Sundara Spa | Wisconsin Dells | Midwest Spa Resort
Sundara Inn & Spa is located just three hours northwest of Chicago in Wisconsin Dells. Sundara invited me to spend a day with them on my recent family trip to Wisconsin Dells and I share my experience below.
If you’re in need of a relaxing get-away, look no further! Sundara Inn & Spa is THE destination for an ultimate Midwest spa weekend that can destress your body and energize your soul! People travel from all over the country to visit Sundara, which is tucked away in the forest, on the outskirts of the Dells—the property is serene! It is about a 3-hour drive from Chicago, which in my opinion is the perfect distance for a mini retreat—far enough away, but not stuck in the car all day.
I have been under heightened stress the last couple months, so this was the perfect addition to my trip to release tension and supplement my healing journey. Self-care is crucial to healing, because as the saying goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” I have been to many spas over the years, but none of them can really compare to the feeling of wellness and abundance that Sundara offers.
Sundara is a True Wellness Spa
From the moment I arrived for my spa experience, I was impressed by the beautiful aesthetics, peaceful energy and warm welcome from the management and staff. Sundara’s main mission is wellness, and it shows. The spa and resort provides a sanctuary away from stress and seeks to embrace the joy of wellness. While all of the common-areas are electronic and cell phone free (which I LOVE), there are also spaces to connect with light conversation including the Cambrian Oasis with pools, waterfalls, and both indoor and outdoor swim-up bars. You can also dine with friends on the Savana Dining Patio that has a beautiful outdoor fireside seating area.
Local and Organic Dining in Wisconsin Dells
Speaking of dining, I was also very intrigued by the on-site restaurant, Nava, which serves Chef-prepared cuisine inspired by local farming in Wisconsin. Sundara’s wellness cuisine and restaurant has been recognized in Travel + Leisure and Luxury SpaFinder magazines. The best part to me was that they even have their own indoor garden stocked with everything from kale and tomatoes to a variety of nutrient-packed microgreens. As a certified integrative nutrition coach, I really care about where my food comes from, and I can honestly appreciate the hard-work behind sourcing your own produce, especially in the Midwest with the challenging weather and fluctuation seasons. (see garden pictured below)
Ayurvedic Massage and Finding Your Dosha
After I toured the restaurant and resort area, I headed to the Relaxation Room to wait for my massage. My first treatment was an Ayurvedic therapy known as the Marma Massage. This isn’t like your typical basic, swedish massage. This unique treatment integrates healing energy work. The Marma Massage is a mind/body balancing treatment focused on releasing energy blockages throughout the body using Ayurvedic massage techniques. A massage therapist works with your meridians, chakra centers and marma (vital energy) points to enhance your body’s natural healing abilities.
The treatment also incorporates warm herbal oils to balance your specific mind/body type also known as your dosha. Prior to the massage, I filled-out a brief questionnaire to help determine my dosha. It was no surprise that I checked off many of the qualities of a pitta. There are three main Doshas you can fall under.
From the Chopra Center, “Pittas have a powerful intellect and a strong ability to concentrate. When they’re in balance, they are good decision makers, teachers, and speakers. They are precise, sharp-witted, direct, and often outspoken. Out-of-balance pittas can be short-tempered and argumentative.”
The Ayurvediuc principles are nearly 5,000 years old and focus on creating an ideal state of being through bio-energy and spiritual practices. Following the Dosha analysis, the treatment began with a ritual foot bath. My feet were washed with a detoxing cleansing bar followed by a light application of oils. The authentic Ayurvedic massage uses long flowing strokes to release energy blockages within the body. After the massage, I received a Dosha-specific tea to help further detox any impurities and rehydrate. I felt really good after the massage, I strongly believe in the power of energy healing and I think it is important to work on re-balancing your chakras especially if you are dealing with any sort of illness or dis-ease in your body.
Sundara Offers Organic Facials and Skincare Line
After my massage, I headed to the Radiance Room where I sipped on fruit-infused water and relaxed on one of the private chases. I received the Organic facial which is naturally healing facial customized to your skin care needs—in my case that included treating residual dryness from the winter and some minor dark spots from sun damage and hormones. My facial included products from the Eminence line, which I absolutely LOVE and use at home myself. I have been using Eminence skincare products for almost five years now and have been very pleased. They are plant-based, organic products that feel luxurious and smell delicious, the strawberry-rhubarb mask is one of my favorites!
Your skin is the largest organ, so I always tell people they should be mindful of what they put on it. Staying away from chemical-based skincare is not only better for your skin, but your overall health and wellness. The duration of the facial was about an hour, and it was very relaxing with a mini-massage and mask treatment. My skin was smooth as a baby’s bottom and naturally-glowing for a few days after.
Himalayan Salt Room at Sundara
After my facial, I was able to check-out the Himalayan Salt Room. I have been to salt caves/rooms back home before, so I was already familiar with the many benefits. This room was refreshing and vibrant. I can’t quite describe the relaxing feeling of having that pink salt below your feet—similar to walking on sand at the beach. Using salt for wellness benefits is also known as halotherapy.
How Does a Salt Room Work?
The negatively charged ionized salt and trace minerals that are present in the salt room’s atmosphere are said to help to naturally draw toxins and impurities out of the body, reduce inflammation, and even improve respiratory ailments like asthma or bronchitis by clearing the lungs. Some skin conditions can also be improved with halo therapy including psoriasis, rashes, eczema, and acne. Many people also receive stress-relief and similar benefits to meditation from the deep relaxation provided. Sundara has one of the only Himalayan Salt Rooms in the area.
Other Features at Sundara Spa
Some other notable features at Sundara include the yoga room and purifying bath ritual. The multi-purpose yoga room is outlined with floor to ceiling windows which overlook the forest, and on a good day you can truly be one with nature including many deer and other wildlife. I did see several deer just outside the window while I was in the room. (yoga room pictured)
Throughout the week, Sundara offers a full-schedule of activities and fitness classes beyond yoga including cooking lessons, meditation and water aerobics, to name a few. There are many different comfortable seating rooms you can relax in throughout the resort—the perfect place to curl up with a good book, practice meditation, or maybe even take your first nap in years!
Purifying Bath Ritual
Another feature unique to Sundara is the “Purifying Bath Ritual”. It is a five-step self-guided proprietary treatment designed to cleanse the skin, and clear the mind before spa services, or can be enjoyed anytime as an overnight guest of Sundara. It includes a rainfall shower, exfoliation (with Sundara’s signature sandstone body polish which uses ancient Cambrian-era sand discovered at the spa’s excavation site as the exfoliating agent), steam room, cooling rainfall shower and rotation between a hydro-jet hot tub, and cold pool for circulatory and muscular benefits. For the ritual, you follow a circular path, repeating the steps (above) as much as you desire, and it is recommended to allow yourself at least 30-minutes to compete the ritual.
Spend a Weekend at Sundara Spa in Wisconsin Dells
If you would like to extend your spa experience beyond a day, Sundara offers suites and overnight packages for individuals, couples, and even group retreat options. If you book, maybe I’ll see you there because I know I will definitely be heading back. Even though I only spent a day there, the benefits are still lingering over a week later, and I am grateful for the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes experience at the spa! If you are interested in learning more about Sundara or the types of services offered, visit their website.