage that relaxes my muscles, drives out the knots, and relieves my back pain and this was by far one of the best experiences ever. The massage cost $90.00 per client.


Body Scrub — Plan to throw modesty to the wind with this treatment. I laid on a table, naked as a Jay bird, with a Vichy shower overhead. I was wet down, exfoliated with a natural aloe vera gel, corn meal and loofah mixture, then hosed down and Vichied again. I was as smooth as the proverbial baby's bottom. While this treatment was actually pleasant, it was too short and too expensive at $60.00 for 25 minutes. There are other body scrubs that may cost a bit more but are longer and more satisfying.

Foot Acupressure Massage — Linda and I love Reflexology, during which the therapist manipulates all the pressure points in the feet that correspond to different organs and parts of your body. We asked for this treatment but were told the Foot Acupressure Massage was very much like it. It was not. It was a simple 25 minute foot massage and the cost was an exorbitant $65.00.

Manicure — Linda arrived in need of a manicure but was not happy with the basic treatment. It was administered by a seemingly newly trained manicurist who skipped the hand-massage portion of the treatment altogether. Linda also felt the cost of $65.00 for this less than spa-like experience was in excess.

Getting Gorgeous:

On our last morning, we signed up for a $35.00 consultation with Elle Scott, the spa's professional make-up artist. What fun! This 45 minutes segment included lessons on how to apply various products, a custom-blending of a base liquid make-up and a free lipstick. Both Linda and I wear make-up, so we didn't expect to learn much about painting our faces. We were wrong. Expert Elle really did give us tips on application, the colors and shades that looked best on our skin tone and, most important, she blended a base that matched our skin exactly. All the products can be reordered through the spa and shipped to your home.

For more information about The Spa at Norwich Inn, call 1-800-ASK-4-SPA or visit

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