My youngest daughter (also named Maureen) and I wanted to get away for Mother's Day last year, so we made reservations at Overleaf Lodge, a resort and spa nestled next to the sea in Yachats on Oregon's Central Coast.
The Overlook complex is an inviting place. The lodge's lobby is spacious and beautifully furnished with a driftwood theme. Enormous windows provide ocean views, and there is a "pantry" that sells snacks and frozen Trader Joe dinners, as well as toiletries and other traveler needs.
Rates for two at Overleaf Lodge range from $130 to $499 depending on room size and season, with an 8-percent room tax added. Specific rates are detailed on the Overleaf website, www.overleaflodge.com.
Hour-long massage packages at Overleaf Spa cost $100 to $135. Hydrotherapy soaks range from $35 to $50. Green tea, aromatherapy and detoxifying seaweed soaks are available, and while soaking guests receive "tea forte" all-natural, whole-leaf tea or rough-cut herbs steeped in infusers. Gratuities are voluntary.
A la carte spa services include eye contouring, paraffin hand dips and waxing. Prices range from $20 to $50.
For more information, call the lodge at 1-800-338-0507.
Every room at the Overlook has sea views framed by large picture windows that can be opened. All rooms are spacious and artistically decorated, and some have private whirlpool tubs. Kitchenettes with microwaves, coffee makers and refrigerators made our visit more homelike.
A tour of the premises revealed a library with books and games and one computer with an Internet connection. Wireless access is available everywhere on the property. There are separate saunas and steam rooms for men and women, so clothing is optional. There also is an exercise room with a small but adequate supply of equipment, along with two whirlpool tubs, one hotter than the other. There is no extra charge for using any of these amenities.
We made appointments with the spa staff for body wraps, then went into town for lunch at the Green Salmon. I had the "Nu Yorker" Reuben with turkey pastrami. My daughter had a very fresh albacore-and-cheese melt on gluten-free bread. It was delicious, and the portions were so large we enjoyed them again for dinner.
Maureen and I did a little exploring and found the historic 804 Trail, formed during the Pleistocene Epoch as the sea eroded basalt deposited as lava flow. From 600 B.C. to 1620, coastal Indians used the area for fishing and camping. By the late 19th century, the trail was used to carry stagecoaches, horses, buggies and the U.S. mail. As other roads were built that were less vulnerable to tides, the 804 Trail reverted to a foot path that was improved by people who cared about preserving this relic of an ancient past.
We debated taking a nap or going to the spa, and the spa got our votes. We started with a whirlpool, and one of the attendants frequently refilled our glasses with cucumber- or lemon-flavored ice water, followed by trips to the steam room and sauna.
We slept well that night.
Breakfast at the hotel was lavish, plentiful and tasty, including do-it-yourself breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs and sausage, bagels, English muffins, pastries, fruit salad, cold cereals, fruit juice, coffee, tea and chocolate, all served from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Breakfast changes from day to day, and if you have special dietary needs, such as gluten-free, the resort will accommodate you if you call ahead of time. Even if you forget, let them know when you arrive, and they will do their best to satisfy your needs.
Our next trip to Overleaf Spa was a highlight. Maureen chose the "peppermint sea twist" package, which included a peppermint and seaweed wrap intended for toning and detoxification. While she was wrapped, she got a face, neck and scalp massage, followed by more massage as she was unwrapped. Maureen came back into the room glowing.
For my treatment, I chose the honey body polish, recommended for dehydrated or sun-damaged skin. After a fragrant concoction of honey was massaged into every part of my body, I was wrapped in mylar and warm, wet towels, then massaged some more. After a time, the therapist moved a shower bar with multiple nozzles overhead and rinsed me thoroughly with Vichy water, followed by more massage. All of this took place in a serene atmosphere with soothing music. My winter-dry skin was as soft as a baby's, and I don't think I've ever been as relaxed.
What really set this trip apart for us was the absence of a tourist atmosphere. It was quietly elegant and just about perfect for our purposes. If you must have a sand beach, you will want to stay elsewhere (or drive a few miles north or south).
We both enjoyed watching the waves smashing against the rocky coast. It is a hypnotic experience to just watch the sea, and we did that a lot, from both outside and inside our cozy, warm rooms.
I can't imagine a better Mother's Day. We shared a delightful couple of days reminiscing over many years of memories while we soaked in the whirlpool, had our bodies pampered and absorbed the gorgeous sunsets.