Viso Bello, Middlebury, (203) 598-7525 (visobello.com)
Lose all sense of time in the tranquil surroundings of Viso Bello, a premier day spa specializing in skin care, massages, body treatments, manicures and pedicures. Treat yourself to some richly deserved “me” time, being pampered to the soothing sounds of plashing water and peaceful spa music, or bring along your honey for a couple’s package and enjoy some quality time together.
Saybrook Point Inn Marina & Spa
Old Saybrook, (800) 243-0212 (saybrook.com)
The always luxe Saybrook Point Inn added to its appeal in 1989 with a luxury spa that’s only gotten better, and more eco-friendly, over time. Popular treaments include “The Kate” (named after you-know-who), a full-body ritual combining exfoliation and massage to nourish mind, body and soul (50 minutes, $125), the Pure Oxygen Facial that replenishes compromised skin with natural marine minerals (50 minutes, $125) and the Detox Men’s Massage, a deep-tissue massage that uses alternative heat to relax tired, overworked muscles and is available to women as well (50 minutes, $130). The staff customizes services to maximize your benefit.
New Haven, (203) 562-7662 (esanaplasticsurgery.com)
Much more than a day spa, Esana is staffed by estheticians and board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons, providing the full spectrum of cosmetic care. Men and women visit the soothing and serene Esana for beauty treatments, like facials and laser hair removal, as well as more complex procedures such as BOTOX injections, liposuction and breast implantation, all under one roof.
The Spa at Norwich Inn
Norwich, (800) ASK-4-SPA (thespaatnorwichinn.com)
We loved this gracious Georgian Revivial manse nestled within 40-plus wooded acres back when it was inn first, spa second (aka Norwich Inn & Spa). Since then the spa has expanded and moved center stage; today, you’ll find 36 treatment rooms and a dazzle of renewing and revitalizing services in a calm, serene wing evocative of a Roman villa. Notable among them are Nirvana, Ayurvedic Herbal Body Exfoliation and Shirodhara (80 minutes, $175), Rain Drop Therapy (50 minutes, $125) and Signature Apricot Manicures and Pedicures (50 minutes each, $65 and $70). Lunch or dinner in lovely Kensington’s and an overnight in the gracious inn or one of the luxe villas complement the experience.
Phillip Bruce Salon
Westport, (203) 255-4751 (phillipbrucesalon.com).
It’s not just the latest hair treatments, custom hair color and expert cuts that put Phillip Bruce Salon on the list this year—it’s the personalized service owners Phillip Addario and Bruce Chapman and their creative staff give each customer that sealed the deal. Everything from color-and-cut consultations to early-morning appointments to suit your schedule to the freshly brewed cappuccino to wake you up make this salon a winner. This accommodating team also assists brides and bridal attendants in looking their best for the big day.
Health Food Store
The Organic Market
Westport, (203) 227-9007
Health-food places have come and gone over the years, but The Organic Market, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is still going strong. That’s largely due to the talent and charm, yin and yang, of owners Charles and Maggie Vosgian. He’s the front man, presiding over the well-stocked shelves of grocery items, supplements, beauty aids, etc., while the inimitable Maggie (Martha Stewart’s a fan) runs the market’s little juice/food bar in back, where you can get wraps and salads, vegetarian quiche and tabouli, not to mention the best hummus anywhere. It’s wildly popular at lunchtime, with people waiting to pounce on a stool or a table, while others choose that night’s dinner from hot-bar options such as ratatouille, chicken burritos and seafood paella. There are bigger health food stores around—but they don’t have Maggie.
Tranquility Mind & Body Wellness Spa
Milford, (203) 877-7115 (tranquilwellnessspa.com)
Mind, body and spirit get equal attention at this serene Milford retreat, where the signature facial includes a hydrating and purifying mask, radiant neck and décolleté treatment, relaxing facial massage and a rich botanical foot massage. Massage options range from a feather-light (but powerful) craniosacral to intense deep-tissue, fibromyalgia therapy to Zen shiatsu.
Litchfield, (860) 567-7795 (charym.com)
Blending yoga, fitness, healing and spa experiences for a peaceful union of body and mind, Charym offers the perfect sanctuary for any yogi. The building is a converted old lumberyard with a courtyard and garden in back and a Body Temple spa in front. Classes include Ballet Yoga Flow, a combination of ballet-inspired movement and stretches with yoga postures (no dance experience necessary), and Hot Power Yoga, a class that mixes vigorous flow and long holds in a heated room to guarantee a cleansing sweat.