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Pamper Yourself at the Tides Inn, Virginia

Long for legendary Southern hospitality, a gentle pace, manners, uncrowded country roads, and a chance to relax and smell the magnolias? Then amble down to The Tides Inn. Especially during this hectic holiday season.

In mid-October, I returned to the serene Spa at the Tides Inn for a spa-break. The Tides Inn Spa at The Tides Inn in Irvington, Lancaster County is located at the edge of Carter's Creek, just off beautiful Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. It's a relaxing, quiet getaway overlooking the blue bay.

My two spa treatments by the magical masseuse, Patrcio Foronda, a Brazilian with pizzazz. My citrus firming body polish left me shiny, relaxed, and Janice Rice’s one-hour hydrating facial finished the tranquil transformation. The anti-Oxidant/Anti-Aging Facial lasted 60 minutes and cost $110; tip, of course, was extra. This treats and reinvigorates sun damaged and mature skin and is geared for sensitive skin conditions, a problem I have. This facial -- one of five choices -- features special attention to the eye area to help relieve wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, pigmentation, puffiness and redness.

The Spa's signature body treatment is the Lilacs of Lancaster Body Polish. Other popular treatments include Aurveda treatments to help create healthy lifestyles and habits.

The 480-acre Tides Inn resort is tucked away off Chesapeake Bay, on a 45 foot bluff, overlooking Carters Creek, Irvington. Irvington is a bucolic Lancaster County town along Highway 3 on the banks of the Rappahannock River in the Eastern Region of Virginia. At the end of the Northern Neck peninsula between the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers, this golf and water sports resort opened in 1947. Although a local favorite, it was overdo for a makeover. Then, wishes came true.

The Tides is now the new Tides Inn, reborn after a spiffy redo by new owners Sedona Resort Management company.
Although plenty of activities entice-- large swimming pool, beach, mini-boardwalk, nine-hole golf on grounds, tennis, jogging and walking paths -- nothing has “must do” written on it. Take out the kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, luxurious 1926 127-foot long yacht Miss Ann, sunset dinner or Saturday cruise to Urbanna -- across the Rappahannock River, cruise for an hour on The Tides yacht, along Carter’s Creek to admire the gorgeous homes, boats and scenery. Or, just laze around the terrace with a bloody Mary!

Legends and lore surround The Tides Inn, like the Whiskey Run, a cruise aboard Miss Ann that recalls Irvington’s “dry “ county days. To buy alcohol, yachtsmen cruised across the Rappahannock River to Urbanna for spirits. Returning to The Tides, the men stored their liquors in locked walnut boxes lining one wall of the bar.

The Tides Inn boasts a spectacular west-facing setting, so sunsets are a nighttime “entertainment,” along with star-gazing.

Tides Inn dining room, features scrumptious New Chesapeake Regional Cuisine by the fabulous new Executive Chef, Kevin Maguire. During my stay, from breakfast to lunch to dinner the food was outstanding, especially the fresh, Chesapeake Bay oysters and crab cakes. The she-crab chowder, to die for. The appetizer crab cakes was four incest high, enough for an entire meal. Our last night, we ordered the Chef’s Sampler, four courses plus dessert, accompanied by six wines. I gained about four pounds, but lost two in the Spa.

For more Tides Inn information, call 1-800-843-3746 or 804-438-5000, 480 King Carter Drive, Irvington, VA 22480, www.tidesinn.com.

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