Tag Archives: spabunny

Wellspring Manor & Spa: A New Luxury Retreat Destination in Prince George’s County

There’s a new kid on the block in Prince George’s County Maryland, and with the name Wellspring Manor & Spa, I want to be their new friend.  Nestled in a quiet suburban neighborhood only 15 miles from downtown DC, hidden down a long private driveway, and sitting on 7+ acres of natural bliss, Wellspring Manor & Spa is the newest and only all-inclusive luxury retreat property in this affluent MD county.

PG County is the second-most populous county in Maryland (according to the U.S. Census) and one of the richest upper-middle class African-American majority counties in the United States. I was thrilled to be invited for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the new black-owned property before their official grand opening this Fall.

I wouldn’t have even known it was there, as I passed the entrance the first time and circled back around the neighborhood cul-de-sac. Before reaching the end of the street, I eyed a mailbox at the end of a white fence and driveway, and noticed the correct address reflected on its side.  As I drove slowly down the wooded pathway, a large inviting manor with a bright red door greeted me around the bend.  A few more standalone structures sat on the property, which I would later learn were The Barn – a multipurpose event space and The Spa Sanctuary – a serene guest-only boutique spa for the “well-ness” to happen.

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Photo Courtesy:  Wellspring Manor & Spa, Manor Foyer

Though the property was still putting the final touches on the guest rooms and spa during my tour, I could see the vision that owners and hosts Lisa and Kevin Alexander have in store for their guests, taking shape within each uniquely appointed room.  This husband and wife team are avid business and community leaders in Prince George’s County.

This boutique property has 5 luxuriously appointed guest suites consisting of 1 King Suite, 3 Queen Suites, and 1 Double-Bedded Suite, which can ultimately sleep a total of 12 guests if booking the entire manor for an intimate group gathering.  Each suite has a different amenity or feature that sets it apart from the others.  For example, the Alexander Suite boasts a deep soaking tub and fireplace, while the Serenity Suite is technology free for the traveler who wants to unplug.

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Serenity Suite

Common areas such as the Living Room, Dining Room, and Baldwin Room (library named after the American novelist and playwright James Baldwin), provide an opportunity for guests to socialize, or find a quiet space to themselves.  The lowest level of the property has a jazz club vibe to it and houses the Coltrane Room, for live jazz performances, and the Wine Cellar.  During the summer months, the in-ground pool and outdoor patio areas are sure to be a guest favorite. The destination also houses a wide collection of art, featuring local and national artists.

Screenshot_2018-11-05 Wellspring Manor and Spa on Instagram “Curious where this beautiful #workofart can be found Visit us [...]
Photo Courtesy:  Instagram @wellspringlux
All-inclusive amenities, to further aid in your luxury retreat, include plush monogrammed robes and slippers, afternoon beverage and snack service, nightly turn-down,  made-to-order breakfast, and complimentary airport transfers (from DCA & BWI).

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Dining Room

 

I wanted to learn more about the inspiration behind Wellspring Manor & Spa, so I had a Q&A chat with the hostess, Lisa Alexander:

“Wellspring:  It’s a word that evokes wellness, restoration, and relaxation.”

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Lisa Alexander, Wellspring Manor & Spa Owner/Hostess

Q1:  What was your inspiration behind opening a luxury retreat destination?

A1:  My question back to you would be “why not?”, as opposed to why.  I like doing things that haven’t been done before, and PG County is a great destination, it is currently without a luxury retreat destination and is a great place to visit.

Q2:  Who is your target traveler?

A2:  Affluent travelers of color. The industry does not currently reflect that clientele, in the music, food, and overall experience does not currently reflect an appeal to that demographic in the luxury retreat destination market.

Q3: What will make Wellspring different from traditional retreat destinations?

A3:  It will be a cultural destination that showcases art, music, literature, and creates a diverse cultural environment.

Q4: What does Wellspring mean to you?   What’s the meaning behind the name?

A5: It’s a word that evokes wellness, restoration, and relaxation.  Spring reflects water, there is a creek on the property, and water has a healing property to it.  Wellspring is a place where people can relax, rejuvenate, and creates a space for promoting health and wellness amongst guests with organic, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free cuisine options, in addition to a wellness spa.

Q5: What types of treatments and products can guests expect from the spa?

A5: We are currently in discussion with local and national product line vendors.  Looking to feature high quality packaging and products, and to keep the menu options simple.  We will also plan special spa themed events.

