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Spa Day at Tenaya Lodge

A favorite reward to myself is to indulge in a massage every once in a while. I headed up to the Ascent Spa at Tenaya Lodge for a Spa Day!

Where: Tenaya Lodge, Ascent Spa

Date: July 1, 2015

Lightning had been predicted at the high elevations where I like to hike and it was just too darn hot and muggy to do much of anything. PG&E had called another Smart Day, so I tried to think of what to do where I could relax and enjoy someone else’s air conditioned facility. It was the perfect day for a spa day at the Ascent Spa at the Tenaya Lodge!

A friend of mine, Robin, had told me she had a wonderful spa day at Tenaya Lodge recently and that had been on my mind for a while. I headed north on Highway 41 up to the Tenaya Lodge, arriving in time for lunch.

Tenaya spa day lunchThe Tenaya Lodge has 5 restaurants and I headed for Jackalope’s Yosemite Bar & Grill. I had looked at the online menu ahead of time, so knew what I had in mind. I had seen an Asian Chicken Salad that had sounded just right, but I knew I could be easily swayed if something else struck my fancy. There were several people eating outside but I wanted to stay inside where I could enjoy their air conditioning and I was seated along the windows where I could watch the people, the birds and the building cumulus clouds.

They had some homemade potato chips waiting at the table and boy, were they good! I ended up staying with my original choice of the Asian Chicken Salad and it was a good decision. My picture makes it look like there is a pile of whipped cream along the back of the salad but that is not what it is. Actually I am not totally positive but it was cooked and molded like one of those taco shells that Mexican salads are sometimes served in, but I think this one was made from a rice product. The salad had Napa cabbage, red bell peppers, lettuce, carrots, almonds, sesame seeds and chicken. A lightly tossed Vinaigrette complimented the salad nicely.

I was able to easily make my massage appointment online and arrived early enough, planning on taking full advantage of Ascent Spa’s facilities before my massage was scheduled to begin. I had been here before but it had been several years and I really didn’t know what to expect but I was ready for just about anything, as long as it dealt with relaxing.

Ascent Spa takes up 10,000 square feet and has twelve treatment rooms, dry saunas, steam rooms and fitness facilities. The dressing rooms, restrooms, showers, saunas, steam rooms and relaxation areas are separated into male and female areas. I learned that Ascent Spa had been chosen as one of the finest wellness resorts in the world by USA Today and the Ascent Spa won the SpaFinder Wellness Readers’ Choice Award for best spa for outdoor adventure.

When I arrived, Sarah escorted me through the facilities, giving me a brief tour, and giving me a really nice, plush robe and spa shoes to wear. She also helped me set my locker code, which I failed miserably on, and had to get her help later to get it opened. It turns out I didn’t enter my code properly but it only took two lessons from her and I was set!

I headed for the sauna first and relaxed in there for a while, then the steam room. They had ice cold wash clothes outside those rooms and cucumber water to hydrate with. I then took a nice shower, using their bath products then headed for the relaxation room. It was a very relaxing place with some background music and magazines.

Sauna full of steamFeet in the sauna
Waiting Room for Spa Treatment
I had booked a 90 minute massage online before I arrived and when it was time, my massage therapist, Melissa, came to the relaxation room to introduce herself and bring me back to the room. It was very quiet as she led me through the halls with many rooms. The room that I had my massage in was very nice. The massage table was at an angle in the room, with low lighting and ambient music.I shared with Melissa what I hoped to achieve from the massage, telling her about my hiking and a knot in my back right shoulder. She suggested a Deep Tissue/Sports Relief Massage and it was just the ticket. Oh man, was Melissa amazing! She worked on my upper back, sneaking up on that pesky knot. After she had worked that area, she worked on my lower back, hips and legs. She stretched and worked muscles in those areas that I didn’t know were tight or sore. Melissa was magical! I will definitely be back to see here again, request Melissa and choose that same massage.

I had a wonderful, relaxing visit to the Tenaya Lodge. I wanted to share this adventure with you because there are many things to do within a short distance of where we live. As you know, I do love to get out there and hike, but we are so lucky to have such a world class spa facility a short distance away. Oh, and I forgot to tell you that when they rang up the bill, they gave me a 20% local discount. I hadn’t even known about that and I asked them if I could share this information. They said of course!! So, if you go up for a spa day, be sure and ask for that!

Sarah Bradshaw and Melissa HernandezPictured are Sarah Bradshaw, who was working at the front desk (and who helped me with that locker combination) and my wonderful Massage Therapist Melissa Hernandez. I felt like they took extra special care of me and I didn’t tell them that I wrote this Blog on Sierra News Online or planned on writing a blog on this experience until it was over. Sarah and Melissa assured me there are many other masseuse at Ascent that are fantastic. All I know is that I had an absolutely wonderful day at the Ascent Spa, came home relaxed and ready for my next adventure.



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