Ring in a Year of Renewal

by Dianna Stampfler

Spa Pedi Party Grand Traverse-620
Spa pedi party at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

With the arrival of a new year, comes a renewed energy. A time to escape the mundane day-to-day for something refreshing and relaxing – including a visit to one of Michigan’s noted destination hotel and resort spas.

Celebrate the award-winning Crystal Spa at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, which boasts 18,500-square-feet and powers its own energy as one of only six such LEED-certified spa facilities nationwide. The Crystal Bonding Package gives mothers and daughters (ages 9-17 only) much needed time together, with side-by-side mini manis and petite pedis. Additional youth and teen packages are also available. There are even special packages for the mothers to be, including gentle yet therapeutic prenatal massages focused on the special needs of expecting moms. (800-YOUR-MTN; www.crystalmountain.com).

Not just for kids, the Elements Spa at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City delivers a full menu of services from deep tissue massages and soothing facials to wraps and nail care, all geared to reduce stress and increase relaxation. Featuring a full line of Eminence Organic Skin Care oils and lotions, these full-body treatments are sure to wash away the stress of the day. Check out the “Reflexology Foot Massage” which uses ancient techniques to relieve tension. A lychee and chestnut firming leg treatment also helps improve circulation and reduce aches and pains. Teen services are even offered, for mother-daughter retreats. (231-935-1650; www.greatwolf.com).

Escape to Spa Amira at The Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor, where this winter you can indulge the “Swedhana Steam Canopy” – perfect for exfoliating the skin and detoxifying the body. During this treatment, the head is kept cool – providing a calming effect while therapeutic steam rolls over the entire body, releasing toxins from deep within. A 10-minute scalp massage adds to the experience. Plan your trip Jan. 24-27 during the THRIVE Women’s Retreat – where spa treatments are paired with healthful cooking classes and engaging group activities, like yoga, skiing or snowshoeing.  (231-334-5000; www.thehomesteadresort.com).

Ideal for a girlfriend get-away, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa’s two-night “Body & Soul” package lets each of you choose from any two treatments ($99 or less), while also providing accommodations and breakfast each morning in the Sweetwater American Bistro. Spa options include the “Aromatic ‘Healing’ Bath” – where the body is submerged in a traditional Thai blend of lemongrass, Eucalyptus and coconut oil blend, followed by a soothing massage and the “Rain Shower Ritual” – which includes a gentle application of a sea salt scrub, followed by a Vichy shower rinse and a liberal application of lavender moisturizing lotion. (800-236-1577; www.grandtraverseresort.com).

The Petoskey Hot Stone Massage is offered at Solace Spa at Boyne Mountain and The Spa at The Inn at Bay Harbor - Photo courtesy of BOYNE-620
The Petoskey Hot Stone Massage is offered at Solace Spa at Boyne Mountain and The Spa at The Inn at Bay Harbor. Photo courtesy of BOYNE

Cozy up at The Inn at Bay Harbor (between Charlevoix and Petoskey, in Bay Harbor) and the award-winning Solace Spa at Boyne Mountain – where the “Warm Winter Cocoon” package is a real treat for the body. A gently-whipped Shea sugar polish gently exfoliates the skin, then a velvety whip of honey and oat-infused yogurt and soothing white clay wrap purifies the pores. The treatment concludes with a citrus-vanilla Shea butter lotion, leaving the body hydrated and radiant. Other warming winter offerings include the Hot Toddy for the Body (Boyne Mountain), Petoskey Stone Massage (Inn at Bay Harbor) and Bamboo Massage (Boyne Highlands).   (800-GO-BOYNE; www.boyne.com).

Plan a day-trip or weekend getaway to the Spa at Treetops Resort in Gaylord. In January, its mini-spa day where just $30 gets a chair massage, paraffin dip and polish change. February offers mini-facials every Tuesday, including a cleansing, toning, scrub and moisturizer with Repechage products. With its new treatment room with four pedicure chairs and two manicure stations, this is the ideal place for groups to get together and unwind. In addition to the nail services, Treetops also offers facials, massages, scrubs and other body treatments – as well as yoga on the weekends. Even couples will find reason to escape, with dual treatment rooms to offer a unique experience. (800-TREETOPS; www.treetops.com/treetops-spa).

Hit the open road toward the Spa at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, where a full array of treatments is offered. The “Gibeyiing” (Long Journey) is a five-hour retreat featuring a Four Elements massage and facial, as well as an aromatherapy oil wrap and manicure. The “Niijii-Kwewag” girlfriend package includes a Four Elements massage or facial along with an express manicure and pedicure. Upgrade to a Peditini – and enjoy sipping on a delicious martini during your treatment. In January, the featured treatment is a Detoxifying Mud Treatment, complete with a warm Vichy shower. (989-775-5403; www.soaringeaglecasino.com/spa)

Settle into the White Cedar Spa at Garland Resort in Lewiston (southeast of Gaylord), the largest log-cabin resort this side of the Mississippi. The “Hot Stone Spa Pedicure” combines the aroma therapy oils and warm stones, which melt away all the stress and tension.  Combine that with a “Hot Stone Massage” which penetrates deep into the muscles to relieve sore joints, bringing balance and healing to the body. The aromatic “Rosemary Mint Awakening Body Wrap” cools and stimulates the skin, with the essences of peppermint and rosemary. (877-442-7526; www.garlandusa.com).

Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

An urban spa experience awaits at the D.Tour Spa, inside the MotorCity Casino Hotel in downtown Detroit. One of the hot signature treatments is the MotorCity Music Massage. Featuring high-tech and high-touch therapy, speakers embedded into table allow the beat of the music to be absorbed by the body, blending with the rhythmic motion of the massage. Paying homage to Motown, the Pink Cadillac Body Wrap offers a healing blend of rose, geranium and rosewood applied with a gentle full-body exfoliation, followed by a heavenly application of Shea butter cream. The companion Pink Cadillac Foaming Sugar Scrub polishes the body with tiny spheres of jojoba wax and ultra-fine sugar crystals, gently removing skin cells and toxins, leaving the body glowing and refreshed. (313-309-4595; www.motorcitycasino.com).

Kick back and relax with a treatment – and a cocktail – at the Idun Spa Salon inside the Kalamazoo Radisson Hotel, downtown Kalamazoo. The menu offers a full line-up of treatments, paired with sweet (and salty) treats and beverages! This winter, the $222 package delivers with a manicure, pedicure and choice of a facial or 50 minute massage. Oh, and they’ll also throw in chocolate covered strawberries and champagne as an added indulgence. (269-567-7675; www.idunspasalon.com).

Ring in the New Year in style, with an Ultimate Spa Experience at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids. Treat yourself to an overnight stay in a luxurious concierge-level room, two signature spa services, $100 in jbucks to be used in the six.one.six restaurant and complimentary valet parking. The featured “JW Frost Special” package, available through the end of February, includes a peppermint infused massage, peppermint executive manicure or peppermint executive pedicure. (616-242-1475; www.ilovethejw.com).

For additional spa packages and destinations, visit the award-winning Travel Michigan website at Michigan.org.

Photograph of Dianna Stampfler.


Dianna Stampfler is a long-time promoter of Michigan and a proud (and hungry) supporter of the state’s vast culinary and agricultural offerings. Find her online at PromoteMichigan.com.