The Crystal Spa Review – A Little Slice of Heaven, A Lot of Good for Earth

It started with a vision close to a decade ago by Jim and Chris MacInnes, president and senior vice president respectively, of Crystal Mountain Resort's ownership family. It culminated with a grand opening on Friday, January 30 at 1p.m. The Crystal Spa is a sight to behold, and represents a $5.5million investment in the future of Crystal Mountain’s long term appeal and offerings, 11,500 square feet of unprecedented luxury. It also represents a true commitment to the environment, being the only LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified spa in the Midwest, and one of only 6 such spas in the country. It is a feast for the senses, and a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation – not to mention pure indulgence. No stone was left unturned in the masterminding and execution of the building and the services offered within its walls.

The Meditation Room

The Crystal Spa was added to the already existing and newly renovated Peak Fitness Center (bringing the buildings total square footage to 18,500), and is located in the heart of this magical place known as Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa in Thompsonville, Michigan (about 230 miles northwest the Detroit metro area). The fitness center and Crystal Spa building is centrally located and easily accessible by foot or bike from all locations within the cozy village.

The Meditation Room

The Fitness Center & Pool offers a generously allocated exercise room filled with state-of-the-art exercise equipment and machinery, as well as a private motion studio where one can take part in any of a full roster of varied classes and instruction, including Water Aerobics, Basic Aquatics, Yoga, Total Core, Ski and Agility Training, just to name a few. Also under this roof is a retail shop stocked with apparel, lotions, workout gear, and more. As one enters the building, the absence of chlorine and bromine stinging one’s eyes, nose or lungs, is evident, as the pool here relies instead on a saltwater treatment system.

Hallway leading to Relaxation Rooms; artistic display at end of hallway

Walking past the reception desk at Peak Fitness Center, and through the opaque frosted glass door reading “ Crystal Spa,” one is transported into another world: a world of soothing scents, sounds, and services. The inner and exterior walls are filled with a healthy and highly energy efficient insulation which, particularly when combined with the staggered stud system hidden in the walls, does quite a job of stifling out noise, lending to the feeling of being very much isolated from the world outside. Just walking into the spa is soothing to the senses, and it’s clear that there is something different about this place: unlike most new – or even not so new - buildings and spas, the toxic off-gassing created by chemical components like formaldehyde in the building's materials, furnishings, and products is noticeably, and refreshingly, absent at Crystal Spa. Everything about the place is real, solid, and natural, and it shows. 

Reception at Crystal Spa

Lavender aromatherapy, the sound of gently running water (beginning with the water wall behind the reception desk) and soft, relaxing music greet Crystal Spa clients. This is a place a person can feel truly pampered and cared for. Warm earth- and jewel- tones fill every inch of the building; natural outdoor light drenches the reception area, preparation area (the term I’ll use for their elegant locker rooms), meditation room (where clients await their spa treatments), and the manicure/pedicure rooms.

The Couples Relaxation Room; Double jacuzzi in Couples Relaxation Room

Extensive and varied spa treatments are available for men, women, and couples, and are delivered in any of the 12 Relaxation Rooms. Services include, but are not limited to: skin care treatments (facials, peels, body wraps, scrubs), massages (including pre-natal, and all with optional enhancements such as hot stones, calming scalp massage, aromafusion, to name a few), naturopathic bath enhancements, body treatments (such as espresso mud body scrub, hydrotherapy treatments, body polish), nail services, makeup services, and waxing services.

Women's preparation area

After the warm reception at the front desk, the client’s experience continues in the preparation area. It is here that clients are provided with a plush robe, slippers and day locker. Arriving at least 45 minutes prior to appointment time allows ample time to sign in, enjoy a complimentary steam, infrared sauna, or a shower in the generously sized facilities available here. These can be enjoyed both before and/or after treatment(s). From there, clients can relax in the ‘meditation room,’ with the option of enjoying a cup of premium tea, sipping on water infused with cucumber and mint, or enjoying some of the fresh fruit, all of which await clients there. Outside this room will soon be an outdoor meditation garden with hot tub.

The Meditation Room

As much as I would have loved to, it’s probably a good thing I wasn’t able to indulge in more of the Spa’s sumptuous offerings, as this review would be so much longer...and, I’d probably still be there – it’s not a place I’d be eager to leave! As it was, I enjoyed one of the most luxurious and relaxing manicures I’ve ever experienced, skillfully administered by Kimberly, a therapist at the Spa who also specializes in pedicures and facials.

A Relaxation Room

The type of manicure I’ve experienced in the past is what would be called a “mini-mani” at Crystal Spa. The Crystal Manicure, however, is a cut above the rest. The 50-minute treatment does, of course, incorporate nail and cuticle care as well as nail polish application. It's worthy of note that their nail polish and nail care products, the ‘ SPARITUAL’ line, are vegan and free of DBP (Dibutyl phthalate), toluene and formaldehyde! For me, the absence of the toxic chemicals usually found in such products in and of itself made the experience far more pleasant and enjoyable.

The pedicure room

The manicure starts with a soak of Italian mandarin, followed by the nail and cuticle care. Then comes the best part: a gentle exfoliation and hand/wrist massage with a soothing blend of Chinese jasmine and Indonesian ginger essential oils. The hands and arms are then wrapped from the elbow down in warm, moist towels to further infuse the treatment into the skin. The towels are used to assist in scrubbing off the gentle exfoliating crème. Next, since my Crystal Manicure included the Paraffin upgrade, what followed was wrists and hands being placed in one-time-use gloves filled with warmed paraffin; I chose lavender scented; unscented is also an option. (Comparable gloves designed for feet are utilized for the pedicures.) The parafin gloves are snuggled in plush terry mitts. I think this was the point I was so relaxed I almost fell off my chair! Kimberly informed me that, after this treatment, my skin would be softer than a baby’s bottom. She was right! After the paraffin was cooled somewhat came a little more massaging, after which the nail care products and polishes were applied, and I was good to go.

Crystal Spa therapist, Kimberly, specializing in manicures, pedicures, and facials

Crystal Spa’s individual services range in price from $15 (for certain waxing services) to $185 (for an 80 minute full body massage), not including the 18% Spa service charge added to all treatments, a portion of which is for spa maintenance and upkeep, and a portion of which will go to the therapist. As this fee is not full gratuity, clients will want to compensate accordingly (gratuities are left at the front desk). Many enhancements to the 'basic' services are available for additional fees. Crystal Spa also offers numerous spa packages at various prices, starting at only $199 per person, including lodging and meals.

For more information, go to CrystalMountain.com/spa, or call 1-800-YOUR-MTN.

See Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa Review on this site.

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