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The Spa Sanctuary

Wellspring has hosted a few special events, such as an evening of Jazz, Art, and Wine, and a Jamaica Independence Celebration and Art Exhibit, but doors officially opened to its first round of guests on Friday, November 2, 2018.

The Wellspring Experience opening weekend itinerary included a welcome reception with cuisine by Executive Chef Danielle Harris, rejuvenation day at the Spa Sanctuary, live jazz performance in the Coltrane Room, and a sumptuous Sunday brunch.

Check out my short video compilation that highlights the relaxing and jazzy vibe at Wellspring Manor & Spa:

Ready to book your own Wellspring Experience retreat? Learn more about the property at: www.wellspringmanor.com.

Toma’s Botanical Bug-Off: A “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” Summer Documentary

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I am what one would call a mosquito magnet, and to make matters worse, I feel that my backyard is as mosquito infested as it gets. Some days it’s so bad, I’ve actually considered offering bats a place of refuge in return for their pest control services.  When the warm weather hits, and normal people go outside to enjoy the change in seasons, I normally have to cover up in long sleeves and pants or ruin my whole summer outfit by covering it with the smells of toxic bug repellent.

In late Spring, during one of my visits to The Still Point Spa in Columbia, MD, I did my typical browsing of the spa boutique items and noticed a new addition to the Toma product line-up: “botanical bug-off”.  After reading the ingredients, and giving it a sniff, I decided “why not”, for only $9 it was worth giving it a shot.

This short video tells you a little bit about my latest find and what happened after 15 minutes in my backyard.

IMG_3998Since that initial “test”, I have toted the botanical bug-off around with me this summer to cookouts, waterfront dining, ballparks, pig roasts, outdoor movies, or anywhere that would require me to be outside and subject to the typical feeding frenzy mosquitoes choose to inflict upon me. Since the bottle comes with either a spray or lotion bottle top, I’ve also lathered the easy to glide-on and rub in solution on other willing participants who have been captivated by the smell of lemongrass, lavender, patchouli, and cedarwood.

I must say, I have thus far been pleased with the results, and have definitely noticed the days I do get bitten, are the days I have forgotten to put on this bug-off.   Though it doesn’t seem to deter gnats or flies from being a nuisance, I haven’t had to deal with the mosquito bite hives that usually sting, swell, and break-out on my body after I have been attacked by these often invisible creatures, and the days of uncomfortable scratching and itching that follow.   “Maybe the mosquitoes just aren’t out the days you use it”, is what I’ve often told myself, as it was hard to believe something that smelled so pleasant was really keeping one of my worst enemies at bay.  However, I knew this couldn’t be the case, as on more than one occasion, I’ve worn my gladiator sandals, and though I put the bug-off on my legs and arms, I didn’t bother to put it on my feet since I already had my shoes on.   Well, wouldn’t you know it, that on all those occasions, Mr. Mosquito decided to take advantage of my vulnerability and take a bite out of whatever uncovered skin he could get to between that sandal!!

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So far the spa bunny is in love with the Toma Botanical Bug-Off!  With proper and frequent usage, I think I can get through the summer with minimal mosquito and other bug bites, while utilizing what the label calls a “natural alternative to toxic bug repellents”.  I almost hate to brag too much about the product, as I don’t want it to sell out or be unavailable when I need to restock!  However, I bring you this “confession” as a way to help others who are looking for a natural bug-off solution that actually works so that you too can enjoy your summer bug bite free.

*The Still Point Spa has 3 locations in Maryland and Toma products are available online at:  http://tomaskintherapies.com/

“Confessions of a Spa Bunny” Now Offering Spa Concierge Services

Confessions-of-a-Spa-Bunny---Spa-Concierge-Services-ORGI am super excited to kick-off the “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” Spa Concierge Service just in time for Father’s Day!  I love introducing people to a life of self-care, wellness, relaxation, and natural healing.  Part of the Confessions of a Spa Bunny’s mission is to educate individuals on the many benefits of how integrating a spa routine into your lifestyle can reduce stress, detoxify your body, improve your quality of life, and enhance overall well-being.

Take the time to take a “time-out”. Let the spa bunny be your spa buddy, and customize a personalized spa day just for you. Spa bunny concierge services are currently available in select areas within the Washington, DC Metropolitan area (DC, MD, VA).  If any local spas are interested in strategically partnering with me as a featured/preferred spa for client bookings, I’d love to hear from you!

