Three Therapies for Wine and Water Lovers

Three Therapies for Wine and Water Lovers

HARBIN HOT SPRINGS: By far the greenest, least expensive, and most profound personal water experience happens at the Harbin Hot Springs, tucked into a valley about an hour north of Napa. Harbin is an alternative community, where clothing is optional and nothing feels luxurious but the water. Housing is in dorms, tents, and geodesic domes. Nevertheless, the place is famous as the birthplace of Watsu (water Shiatsu), a magical, maternal experience, where one is gently moved and stroked in a body-temperature pool of water — and emotional releases are common. The latest therapy is an advanced form called Water Dance. Like Watsu, one wears floats around the calves to keep one buoyant and provide a sense of weightlessness. Unlike Watsu, however, one also wears a nose clip for movements done completely underwater. Far from being unnerving, the underwater experience is so peaceful, relaxing, and comfortable that one may not want to surface, even as breath begins to run low. (

BARDESSONO: After a long, hard day of wine tasting in California’s Napa Valley, there are some fabulous new ways to unwind. The latest is Bardessono in Yountville, billed as the greenest luxury hotel in America. The 62-room, low-profile hotel is heated and cooled by geothermal wells and built of reclaimed timbers, with some beautiful rammed-earth walls. But the place feels more luxury than green, and many rooms double as private spas. For the ultimate couple’s retreat, you’ll come back to your suite to find candles burning, ethereal music playing, a pair of massage tables beside the bed, and a couple of exceptionally gifted massage therapists waiting for you. The 90-minute massage is heavenly. A few minutes before it’s over, the therapists break for a moment to fill the soaking tub with warm water and aromatherapy herbs. You walk in to find more candles — and the Champagne open and poured. (

CARNEROS INN: A more traditional spa experience happens at Carneros Inn, located on a gorgeous hillside a few miles from Napa. The site was previously a mobile home park so for zoning reasons, the new super-luxury cottages that create the inn are actually small, exceptionally green mobile homes. Each cottage is a suite with its own private yard and indoor and outdoor baths and showers. At the spa on the top of the hill, the inn has created a bathing experience to mimic sitting in the warm creek that flows nearby. You and your partner can both fit into one of these stainless steel Huichica Creek baths. Add your choice of salts scents, and lie back as the recirculating stream relaxes every part of you. (

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