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The Spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn isn’t the only reason to visit Asheville—but it might be the best one

Written by Elizabeth Hutchison Floating on your back in the subterranean mineral pool at The Omni Grove Park Inn’s world-renowned spa, it’s easy to imagine this peaceful grotto-like space as your own secret retreat. But the Cherokee people first recognized the Asheville area’s restorative nature centuries ago. Built on the largest white quartz deposit in the state, Asheville is a city long believed to promote spiritual well-being and physical health. In the early twentieth-century, The Grove Park Inn founder Edwin Wiley Grove sought Asheville’s clean mountain air as a cure for chronic bronchitis, and was so enamored with the lush landscape, he stayed and opened his own wellness resort, building the Arts & Crafts-style showpiece in just under a year. More than a hundred years later, guests are still making their way to The Omni Grove Park Inn to recharge. You can curl up in front of the two soaring stone fireplaces in the historic Great Hall. Tuck into a farm-fresh meal at Edison (or one of eight other dining options) or sip a glass of wine on the porch at sunset. Maybe a lavish breakfast-in-bed spread is just the indulgence you need. At the sprawling 43,000-square-foot spa, which was added as part of an extensive renovation in 2001, it’s easier than ever to unplug. In fact, phones and tablets are banished to your locker upon arrival. Pamper yourself with a day-pass for access to 18,000 square-feet of pre- and post- treatment amenities—mineral pools, plunge pools, saunas, steam rooms, relaxation lounges, and more. To elevate the experience, repeat guests, know to secure sessions in the perennially-booked Therapeutic Wellness Pod well ahead of time. The egg-shaped capsule looks built for space travel, and the treatment, which includes heat, gemstone, and vibrational therapy in addition to mood enhancing colored lights and aromatherapy, is equally otherworldly. Later, over a cup of herbal tea by the fireplace in the spa’s interior relaxation lounge, start planning your next trip because, like Mr. Grove and all those who came before him, one visit to Asheville is never enough.

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