Click on the link below to check out the full announcement and for more details.

Confessions of a Spa Bunny – Spa Concierge Services

“Confessions of a Spa Bunny” – Mother’s Day Spa Deal Round-Up

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Guess what I’ve worked on just for you? The spa bunny’s hand-picked round-up of some of the best “spa bunny approved” deals and specials for Mother’s Day in the DC Metro area, all in one handy list!  From spa days, spa getaways, and spa products, there’s surely something to please everyone!

Treat that special lady in your life: your mom, wife, sister, aunts, grandma, or book a pamper day for yourself!  Don’t worry if you haven’t picked up that special Mother’s Day gift yet, “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” is here to help.

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Salamander Resort & Spa – Middleburg, VA

Pamper mom with a Salamander Experience!  By far my favorite resort to retreat to in the area, is offering a Mother’s Day Weekend Getaway package—starting at just $425/night—includes a free spa gift and $200 credit* to spend how you like around the resort. It may be hard to choose with so many activities and events happening all weekend—from brunch to afternoon tea, mini-makeovers to Mother-Daughter yoga and spa specials to pasta making.

http://www.salamanderresort.com/experiences/seasonal-happenings/all-about-moms#mothers-day-getaway

Four Seasons Georgetown – Washington, DC

With a great offer from The Capitol Deal, that special lady can pick a day to enjoy a massage or facial with a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne, and access to the spa amenities, including the sauna, whirlpool, steam room, and relaxation areas, plus complimentary three-hour parking with prices starting at $119.  Details at: http://us2.nmb.ly/1f8ayy

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Fountains Day Spa – Alexandria, VA

Starting as low as $215, a variety of Mother’s Day Specials include a Sweet Beginnings package for expecting mom’s, a Day of Lavender package with includes a lavender body polish, mini massage, and facial.  Or go all out with the 4.5 hour Mother’s Day Retreat package which includes a mud wrap, combination massage, Ultra Hydradermie facial, and a catered lunch for a special price of $399Mother’s Day Gifts Certificates for these specials can be purchased anytime from now until May 17, 2015 at: http://fountainsdayspa.com/index.php/mothers-day-gifts/

Lorien Spa – Alexandria, VA

Located inside of the Lorien Hotel and Spa, for $219 enjoy an 80 min Cavier Dreams Facial, 50 min Lava Shell Massage with hot stone therapy, and access to the fitness center and complimentary valet parking. Details at: http://us2.nmb.ly/1f40xd

Spa Minerale at Lansdowne Resort – Leesburg, VA

A variety of spa specials and packages are being offered during the entire month of May for services Monday – Friday.  Highlights include an Antioxidant Manicure and Pedicure (105 Minutes for $100), a Luxury Spa Day Retreat which includes a Swedish Massage, Facial, Mani/Pedi, and Glass of Champagne (190 Minutes for $249).  More packages listed at: http://www.lansdowneresort.com/vacations/virginia-day-spa-packages

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Boutiques and Spa Products

Maybe she’s not into spa treatments, but loves those body creams, bath soaks, essential oils, teas, warm neck wraps, and other luxury spa products.   You can find a great selection of “pamper me” products at most spa boutiques and can freely browse and shop without having to book services. Some of my favorite locations, which have a wide variety of unique items to tickle anybody’s shopping preferences, include The Pearl Spa in Maple Lawn, MD (http://www.thepearlspa.com), tuanh boutique in Old Town Alexandria, VA (http://www.tu-anhboutique.com), The Still Point at Haven on the Lake (http://www.havenonthelake.org) in Columbia, MD, and Progressions Salon Spa Store (http://progressions.com) in Rockville, MD, and to my most recent discovery, local Marshall’s and TJ Maxx stores have a great selection of high-end discounted beauty and bath products!

Gift Certificates

Not sure which treatments that special lady will like best?  You can never go wrong with a spa gift certificate which will give allow them to pick their own treatments, and most gift certificates can also be utilized for spa boutique purchases so she can continue to reap the benefits of her spa benefit at home!

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Connect with the Spa Bunny

Rather have the “spa bunny” provide specialized concierge and spa buddy services for your mom or the next girl’s (or guys) spa day or getaway? No need trying to figure it out yourself,  get the most out of your spa adventures and email me at:  spabunny@hisincorporated.com for more details.

