Facing an oak-shaded pond in rural Connecticut, the stately Mayflower Inn's new Spa House is a back-to-nature sanctuary where you can get in touch with your inner Thoreau. Daily activities range from the rigorous (hikes in nearby Steeprock Reserve, aquatic Pilates) to the introspective (Reiki yoga, specimen-tree lectures). Cocooning watercolor classes and knitting circles, plus conscientious cuisine (carrot-cardamom couscous with Pacific halibut) presented in a celestial-blue loggia, balance all that physical activity. Owner Adriana Mnuchin and her daughter Lisa Hedley collaborated with Manhattan-based designer Randy Ridless to create a lavishly serene interior: a Willem de Kooning abstract hangs in the sun-filled garden room, and hand-painted frescoes by local artist Matt Wood illuminate the sea green hallways. The 20,000-square-foot spa also has eight treatment rooms for getting sweet-violet facials and wild-lime shiatsu massages. They're pure delight, not Puritan. Mayflower Inn & Spa, 118 Woodbury Rd., Washington, Conn.; 860/ 868-9466; www.mayflowerinn.com; two-night packages from $1,850, double, all-inclusive.
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