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The Mayflower Grace is a quintessential country house hotel in rural Connecticut, surrounded by 58 acres of gardens and woodland and just two hours’ drive from New York City. There are 30 rooms in total, spread across four main buildings and all with antique four poster beds, marble topped baths, 18th and 19th century art and oriental rugs for that sense of staying in an extremely comfortable private house.
The fine dining restaurant at the Mayflower Grace is Muse, after the success of the same restaurant at the Vanderbilt Grace in Newport Rhode Island, based on the simple premise of using the finest seasonal produce to create classic New England dishes. In summer, diners can eat on the lovely terrace. For more pub grub-style food and ambience, head next door to the fun, informal Tap Room.
The food is good, but the main event at the Mayflower Grace is the huge (like 20,000 sq ft huge) Mayflower Spa, which offers tailormade spa programmes and a la carte treatments including body scrubs, massages and their signature Elemental Body Therapies using algaes, herbs and essential oils. The facilities alone are impressive, with a private pilates studio, an outdoor meditation and yoga garden, several treatment rooms, a salon for beauty treatments and even a spa shop.
Away from the spa, guests can explore the estate gardens and walk the many trails in the nearby Steep Rock Preserve, or enjoy tennis, fly fishing, archery and kayaking, with or without instruction as required. With the Big Apple so close by, as well, it's possible to combine the two for the ultimate rural/urban long weekend.
Why we love it
The spa here is a destination in its own right, and we're rather partial to the Japan Red Flower Treatment Ritual, which involves exfoliation, tapotement massage with cherry blossom scented organic rice, a mimosa algae wrap and finally some lime silk oil shiatsu.