ST. PETERSBURG — What do you get when you mix the historic setting of the Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, Autograph Collection, with a renovated spa that specializes in holistic treatments? A day of luxury.
The Vinoy Spa, which reopened in April after being closed for a year to be revamped, has a bit of everything. There are specialty massages ranging from 50 to 80 minutes, body treatments, facials and nail services. A hair salon in the spa offers a full range of services as well as a new option for in-room styling for brides.
Offered two services in the new space, I chose the 80-minute Bellabaci cupping experience ($265) and the Honey & Lemon pedicure ($105) for my morning of indulgence.
Everyone warned me that I’d be covered in bruises from a cupping massage, but the Bellabaci employs silicone cups rather than the traditional glass. My expert massage therapist asked me to select a scent for the experience — I went with a bright citrus option — and began with a traditional massage that focused on my areas of discomfort.
The cups glide over your skin softly, deeply massaging and breaking up the myofascial layer without discomfort. It’s one of the only treatments that can be run directly over your spine, which felt divine.
No stranger to self-care rituals, I can say with confidence that this was the best massage of my life. I finished the treatment deeply relaxed and glowing.
The pedicure, featuring quick-drying Dazzle Dry polish, was also lovely. The nail salon has chairs that swivel, removing the awkwardness of trying to settle into a pedicure seat. The 75-minute treatment left my feet silky smooth and my toes looking cute.
Following the spa treatments, I poured myself back to the gorgeously renovated Vinoy lobby to meet docent Trena for the hotel’s history tour and tea. Tampa Bay Times photographer Martha Asencio-Rhine and I learned about the nearly 100-year-old building.
The Vinoy’s history goes back to the purchase of the land after a golf challenge in 1923 to opening the grand building after a 10-month construction in 1925.
Now owned and lovingly restored by the Glazer family since 2018, we learned that the original 14 acres were purchased for $170,000. The Glazers bought it for $188.5 million and have been working on renovations ever since. After years of visiting the Vinoy for events, this was the best I’d ever seen it look.
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After the tour, we were treated to afternoon tea featuring delightful sandwiches, scones and desserts from Lottie, the new lobby cafe. The tea service is served with historic silver found hidden away during a renovation.
From the treatments to our tour and tea, it was an elegant and indulgent vacation day in my own city.
Vinoy history tour and tea
The Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is at 501 Fifth Ave. NE in St. Petersburg. Tours are offered at 2 p.m. Thursday through Sunday by reservation ($109 per person for at least two people), followed by high tea at 3. Book with the concierge at 727-404-5251. The experience is open to the public and to resort guests.