While the spa will celebrate its grand opening from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, I was invited for a sneak peek at the plush, pinnacle of pampering.
Upon entering the spa, Chuck Marr, Woodhouse's welcoming and hospitable general manager (think of a much younger, more affable Carson from Downton Abbey) greeted me and offered a full tour. The recently-renovated two-story space includes five massage rooms, three facial rooms, an expansive body treatment area complete with a Vichy Shower, and a quiet room where guests can enjoy a cup of tea while awaiting one or more of the spa's 70-plus treatment options.
After changing into a luxurious robe and reflexology sandals in the clean and capacious locker room, Chuck escorted me to the quiet room where I was given a warm, aromatherapy-infused neck pillow and a cup of cinnamon tea. I should mention that the "quiet room" is just that. Sitting in the warm, low-lit, tranquil space, it is hard to imagine that just several hundred feet away is hustle and bustle of downtown Summit, with drivers jockeying for parking spaces and pedestrians dodging patches of ice. Thoughts of the errands I still had to run were checked at the door.
When offered the opportunity to review the spa, I was given a choice of the following services:
- Advanced Anti-Aging Facial
- The Woodhouse Custom Massage
- Agave Nectar Manicure/Pedicure
- Rest and Renewal Body Treatment
As much as I wanted the massage, I opted for the anti-aging facial following an unflattering selfie in what I'd like to think was just harsh lighting. Luba, the aesthetician who was charged with turning back the hands of time on my face, led me to the comfortable bed where I'd spend the next 50 minutes in utter peace.
Something about Luba's gentle manner and kind eyes immediately had me spilling all my secrets: sometimes I use Dove soap on my face; I select moisturizers based on what's on sale at CVS; and the real doozy: I love the sun.
Rather than render me shamefaced - I'm still smarting from a prior facial during which I was asked if I were a landscaper, a not-so-subtle dig at my less-than pristine pores - Luba assured me that even at 42 I am "still a baby." This prompted me to wonder if, in addition to the fragrant lavender moisturizer, I could also take Luba home with me.
Using products from the Naturopathica certified natural and organic skin care line, designed for sensitive skin, Luba went to work rejuvenating my face. Included with the facial were a foot, hand and neck massage which had me swooning and already thinking about booking my next visit.
For owner Madhuri Reddy, a self-described spa devotee, creating a one-of-a-kind relaxing and restorative experience that begins the moment clients walk through the door is what motivated her to pursue opening the franchise with her husband.
"So far the feedback from clients has been extremely positive," said Reddy. "We want to service our guests 200 percent to make it a great touchpoint experience."
Owners of Kumon learning center franchises, Reddy said she and her husband have enjoyed seeing the satisfaction of students who come away from their sessions with new skills.
"I'll never forget, I received a note from a preschooler and it said, 'I can read now.' It is so rewarding. What we have done with education, we want to do the same for health and wellness," the business owner explained.
Though some think of a spa visit as a luxury, Reddy pointed out that in today's busy world, taking time to care for one's self is a necessity. The Reddys hope clients will recognize they no longer need to travel great distances to enjoy the benefits of a global spa experience.
To introduce Woodhouse to the neighborhood, the spa's grand opening celebration will feature spa tours, complimentary mini spa services, and refreshments as well as a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon. The first 100 guests who reserve their spa services during the grand opening will receive $25 off any spa service of $100 or more.
The event is a great time to consider purchasing a gift card for Valentine's Day. Woodhouse offers several packages for couples looking to enjoy a relaxing respite together.
For those who wish to spend more time at Woodhouse, the spa features a range of half- and full-day packages and has partnered with Summit neighbor The Eatery to provide freshly-prepared lunches delivered to the spa.
In the days following my facial, my skin has felt and looked softer and younger and while I haven't been mistaken for the fresh-faced Taylor Swift just yet, I have received several compliments on my new "glow." Better still is knowing that returning to this magical haven is just a quick phone call and a short drive away.
Woodhouse Day Spa is located at 420 Springfield Ave. in Summit, NJ. For more information, visit the spa's website or Facebook page or call 908-608-1120.