Every spa visit has a story of its own; this one is nature filled!
Sundara is so named not because of the “Sun,” although it shines remarkably here. But Sundara is the Sanskrit word for “beautiful.” Yes, Sundara embraces the beautiful nature surrounding its home, nestled on 26 acres of private wooded pine forests!
As a student of Ayurveda (in which the terminology is Sanskrit based) and a wellbeing luminary, I am fortunate and blessed to share with you my experience at Sundara.
Sundara, located in Wisconsin Dells, WI, is just about a 4 hour drive from Chicago, a 2 hour drive from Milwaukee and and 3.5 hour drive from Minneapolis. As you enter winding Canyon Road, you will soon begin to feel like you are in another state–rocky bluffs, towering pine trees and a stillness which fill the air.
Sundara was specifically “feng shui” designed to embrace the nature and energy of its natural surroundings. When you enter its lobby and look up, you will witness a beautiful rotunda ceiling resembling the sweet smelling pine tree branches which surround the property. The entire facility feels flowing–curved walls, hallways, open space and light….make sure to take notice!
Sundara is an intimate, boutique, adult only spa. (Guests must be at least 18 years old.) They particularly cater to honeymooners, baby-mooners, mom-daughter getaways, friend getaways, partner celebrations (birthdays/anniversaries). This is a “quiet place” (guests sign an agreement upon check-in to observe quietness) and Sundara will soon be “electronic free” in all public areas of the resort. This means guests may NOT use cell phones, iPads, laptops, Kindles, tablets or any other electronic devices in public areas. Guests are highly encouraged to use their “quiet voice”- a welcomed change from the chatter at many other resorts and spas.
Sundara’s goal is to encourage you to disconnect, decompress and simply relax with a specific purpose: to Energize your Soul.
This beautiful destination spa offers an assortment of well appointed suite accommodations, with several rooms facing the outdoor infinity edge pool and fragrant pine forests. If you don’t want to be pampered “outside” of your room each day, you can be self pampered inside your room with state of the art Kohler “Riverbath” whirlpool tubs and fantastic Kohler “Water Tower” showers (with 7 adjustable water ports), featherbeds, cozy fireplaces and more!
On my recent visit, I did just that: I disconnected from the fast paced real world and began to relax with an exfoliating and soothing 90 minute Shea Body Butter treatment; I was warm and glowing. Afterwards, I decided to take a walk along the resort’s Meditation Trail where there are stops along the way to learn and to understand the importance of your body Chakras and how these spinning energy areas can affect your entire body and your wellness.
But ahhh, the best part of this trail in the pine forest was a visit (at about 2 feet away) from a doe, unafraid, as her large brown eyes just stared at me. I was in awe because I have never been this close to an animal in the wild. Low and behold her two baby fawns (cute as all cute could be) came up to her to nurse. I was still so not to startle or scare them away. This was truly a spiritual Sundara moment…..However, my story gets even better; you’ll have to stay tuned….But first….
Sundara doesn’t try to be “everything to everybody”. They are well niched to be a place of relaxation, decompression, soul indulgence and reconnection. You will be “spa” pampered, if you choose, but also have the option to just hang out in your spa robe in and around the resort. In fact, one of the prior guests wrote (in the in-room journal) “nude under my robe, fresh, clean, relaxing, reborn”. Yes, spa robes are worn all around the resort–however, co-ed areas such as the outdoor pool/whirlpools and indoor showers/whirlpools require swimsuits-no nudity.
Sundara is more of quiet, relaxing destination spa. There is not a fitness center on the property, but if you desire weights and aerobic equipment, they will provide a shuttle to a nearby fitness facility. And if you choose more activity, you can rent bikes or make arrangements to engage in some of the nearby activities such as golf, hiking, rafting, and kayaking, with the latter activities offered at one of three State Parks nearby.
Sundara is not only committed to helping its guests relax, but it is also confidently making initiatives in other areas. For example:
- Its commitment to kindness to the environment, economic sustainability and health of our planet
- Its philanthropic endeavors such as its collaboration and support to the Breast Cancer Recovery organization which aids the emotional, spiritual and physical recovery of women diagnosed with breast cancer
- Its Spa cuisine which is not only healthy and tasty but features organic seasonal ingredients sourced locally whenever possible. They also created the Sundara Good Chi Garden (at the front of the property) where they grow a variety of veggies and herbs for use in the spa menu.
So, when you are ready to list Sundara on your “destination spa” itinerary, here are some things you do NOT want to miss during your stay:
- the Meditation Trail (…you may get your own “up close” visit with a doe, fawns and more)
- the Purifying Ritual Baths (before your spa treatments…and after, too!)
- the quiet time to reflect and write a memory or two about your Sundara stay in your in-room journal. The Sundara staff loves comments from their guests and is always seeking ways to improve their stay.
- the Chakra series massages using Ayurvedic oils and techniques to relax, sooth and heal mind, body and spirit. They also offer the deeply relaxing/meditative treatment of Shirodhara.
Be sure to check out the Sundara website to get more details on their amenities, special promotions and upcoming events. Sundara is open year round along with accessibility to its outdoor heated pool and deck. How spectacular would it be in the cool (and cold) late fall and winter months to watch (from the edge of the infinity pool) snowflakes fall upon the pine tree branches from the surrounding the property?
And now I am eager to share with you the continuation of my story about the doe I encountered on the Meditation Trail: The following morning I was up very early and decided to do some yoga asanas, stretching and dance movements in an open area adjacent to the outdoor pool. It was about 8am and no one was near the pool area except me. So I moved, spun around, stretched and flowed, alone….until I turned and looked up at the bluff, and there she was! Completely still. Staring at me moving. The same doe! She was watching me with those gorgeous big brown eyes, her babies in the distance knowing to stay fairly close to their mom. And at that exact moment, I knew there was something so very special about Sundara: The beauty of connecting to nature and reconnecting to myself, to my soul.
We all deserve a Sundara moment…or two…three…who’s counting? (a sweet Tweetable!)
~A special thank you to Courtney Syverson, Tara Disch and Carla Minsky for their time, professionalism and kindness during my visit. May you continue to inspire others to Energize Their Soul~
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