I just returned from a one night stay at Westglow Resort and Spa with 13 female friends (11/16 – 11/17). We had such a great time that we started talking about a return trip about 2 hrs. into our visit. Before we left, we set the ball in motion for a visit in 2009.
We are from the Charlotte area and get together each month to do something new. Earlier this year, someone mentioned Westglow and we decided to plan a trip there since we could drive there and back with no issues. As we investigated further, we found out that it is on Travel + Leisure's Top 10 list of destination spas in the world. We decided to go up on a Sunday night and come back on a Monday (lower rates Su-Th). The overnight package includes two spa treatments, lodging, all meals, taxes, fitness classes, and use of the spa. The only additional costs were gratuities (for your treatments and for dinner), any alcoholic beverages at dinner, or additional items purchased at the spa (glass of champagne, fresh juices, nuts, etc. – they have plenty of whole fruit, teas, etc. that are included in the rate).
With regard to lodging, the Westglow Mansion is fairly small (for a resort, not for a single family dwelling), so our group was able to reserve the whole thing. It ended up being the best slumber party ever. :) Because we had the run of the house, we were able to be a little more free/relaxed and did not have to worry about disturbing the other guests. Two members of our group were scheduled to stay in the Cedar Lodge, but the staff just ended up bringing rollaway beds to two of the larger rooms so that the two of them could stay in the Mansion with us.
Overall, the lodging was quite nice. I am not a fan of traditional décor/antiques, but they had a very nice balance of old and new. Everything looks exactly as it does in the photos. I was in 14A which had the rainshower, so I did not experience the tub/shower curtain issue mentioned in other reviews. And, I only showered in the room once because I opted to try a shower in the women’s locker room after hot yoga to take advantage of some of the scrubs and other products they had for use there.
As an aside, I would not suggest staying in the Cedar Lodge as it is not a comfortable distance/walk from the Spa (where you go for services and lunch) or the Mansion (where you are served breakfast and dinner). This is especially true in the winter when it is cold and gets dark early. You basically leave the property, drive down the street a bit, and turn off to get to the Cedar Lodge. A good part of the walk would be very steep, and I’m not sure how well lit that area is at night. Also, while the Lodge is fine, the Mansion is much nicer.
As for the services, pretty much every service was sampled by the group. Overall, everyone was pleased. Instead of two (~1hr.) services, I just got one, two hour one - "The Soul of the Rose". Two other friends got this one as well. While there was at least one discrepancy between the description and the service, it was still awesome. The description says “warm body wrap”, but you are basically just laying on the bed under a heated blanket and not actually getting a body wrap. But, even with this minor “issue” I was still on the verge of tears when it ended. Say it ain’t over! :)
As somewhat of a foodie, I will say that the food was also quite good. Lunch was from the “spa” menu and, though it was 4 courses, it was all under 600 calories. Everyone was a little sad about the portions (which are more “correct” than what we normally eat), but we all agreed that the food was actually tasty—especially to be so low in calories. Of course, we were all starving by dinner. Thankfully someone decided to pack tortilla chips and dip!
Because we had the house to ourselves and no one else had reservations for dinner (Rowland’s is open to the public), we were able to dress however we wanted for dinner. More importantly, we were able to eat early. :) They have spa options available for dinner, but no one was interested in going the healthy route. Between the 14 of us, we sampled pretty much everything on the menu. Almost everything was excellent. I agree that the prawns were heavily doused in butter, but it’s just one of those things you decide to indulge in for the night but don’t eat on a regular basis. Also, they do have a spa version of the prawns. I had the duck entrée (one of my favs) and it was nearly perfect. The duck was prepared very well, but while the menu stated it had a citrus glaze, it did not appear to have much of one. It would have benefited from some sort of reduction/sauce/etc. Still a good dish though. Several of us got the molten chocolate cake (dark or white) for dessert, but some of them were a little low on the “molten” part. Another dessert, the Apple Pistachio Crisp, wasn’t as huge of a crowd pleaser. However, all of the appetizers and entrées were enjoyed by the group.
Breakfast was good, though entirely too early/short (8am – 9am only). But, I guess it does force you to get up and on with your day. Again, the quality of the food was good, though some of the portions were small. However, you can help yourself to the buffet of muffins, fresh fruit, cereals, etc., so you shouldn’t leave hungry. They do not offer any non-pork breakfast meats (turkey or veggie), so that’s one small improvement that could be made.
Last, but definitely not least, I will say the service was superb across the board. There was really only one minor exception, but his service level was only worth remark because everyone else was so great. Anywhere else, he would have been fine. From the moment we got there, the entire staff bent over backwards to make sure everything was great. One person even requested hot chocolate for a nightcap and we were told they would have to check on this. Apparently they only had packages of instant cocoa, but offered to ask the chef to make some from scratch for us the next day. So, we enjoyed homemade hot chocolate for breakfast. This is just one small example of how the staff demonstrates their willingness to ensure that your stay is a great one.
I think that one of the greatest things was the fact that we had the house to ourselves and had a bit more flexibility. However, I could see this place being a viable option for a solo trip to clear your mind or for couples, mother/daughter pairs, etc.
Overall, we had a great time and Westglow is the perfect place for a short getaway, particularly if you live nearby. We were all looking forward to the trip, but trying not to set our expectations too high before we arrived. Our expectations were definitely met and exceeded. In my opinion, the only issue with the place is the cost. Personally, it is a bit too pricey to stay for more than one night -- for the cost of a two night stay I could take an even longer trip that would involve a plane ride and my passport (and maybe even a massage or two). However, we had a really fun time with the Sunday/Monday stay and will absolutely be back in 2009. If I’m lucky, I’ll find a reason to go back on my own before then!
- Also Known As:
- Westglow Resort And Spa
- Westglow Hotel Blowing Rock
- Westglow Spa Blowing Rock