Nothing’s more American than a vintage health spa nestled into the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Complete with seven ancient mineral springs, a golf course, waterfalls and hiking trails, and a first-rate spa, this is a glamorous way to experience the lives of the social elite who visited to ‘take the waters’ around the turn of the century.
Bedford Springs, in Pennsylvania, is a resort with a 200-year pedigree. The hotel honors its past and creates the perfect mood, by using black and white photographs of previous guests in the decor. In fact one entire wall in the restaurant is a stunning grid of white-matted, silver-framed photos of women with Gibson girl hair and men with straw boaters.
This is classic resort decor at its finest. The guest room I stayed in was done in soothing shades of seafoam, tan and blue, with classic black and white in the marble bathroom. Of course, there are cushy robes, a large closet and a comfy wing back.
The star of the show must be the indoor swimming pool, with a two-story atrium and classic tile work. The pool is fed with spring water and is one of the first indoor pools built in America, in 1905.
Fireplaces, antiques and a grand staircase are focal points in the lobby. The colors are pink, lavendar, green, gold, beige and blue – a palette that looks as if it has evolved over time when in fact, the hotel was completely redone in 2007.
A bridge takes you across the road and into the forest, where you can hike to the seven springs used centuries ago by native Americans for healing purposes. There are easy and advanced trails, clearly marked.
Bedford Springs has hosted numerous US Presidents and other notables and will certainly make you feel elegant and healthy. The spa is expensive. The food is good. The staff is friendly. The overall experience is special and evocative. The only complaint you may come up with is the very long walk between some rooms and the common areas – but just consider that part of your ‘treatment’. Here’s to your health!
For more information about Bedford Springs, which is an Omni Hotel, check their website here.