Much like Bridget Jones (in more ways than one), I’m a big fan of the mini-break. I love to travel, no matter the distance, as often as possible. So rather than wait all year for one big vacation, I try to take as many small ones as I can. That’s how I found myself at the Hotel Viking, in the Marble House suite, trying not to let my face fall off from all of the luxury around me.
The night before, my boyfriend and I had had dinner in One Bellevue, the hotel’s restaurant. Whereas I went with a special farm to table dinner menu by Chef Barry Correia that featured all vegetables by Narragansett’s Sunset Farm, he chose the grilled lobster, which was so good that I ate half of it myself. It was every iconic flavor of the summer, all on one plate, even though we were still a few months away from the actual season.
That morning, we were headed downstairs to SpaFjor: me for a Sea of Life facial, and him for a Balinese massage. The massage promised to be “based on the traditions of Bali… a combination of acupressure, rolling motions and rhythmic strokes to relieve tension and promote total relaxation.” Afterward, he was in such post-massage bliss that he couldn’t tell me much about the experience, other than that when he opened his robe to step into the sauna, a spray of flower petals fell out.
The thing I especially love about a hotel spa is how it’s a total experience. When you have a service at a regular spa, you show up in the middle or the end of a busy day, rushing to get there, then you drop all of your stuff, spend an hour trying not to think about the million things you still have to do, then, after your service is over, rush back out and do them. Not at a hotel. At a hotel you wake up in a bed that’s softer and nicer than your own (that you don’t have to make), order in room service breakfast, don a plush robe and head downstairs to the spa. You’re already primed for total relaxation when you step foot in the door, which is exactly what happened when I walked into SpaFjor. Spa director Corrine Beaudoin greeted us, and lead me to the super fancy ladies relaxation room, where there were spa robes and slippers waiting for me, plus an infrared sauna to enjoy before or after services.
The OSEA Sea of Life facial itself was unlike anything I had ever had before. My aesthetician used a wet piece of Gigartina seaweed from the Patagonian Sea on my face, which created a hyper-nourishing, mineral rich gel in place of water. It was really unusual, but a very interesting experience (in a good way). She took me through a Black Algae Mask with Ocean Cleansing Mudd, steam and exfoliation, massage and a White Algae Mask. I was already in oceanic bliss when I left the spa area and dropped my fresh new skin into the jacuzzi in the next room over. My boyfriend joined me, and we took the morning to slow down and just enjoy each other. The afternoon we spent at Newport Vineyards didn’t hurt, either. We came home that night feeling like we had had a real vacation, even though we were only half an hour from home.
1 Bellevue Avenue, Newport