Wellness Getaway to the Boar's Head Inn

by Mary Burnham

Well-known for legendary dining in the Old Mill Room, this grand dame of Charlottesville has a new, world-class tennis center and sports club, along with nutrition, fitness and spa professionals on hand to customize a week or a weekend of wellness. Why not make your getaway work for your health, and come back feeling better than when you left.

Call ahead to have your visit tailor-made, meeting with a nutritionist who can help make healthy menu choices, and a fitness expert who can give you a customized work-out schedule. Join a yoga or pilates class, or make an appointment with the tennis pro for personal instruction on one of the beautiful indoor courts.

Yoga class

On our first visit to the resort, we vowed to get the whole wellness experince, going light on caffeine, sugar and alcohol. The first night we supped in the Bistro 1834, the more casual, light alternative to the elegant Old Mill Room. We skipped the wine and bread and butter, and chose Pellegrino sparkling water, a portobello mushroom appetizer, and for dinner: seared sea bass, polenta cake and ratatouille. Delicious and light.

For breakfast, it was a real test to opt for the Birchermuslie (Swiss yogurt, seeds, nuts and fruit) over my favorite, Eggs Benedict, or the sprawling Breakfast Buffet.

Boar's Head Tennis Center

During a personal 'postural assessment,' Fitness Director Phyllis Ellerman explained the Inn staff can tailor a stay here between nutrition, fitness, cardiovascular and mind/body. Choose from daily classes in water aerobics, pilates, and yoga. A nutritionist will help you to help make healthy menu choices and determine how many minutes of cardio you should do to work it off.

Then it was on to yoga class. Grace Ranson-Deiter took us through a whirlwind private session of Hatha yoga: Sun Salutation, Moon Salutation and relaxation. This wasn't your sit cross-legged, say "Ohm" and enjoy incense and pleasant music yoga. We were working up a sweat.

Boar's Head Inn Spa

We walked across the beautiful inn grounds, passing a duck pond, to the spa for some detoxifying, kind of the icing on the cake of a wellness weekend. Bill opted for the cranio sacral massage, which he described as a 'laying on of hands' that got his spinal fluids moving.

I had a mudwrap, which detoxes skin deep. Warm slick sea mud mixed with seaweed is brushed on your arms and legs (torso is optional), then you're wrapped in a space blanket. Lavender chamomile tea bags are place on the eyes. Chanty flute music came from a speaker above my head.

Next came the Monticello Dreams pedicure.


While sitting in a truly spectacular massage chair, my feet were soaked, massaged and buffed. Then a 'Monticello Mask' was applied, actually a body scrub of kelp, lemon peel, honey, green tea, sugar, fennel seed powder, all organic and made locally by Sweet Melissa's Herbals. It's so natural, you could probably eat it!

The pedicure was finished by applying a pretty coral polish. I proudly hobbled in flip-flops to the car and settled in for the ride home.

Look for special behind-the-scenes vintner and culinary experiences: Click for schedule.