The Mayflower Grace Takes Luxury to New Heights
This past weekend my hubby and I were invited to stay at The Mayflower Grace, a fabulous Relais & Chateaux property, for several nights. I was super excited, of course, because I’d heard from several people that it’s one of the best hotels in the country. What I didn’t expect is that the spa would be world-class as well.
The moment we arrived (it’s in Connecticut, only 90 minutes from New York City) and stepped into the overwhelmingly luxurious lobby, with several cozy sitting rooms to our right and left, we realized that this hotel is one of those where it has to be seen to be believed. No website, video or photos could ever do the property justice, because the luxury of the Mayflower is not only in the details, but in the ambiance.
You’ll never feel like leaving the property – great food and top notch service. From the moment you arrive to when you depart, the staff makes you feel at home. Magazines, teas and delicious snacks everywhere being constantly replenished and tidied by a staff with ninja speed that you’ll never notice until the very second you need them.
Located in the gentle rolling hills of charming and sophisticated Washington Eastern Connecticut, residing in this place made me feel as though I was living in a luxurious English Manor that reeks of understated elegance. The Mayflower Grace boasts stunningly set chateaus spread over the gorgeously landscaped beautiful property. Majestic old trees, lovely streams and beautifully manicured gardens in full spring bloom everywhere will instantly captivate you. Even in the fall, you’ll be surprised how the putting green will still be maintained and there will be plenty of nature to take in. With its quintessential New England charm, this place surprised me with a luxurious coziness that enveloped me and made me feel at home right away. Everywhere you turn, there’s a comfy place to relax.
The Mayflower’s decor can be summed up in two words: Glamorous Luxury. Embroidered silk everywhere, Frette everything – even the bathroom tiles are heated. The luxurious bedding alone is worth seeing in the suites; a regal perfection. Every single room is traditionally and beautifully turned out, all with their own living rooms or sitting areas, complete with patios and fireplaces. We basically wanted to lock ourselves in the room for our entire stay (and we almost did – ordering room service twice and watching more movies than I’d like to admit), except that the spa offers about five to ten free classes daily that sounded too good to pass up. For example, on any given day you can call the spa concierge and sign up for any number of free classes, including Morning Stretch, Body Sculpting, Cardio Fitness, Pilates Mat, Aquatic Splash, Stretch and Release, Have a Ball (using exercise balls), Power Yoga Basics, and more. We found that most classes end up being ‘private’ anyway, but if you want a guarantee, you can always schedule a private and customized session, at your convenience.
Beyond the spa and classes, there are tons of other fun activities to choose from, which cost between $75 and $190, including painting classes, floral arrangement, organization lessons, meditation, bird watching, nutrition consultations, etc. They also offer private lessons or accompanied sessions for hiking, biking, kayaking, tennis, cross-country skiing, snowshoe, archery, fly fishing, tai chi, and more. In short, there are so many things to do, both on and off-campus, that it’s simply impossible to get bored here.
You’ll never feel like leaving the property – great food and top notch service. From the moment you arrive to when you depart, the staff makes you feel at home.
The spa really shocked me… From the outside it looks tiny, but when you walk in, it’s super spacious. I mean really, really massive, and will undoubtedly prove to be one of your best experiences. The outstanding design of the spa building, built at the side of a steep hill that overlooks the forest is drop dead gorgeous. You enter at the top floor, and each floor you go down (at least three floors), you encounter more seating areas, more yoga rooms, and more treatment areas. I could spend all day in there – their sofas were so comfy it’s just ridiculous. Since the spa is built on the edge of a steep hill, each floor has a ton of huge windows overlooking the forest.
It’s hard to explain how gorgeous the spa is — it must be seen to be believed. They’ve managed to weave serenity and pampering into every aspect of this place. Although you are going to be in love with their many varieties of luxurious and heavenly massages, including their delicious Warm Honey Massage, their spa treatment menu is so extensive that it’ll be hard to choose what other treatments to do. They offer everything from a Hammam, to Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Acupuncture, Lymphatic Massage, Immune Booster Treatments, Deep Blue Lavender Embrace bath soaks, Oxygen Facials, and many more enticing treatments. They even have a full hair salon. After your treatments, you’ll enjoy melting into one of their ridiculously comfortable chaise lounges and gazing at the enormous picture windows at the pond foliage.
Be sure to drop by the world class gym for a quick workout. I also spent some time relaxing in their wonderful steam room before taking a dip in the indoor pool (they have an outdoor one, too) and incredible hot tub.
One thing that I especially loved was that they decided to use a healthy and delicious-smelling organic brand of body care products called Red Flower, instead of the go-to chemical-laden staples like Molton Brown, and the bottles were large. These essential oil infused products add to the healthy and calming ambiance of the spa. I don’t usually take the products from hotel bathrooms, but I definitely did this time. In case a guest wants more, they can buy these products, along with anything you might have forgotten at home (oops! did I forget my medium-sized-tan-handbag? silly me!), but this time by Loro Pianna, Hermes and Chanel, in their gift shop. It’s pretty much a deep-pockets heaven. **Drool**
The Mayflower also has two fantastic restaurants (not including the spa), and both are incredible. One has the feel of a luxury tavern, and the other is more formal and has a gorgeous hand-painted mural that covers the walls.
The hotel is located in a super cute and wealthy town, with a number of really wonderful restaurants and shops. Even though you’ll feel like locking yourself up in the suite, it’s worthwhile to check out the town during your stay – its quite easy to drive over to various nearby villages for lunch, antiquing and other shopping. There are several very good restaurants within a few minute drive that serve sophisticated cuisine.
From the impeccable rooms, to the five star restaurant, there is so much to savour when visiting The Mayflower Grace. Old world elegance plus superior service makes this retreat an extremely pleasant experience. If you just want to relax and unwind in comfort and want the ultimate in luxury and refinement – I cannot recommend the Mayflower Grace highly enough. It is a wonderful idyllic getaway, perfect for a weekend getaway or special occasion.