Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Most Beautiful Spaces To...

My everyday life is important to me. I do my best to spend time in places that feed my soul. Where I shop, eat, workout, all of it, is very important to me. I choose places that make me feel like I am on vacation, even though I'm home.

Here are a few of my favorites:

...get a massage or facial
The Urban Muse Day Spa

Imagine walking into a room, dimly lit with candles, soothing music floating through the air. The space is warm, the walls dark wood, everything is incredibly peaceful and beautiful. This is the feeling in the treatment rooms at the Urban Muse.

When you walk in, you walk through an insanely eclectic and large shop. Selections feature everything from body products to jewelry, to cards and gifts; even home goods from Fish's Eddy. It's a cool shop with creative and well-crafted gifts. The spa treatments simply take it to a new level. I honestly cannot imagine going anywhere else for a massage or facial. I saw some great deals on group on, asked around about the services (and got good feedback) but, ultimately, I didn't buy them. The Muse has spoiled me.

There is a gorgeous relaxation room for before and after treatment, a place to sit and get your zen on. It's quiet, dark and inviting. There are healthy snacks out for the taking, water infused with lemons and cucumbers, assortments of tea. They even offer beautiful, warm bathrooms with beauty products for your use, and a gloriously large shower for guests to use before or after (or both) that seems like it should be in someones luxury home. When you undress, you are given the supremely plush robes to wear. Everything is spotless and top notch.

One of the many sculptures in the relaxation room at the Urban Muse.

Treatment rooms are similar. Candle lit, with quiet music playing, and some sort of diffuser that makes the room smell noticeably present without being overwhelming. Each clinician/therapist that I have experienced is professional and does wonderful work. I always leave wanting just a few. more. minutes.

...get your hair done
The Lounge Hair Studio

This longstanding, top of the line hair studio is breathtaking. The front wall of the studio is lined with long windows, allowing tons of natural light to come into the studio, and since it's located on the second floor, no one is peeking in the windows. As with the Urban Muse, the furnishings are gorgeous and dark, with rough brick walls. The waiting area has a to die for leather chaise, amongst other chairs, and the receptionist comes with an offer of coffee, tea, and water.

All of the stylists are on trend, and my most recent visit with a Level 1 stylist (via a groupon) was incredible. She paid attention to what I wanted to do with my hair and listened to what I needed, while guiding me with options for what I may think about doing in the future. You must visit. Call, ask for Gabby, and tell her I sent you. The experience, from beginning to end, is totally pampering. I highly suggest you do this for yourself. It may cost a little more that the factory style salons, but it's worth the money... you will not be disappointed.

...find your zen
Prana Yoga Center

My God, this place. I have to tell you, if I didn't do yoga, I might start just so that I could spend time in the space. The space is warm and beautiful, all dark wood floors, and beautiful Ganesha and interesting art and sculptures decorate the space. Walking in the door, you feel a strong sense of welcoming and well-being. There is a waterfall wall in the shop area, where they sell yoga mats, clothing, candles, skin care, MantraBand bracelets, and other wonderful things.

The studio is a large space that is sectioned off into two rooms (which is often opened to accommodate larger classes). They have many types of yoga classes, all being wonderful (my favorite being Christy Linson's Vinyasa Flow class), and I always leave feeling blessed. I've been to other studios to practice, but nothing even comes close to this studio space.

...dine out
Rails Steakhouse

This long awaited, heavily hyped restaurant does not disappoint.

Years in the making, Rail Steakhouse at Towaco Crossing is the best thing that's happened to Montville in a very, very long time (and Montville, truth be told, is a pretty awesome place on a bad day). The space is huge, and incredible to look at. Everything is made from beautiful, earthy elements. There are walls made of carved wood with loose logs sitting inside them. There's an enormous, two story thick log of wood through the center that must have been the trunk of a tree, and the main wall is made of gorgeous stone with open spots that have candles inside them. In addition, built into the wall, on both the first and second floor, are fireplaces. You can sit on leather couches by the fire, have a drink (or even dinner) and enjoy the warmth of the fireplace. The fireside wall has a high ceiling, so you are able to see up to the second fireplace, and part of the upstairs bar. Everything is eye candy.

A small, fantastic wall at Rails Steakhouse. The logs you see are loose. 

Seating is everywhere, and always taken. The buzz about Rails is so positive that you cannot get a reservation Thursday - Saturday until the end of March (so make your reservations now!) but the good news is that you can sit at the bar or on one of the many leather seats, and eat your meal. By the way, the bars are great (there are three floors, and each floor has a bar and a dining room). The lower bar has an exposed brick oven, where pizzas are made. There isn't a bad seat in the house.

There are many more places that I'd like to write about, but these are the most luxurious of them all. I have a short list of places that I like to visit, and these are on top. Give them a shot and, when you visit, tell them the Domestic Goddess sent you.

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