Pinehurst Spa & Wellness Archive

A Couple’s Massage is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and getaway

There to relax, unwind and get away from the constant pressures of life, a typical Spa at Pinehurst guest will often have a look of relief on his or her face while checking in.

Few, though, are great poker players, and they can’t hide everything. And Pinehurst lead massage therapist Dustin Donahue can always spot the tell.

“Sometimes, you see a little bit of guilt on their faces,” Donahue says. “They’re looking forward to their massage or their treatment, but there’s a part of them that feels a little bad that they’re getting to enjoy this and their spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t.”


And so while sending your significant other to The Spa at Pinehurst for a little getaway certainly can go a long way in earning those all-to-important brownie points in the household, there’s another option that may be even more well-received – the Couple’s Massage.

“To be able to say, ‘For three hours, nothing is going to happen that we need to know about. We’re going to be here for each other. Everything is put away in a locker, and it’s just you and I reconnecting and pushing that reset button and getting to know each other again.’” -Dustin Donahue

Set in the tranquility of The Spa at Pinehurst, a Couple’s Massage features a larger private room with two tables and two massage therapists. Comfort and relaxation are the primary goals, Donahue says, and therapists are typically well-tuned to how the couple wants to enjoy their Spa experience.

“We’re pretty good at figuring out pretty quickly how a couple would like their treatment to go,” Donahue says. “If they want to talk, engage with us, laugh a little, or if they’d like it to be a quiet day, we’ll make sure they have the kind of experience they really want.”

The treatments themselves are 50-minute massages, but guests can center those treatments around a full day’s experience. Couples will often arrive early to enjoy time together lounging in The Spa’s large indoor pool area, enjoying a smoothie and ordering lunch to be served to them following the massage.

It’s that singular time together that’s significant.

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“You can really see, when a couple is here together, they’re able to both be present and not worrying about what’s going on outside,” Donahue says. “They’re both taking a break from the kids, or taking a break from life, and really able to get away and turn off the cell phone for two or three hours.

“To be able to say, ‘For three hours, nothing is going to happen that we need to know about. We’re going to be here for each other. Everything is put away in a locker, and it’s just you and I reconnecting and pushing that reset button and getting to know each other again.’”

Sounds like the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

“I can’t think of a better one,” Donahue says. “Whether you’re newlyweds, still dating or have been together for 50 years, it’s good for you.”

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This time, keep that New Year’s Resolution – with help from The Spa at Pinehurst

80 percent.

That’s the number. Eighty percent of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February.

By February!

So how can you ever hope to achieve success with this New Year’s Resolution?

Look to The Spa at Pinehurst for inspiration.

A recent study by Google listed some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions for 2017. And interestingly enough, The Spa could help with each one. We’ll show you how.

Get Healthy and Lose Weight

OK, this is always the tough one, and it’s really tough because essentially, the onus is on you. A regular exercise routine can be sidetracked for any number of reasons: it’s hard, life and kids and job and spouses get in the way, and sometimes, well, it hurts. Being sore when starting or extending a workout kills the vibe in a hurry and before any noticeable gains can take place.

How The Spa Can Help: Super sore? Try cryotherapy. Or a massage. Or both. In December, Pinehurst pro Kelly Mitchum played The Cradle from sunrise to sunset to celebrate the winter solstice. By sunset, he could barely bend down to pick the ball out of the cup one last time. He was hurting, perhaps more than he ever has, and we set him up at The Spa the next day. Another 24 hours later, Kelly wasn’t a new man, but he was himself again. “Honestly, I felt pretty normal after that, and I’m sure the massage and cryotherapy helped.”

Look at it this way – what better reward is there for yourself after a few weeks of working out than some me time at The Spa? And there are monthly cryotherapy passes.

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One refrain on this one we’ve heard is, “More books, less Twitter.”

How The Spa Can Help: We agree, and there’s no place better to unwind than in the lounge area at The Spa. We’ve often said that a Spa visit here can be like a round of golf – feel free to take four or five hours. Relax in the men’s- or women’s-only area, where there are whirlpools and a sauna. Or hang out in the open lounge area with the lap pool and whirlpool, sip on smoothies, enjoy lunch from the Spa menu and knock out a few chapters. Put the cell phone away. You don’t need it here.

