common / Crossroads Weekend

The New Renaissance Spa

A relaxing oasis of pampering and tranquility in Berkeley Springs

Owner Dawn Forsythe is the woman behind the Renaissance Spa at The Country Inn of Berkeley Springs' success since opening in November 2013.Owner Dawn Forsythe is the woman behind the Renaissance Spa at The Country Inn of Berkeley Springs' success since opening in November 2013.             Since opening in mid-November of this year, business at the Renaissance Spa at The Country Inn of Berkeley Springs is booming, enjoying success beyond all projections. Several weekends have been completely booked and folks have been turned away (Tip: call early if you’d like to make an appointment).

            That leaves owner Dawn Forsythe very happy—and tired!

            Forsythe moved to Berkeley Springs about seven years ago from Morgantown. “I’d visited here fairly often, coming to the Apple Butter Festival, and just loved the town, “ she says. When the previous owner of the Bath House in Berkeley Springs wanted to sell that business, she approached Forsythe about buying it, “many times, “ Dawn said with a laugh.          

            Eventually Forsythe said yes and made the move to Berkeley Springs.

            Like so many folks, she was sad when the Country Inn closed and wished someone would step in and rescue the iconic inn, spa and restaurant. Forsythe was in Washington, D.C. on the day the Country Inn went to public auction and a friend called to tell her that the Omps family had submitted the winning bid.

            “I made a mental note to touch base with the Omps, thinking about the possibilities for the spa there. But the very next morning I got a call from Matt Omps saying we need to talk.”

            Why give up the sure thing of an established spa business to take the risk of starting over in a situation that was new and unproven? Fundamentally, Forsythe says, “It’s great to be involved in bringing back the Inn.” It was also a tremendous opportunity for expansion and growth given the size of the space.

            Forsythe “got the keys” to the spa Oct. 5, 2013, and the newly renovated, completely redone spa opened Nov. 15. “There were many long, long days in there and lots of help from friends and family.”

                                                                                                                                            Soft, muted colors set a peaceful tone in the massage rooms. Some have two massage tables for a couple's massage, a popular option.Soft, muted colors set a peaceful tone in the massage rooms. Some have two massage tables for a couple's massage, a popular option.

            The Renaissance Spa is now composed of three floors for pampering clients with offerings from massages, facials, hot stone therapy, skin care treatments and pedicures and manicures. Special spa packages are available, such as “Mom and Me,” and “Gentleman’s Package,” along with a very popular couples package.

            Signature skin care treatments include such exotics as a Chocolate Covered Strawberry Body Wrap or a Tuscan Wine Antioxidant Peel. In addition to all the services offered, the Renaissance Spa includes a Bath Shop with luxury lotions, soaps and more, perfect for gifts or for taking home to extend the spa experience.

            The beautiful and aptly named Serenity Room offers outstanding views of Berkeley Springs. Yoga classes are now offered in the Serenity Room and it can be rented for activities such as birthday parties or bridesmaid get-togethers.

  The clean, minimalist design of the furniture in the Serenity Room adds to the sense of peacefulness.The clean, minimalist design of the furniture in the Serenity Room adds to the sense of peacefulness.                                                                                                                                         

            Recent clients Janice and Katie Zakrzewski enjoyed the “Mom and Me” package to celebrate Katie’s last Valentine’s Day at home before heading off to college. “It was a wonderful treat,” said Mom Janice. “Katie just loved her pedicure and her purple polish!” They followed their spa experience by joining the rest of their family downstairs at the Parkview Restaurant and Tavern for dinner. Janice continued, “We are very excited that the Country Inn is back, and glad to support our local folks.”

            In the short time it has been open, the Renaissance Spa has already earned a loyal following, with repeat customers taking advantage of the spa treatment, something for which Forsythe credits her staff. Some, like massage therapist Mike Carbaugh, came with her from the Bath House and have worked with Forsythe for years. Her son’s girlfriend Shannon Barnes is often the friendly face that welcomes clients visiting the spa. The spa now has a staff of 15 and is growing.      

The boutique offers products to help extend the spa experience.The boutique offers products to help extend the spa experience.              Client Katie Zakrzewski looks out over the town while receiving a pedicure. Photo by Janice ZakrzewskiClient Katie Zakrzewski looks out over the town while receiving a pedicure. Photo by Janice Zakrzewski

    

            




           

        Dawn Forsythe and her staff at the Renaissance Spa at The Country Inn of Berkeley Springs have created a relaxing oasis of pampering and tranquility right here in town.  For more information including costs visit their website http://www.arenaissancespa.com.

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