Here’s a question that Well+Good staffers get asked at least once a week: “Where should I go for a healthy, luxurious weekend getaway that’s not too far?”
I always wish there was more to suggest within three hours of New York City. Vermont’s a long drive for a weekend unless you’ve got three days. There’s Canyon Ranch and Kripalu in Massachusetts. And the Hudson River Valley and Westchester have a smattering of small, quirky places, like Buttermilk Falls and Bedford Post, that all have strengths and drawbacks. When Miraval opens in New Jersey in 2015, it will fill a big void.
But I’ve taken a detour. I recently found a very good answer to this question in the Weekapaug Inn in Westerly, Rhode Island, which opened less than a year ago.
The Weekapaug Inn, originally a family run inn with a century of history, underwent a major remodeling in 2010 and re-opened as a Relais Chateaux (a standard-bearing affiliation for luxury properties). We loved the casual vibe and the sublime low-key luxury of the place, and felt like an ad for Madewell, with our weekend uniforms of denim shirts, kayak-friendly shorts, and tote bags.
Here was that glorious weekend getaway not quite three hours from New York. The location, on a bay, and five minutes from the ocean put us instantly at peace. Our room overlooked the swimming pool and the bay and was small but perfectly set up with a really sweet bathroom.
Three healthy highlights we flipped for:
1. The water sports. The easy access to boats felt very luxurious. If you decide you want to go kayaking you can walk down to the boathouse, tell one of the personable young guys who work there that you’d like to take out a kayak. Literally three minutes late you can be paddling toward the sunset. Ditto a stand up paddlboard, a Beatle sailboat, or a Hobie Cat. And if you don’t know how to sail, they will take you (for a few extra tokens, which count as activity currency).
2. Fab fitness options. Enough activities to rival Canyon Ranch. Even though this is an inn and not a spa, the daily activity sheet reads like a small destination spa. We saw morning hooping on the schedule along with regular yoga. Confession: we slept through both and concentrated on the water sports.
3. The superb spa at its sister property, the Ocean House, is in town, just a few feet away from Taylor Swift’s $17 million oceanfront mansion. The OH Spa is well known and we enjoyed superb Farmaesthetics massages there. (Farmaesthetics is an all-natural brand that pioneered the farm-to-face movement, and is based in Rhode Island.) We only wish we could have had the services at Weekapaug, where the vibe is less formal and not a bit stuffy.
For more information, visit www.weekapauginn.com