First US Spa Berkeley Springs
Twenty-five years ago, Tim and Nancy started out married life with a honeymoon in the first US Spa Berkeley Springs, WV. It was an easy decision for a young couple just starting off and watching every penny. Berkeley Springs was an easy drive from Ohio (and many other states), inexpensive when compared to other resorts, and so quiet! During that week in Berkeley Springs, Nancy and Tim resolved to visit every few years to refresh themselves.
Then Life happened. Daughter Emily arrived so the new parents skipped a return visit. William arrived a few years later and the family vacations focused on theme parks and learning excursions. It was all worthwhile and there are no regrets, except one: 25 years had passed before Nancy and Tim took the opportunity for even one return visit to Berkeley Springs, WV.
We started HealthCare Too in 2013 to promote awareness for holistic health, never realizing that our honeymoon was in the first US spa, Berkeley Springs. When we decided to celebrate our 25 year anniversary with a long-delayed return trip, it dawned on us. This was where we first tried massage. This was where we first enjoyed natural foods (other than in Tim’s Grandma Perry’s kitchen). This was our first mineral bath. And so much more! Here are our top three reasons to visit Berkeley Springs, WV and enjoy a relaxing change in Lifestyle!
- Wholesome Food
- Local health crafts and produce
In a resort town like Berkeley Springs, there are a number of spas and boutiques that offer massage therapy. Nancy and Tim tried several massage packages 25 years ago and found so much benefit. A mineral water soak followed by an hour-long massage is an awesome combination! Two places that you should try are:
Frankie Tan has been providing massages in Berkeley Springs since 1988. He now has a full staff of massage therapists but will provide massages on request.
We met Frankie while waiting for our couples’ massage ($170 for 45 minutes, plus tip). It was a bit ironic since Tim had tried to book a Thai massage with Frankie 25 years ago but Frankie was out of the country learning new massage techniques. That is dedication!
We did enjoy our couples’ massage with two accomplished massage therapists, Theresa and “Tree” (also Teresa but Tree to avoid confusion). Both had two or more decades of experience and we could tell! The couples room was upstairs in a clean, quiet and low-lighted area. It was so relaxing that Nancy and Tim both had trouble not falling asleep! It will not be another 25 years before we visit again!
The Renaissance Spa is attached to the Country Inn (a 70-room hotel in walking distance to shopping and restaurants). There are spa packages available through the Country Inn. There is also an “executive retreat” that is a 5-bedroom house further up the hill for those who want to host a business retreat or family vacation… it has crossed our minds!
The Renaissance Spa was clean and modern, with very attentive staff. The mineral whirlpool had large windows that showcased the green hills (unless you look downward to see the parking lot). In addition to the 15-minute mineral bath, our couples massage included a 50-minute hot stone massage for $280, plus tips).
Nestled in the hills of West Virginia, Berkeley Springs provides so many opportunities for healthy eating (and some very unhealthy choices if you want to stray a bit).
There are many good options for wholesome food. In the Country Inn’s laid-back Morgan Tavern, Tim enjoyed a General Tso’s cauliflower dish (great sauce) for $17.99… that somehow attracted Nancy’s fork and attention as well. Of particular note, however, was one restaurant (Tari’s Cafe, Art Gallery and Inn) and the Farmers’ Market.
We have so much stuff strewn throughout the house. However, Nancy was within just a reach for the credit card to buy some of the delightful artwork that surrounded us during our meal. Luckily, the Zucchini Fries ($8) and Tomato Arugula Bisque ($7) kept both Nancy and Tim engaged in the meal.
The staff was so attentive! Hostess, waiter, and even Tari herself walked around to check on all the tables. And they did so without interrupting meals… a real art in the food service world (in addition to all the local artist products hanging in the restaurant).
Local Health Crafts and Produce
Starting the first Sunday in April until mid-December, local vendors are available in one location (an easy walk from the Country Inn) from 10am till 2pm. The market is also open Thursdays in July & August 2pm till 5pm.
We found about a dozen local vendors, mostly family businesses that focused on food and produce.
Most of the local produce included traditional items like tomatoes and peaches but there was also local honey as well as baked goods.
While we truly enjoyed chatting with all the vendors that Sunday (and buying quite a few items), we particularly enjoyed Tiana Hodge from The Bliss Lodge.
Tiana was very knowledgeable about her products and offered suggestions without being “pushy”. Her products are also available from her website for those who haven’t made the trip to the first US spa, Berkeley Springs!
Tina Pirrone is not only the owner of Sage Moon Herb Shop but she is the sage. It is refreshing to meet someone who is so knowledgeable and willing to share! It is not often that Tim finds someone who appreciates the yin of American ginseng versus the yang of Chinese ginseng. If other customers had not started to queue up for Tina, Nancy would have spent the entire day talking to her.
Tina crafts many of the products herself and also offers other local vendors shelf space if she is comfortable with their quality.
The Perry family enjoys tea (well, except daughter Emily who is focused on coffee). Sage Moon Herb Shop not only has an entire wall of teas, ranging from black to herbal, but has a variety of mixtures to suit tastes and conditions. There are many products available directly from the Sage Moon Herb Shop’s website.
Nancy and Tim do not plan to wait another 25 years before they visit the first US spa, Berkeley Springs again! We own and run HealthCare Too as a means to promote better healthcare and move away from the current “sick care” model. As part of the necessary Lifestyle change that we all need, we all need trips to a slower-paced location with plenty of healthy practices like:
- Massage Therapy
- Wholesome Food
- Local health crafts and produce
We found that Berkeley Springs, WV is a must for our future vacation plans.