For more recommendations and information on spa gift ideas, spa education, spa getaways, and all things spa-related, connect with Confessions of a Spa Bunny on Facebook www.facebook.com/confessionsofaspabunny and Twitter @confessspabunny.  Also, be sure to check out and subscribe to the spa bunny “confessions” which include “Confession 101: Losing Your Virginity”, “Confession 102: Butt Naked or Nah”, and much more at: www.confessionsofaspabunny.com.

H.I.S Incorporated’s “Sex and the City: The Co-Ed Edition” Trades in the City for the Simple Life!

Once the holidays and football season is over, the remnants of a busy winter lingers, but….spring approaches, and so does H.I.S Incorporated’s highly anticipated “Sex and the City:  The Co-Ed Edition” retreat.

A concept made popular by H.I.S Incorporated’s exclusive Ladies Day Out series (Volumes I thru III), this time the guys are invited to come out and participate in the first “Co-Ed Edition” of this popular event!   The invitation-only list includes a mix of singles, couples, married folk, and all those in between.  This ultimate spring retreat will be filled with good times, great people, lavish surroundings, activities, pampering, & the infamous after-hours “crucial conversations” segment!

With previous host locations in Tysons Corner, VA, Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD; this time around, I’m taking the Sex out the City and moving it to the country!

“I wanted to do something different, and slow down the pace as compared to previous events. We are enveloped in the hustle and bustle of city life on a daily basis. There is no time for stopping and smelling the roses, unless your buying them from Whole Foods!”

Don’t be mistaken though, in no way has this selection of country simplicity sacrificed the H.I.S Incorporated’s luxury Grade A+ standard!  In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as this may very well be the most luxurious of the “Sex and the City” retreats to date!

Entrance to Salamander Resort & Spa

With the historic 18th century village of Middleburg as our backdrop, horse and wine country at our backdoor, and Salamander Resort and Spa as our sanctuary, it doesn’t get much better than that in the Virginia countryside.   Salamander’s 380-acre estate boasts its own equestrian center, award-winning wine bar, and a breathtaking 23,000 sq. foot world-class spa.

“I’ve had the pleasure of staying at Salamander Resort twice last year, and have indulged in the pampering at the spa on several occasions.   The surroundings, the service level, and the special touches from both the staff, and sprinkled throughout the property itself, makes you feel like you are meant to be right where you are in that moment in time.  Speaking of time….each moment is timeless…your lobby is a library, the guestroom is a picturesque masterpiece, and your nearest neighbors are horses!”

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In addition to the carefully selected venue, activities, and hand-picked guest list that makes these retreats so memorable, I’m always searching for just the right “and much more” to synchronize perfectly with the overall theme envisioned. In this case, I was on the hunt for a natural, holistic product to include in my attendees’ swag bags.  Something new and refreshing that would embrace the earthiness and beauty of the country, but easily provide a balanced escape once we returned to the city.

Nothing seemed more ideal than finding a “simply simple” product sponsor to enhance the organic experience I was creating for my guests. And just like a leprechaun chasing a rainbow, I found my pot of gold with Little Barn Apothecary!  The name alone raised an eyebrow and planted a smirk on my lips.  But would they meet my Grade A+ standards? Let’s see:

  • New and refreshing:   Recently founded in 2014 by Joshua Morgan and Brad Scoggins.  Partners who turned their passion for natural things into an uncomplicated, organic, apothecary product. Not only sharing their passion with the world, but giving back 2% of each sale to help homeless animals find loving homes!
  • Embrace the earthiness and beauty of the country: With a philosophy inspired from the earth, each Little Barn Apothecary product is created by hand, using raw, pure, all natural ingredients, free of fillers and toxic chemicals, with a design that embraces the “simple beauty of life”.
  • Provide balance and escape once we returned to the city:  The simple collection product line brings simplicity to your self-care regime and includes a luxurious offering of soaks, scrubs, oils, balms, face products, and a home and lifestyle collection you can easily integrate into your daily pampering routine.

Little Barn Apothecary Website

Little Barn Apothecary seems to put the same care and intention into creating their products as I do when planning my events.  In addition, I love the fact that the product packaging has a unisex appeal to it, perfect for “The Co-Ed Edition” clientele.

Needless to say, with Salamander Resort & Spa (www.salamanderresort.com), along with Little Barn Apothecary (www.littlebarnapothecary.com) being two shining stars in my simple life constellation, it seems H.I.S Incorporated’s “The Co-Ed Edition” (www.hisincorporated.com) won’t be that simple after all.