A band of wise women – you might know them as The Go-Go’s – probably said it best: Vacation, all I ever wanted/Vacation, had to get away.
Let’s face it. If there was ever a time to grab your significant other and kids -- or maybe a gaggle of BFFs -- and hop in the car for a summer road trip, this is it.
And have we got the perfect drivable destination – where you can splash and sun the day away, challenge yourself on the links and indulge in sumptuous meals and spa treatments before heading back to the bustle we call reality.
Tucked in the rolling mountains just 90 minutes away from Westport is Crystal Springs Resort, a luxury locale featuring six golf courses, two spas, a biosphere complete with waterfalls and pools and 10 dining options, including a four-star restaurant with a world-renowned wine cellar.
The lush fairways and pristine greens at Crystal Springs are one of its star attractions. Designed by Robert von Hagge, Robert Trent Jones, George Fazio and Roger Rulewich and others, the six championship-caliber courses wind through the picturesque Appalachian scenery offering just the right blend of challenge and variety. The modern Cascades, Zagat-rated Black Bear and award-winning, Celtic-style Ballyowen — rated the #1 public golf course in New Jersey – welcome both beginners and experienced players alike.
After a long day on the links, sink into one of two award-winning spas for a tension-taming treat. Elements Spa at Minerals Hotel features a serene retreat for wellness services channeling the healing power of earth and nature. Here you’ll find everything from the revitalizing pumpkin enzyme facial and “Shared Tranquility” massage for two to a Thai herbal ball therapy or a kid-friendly coconut cream pop pedicure.
Alternately, dazzling Reflections Spa offers lavish massages, skin therapies and rejuvenating beauty treatments at Grand Cascades Lodge, a four-diamond hotel with luxury suites and spectacular mountain and valley views.
The lodge is also home to Restaurant Latour, one of New Jersey’s most highly rated dining meccas. Showcasing the best of the Garden State’s bountiful farms and artisan producers, the restaurant offers three- and seven-course seasonal menus featuring Miyazaki beef, Mangalitsa lardo, caviar and more. Or reserve the eight-seat Sommelier Table to explore the highlights of the resort wine cellar, which has won the Wine Spectator Grand Award every year since 2006.
And what of the little ones? Crystal Springs offers a refreshing biosphere complex with indoor and outdoor pools, an underground aquarium and a 140-foot waterslide – all surrounded by lush foliage and mountain views and a custom roof allowing year-round tanning.
Specials include unlimited golf packages, foodie getaways and local farm tours and the Besties Spa Escape complete with massage, a champagne-and-strawberries basket and late checkout. The Go-Go’s would approve.