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Deluxe Spa at Potomac River Restful, Fabulous

Relache Spa & Salon at Gaylord National Resort and Spa at National Harbor, Maryland is inside the new Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, just steps between the main lobby and Main Street, this spiffy new full-service spa is a deluxe spa destination within the glamorous Gaylord on the Potomac River, about eight miles south of Washington, D.C.

Health, wellness and pampering highlight the upscale atmosphere of Relāche, a world-class spa and health center with state-of-the-art fitness, wellness and salon treatment areas. Pass through the glass entryway and enter a distinctly different spa environment.

Inside the sleek, modern setting of black and white marble, are 12 sleek, contemporary treatment rooms, including a cool treatment area, a couples' room and a Jacuzzi. All looking out onto the scenic Potomac River. Massage rooms and a health club round out the 20,000-square foot facility. For my Relache Signature massage, I hopped onto the heated towel on the padded massage table, placed my head into the opening of the pillow, and relaxed as my gentle masseuse gave me a soothing head-to-toe massage. I made my appointment on my second day of a four-day sightseeing trip to the Washington, D.C. area, including a tour of the Newseum and the National Gallery on the Mall, and a stroll through the uplifting F.D.R. Roosevelt Memorial.

Spa Treatments and services, including massages, facials, body therapies, hand and foot therapies, nail enhancements, hairstyling, make-up services, waxing and more. The men's and women's locker rooms include light-filled, relaxation lounges overlooking the Gaylord's gardens and the Potomac River; saunas and steam rooms.

Packages range from personalized experiences to harmonic couples massage. From the wrapaound windows in the couples room, I could see the Washington Monument in the background.

All packages include the use of steam room, sauna, locker rooms and a variety extras including access to co-ed Tea Relaxation lounge, which also has the same view overlooking the water). This is such a "chill" place, after my massage I reclined in a lounger and ...lounged for an hour. It's good to do nothing after a long day touring Mount Vernon and the National Mall.

Fitness is de riguer at the Gaylord, and outdoor buffs can bike to Old Town, Alexandria, by pedaling over to the nearby Woodrow Wilson Bridge Pedestrian Path. My cousins, Mark and wife Mary Faith Pankin, told me they rode their bikes from Old Town to the Gaylord, then sat down for lunch at the Gaylord's seafood restaurant, Moon Bay Coastal Cuisine. (I also ate there; the crab cakes make Maryland proud.) After, they biked back. Next time I go, I plan to meet them for another bridge ride. The Gaylord will soon rent bikes so I won't have to haul mine down via jet. Or take the half-hour water taxi ride to Old Town from the hotel's own river dock. I did and loved the ride and the shopping and strolling around this historic port.

The recent completion of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Pedestrian Path boasts a gorgeous scenic route over the Potomac River with beautiful views from the bridge's overlook platforms and telescopes.

On the other side of this 1.1-mile bridge, the path connects with the Mount Vernon Trail providing scenic trips to Old Town Alexandria, Washington, DC, and George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens.
Next time I head to Washington, D.C., I'll make my spa appointment online, or call (301) 965-4400.

Gaylord National Resort and Spa at National Harbor, 201 Waterfront St
National Harbor, MD 20745, .(301) 965-4400

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