Banishing Winter Blues

Luxuriate in the peaceful pleasures offered at spas to rejuvenate body and mind once the cold season arrives.
Crystal Mountain
Crystal Mountain // Photography courtesy of Crystal Mountain Resort

Massages with hot Petoskey stones. A towel cocoon. Hydrating oils. Products infused with local spirits and syrups. Whether you’re a winter lover or someone who hibernates, Michigan spas offer tantalizing ways to rejuvenate dry skin and tired souls. Here are a few innovative winter offerings waiting for you.

Rivage Day Spa

“Winter is when we neglect the self most,” said Jessica Lundberg, Rivage Day Spa co-owner with her mother Nahil Gebara. “It’s important to hydrate continuously, exfoliate open pores, eliminate dead skin and allow skin to renew.”

Rivage means shoreline, a fitting name for this suburban Detroit sanctuary with a glass roof atrium and flowing water treatment where clients love to linger.

The mother-daughter team opened their marble floor, chandelier-lit retreat two years ago after building a decadeslong following. This winter, they’re launching a luxe hydrating wrap, featuring double exfoliation and deep hydration, and a detox-recovery package that includes a wrap, massage and pedicure.

Rivage Day Spa
Photography courtesy of Rivage Day Spa

Crystal Mountain

Spa services at Crystal Mountain include products infused with spirits and syrups from Iron Fish Distillery, a celebrated soil-to-spirits concept just a snowshoe trail away from the spa.

The spa’s winter menu includes a tawny port pedicure, Thai massage for après-ski and a barrel-aged body treatment — honey- and maple syrup-infused products, as well as bourbon finished in tawny port barrels; pedicure baths include corn, rye and malted barley tones. Some treatments include Iron Fish cocktails.

It’s important to “nurture skin after being in wind and elements,” said Stephanie Scott, spa director. “You’ll perform better on the slopes or cross-country course if your muscles and skin recover.”

Big Bay Lighthouse/Superior Touch Spa

Using stones from Lake Superior’s shoreline in her massages, Deborah Moore helps guests relax at the Big Bay Lighthouse inn.

In winter, massages take place in the lighthouse, unlike summer, when guests relax in a massage hut overlooking the lake, soothed by the sound of waves crashing beneath the cliff.

Nick Korstad bought the 1896 lighthouse in May and is in the process of restoring it. Keepers shone their signal until the Great Depression, protecting boats between Huron Island and Granite Island. Abandoned until 1962, when it became a private residence, the lighthouse became an inn by 1987.

Located 25 miles northwest of Marquette, Big Bay Point features winter quiet and rejuvenating massages. After snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, Moore recommends a foot scrub, with hot towels and massage. “Each foot has 7,200 nerve endings; it’s important to pamper your feet after winter sports.”

The Spa at Boyne Mountain
The Spa at Boyne Mountain // Photography Courtesy of Boyne Spas

Other Delicious Offerings

The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa sees a lot of traffic in winter, as “people escape the winter blues,” said Jillian Manning, public relations manager. The spa features northern Michigan’s natural elements with organic scents and regional products, including wild sage, arnica flower and lavender. (Try the Glistening Arnica Facial, the Winter Solstice Sugar Glow or the Woodland Stone Massage.)

At The Spa at Boyne Mountain, the Hot Toddy for the Body features bourbon-infused brown sugar scrub, honey mask and cinnamon body oil. The Inn at Bay Harbor offers the Magnesium Melt to promote energy levels, restful sleep and muscle function. Massages at both resorts include hot Petoskey stones for sore muscles, said Erin Ernst, director of communications. The Spa at Boyne Mountain also offers a Ski Boot Relief treatment.

Go and Relax

Crystal Mountain Spa; (888) 968-7686

Grand Traverse Resort; (231) 534-6000

Inn at Bay Harbor; (855) 811-4402

Rivage Day Spa; (248) 839-2021

The Spa at Boyne Mountain; (231) 549-7946

Superior Touch Spa at Big Bay Lighthouse; (906) 345-9957

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