Everybody exhale

WAG was pleased and privileged recently to have a taste (and scent and touch) of the new $9.6 million THANN Sanctuary Spa that’s part of the revamped Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown, now under the management of Sankara Hospitality, which also oversees the Sankara Hotel & Spa on Yakushima Island.

Though there are other THANN spas in Europe and Asia, this is the first in the United States, and all we can say is boy, are we lucky to have it in WAG country.

THANN is a Thai-style spa, which Ryoko Ado, spa operations manager, described as using “techniques based on releasing all the energy lines and the tension in all parts of the body. The rhythm is slow and deep and goes deep into the muscles.”

The approach is also organic and natural. The 8,600 square-foot space – designed by California’s KTGY Group Inc. with interiors by Gettys out of Chicago – is all stone, wood and light in relaxing creams and nutmegs. (The one pop of color is a real conversation piece – a colorful paper lounge/coffee table in the lobby that is deceptively strong and comfortable.)

THANN may be all airy-spa-y, but there’s no mistaking some real savvy here. Everyone loves a good story, and THANN is smart in making your visit “a journey” in which you, the main character, begin by discussing any aches or allergies and then pick out a scent from among their many products for your selected services. We chose a light, calming sandalwood, but there’s also an energizing, minty eucalyptus (great for the sinuses) and a refreshing citrus.

Samantha Feig was our expert masseuse. Under her skilled hands, our muscle tensions dissolved, our tender right shoulder was soothed and our arthritic neck placated.

But most of all, Chatty Cathys that we are, Samantha proved to be a wonderful conversationalist – though she said if you like quiet or want to drift off while she works her magic, that’s fine, too.

After our massage, we were guided to the common room, where we lounged about in a robe and slippers, looking out at the greenery and savoring oil-less spring rolls with a spicy dipping sauce, vegetables with a peanut sauce, a butternut squash spread on toast ovals, tomato juice and jasmine tea. Heaven.

There’s also a special women’s lounge for an extra bit of transitioning back to the real world. The men, who are apparently not considered as social, don’t have one. But otherwise there is total parity with lockers and lovely bronzed-tiled showers, including handicap accessibility, for both sexes.

Spa guests can also work out in a small gym and enjoy the steam rooms or facials and scrubs. Yoga starts early in October as does a spa menu at the Castle’s Equus restaurant under the direction of executive chef Marc Lippman.

Whatever offerings you choose, you’ll be attended by graceful, gracious staffers. It’s their sympathetic approach that makes the THANN spa truly a sanctuary.

For more on the THANN Sanctuary Spa, visit castlehotelandspa.com. – Georgette Gouveia

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