Travel More; Spend Less; Live Life to the Fullest

These are three separate resolutions that are on Google’s list, but we feel like they can be achieved together. Here’s how:

How The Spa Can Help: You can cover the first by visiting Pinehurst. After that, here are a couple of options: Join us in March for Girls’ Spa Weekend. We’ll have more details soon, but it’s a weekend centered around enjoying The Spa with dinners, walking tours and interesting interactive classes all together for one unique and special event.

Can’t make it in March? Save money through February with a Spa Escape package, which includes overnight accommodations, a spa treatment, all-day access to the Spa’s lounge areas, the famed Carolina Hotel breakfast buffet and great savings on additional treatments, all for $199 per night at the historic Holly Inn.

OK, that’s travel and saving money. As for living life to the fullest, well, don’t you deserve a day at The Spa?

Sure you do.


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5 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress

IT’S OFTEN BEEN SAID AT PINEHURST that, as you begin your slow drive down Carolina Vista, with The Carolina Hotel revealing itself more and more with each second, time feels as though it begins to slow down.

And during the holiday season, what better gift is there than time slowing down?

Here are a few suggestions we’ve found that have been studied to help people deal with the stress that comes from the holidays.


The Village of Pinehurst


It’s no fun leaving the house for work when it’s dark, and then drive home the same way. It’s like you missed the entire day.

Beat the Stress: Find a way to get outside for some part of the day. Even if it’s chilly, just soaking in the sun will help and recharge your day.

How We Can Help: Obviously, a round of golf anywhere at Pinehurst will shake the doldrums, but even just an hour on our short course, The Cradle, can do the trick. Not a golfer? No worries. Take a 5-minute stroll out of the decorated Carolina Hotel and into the quaint Village of Pinehurst, where a variety of shops and restaurants can make for a great afternoon.

The Holly Inn, a.k.a “Bert’s Place.”


Maybe the people around you aren’t getting outside enough, either. And while you have a lot going on, so does everyone around you. Traffic is worse during the holidays, tempers are short and emotions can begin to run hot.

Beat The Stress: Find the happy people. Sounds simple, of course. But we all have that one friend who always seems – in your eyes, at least – to have it together. Meet for coffee. Meet for lunch. Call them out of the blue. Don’t text – Call. You know they’ll pick up. They always do.  Then do it again next week.

How We Can Help: Have you met Alberta Travis at The Holly Inn?

The Taterman Tots


We didn’t say “Eat Healthy.” Don’t go crazy, but indulge a little. Of course, it doesn’t have to be an extra dessert. Try a new restaurant, or a new recipe. A new take on the same old thing is like a gift to yourself.

How We Can Help: You thought tater tots were just for kids? Try them here. The Mac ‘N’ Cheese at the Ryder Cup Lounge is awesome. Hushpuppies aren’t just hushpuppies at The Tavern. And steak isn’t just steak at the Carolina Dining Room. You get the idea.


Can’t go for a walk? Turn off the cell phone for an hour. Can’t meet for coffee? Shut down email for 30 minutes. Stuck with your bland turkey sandwich? Get away from a screen and read a few pages of a book with lunch. Whatever it takes, try to unwind for a short period of time to recharge.

How We Can Help: Try a rocking chair on one of Pinehurst’s verandas, whether it’s at The Carolina Hotel or overlooking the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2. Voicemail will catch any missed calls and email will still be waiting. As Eliza implored Alexander, take a break.

The Spa at Pinehurst


You’ve always heard it’s better to give than to receive. And it’s true. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t do both. It’s the holidays, so put a little aside to gift yourself.

How We Can Help: Oh, we got this.




Happy Holidays!

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I tried cryotherapy, and now I’m ready for more golf. Seriously.

A day after a round on No. 2, I was sore and hurting. Cryotherapy changed everything.

By Alex Podlogar

I AM NOT DUSTIN JOHNSON (you probably aren’t either), and so my golf neither appears nor feels athletic. But while Pinehurst No. 2 is not a difficult walk, combine that with the status of my game, and I really feel it the next day. My neck aches, the twinges in my midsection remind me that my shoulder rotation is limited for a reason, and the 6 miles it takes to traverse No. 2 leave my quads and calves groaning.

