By LARRY VAUGHT
One thing I really like to do is find what I consider hidden treasures when I am on vacation. However, recently I found one right here at home — Esther’s Wellhouse in Stanford.
I certainly am no spa expert, but I had one — former Miss Kentucky Maria Montgomery — with me for a recent visit to the spa after we first had lunch at Mama DeVechio’s Pizzeria which is less than a block from the spa. It was my first time to eat there, but Maria had been before and was absolutely correct when she told me how much I would like it. You have a variety of pizza choices — including the dessert pizza that Maria knew way too much about — but what I liked is that you can just pick out your own ingredients for what is considered a “small” pizza but more than satisfied my lunchtime appetite. You get to watch the pizza go in the huge oven and it was ready a lot quicker than I anticipated. The decor of the restaurant at 212 West Main Street is unique and only adds to the experience — and the prices are great.
After lunch we headed over to the spa. I got what I considered the traditional hour massage. My only complaint — the time went by way too quickly. I was able to dictate the pressure level I wanted applied and I felt both relaxed and rejuvenated when my time ended (and the heated bed was lovely). I learned how important it can be to “pamper” those muscles.
Maria opted for a facial with Wendy Skipper, Spa Director and Esthetician. She left impressed.
“It was such an outstanding facial because she did a massage as the skincare soaked in. She massaged my shoulders and arms and even my feet! I was in heaven,” Maria said. “But the spa itself is just so warm and home-like. Some spas aim more for a glitzy appeal — but the feel of Esthers is so appropriate for old Stanford with the exposed brick walls and the pops of turquoise.
“Plus I loved the tea bar. It just makes you feel at home. I could have taken a long nap on that warmed bed! I was ready to move in.”
Wait. It gets even better because after we finished Maria agree to a few photos, which is not unusual since she is a professional model. However, these photos had one big difference.
“You’ll just have to let everyone know how great of a facial it was if I was willing to take pics without makeup and with the facial creams in my hair,” she laughed and said.
Here’s a short overview of what Maria had done:
— Focus on exfoliating dry, dehydrated skin and increasing hydration.
— Double cleanse, first with a cleansing balm to remove make up, then the Stone Crop gel.
— Wash to remove dirt from the skin.
— Analyze using the magnifying lamp, addressing any congestion, breakouts or anything suspicious.
— Peel Lactic Acid to remove surface build up and improve hydration. Remove with steam towel.
— Hand and arm massage while peel processed
— Facial Massage
— Mask: Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Acid to help cells retain moisture as much as possible so skin feels and appears healthy, hydrated and plump. Remove with steam towel.
— Foot massage while mask set.
— Vitamin C serum, bearberry eye cream, facial recovery oil applied to the burn on the side of the face and Stone Crop Moisturizer.
— Electric current treatment to kill bacteria, reduce inflammation, increase circulation, stimulate collagen and help products penetrate deeper into the skin.
— Jade Roller for lymphatic drainage and to flush away any toxins.
“We try to focus on facial and body treatments with the most natural ingredients possible in an environment designed for the healing of the spirit, soul and body. A little oasis in the middle of our chaotic lives,” Skipper said.
Call it oasis, heaven, a hidden gem or whatever word you like. All I know is that Esther’s Wellhouse (606-257-4171) at 102 Depot St. in Stanford is somewhere that once you visit, my guess is you will be going back and I can’t wait to go back and try the “body scrub” that Skipper tells me I will love even if I have no real idea what that even is yet. I just know if they have it at Esther’s Wellhouse, them I am all in.