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A Pampered & Peaceful Weekend

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Turning down several holiday invitations and Victorian Strolls, I spent last weekend in Boston, taking a badly-needed pre-holiday mini-vacation in a last-ditch effort to prevent a complete loss of my mind due to work and holiday stress. I’d been saving a gift certificate to the Mandarin Oriental Spa for just such a weekend, and had scheduled a session on Friday afternoon. The thought of their vitality pool was enough to see me through the work-week, and as I walked through a chilly but sunny Boston afternoon, I began to drop my shoulders, to let go of the regular seasonal stress, and to finally relax.

Everything was as I remembered it, and the Mandarin doesn’t mess around when it comes to client care and the utmost in professional service. A warm cup of tea paired with an orchid and a hot washcloth greeted me at the spa, as I undid my shoes and slid into a pair of slippers.

Inside the spa, the light was soft. Soothing music blended into the peaceful environs, and the hush of the setting was exactly what I’d been craving. It was the hush of gratitude and peace. The antidote and the real reason for the season. The slow and deliberate cadence of meditative quiet took some adjustment, but soon I was back in the serene groove.

A quick shower in the deliciously-fragrant Quintessence body wash and shampoo was followed by a deep soak in the vitality pool, where hot water bubbled and pulsed away all the worries of the world. Across the expanse, a steam room glowed warmly, its immense corner crystal emitting whatever peace could possibly come from a crystal, while the steam pulled out toxins and poisons, eliciting a deeper sense of relaxation. By the time of my massage appointment, I was already enjoying the bliss of physical ease and contentment, and the windy chill of Boston was but a distant memory.

In the relaxation room I reclined in a fluffy robe. A selection of fruit and teas stood in the corner. Curtains surrounded each spot of repose, giving privacy and seclusion to the meditative mode on hand. When my massage time arrived, the stage of tranquility had been set.

I’m relatively new to getting massages, but they are now one of my most favorite things in the world (so if you’re looking for any last minute gift ideas, please take note). It’s like yoga without having to exert any effort whatsoever. (My favorite part of yoga is that last ten minutes of repose anyway.)

Many thanks to the wonderful staff at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston for a luxurious afternoon of bliss.

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