I've been on hiatus for the holidays. It's been a season of Christmas parties, dancing lights, merry festivals, themed sweaters, and baking (lots and lots of baking). In the midst of it all, I visited one of my favorite places in the world. It's a secret too good to keep to myself, so I'm sharing with you the Cedar Creek Spa at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri.
Who else is cold?! I'm talking the "I'm wearing three layers of clothing and Ugg boots and I still can't feel my legs" kind of cold. That is where I am right now, longing for the warmth of my December visit to Cedar Creek Spa.
I'm daydreaming of the sauna, steam room, ice room (which is actually warmer than it is outside right now), whirlpool, fireplaces, heated-blanket-topped massage tables, and grotto pool. Sound like a dream? Ah, it was.
This year, for our Christmas party, the girls of 4generations escaped to Cedar Creek spa to celebrate love, friendship, family, and another great year. Upon arrival, we were invited to make ourselves at home as we filled out the necessary forms and paperwork. We gathered around in comfy chairs on the second floor of the spa as we filled out the papers, while overlooking the creek, flowing just outside the floor-to-ceiling windows. Once we were finished, a member of the staff walked us back to the women's locker room where we slipped into robes and slippers.
Now, when I say locker room. Do not picture your high school locker room. Do not picture the locker room at the gym or even the nicest hotel you've ever been to. Picture this: private, curtained, and spacious dressing rooms, soft lighting, and a large vanity equipped with everything you could possibly need to get ready pre- or post-spa. After changing, we made our way to the Relaxation Room until time for our massages.
The Relaxation Room is one of my favorites. It was a rainy day and I could have spent hours curled up there reading a good book with a cup of tea. Large leather chairs and blankets surrounding a stone fireplace, tea kettle at the ready, complementary snacks, with a balcony overlooking the creek and Table Rock lake beyond make this quite possibly the coziest room in the world.
Every massage room should have a fireplace. Wow. Ready to have your muscles relaxed and your nots worked out? Start by settling in a warm bed beside a fireplace. It's a good place to start, and it's only the beginning. Every single one of us girls came out of our massages saying they were great! And we're all very honest people.
After the massage, the relaxation does not stop. Grab a glass of water (it's important to hydrate after getting a massage!) and explore the grotto. The large heated pool resides down stairs, on the same level as the massage rooms, and is shared by men and women. Taking a swim in the blue water was a huge treat for a water baby like me. With the cold weather bringing an end to my days spent by the pool and waterfalling adventures, throwing my head back beneath the waterfall showering down on one end of the pool and leaning against the massaging jets was magical. If you don't feel like swimming, the dim lighting and sound of trickling water makes the room a peaceful place to nap. Cedar Creek has prepared for this, with plush lounge chairs, just steps away from the pool. If you get too warm or need to ice those relaxed muscles, step into the ice room, located in the corner of the grotto room.
Back upstairs, on the women's side of the spa, just around the corner from the Relaxation Room, continue to enjoy warm water and jets in the fireside whirlpool. Or grab a cool eucalyptus towel and sweat out your toxins in the sauna and/or steam room. And take your time. You have the full day to enjoy the spa's amenities. Even if your relaxation treatment is scheduled late in the day, arrive early so you can enjoy all the benefits of the spa's amenities. When it's time to leave, as I said earlier, the spa is well equipped with everything you need to get ready, post-spa.
Finish off your day at the spa with a shower in one of the shower rooms, beautifully tiled from floor to ceiling and complete with a small stained glass window. In the summers, outdoor showers and a small sitting area surrounding another fireplace are also available. After a shower, return to the locker room to find everything you could ever need to get ready (hair dryers, products, etc.)
Ready to escape the cold at the Cedar Creek Spa? Join the Big Cedar Lodge mailing list to get winter specials on lodging. I believe they are running special rates during the weekends in January and February. American, Delta, and United all offer flights to Branson, Missouri (just minutes from Ridgedale), or if you're up for a little road trip, you can be there in just over seven hours. Want the ins and outs of the rest of the lodge? Shoot me a message through my contact page. I've gone to Big Cedar every year of my life and can map it for you from checkin to checkout and everything in between.