New spas look to history for inspiration





Most spas take pride in keeping up with the latest trends, from organic ingredients to Asian massage.

But a half-dozen new spas have opened this year in landmark hotels and historic places. While offering contemporary treatments and luxurious new facilities, spas in settings like Williamsburg, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, are also looking to the past for inspiration in everything from decor to botanical remedies.

In May, The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg opened, offering treatments that spa manager Kate Mearns calls "a modern-day interpretation of five centuries of wellness." For example, a treatment using hot stones, linen wraps and cool aromatherapy cloths was inspired by a Powhatan Indian sweathouse ritual. Traditional remedies and ingredients also inspired the spa's lavender baths, lemon verbena manicures and massage oils containing cypress, juniper and rosemary.



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