This Idyllic Connecticut Inn Was the Perfect Wellness Escape for 2 Pandemic-exhausted Moms

One travel writer ventures to Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection, with a fellow mother, for sleep therapy, health coaching, and non-traditional spa treatments.

Exterior and outdoor fire pits at Mayflower, Auberge Resorts Collection in Connecticut

Hannah Selinger

My cousin needed an escape – and I knew just where to go to push her slightly out of her comfort zone. The Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection, built in 1894, was an auspicious destination for two moms who had not had nearly enough pampering during an extended pandemic. It just so happened that this historic property was situated exactly three hours from my cousin’s home in Freehold, New Jersey, and my home in Boxford, Massachusetts. A trip to Connecticut felt like the perfect place to recharge, and to see a property that had, itself, reimagined what luxury meant amid the chaotic years of the pandemic. 

A drive through the rolling, idyllic Connecticut countryside delivered me to the careful hands of the Mayflower staff. The property, which consists of a country house and three stand-alone cottages, as well as a 20,000-square-foot spa, underwent a major facelift in 2020. The renovation was expected to take at least a year, but when the pandemic thinned hospitality in March 2020, the property was able to complete the work in just a few months. 

It was hard not to feel instantly at home among interior designer Celerie Kemble’s vision; tender country touches populate every room of the inn, from the towering olive tree in the main lobby to the peacock-patterned ceiling detail that extends throughout the hallways. The petit hotel (there are 35 rooms, seven of which are suites) felt luxuriously uncrowded, despite the fact that it was at 100 percent capacity during our stay. 

Guestroom interior at Mayflower, Auberge Resorts Collection in Connecticut

Courtesy of Mayflower, Auberge Resorts Collection

The Mayflower’s 58 sprawling acres make for a picturesque retreat, no matter where on the property you may find yourself. Rooms are spacious; our Signature King accommodation featured a living area with a gas-burning fireplace, scalloped molding on the ceiling, a free-standing tub built into an alcove in the spacious bath, and a window seat that looked out into the trees. We were escorted up with coupes that overflowed with Champagne. Already, my cousin was wide-eyed. A typical spa weekend this was not. 

On our first afternoon, my cousin and I wandered through the Shakespeare Garden, taking pictures of the peaking foliage. At dusk, the staff lit bonfires. White Adirondack chairs encircled the fire pits, and anyone could cozy up with the blankets on hand. Staff members, clad in white shirts and country-chic khaki, were happy to bring along a basket of s’more-making accoutrement for an outdoor sweet. 

Taproom in the restaurant at the Mayflower, Auberge Resorts Collection in Connecticut

Courtesy of Mayflower, Auberge Resorts Collection

The point of our trip, really, had been a non-traditional spa escape, and we spent nearly an entire day at The Well, the Mayflower’s gorgeous and well-appointed spa. The spa has an indoor pool, steam rooms, and an open space where guests can sip tea and bone broth while working on laptops. In the device-free relaxation room, floor-to-ceiling windows face a scene straight out of a New England postcard: a pond, flanked by towering trees, including one stunning maple. Plush chairs and a fireplace make this room one of the Mayflower’s most desirable hangouts; any guest of the hotel can grab a robe from the locker room and spend a few hours reading by the fire, as my cousin and I did before our treatments. 

Also before our treatments: a dip in the plant-framed hot tub room, a glass enclosure with hanging greenery that felt almost like a greenhouse. “I want this in my house,” my cousin said, without exaggeration. Perhaps she had been moved by this unconventional experience, though I had not been able to convince her to drink bone broth as a mechanism for healing. Before we knew it, it was time for our Full Body Reboots, unique treatments that feature dry-brushing the skin, lymphatic massage, and a warming application of coffee butter. 

Lobby of Mayflower, Auberge Resorts Collection in Connecticut

Courtesy of Mayflower, Auberge Resorts Collection

Interior lounge chairs at Mayflower, Auberge Resorts Collection in Connecticut

Hannah Selinger

The Well provides health coaching consultations, too. Before I arrived on property, I spent an hour speaking to Kat Heiberger, the property’s health coach, about my own wellness and health needs. (Heilberger had me fill out a 30-minute survey about my health prior to our meeting, and then asked what I wanted to focus on during our call.) The Well, she said, offers seasonal and annual memberships, both for individuals and for couples. 

We went to The Well for restoration – and non-traditional spa treatments – but we found revival, in equal measure, at the property’s restaurants, where food was expertly prepared and seasonally focused. From Thursday through Saturday, the inn’s more formal dining venue, The Garden Room, offers a seasonal tasting menu. During the other nights of the week, guests are welcome to enjoy – as we did – a slightly more casual à la carte experience in either the bright, botanical-themed Garden Room or the cozy Tap Room

Chef Cortney Burns leans into seasonal cuisine, and a walk through the property reveals her garden, where vegetables and herbs make their way into the kitchen’s courses. A corn-and-crab chowder, poured tableside, was an undeniable star of the show one night, as was a perfectly charred rib-eye, served with a trio of sauces made in-house: romesco, salsa verde, Mayflower A1. 

Hannah Selinger on a swing at Mayflower, Auberge Resorts Collection in Connecticut

Carly Kutner

To sleep, perchance to dream? I wanted my cousin to explore the wellness side of sleep at the Mayflower. Guests can focus on better sleep through a specific program at The Well, spearheaded by mind coach and wellness practitioner Manjit Devgun. The dedicated program guides guests toward better sleep through yoga poses, breathing methods, and journaling techniques, and offers adult lullabies and bedtime stories. 

During our stay, we sampled one of the property’s sleep-specific programs, the Find a Time to Dream by oHHo CBD experience. At turndown, milk and dark caramel chocolates, infused with CBD and CBN, magically appeared on our dove-white linens. The custom floral illustration that encases the chocolates is rendered by London-based artist Emma Bond, and it comes with a tiny adult bedtime story. Did it help us find a better night’s sleep? I can say that my cousin and I slept soundly and well, and woke refreshed and renewed, ready to head back into the rigors of motherhood once again.

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