Contributing health and spa writer Sheryl Kraft wrote about men and spas in an earlier post on More Time To Travel, explaining how difficult it often is for men to say “yes” to the spa. She reveals how her husband turned from a non-believer to a believer during a recent visit to The Lodge at Woodloch.
Sources of male reluctance
So many men are hesitant to visit spas; believing they will:
- Be bored
- Be forced into Lycra and pretzel-like poses in yoga classes
- Be ordered to sit on a stationary bike and pedal like mad but get nowhere
- Have to give up their evening glass of wine with dinner
- Be forbidden to eat anything that is not a “diet” food
- Suffer television withdrawal
Spas, many men believe, are the equivalent of leading a monk’s life of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Okay, maybe that last line is an exaggeration.
I know this from personal experience because my own husband was one of the non-believers. But I’m here to tell you that we recently crossed the threshold. My husband, Alan, agreed to accompany me for a two-day stay at The Lodge at Woodloch, a destination spa located on a sprawling 150-acre woodland area in Hawley, Pennsylvania (part of the Pocono Mountain area), a short two-hour drive from our home in southwestern Connecticut.
He might have arrived a skeptic…but he left a believer.
All it took were a few things:
MEN AND SPAS: WHAT MEN LIKE
A clean, well-stocked contemporary locker room
It took one minute for him to disappear behind the door and two hours for me to see him again. There, hubby found everything he needed to instantly get into relaxation mode: a plush robe and towels, spa slippers, individual showers complete with body wash, shampoo and conditioner; a sauna, steam room and whirlpool; an adjoining lounge with a flat-screened TV and choices of hot or cold beverages, and a fruit bowl spilling over with bananas, apples and grapes.
The bathroom held all the necessary grooming products like individually-wrapped combs and disposable razors, shaving cream, mouthwash, cotton swabs, deodorant, after-shave balm, hand and body lotion.
For this man, the locker room is not where you head after activities to take a shower. The locker room IS the activity.
Whatever makes you happy, sweetheart.
A comfortable and well-proportioned guest room
Being that our stay was mid-week, it was hard to ignore that there were still things going on in the office back home. Alan comfortably settled in at the well-lit desk toward the end of each day and was able to devote the time he needed to catch up on emails and phone calls. And knowing there was rewards at the end make it even more palatable to interrupt his locker room time with work.
Which leads me to the next thing.
An inviting and cozy bar
There we sat in the TREE Restaurant and welcomed in the evening, relaxing with a glass of wine or local beer, with the warmth of a nearby fire blazing in the fireplace before heading into the dining room. And once in the dining room, Alan’s fears were not realized: the food was tasty and plentiful, with portions generous enough to satisfy his appetite. Hearty omelets for breakfast, steak and cheese flatbread for lunch, and lemon and roasted garlic shrimp and grits were among the nourishing and delicious meals he enjoyed.
A clean, well-equipped gym
Treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and weights, galore. This gym had it all, including a knowledgeable staff available to answer any question or share their latest and best fitness tips.
Classes to try
Not being fond of structured programs, I’d just about given up trying to convince him otherwise. To my surprise, Alan accompanied me to a mindful meditation class. I spent the time worrying about him not enjoying it (admittedly, a counterproductive move), while he was totally entranced and transported. In fact, he liked it so much he wants to try it at home.
There were also plenty of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, nature walks, cross-country skiing and more.
And that equals no worries about constantly reaching into your non-existent pocket (gym clothing rarely have pockets big enough).
I knew Alan utterly and completely relaxed when he strolled into the dining room bar on our first night there to meet me and another couple for a before-dinner toast – in his bathrobe.
No children under 16
All in all, I’d say that hubby and the spa are now well acquainted and have become good friends. I know who is coming along with me on my next spa visit… the man who is now a believer.
Also on More Time To Travel:
Disclosure: Although the staff at the Lodge at Woodloch made our complimentary stay wonderful in every way, the opinions expressed in this post are purely my own.
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