Most of the time history reveals the dark, murky secrets of the past that are best left buried. But sometimes the good parts do inspire modern-day living. There are host of luxury spas that have opened recently that are based on traditional beliefs and are located at places of historical interests. Drawing inspiration from its surroundings is one such hotel; The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., opened this May that offers treatments that are “modern-day interpretation of five centuries of wellness.” They offer treatments using hot stones, linen wraps, and cool aromatherapy cloths, all that was inspired by a Powhatan Indian sweathouse ritual. The spa’s lavender baths, lemon verbena manicures, and massage-oils containing cypress, juniper, and rosemary all take inspiration from traditional remedies and ingredients.
In February, the Beach Plum Spa opened in Plymouth, Mass., at the John Carver Inn. Almost 75 percent of the guests are visiting the Plimoth Plantation to learn about the Pilgrims. “They do a lot of walking while they’re here, and they’re tired,” said Debra Catania, whose family owns the inn. “I wanted to have a spa, but I didn’t want to have a generic spa in an area that’s so well-known for history and the ocean. So I came up with the beach plum theme.” At this spa Beach plums (fragrant wild roses) are used for various treatments. The historical value of the place increases the inflow of guests. Interestingly, a website called SixNewThings.com did a countdown of six new spas this summer and realized that half were connected to historic properties.