1. What is New Life Hiking Spa?
New Life Hiking Spa is a wellness retreat where people from all walks of life can comfortably experience nature in the beauty of the Green Mountains of Vermont. Open seasonally each spring, summer and early fall since 1978, New Life Hiking Spa’s guests rejuvenate and recharge by hiking, meditating in nature, doing yoga, enjoying massages and eating healthy food.
2. What keeps your guests returning?
Without a doubt it’s our hiking program. Because we are seasonal, we are open when hiking is at its peak in Vermont. In addition, because we are seasonal, we are able to keep our all-inclusive prices at the lowest price point in the country.
The 20 weeks we are open is the perfect timing and weather for hiking in our region of Vermont. We offer three levels of hikes every day. If someone comes who is super fit and is just staying for a few days to have a healthy getaway, our advanced hike will be perfect for them. If a guest comes who might have been sitting in an office for 25 years and is taking a longer vacation to start to get healthy, our nature walk will be great for them. For those in between, the daily intermediate hike will work. We really offer something for everyone and each hike is gorgeous. It’s Vermont!
3. What decision in your life led you to where you are today?
The decision that had the biggest impact on my life and led me where I am today was in 2002 when I relocated from the Washington, DC area with Marriott International to Naples, Florida. It was there that I met Jimmy LeSage, the founder of New Life Hiking Spa. The short story is we got married and I started running New Life Hiking Spa with him. Today, it has grown to be one of the best-known wellness retreats in America. We continue to live between Naples, Florida, and Vermont and have been running New Life together for 17 years.
4. Why do you love your job?
I love that in this crazy, fast-paced, digital world, we offer something that will give people joy and help them connect with nature. Guests increase their health while at New Life and experience the peace of the mountains in Vermont. Guests leave with a new lease on life and, in some cases, even leave with a “New Life”!
5. How do you integrate wellness into your life?
I used to equate wellness with the number on a scale. Now I equate wellness with health and happiness. I integrate wellness into my lifestyle by doing things that will increase my health but also bring me happiness. For me, this is taking walks or hikes outside. Most of my duties deal with me being on the computer. So, I schedule time to take outdoor walks to break up my day. Being in nature outside just makes me feel so much better than being on a treadmill. I also start my day with prayer and meditation, being grateful for what I have and praying for anything or anyone that is pressing on my heart that day.
6. What’s the best advice you’ve given or received?
My dad always gave me the best advice. He passed away in 2010, but there were so many wise words of wisdom he shared with me. He was always full of nuggets of great advice, and there were so many! The ones that have always stuck with me the most are to put God first and trust your heart/instincts.
7. Where was your favorite spa and wellness experience?
The Disney Aulani Resort and Spa. It was a family trip and was perfect because, well, it was Hawaii and there was something for everyone to do. There were tons of great things to do together as a family, but when Jimmy and I wanted to go and do something for ourselves, like visit the spa or have an adults-only dinner, we knew our children were having a great time at all the scheduled activities the resort provided just for kids.
8. What spa or wellness experience in the world would you like to visit?
9. What’s next for New Life Hiking Spa?
We are gearing up for our 2020 season, which will run from May 14 to October 5. We have extended our season a bit this year to allow more time for fall foliage. We are looking forward to celebrating 50 years in business this decade!
10. How do you envision wellness in the technology/information age unfolding in the next decade?
I am sure virtual reality will grow in the next decade. I imagine everyone being able to easily buy a VR headset and exercise in their apartment but feel like they are surrounded by the beach, or mountains, or wherever they feel like being. However, there is no substitute for the real thing – nature heals!
For more information, please visit New Life Hiking Spa, Killington, Vermont