Earlier this week, I had a chance to spend some quality time at Indaba – The Spa at Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort in Palm Harbor, about 45 minutes northwest of Tampa. The invitation to indulge in a few spa treatments couldn’t have come at a better time, what with looming deadlines, and a busy travel schedule that hardly left time to breathe. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but was I ever ready to let go!

On any normal day, a 45-minute drive through Tampa traffic would leave me crazed, but my trip to Indaba was a breeze – I think I caught every green light on the way out. A true sign I should have been headed that way, perhaps?

Driving through the gate into Innisbrook and through golf courses, I could feel the tension start to release from my shoulders. The landscaping at Innisbrook is unexpected in Florida – towering pine trees, rolling hills and no crowds.

When I arrived at Indaba, I was warmly greeted and shown to the expansive women’s locker room, complete with relaxation lounge, and private steamroom/sauna and hot tub. The tension continued to melt away as I changed into a comfy robe and slippers and took to a chaise.

The ladies' lounge at Indaba - The Spa at Innisbrook. Time to take a load off! (Photo Credit: Earl Kogler)

The ladies’ lounge at Indaba – The Spa at Innisbrook. Time to take a load off! (Photo Credit: Earl Kogler)

First up was the spa’s Baobab Awakening Facial. My therapist, Judit, was incredible. Her light touch – even with the extractions! – was impeccable, and I was totally relaxed. Don’t tell anyone, but I may have fallen into that plane of sleep where you feel like you’re floating a bit. Afterwards, my face was smoother and clearer than it’d been in a long, long time. In fact, I’m still seeing the benefits days later!

A treatment room at Indaba - The Spa at Innisbrook. Let the relaxation begin! (Photo Credit: Earl Kogler)

A treatment room at Indaba – The Spa at Innisbrook. Let the relaxation begin! (Photo Credit: Earl Kogler)

After I floated back to the ladies’ lounge, it was time for lunch. Before my service, I’d selected an arugula, strawberry, walnut and goat cheese salad from the spa menu. It was beautiful outside, and not too hot for Florida in July, and so I met Ryan Gilmore, Innisbrook’s director of spa & fitness – and my host for the day – at a shaded table and we dined. (Rest assured: I’d changed back into my street clothes, as dining with management in a bathrobe just didn’t seem right, though would have been über-comfy). It was after lunch that I learned that in spa lunch pricing – a flat $20 per filling meal – that two glasses of wine are included. Next time!

Full from a delicious lunch and pleasant conversation, I had some time to enjoy the ladies’ lounge’s amenities. I hadn’t brought a bathing suit to change into, so instead wrapped in a towel and took a steam for awhile. The steam’s density reminded me a bit of the hammam I visited in Vancouver, and I was easily transported there.

Seemingly limp as a noodle, it was time for Indaba’s Signature Ritual Massage, which I would indulge in for 80 minutes. Like Judit, Sheri, my therapist, was amazing. She kneaded her way through the knots and crunches of my neck and shoulders, and easily took away whatever ounce of tension was left in me. Don’t tell anyone, but I did indeed fall asleep for a bit. That’s just how relaxed I was!

The little touches at Indaba - The Spa at Innisbrook make a big impact.

The little touches at Indaba – The Spa at Innisbrook make a big impact.

And so, my day at Indaba came to an end. I hesitantly got in my car for the drive back to Tampa, but was surprisingly calm and positive about the drive ahead of me; I caught mostly green lights home, too.  I can’t wait to visit Indaba again, especially when I need to breathe new life into a tired body!

Many thanks to Indaba – The Spa and Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort for hosting my visit.