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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Peters

Branching out with a Tree Spa massage

It was a 90-minute drive from Salem, Massachusetts to Kennebunkport, Maine, where I headed with Cheryl, my sister, to celebrate her birthday during my visit to New England. Compared to the mountain driving I’d become accustomed to since living in Northern California, this was a beautiful, easy ride during the start of fall foliage.

First things first: We checked in, then headed to Stargazer, the name of our cottage. We stood for a moment to absorb the breathtaking architectural layout within this birch forest, and then scurried inside to do the same with the interior design of every room, finally leaving our luggage upstairs in our respective rooms.

In the quickest of five minutes, we oohed and ah’d over the spacious accommodations with living room, gas fireplace, screened sun porch with daybed and bistro table, kitchen, dining room and bathroom downstairs. Seriously… outside of the bathroom, an outdoor shower!

Upstairs, two bedrooms, two full bathrooms.

Yes, Stargazer at Hidden Pond at Kennebunkport, Maine would do just fine.

Colorful resort map in-hand, we walked to the Tree Spa, where we had scheduled our hour-long aromatherapy massages. The surrounding beauty of nature distracted us from following the map, however, and we walked straight past Earth, the resort’s restaurant and where the Tree Spa was located in the rear… where the birch trees were beyond the heated, saltwater pool. We were so excited to be here, inhaling the aromatic warm, hazy scents of autumn during Indian Summer mixed with the prior night’s campfire still wafting in the air -- we simply didn’t notice the sign for the spa.

The heated, saltwater pool at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine, where the Tree Top Spa is located.

We did turn around, asked a random staff member who happened to walk by, and scurried to the back of Earth to view the rustic, cozy, yet grand entrance of the Tree Spa. We were five minutes late, but the two massage therapists were chill, thankfully. We bid each other adieu and from that moment on I can only attest to my own experience: I was instructed to de-robe and lie face down on the table, covered by a few sheets. I obeyed.

While my face squished into the doughnut (to allow full face-down breathing), I heard my massage therapist walking across the birch tree-planked pathway leading to the massage room. I could feel the room vibrating with every step she took, and I had to laugh at the concept of the shaky tree room. Once inside, there was no more shaking, only my body melting into the massage table, my knotted muscles relinquishing to the slathering of oiled strokes. There was no need for spa sounds; rustling, crisp leaves in the wind and birdsong were nature’s music.

Fifty minutes passed too quickly, but our walk back to our cottage was noticeably slower in pace. We stopped to observe our whereabouts and the possibilities of things to do: the campfire where we would enjoy s’mores later that evening, the cut flowers area where we would return the next day to adorn our cottage with our favorite wildflowers, and finally back to our cottage, where we called the complimentary shuttle for a ride to Hidden Pond’s sister property, The Tides Beach Club overlooking Goose Rocks Beach.

Our day ended with happy hour watermelon martini’s, great conversation with visitors at the bar, and the best overstuffed lobster roll and bottle of Chablis anyone could hope for while visiting New England.

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