In Roman mythology, Vesta was the goddess of the sacred flame, responsible for tending a fire that was believed to nurture life. Adding fuel, blowing sparks into a blaze, this ancient goddess was the “go to girl” for those seeking spiritual warmth and connection. As the patron of hearth and home, Vesta also provided comfort and rejuvenation. In her temples and places of worship people renewed themselves with the essential flame of life.
I thought a lot about Vesta as I embarked on a recent spa bloggers trip to Jamaica. For me, the spa experience is the ideal container for “getting my Vesta on.” It’s how I rekindle my inner flame, gather inspiration and gain a renewed sense of purpose and possibility.
Of course every spa experience doesn’t cut it. Sometimes the spa just doesn’t have what it takes to facilitate a juicy fire of transformation and rejuvenation. But when the stars are aligned, my favorite Vesta inducing spa moments include:
1. Time alone to reflect and review, but also ample time to have inspiring connections with others
2. Access to nature
3. Massage, yoga and other relaxing physical experiences
4. A beautiful and soothing environment
5. Good food
6. Pleasing smells
Which brings me back to Jamaica-where opportunities to tend that inner spark abound. My adventure in paradise started with a visit to the renowned Round Hill Resorts, where elegantly designed rooms look out onto a sparkling blue sea, tropical flowers appear around every bend, and a complementary afternoon tea features homemade scones, guava preserves and platters of smoked fish sandwiches.
The Spa at Round Hill is tucked away in it’s own private nook, a leisurely walk from the main resort buildings. With a stunning view of the ocean, you can experience a variety of Jamaican style spa treatments in the Round Hill spa’s beautifully designed rooms. Though I didn’t have a hangover, I still wanted to try Round Hill’s famous “Hangover Massage”, which incorporates Jamaican basil infused oil into a relaxing massage. The warm basil oil, hot towels and an unearthly head rub made this Round Hill spa special worthy of its reputation.
It was easy to enjoy the offerings of Round Hills new spa menu which included Jerk chicken in rice paper rolls served with dipping sauce and plantain chips accompanied by a freshly made tapenade that featured herbs from the Round Hill gardens.
“Unity”, the signs read along the roads and in the shops of Jamaica, and as the conversation around our table flowed, I appreciated the connections that were beginning to grow amongst a group of women who only yesterday had been strangers. Not only had my own Vesta fire caught, but a new spark of community burned brightly among us as a group, inspired, I have no doubt, by the unique warmth and beauty of the Jamaican spirit.