More than 200 years ago, if you wanted to feel better in central Pennsylvania, you probably took a trip to Bedford to take the waters.
People are still following that well-worn path to relaxation.
Today, they are visiting the Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa.
According to the Bedford County Visitors Bureau, the original hotel was built in 1804 when Dr. John Anderson decided to construct a facility to serve all of those coming to the area to partake of its crisp, clean spring water, rumored to have healing properties. Over the years, it played host to presidents like Zachary Taylor and William Henry Harrison who came for a sip.
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But today, the real treat isn’t just drinking the water.
At the hotel’s Springs Eternal Spa, billed as a 30,000-square-foot destination spa facility, visitors can appreciate a variety of “bath and body rituals” that take advantage of those famous waters, as well as being inspired by the local environment.
There is a relaxation bath with almond, chamomile and lavender, and a “mountain detox” bath that uses pine needle essential oils.
The Sugar Maple Glow uses a sweet scrub that is rinsed off with the area’s mineral waters before mousse-like maple body butter is massaged on.
The Shober’s Stone Massage uses smooth river rocks that have been heated in the mineral water to deliver targeted therapy to specific points on the body, and the “hydrossage” is a combination of hydrotherapy and massage.
And if all that relaxation leaves you wanting to commune with nature, the resort has those opportunities as well. Hiking, biking, fly fishing, off-roading and even Segway tours of the area are available.
Inside activities include tours of the historic building, a traditional afternoon tea, culinary explorations through the chef’s table or a cooking demonstration, and more.