Thalasso Therapy in Montauk, NY
azing from the deck of Bridge Cottage at Gurney’s Inn where the beach grass brushes against the steps leading down to the Atlantic Ocean, there’s a limitless view of sand, sea and sky. The indoor vista delights, too, including the living room, kitchen and bedroom of this two bedroom/two bath retreat. And the delicious sea air around our dune-top perch at the far end of Long Island’s south fork has its own vitalizing effect.
The Sea Water Spa at Gurney’s Inn — just 120 miles east of Manhattan and reachable by train, car or jitney — was our first spa experience some decades ago and its original allure remains. Being able to take walks on sparsely populated sand at the ocean edge is the primary appeal. Aquatic classes in the indoor, heated, Olympic-size saltwater pool, fitness activities, healthful spa selections and top therapists (some freelance for celebrity clients in the nearby Hamptons) are additional attractions. Through the years, spa life at Gurney’s has been enhanced with roof-top, ocean-view massage pavilions, a high-tech, ocean-view fitness facility and indoor access from the spa, salon and health club to the dining room, a detail that’s particularly appreciated on rainy days.
The indoor, heated, Olympic-size saltwater pool
Thalasso derives from the Greek word for “sea,” but it’s a therapy that’s most popular in France (where the health care system has long helped pay for it) and Gurney’s is the only true thalasso center in the continental United States. The spa pumps in genuine ocean water and heats it. The pool is 82 degrees, the hydrotherapy tubs 94 degrees and the Roman bath 102-104 degrees. Heating the sea water allows vitamins, minerals and 120 chemical compounds and trace elements to pass through the skin to help detoxify and rebalance body functions. Sea water properties are in similar proportions to human blood plasma and tone, moisturize and revitalize the body and skin, and in some cases improve circulation. Seaweed offers an even greater concentration of sea water minerals and beneficial elements. Seaweed’s special properties are said to help the elasticity of skin tissue, increase circulation, stimulate metabolism and promote detoxification.
Gurney’s uses products developed by Spa Technologies, a company that uses pure, rich seaweed harvested off the coast of Brittany on the northwest coast of France where thalasso centers are prevalent.
Among the thalasso therapy treatments to try are the Sea Water Hydrotherapy Massage or a Sea Water Hydrotherapy Bath and the Marine Kur Therapy. We experienced the Marine Kur Therapy (90 minutes for $259; includes 18 per cent service fee), which started with a loofah scrub (for exfoliation); next was a thalasso bath in the hydrotherapy tub (for muscle relaxation) and a seaweed wrap (for toning). A steam shower for two follows in the renovated couples thalasso room (to rinse off products and open pores). Finally, the aesthetician applied a marine lotion (for rejuvenation).
Gurney’s is a destination for a yoga, pilates and zumba classes as well as surfboarding, kayaking or mountain biking and — should beach walks ever bore — hikes on 1,755 acres at nearby Hither Hills State Park or on 1,340 acres at nearby preserves, or on the fabulous Walking Dunes.
by Irvina Lew