A Connecticut Getaway

A few weekends ago I was treated to a fantastic stay at the luxurious Meadowbrook Estate. A beautiful 18-room, 8,000 square foot property perfectly located in Marlborough, CT., the estate is just a short 20-minute ride from the Hartford train station and is nestled between Boston and New York, about two hours drive from each city. It was the perfect escape from the city and a wonderful opportunity to explore all of what New England has to offer.

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Full disclosure, the stay was provided in exchange for this post. I took advantage of the offer to assess this place as a possible space for a wellness retreat, and what better way to determine if it would work for me and my clients than to actually try it out on my own. Better yet, I invited my friend and long-time client Marje to come along.

We were welcomed by Marybeth Keener, the owner of this wonderful estate. Her commitment to wellness and comfort is quite palpable throughout the estate. In addition to being a great space to hold a wellness retreat, the beautifully decorated mansion is a great spot for weddings and special events.

I fell in love with the estate the moment I walked up a staircase illuminated by a stunning Swarovski crystal chandelier. I felt like I was a character in an Audrey Hepburn film. The classic elegance of this space made me feel truly special.

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We were then shown to our rooms; the Etruscan suite. A master suite with two separate bedrooms and bathrooms which makes a perfect setup for two people traveling together who wish to have separate sleeping quarters. The bedrooms are decorated to perfection. Large and ample windows allow for natural sunlight, and the all-white bedding makes the already large rooms feel even more spacious. Each room and bathroom is also decorated with perfectly sized Swarovski chandeliers; adding a touch of elegance to an already exquisite space.

The Etruscan suite is a two bedroom two bathroom suite; perfect for travelers that want to sleep in separate quarters.

The Etruscan suite is a two bedroom two bathroom suite; perfect for travelers that want to sleep in separate quarters.

We spent the early part of our stay in the grandiose kitchen decorated in thick marble counters and of course, more chandeliers. A few weeks prior to traveling I provided the staff with a list of all of my food allergies and sensitivities; some of which many chefs find difficult to follow while still making a tasty dish. I was pleasantly surprised that the farm-to-table style meal prepared for us by their in-house chef, Drew, not only met every requirement of my strict list, it was also incredibly delicious!

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The best part of our stay was definitely the kindness with which we were treated by the team managing this beautiful estate. Drew, an energetic, bubbly and awfully friendly in-house Chef and Property Manager, offered to take us Salsa dancing after dinner, and we eagerly jumped on the dancing boat. We had a fabulous time dancing the night away at La Casona, a local spot playing two different types of music in each of its large dancing rooms. Each room felt like its own independent space, and we jumped from room to room, dancing different type of styles without missing a beat. It was truly a fantastic night!

When visiting Meadowbrook Estate one really must spend some time with this wonderful person!

When visiting Meadowbrook Estate one really must spend some time with this wonderful person!

After a fun night out, I enjoyed a restful night in one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept on. I am one of those people who needs absolute silence in order to get a good night’s sleep, so I am happy to report that this place checks that box too. When the sun came out, I was awoken by a sound I quickly recognized, but one that I have not heard in a long time; birds singing. It’s incredible how a place only a few minutes away from the highway and a 10-minute drive to the closest Whole Foods feels so wonderfully secluded and private.

The Estate has a Yoga studio on site and we enjoyed a complimentary slow paced Yoga class taught by a local instructor. The class was a bit too slow for my taste but it was a welcome pace after the night we had had. The Yoga studio accommodates about 8-10 people comfortably. However, there is an adjacent ballroom-style space next to it, and the studio can be made larger by just opening the door that connects the rooms together. Better yet, the studio has this cool mirror resembling a disco-ball like effect on the ceiling and I can already envision a fun Hip-Hop Yoga class taking place there. It also has a barre, so in addition to hosting a retreat there, I am also exploring the possibility of doing Barre Teaching Trainings there.

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After breakfast, we headed out to discover the town of Glastonbury, (a short 10 minute drive from the Estate) where the large Whole Foods majestically sits in the middle of an outdoor shopping plaza surrounded by spas, hair studios, nail salons, wine shops, restaurants, a few boutiques and a large Yoga studio, among other things. It was unfortunate that we did not have too much time as we discovered places where manicures were priced for a mere $13 and full pedicures for $30 -prices unheard of in Boston-. On my next visit, I for sure plan to explore these places at such fantastic prices.

After a morning of shopping and exploring the town, our energetic companion, Drew, took us on yet another wonderful adventure. This time he gave us a tour of Priam Vineyards, a beautiful place where wine lovers (red, white and rose alike) will find a special treat. I fell in love with, among other wines, the St. Croix; a bold red aged in Bourbon barrels. If you are in the area, this vineyard is a must see and this wine; it’s a definite must have. The vineyard offers light snacks for purchase while you enjoy your wine selections, and you can also bring a picnic basket.

We enjoyed a bottle of the Blackledge Red while at the Vineyard. A smooth blend, aged for 14 months with a light oak background.

We enjoyed a bottle of the Blackledge Red while at the Vineyard. A smooth blend, aged for 14 months with a light oak background.

We truly had a wonderful time at Meadowbrook Estate. Even though we were there for about 24 hours, we felt as if we had spent the entire weekend away. The estate provides enough relaxation that I soon forgot the city and immersed myself in the beautiful and calm surroundings of the countryside. At the same time, I was happy to know that I was only a few minutes away from all the benefits that a city has to offer.

When looking for a place to host a wellness retreat, I look for more than price and location. I need to have the type of experience that totally blows me away. And more than just a luxurious and comfortable place to stay, I need to be in a place where people are kind, welcoming and understanding of the basic principles of wellness and all that it encompasses. Meadowbrook Estate checked this box big time! Marybeth and Drew are absolutely wonderful. They are not only knowledgeable and experienced in the wellness and event industries; they are also truly fantastic hosts. They made us feel at home. I am confident that every single one of my guests joining me there for a retreat will feel just as welcomed. So stay tuned for some dates!

In the meantime, you can participate in one of their local events and workshops so visit their website and find out what’s going on in the next few months. Or contact Marybeth or Drew directly; they truly are the friendliest and warmest team you will find.

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