Which led me to cryotherapy.

The Spa at Pinehurst will soon offer guests and members whole body cryotherapy sessions, including providing options for monthly passes and regular visits. And while I faced some trepidation about how this might feel, I took the polar plunge, sans water.

And it worked.

Man, it worked.

I am not your typical Spa guest. Most people go to The Spa for relaxation and rejuvenation, and not only do they get those things, they transition into a Zen-like state just in anticipation of the visit.

I’m the total opposite. I freak out a little. I worry. I feel out of place. I don’t find comfort in a robe.

But I wanted to try this, and I did it.

And I’m glad I did.

Spa Director Branden Fein immediately put me at ease, and while the idea ahead of time that you’ll have to wear gloves and slippers – I also wore shorts – could potentially wear on the psyche, Fein’s calming explanation of what I was about to experience indeed settled the nerves. Whether he knew it or not, Fein was coaching me, and armed with intelligence, the comfort level began to rise.

One problem: You hear “minus-249 degrees” and everything after that begins to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

But the entire process is just 3 minutes, and while I experienced nervous energy akin to the moment before I jump onto a roller-coaster, I stood in the cryotherapy cylinder fully aware. And that helps.

That said, I still worried about just how cold this would feel. I was only doing the opening stage session – there are up to eight different settings that feature differing lengths of cold-air bursts over the 3 minutes – but, really, who likes to be cold?

For the next few hours, I realized I wasn’t sore like I was earlier in the morning. The golf fatigue my body was feeling was gone. I may have still felt a small twinge here and there, but nothing like before.

It dawned on me – not only was I absolutely ready to walk another 18 on No. 2, I would’ve signed up to carry my bag and walk No. 8. I felt good.

Again, Fein coached me through it. Here’s what going to happen…now this will happen…next is just 30 seconds of this…anytime you feel uncomfortable, we’ll stop.

And…it was fine. Totally fine.

I did shiver at the end – minus-249 is certainly something – and my legs were quaking as the final re-warming process ended the session. I did feel the rush of energy coming out that I was told would happen. I wasn’t bouncing off the walls, but, well, I was rejuvenated for sure.

And that was it. My whole process – from check-in to re-dress and out of the locker room – took less than 20 minutes.

Well, I thought that was it.

It wasn’t.

For the next few hours, I realized I wasn’t sore like I was earlier in the morning. The golf fatigue my body was feeling was gone. I may have still felt a small twinge here and there, but nothing like before.

It dawned on me – not only was I absolutely ready to walk another 18 on No. 2, I would’ve signed up to carry my bag and walk No. 8. I felt good.

It got better.

Some of my soreness came back later in the evening. But it didn’t last. The following morning, my soreness was gone. Completely.

It hits me now – golfers should be doing this. You are in and out, the session takes 3 minutes, you re-dress and hit the range. I’m not in great shape – dude, I’m not even threatening good shape – but cryotherapy helped.

I’d do it again tomorrow.

Especially if I could play golf today.

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Proven true – This massage will help your golf game


It is called the Champion’s Massage for a reason.

In 2005, Michael Campbell stunned everyone when he emerged victorious at the U.S. Open on Pinehurst No. 2. And while Campbell’s career to that point was hardly anything to diminish – Campbell had won six times on the European Tour and contended in The Open Championship a decade before – his holding off a Sunday charge by none other than Tiger Woods in his prime was indeed a revelation.

But Campbell always appeared calm and relaxed – and The Spa at Pinehurst may have had something to do with that.

Campbell visited The Spa during the tournament week, and the massage he got there has become known at Pinehurst as the Champion’s Massage following his triumph. It’s perfect for every golfer and designed specifically for the player who is tackling the courses at Pinehurst:

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If you’re looking for an edge here, we highly recommend the Champion’s Massage. And The Spa is available to U.S. Kids participants as long as a parent is present.

It worked for Michael Campbell on the biggest stage with the best player chasing him down.

It’ll work for you, too.


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