Hotel Online  Special Report


 Mohonk Mountain House Appoints Barbara Stirewalt Spa Director
of the New, $13 million, 30,000-square-foot Spa
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. -Barbara Stirewalt has been named Spa Director of the new, $13 million, 30,000-square-foot Spa at Mohonk Mountain House. Her devotion to indigenous spa programs and earth-friendly spa principles provides a perfect complement to the 137- year-old property, with its rich history of ecology. Located in the Shawangunk Mountains overlooking the Hudson Valley and set on 2,200 spectacular acres, Mohonk Mountain House is only 90 miles north of New York City. 

With more than 20 years of experience, Stirewalt has helped open spas and fitness centers, provide concept and design development, and train hospitality staff.  She most recently served as Spa Director of the Wintergarden Spa and Fitness Center at the Wintergreen Resort in Virginia.
"Stirewalt's extensive career in spas and hospitality, her love of nature, and her desire to provide guests with an experience that will nurture body, mind, and spirit in our unique setting blends all of the qualities we had hoped for in this position," said Bert Smiley, CEO and fourth generation descendant of the hotel's 19 th century founders. 
Stirewalt holds a Masters of Professional Studies from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, along with multiple certifications in group and aquatic fitness instruction.

Owned by the Smiley family since opening day, Mohonk Mountain House was founded 137 years ago and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. The recent Spa addition was designed to complement the hotel's charming and distinctive architecture, honoring its commitment to remain "the same, only better." The Spa at Mohonk Mountain House has more than 200 windows overlooking 2200 acres of majestic surroundings. Local timber beams, cedar shingles and native foliage create a sense of bringing the "outside within." Organic and cutting edge product lines from Hungary, the U.K. and New York are used in the treatments and provide guests with some of the best services in the industry today.

Complementing the Spa's menu of more than 50 therapeutic services, are signature treatments such as the "Mohonk Red" Massage which uses indigenous Mohonk Red witch hazel and a variety of massage modalities to relax and renew the recipient. Taking elements literally from nature, the "Shawangunk Grit" treatment uses fine quartz grains quarried from the surrounding cliffs in a gentle exfoliation, complemented with a soothing hydro-therapy bath. Couples can choose to have a massage together in a private suite, complete with a fireplace. Men's and teens' treatments, as well as hair and nail services, round out the comprehensive menu, which also features packages such as the Girls (or Guys) Gotta Getaway and the Lemon Squeeze Sampler.

"We are delighted with our new Spa," said Albert Smiley, president and CEO of Mohonk Mountain House and fourth generation descendant of Mohonk's founders. "It embodies all of the qualities we envisioned from the outset, and we are now poised to offer guests a complete restorative experience. The building is beautiful, yet functional, and inside one immediately feels calm, contemplative and totally relaxed."

The Spa at Mohonk Mountain House was carved into a natural glacier-formed stone bluff overlooking pristine Lake Mohonk. Six hundred tons of quartz conglomerate stone excavated from the site were recycled into stone walls, fireplaces and retaining walls throughout the Spa. A geothermal system uses the constant temperature of the earth to heat and cool the building, resulting in a quiet, comfortable ambiance and eliminating on-site emissions. A 2,000- square-foot "green roof" garden terrace is one of the most popular areas in the Spa.

Two 80-foot-long glass-enclosed verandas connect to a solarium with a stone fireplace and provide breathtaking views of the landscape. Sixteen treatment rooms, a heated outdoor mineral pool, and a full-service beauty salon, along with a state-of-the-art fitness center and motion room, blend the ambiance of the new Spa with the resort's traditional rustic luxury and old world charm. The new Spa wing also features a 60' by 30' indoor heated swimming pool with floor-to-ceiling windowed walls and lofty exposed beams.

The Fitness Center features Precor(R) cardio, strength and free-weight equipment. Aerobics, yoga, meditation, Qi Gong and Pilates(R) classes are led by certified professionals on the green roof (seasonally) and in the specially-designed motion room. The motion room's climate control system allows the flexibility to quickly switch between cool environments for aerobic activities and the warmer conditions preferred for yoga and meditation.

About Mohonk Mountain House
A National Historic Landmark resort, Mohonk Mountain House offers inclusive overnight rates that include three meals daily prepared by award-winning chefs, plus Afternoon Tea and Cookies, and most recreational activities. The grounds feature exquisite gardens and 85 miles of trails perfect for seasonal hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Mohonk's award-winning Skating Pavilion, challenging nine-hole golf course, red clay tennis courts, and stables are ideal for invigorating outdoor fun. The half-mile-long, glacial-formed Lake Mohonk is perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming. Mohonk Mountain House was honored to receive national recognition for guest service from the American Hotel and Lodging Association in 2005. The new Spa at Mohonk Mountain House, opened in August 2005, features 16 treatment rooms, a solarium, and outdoor heated mineral pool, along with an indoor heated swimming pool with an underwater sound system, extensive fitness center, and yoga/motion room.      


  Nina Smiley

Also See: Mohonk Mountain House Receives the National 2005 Star of the Industry Award in Guest Relations from the American Hotel & Lodging Association / May 2005

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