Spa Profile: Subterrestrial Treasure

On spa-lunking in a Blue Ridge cave -- and slipping into a bygone era.
Photo courtesy of the Omni Grove Park Inn

High up in the North Carolina Appalachians, where the forest stretches into the sky and the Blue Ridge Parkway wends through the wildflowers, a subterranean healing grotto is buried into the side of a mountain. Here, waterfalls cascade into hot tubs and feed cold plunges, floating pools and lap pools. Fiberoptic lights twinkle like stars overhead. Those who sink into this cavern’s waters are treated to its secret soundtrack: an underwater symphony. It’s a fairy fountain fit for a mermaid -— if, that is, said mythical creature also required high-tech facials and deep-tissue massages.

This aquatic wonderland is attached to the landmark Grove Park Inn, which opened in 1913. A century later, Omni Hotels & Resorts bought the 513-room property, which is famous for its majestic stone fireplaces, hid- den elevators and literary tradition (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Margaret Mitchell and Helen Keller all stayed here). The AAA Four-Diamond inn has a long history as a rejuvenation destination, but it wasn’t until 2001 that things were taken to the next level with the creation of the stunning spa -— the only 43,000-square-foot grotto in the Southeast.

Continue reading about the gorgeous spa at the Omni Grove Park Inn in our July digital edition!