Like a lot of people these days, I spent most of a recent weeklong vacation not in a fancy resort in a faraway land, but on a camping trip within an easy drive. Still, I'd received a gift certificate for the Renaissance Vinoy Resort spa, so I thought I'd start the week with a little luxury.
I made a full day of it at the Vinoy, which like many spa-based resorts allows you to use the health club facilities when you book a spa package. Sure, I could have done a full workout in the well-appointed gym, but this was a day of pampering. So I hit the plush steam room and sauna before my half-hour massage, the first treatment in my $165 Sampler Package that also included a half-hour facial and a manicure.
I loved the fact that after my massage, I just stayed right on the table for the facial, rather than having to get up and go to another room. I even had the same therapist for both treatments, who relaxed and exfoliated me thoroughly, in addition to giving me great tips for skin care at home.
It was a bit overcast that day, so I chose not to go swimming in the Vinoy's deluxe pool. Maybe next time. I did, however, treat myself to lunch at the Alfresco restaurant at poolside. Their fish tacos are wonderful.
As was my manicure, with a British woman who talked books with me as she painted my nails a delicate pink.
I left my oasis of pampering feeling nurtured, tranquil, and entirely ready to join my husband for the next phase of my close-to-home vacation.
• The Vinoy Salon & Day Spa is inside the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 824-8070 for appointments.
Sharon Otts, Times staff writer