Tag Archives: travel

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.

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“Confession of a Spa Bunny” – Awe Spa at Moon Palace Jamaica Grande

This video highlights the first stop on my #spabunnyonthemove spa adventures in Jamaica.   First up on the confessions list, the Awe Spa at Moon Palace Jamaica Grande @palaceresorts in Ocho Rios.   A sneak peak inside… check out my confessions!

The “Language of SPA” – It’s Poetic!

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Before I knew and experienced the world of travel and spas, I would immerse my passion, feelings, and thoughts into words. Pencil to paper,  I had a passion for poetry and have realized it’s been quite some time since I’ve tapped into my treasured gift .

The last few years, I’ve been on a mission, a journey to combine all my passion and purpose into my business, and live a healthy and fulfilling life doing what I love!    With all the stimuli the external world fills our minds with, it’s easy to loose yourself in the whirlwind of negativity, conditioning, and information that takes you away from your own sense of self.

My motto is it’s important to “take the time to take a time-out”, and through  my travels and spa experiences, SPA has become more than something to do or somewhere to go for relaxation.  SPA has afforded me a place, a community, a family, and an opportunity to connect more deeply with my mind, body, and soul.

With “The New Language of Spa” being this year’s theme for next week’s Washington Spa Alliance Symposium, I felt inspired, and wanted to share with you, through these words, what the Language of SPA means to me.

The Language of SPA

The language of SPA has no barrier
It’s as pure as essential oil without a carrier
It whispers through water in a thermal spring
And raises my vibration when the Tibetan bowl sings

As if the clouds heard my cry and came rushing to ease my pain
Vichy and aromatherapy drip down my back like summer rain
It’s calm in the chaos, an umbrella in a storm
It flows through your senses and becomes your lifestyle norm

Gender, race, and social status, the language of SPA rises above
Because the only thing that matters, is how it wraps you up in a blanket of love
It carries no age, and wears no face
The language of SPA transcends time and travels at its own energetic pace

The language of SPA reminds you to recognize and value your self-worth
As it reconnects you to the healing benefits naturally provided by the earth
It fills my breath like salt from a Himalayan cave
And caresses my fears like the tides from an ocean wave

But yet, the language of SPA, some fail to hear
Though the mind, body, spirit dialect sounds oh so clear
You may have misconceptions, and associate its history with luxury, indulgence, and wealth
But when properly translated, you’ll find roots in self-care, mindfulness, and better health

You can only understand it if you’re willing and able
It may come to you in the sauna, during meditation, or on the massage table
The language of SPA  is spoken around the globe
With a universal outfit..you know.. the spa robe

The language of SPA makes no promises, it’s no magical fountain of youth
Instead it opens up your mind and encourages you to seek your own truth
Delivering unique messages in the silence that only you can see
Your “Soul’s Purpose Aligned” is what the language of SPA says to me

The language of SPAHH, YES, you can speak it too
Just close your eyes, now listen….what does SPA say to YOU?

 By: India K. Robinson
 “Confessions of a Spa Bunny”
Copyright©2016 The H.I.S Agency, LLC

*Content  may not be republished without written permission of the author. Direct link to this site may be shared*

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India K. Robinson, Creator & Founder
Twitter/Periscope/Instagram: @confessspabunny

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.

Sex and the City – Ladies Day Out Volume III – Savory Selections: Wit & Wisdom

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In the words of Virginia Woolf, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”. Each “Sex and the City: Ladies Day Out” (LDO) dining experience, whether breakfast, dinner, or brunch, is intended to stimulate and delight each of your five senses in an environment intriguing in sight, with socializing sounds, and scrumptous scents, which evoke a culinary temptation to touch and tantalize your tongue.

This LDO restaurant selection has a name most fitting for the diverse and multi-generational group of women attending.  For a group like ours, dining at a spot named “Wit & Wisdom” seems to perfectly blend in with the life experiences and personal stories of these lovely ladies. Called a tavern, though it looks nothing of the sort, this modern American restaurant exudes a uniquely elegant ambiance most fitting for the luxury hotel it resides in.

Named in Baltimore magazine’s “50 Best Restaurants” issue as a Gold Medal winner, this Four Seasons charmer boasts large windows overlooking the harbor, gorgeous waterfront views, and streams of natural light to the dining area.  The chic lobby, breathtaking bar, and classy décor provides the perfect backdrop for rounding out this LDO weekend. Created by award-winning chef Michael Mina, Wit & Wisdom serves “comfort food with a contemporary Eastern Seaboard twist”.

The weekend brunch menu is filled with both buffet and a la carte selections ranging from Brioche French Toast, Farmer’s Market Frittata, and a Smoked Salmon Bar.  The ladies are set to enjoy a picture-perfect Sunday cuisine before indulging in an afternoon of pampering and relaxation at the Four Seasons Spa, located only an elevator ride away!

With a visually stunning layout, intimate settings, and satisfying savory selections, Wit & Wisdom receives H.I.S Incorporated’s Grade A+ rating as a designated dining venue for the upcoming LDO event. For more information on this Harbor East Baltimore restaurant, visit the restaurants website at:  http://www.witandwisdombaltimore.com/