Postcards from Jiles
Wednesday, 25 September 2019
We’re heading back to Old Town on the Cardinal. Riding the rails one more time. Oh, and just so you know, the Greenbrier is right on top of the train schedule. They knew our train was delayed before we did. They knew just the right time to take us to the station. And the Greenbriar also has boxed lunches you can take on the train. Just pre-arrange your order with room service. America’s Resort sure does think of everything!
No time to write yesterday. We were stuffing as much fun as we could into our last full day. Plus it was Mummy’s actual birthday! We’ll write-up her birthday party at the Main Dining Room as well as the other restaurants we explored at the Greenbrier when we get home!
Yesterday, I went horseback riding again while Miles got an early start at the spa. I ended up with a private trail ride. No one else signed up all day. Lucked out again! Oh, and, Rocky, my horse was smaller so I dismounted much better than the day before. Wish Miles coulda’ seen it after yesterday’s exhibit of grace! lol. smh.
I went straight from riding to the spa. At the spa we both got a bath treatment — which the Greenbrier is know for — White Sulphur Springs and all! We were getting pleasantly bombarded with folks telling us to get the bath treatment. So we got a bath treatments!
Miles had a great experience! He got led to a softly lit room into a pool of hot water that soaked him up to the chin. After the treatment he went to the steam room that was pleasantly scented with eucalyptus. He went back and forth between a steam and a sauna. Before finishing it up with a shower and a shave with a straight raiser, which he hasn’t used in years.
Miles finally landed in the men’s relaxation room with an old fashioned non-digital Time magazine. The spa is a cell phone free zone — which I get, there’s a whole lot of naked going on. As a matter of fact, Miles thought to ask if we should wear bathing suits in the bath. The woman we were booking our appointments with told us that we should be totally nude. Not even jewelry because whatever they put in the water will discolor clothes and jewels.
When you enter the spa it’s like you were transported to Palm Beach in 1950s. I mean that in a very nice way. The tiles and such look midcentury but simultaneously new and pristine. You feel like you just might see Jackie Kennedy in the relaxation room as you both wait to get fetched for your treatments.
I grabbed a citrus infused water from the relaxation room even though my guide (I’m sorry I cannot remember her name, we’ll call her mademoiselle) told me she already had one next to my private bath — I’m glad I grabbed it too, that bath was hot and I wanted lots of water. Mademoiselle said the key to the bath was the temperature of the water has to be just right.
Upon my inspection of the water she made it a bit hotter for me. Then she pointed out the towels, drinking water, and ice pack that were by the side of the tub. Mademoiselle left me and in her best calm spa voice said she’d be back soon to check on me.
So there I was soaking in a tub of water. Whatever was in the water is supposed to detoxify you and do good stuff for your metabolism. And I was bored out of my mind.
I’m not a “bath person” but I’m sure a “bath person” would have loved it. There were colored lights and jet’s making bubbles dancing around my tub. But it just wasn’t enough for me. No music. No aromas. I just need more in a spa treatment. I really should have done something that included a massage.
My experience was meh. I guess because we’re on a pension now I’ve become more conscious of money. What’s worth spending money on? What’s not? You can have lots of experiences in retirement but you have to make choices. I confess while soaking in the bath I was thinking of how limited our time at the Greenbrier was and all the other things I could ‘a been doing.
Mademoiselle came back to check on me. I asked how much longer I had to soak. I still had 7 minutes left. Knowing I was bored, she said we could stop it at that point. But there was no way I was going to pay 80 bucks (over $100 once all the extra’s were included) for my detox bath and not get my full 20 minutes!
I asked for another citrus water. The hot bath with the cold drinking water was nice. What was also nice was the ice pack. I put that on my face and it felt great while I was sweating in the tub.
After the tub treatment. I spent some time in the steam bath. Then, because I hadn’t had enough water while soaking in the tub, I gave this midcentury shower thing a go. It had huge levers that you pushed from across the room to turn the water on. And there were two hoses in addition to the shower mechanisms that shot water on you. Kinda fun. Like something you’d experience after working-out with a vintage vibrating belt. lol.
After getting all that citrus water in me, I decided to treat myself to a peach infused ice tea in the relaxation room. They recommend extra hydration after the treatment. Mademoiselle told me to be sure and take some bottles of water with to keep hydrating. So I took 4 bottles. One of which I’m drinking now on the train.
I just don’t understand why there wasn’t any lovely lavender scent with it or music. I never thought of the aroma until Miles told me about his eucalyptus sauna when we swapped stories by the indoor pool after our treatments.
I did, however, think to ask the spa people about the music, or lack there of, and I got three different answers. One, the moisture from the bath rooms clogs the speakers and they break. Two, they don’t do music. Three, they do play music but you can’t hear it over the jets. I dunno? But I’d think a world class resort like the Greenbrier would figure out how to pipe in some relaxing fluty spa like music to enhance the experience.
Would I go to the spa at the Greenbrier again? Absolutely! Would I do a soak again? Only if it was a massage / soak combo. I needed more with the totality of my spa experience. But I did have a dull headache last night so I do think the soak did something.
Next time, I’d bring my book or a magazine. I’d also budget some more time in the relaxation room or in the outdoor relaxing space. And do the sauna a couple times to really get some good time (and our money) out of the spa day.
Also, one final note, on the weekend the spa was fully committed. I didn’t put the energy I should have into figuring out spa treatments prior to us hopping on Amtrak. Their website glitching and wouldn’t pull up the spa menu (I just checked and it’s still not working correctly). If you’re planning a trip have them mail you their glossy menu. Seriously, they had tons to unique things to choose from. And finally, they recommend making your spa reservations at the same time you make your room reservation.
Ok. Pulling into Old Town. Choo choo.
I love our adventures traveling. But I always love the feeling of coming home.
See ya around town!
xxx – Jenjen & Miles
p.s. The spa tacks on a 20% gratuity automatically (like the restaurants) and the 6.5% Historic Preservation Fee was also included in the services.
p.p.s. If you’re not already, be sure to follow our adventures on Instagram!