A day of health


For years, decades even, Hilton Head Health seemed to exist behind a veil of secrecy for locals. It endured on the fringes of our community conscience, the setting for the latest celebrity sighting rumor mill. This starlet was here to dry out after a bender. That movie star was here to shed a few pounds.

hhihealth2To set the record straight, Hilton Head Health is not a rehab facility. And to call it a “fat camp” would be to woefully undersell the amazing transformations that happen within its walls.

So what is Hilton Head Health? It’s one of the premier destinations in the Southeast for wellness, a huge and growing segment of the travel industry. Visitors come from all over the world to spend a week learning healthy habits, sweating off the pounds and effecting lifelong change.

A fat camp? Hardly, especially not after a multi-million dollar expansion that saw the addition of a world-class spa and a renewed focus on healthy cuisine.

And as far as being solely the domain of wealthy vacationers and movie stars, that’s hardly accurate anymore, either.

In fact, locals now have a chance to see exactly what’s going on behind the veil of secrecy that has long surrounded this amazing destination.

A day pass, now being offered to locals, gets you in to spend a day picking up a few healthy habits or maybe indulging in a little mental health day with the luxurious pampering at Indigo Spa.

hhihealth3“We have two venues that are open to the public — the healthy kitchen and the Indigo spa, which offers a full-service spa and salon,” said Adam Martin, vice president of marketing for Hilton Head Health.

Fire up the range in the state-of-the-art test kitchen with one of the resort’s chefs and try your hand at healthy recipes while learning about the little changes you can make in the kitchen that can make a big change in your waistline.

“We also do small group events,” Martin said. “So if you had a group of six to 12 people and wanted to do a cooking class, we do private events in there as well.”

And while health is obviously the focus, it’s not all kale and microbiotics. Upcoming classes at press time included a wine dinner featuring vintages from around the world, live chef demonstrations and classes in preparing an entire soup-to-nuts feast for your winter party. A day in Hilton Head Health’s kitchen not only lets you sample some succulent cuisine crafted with health in mind, it also gives you the tools you need to start creating healthy meals at home.

hhihealth4And it’s not just the foodies among us who should be excited to finally see what’s happening at Hilton Head Health. Beaufort County residents now enjoy a 20 percent discount at the serene Indigo Spa.

“It’s a really nice perk for locals,” said Martin.

As with calling Hilton Head Health a “fat camp,” to call access to this blissful spa a “really nice perk” is to undersell it.

We can attest to the magic in the fingers of Indigo Spa’s masseuses. A litany of massage techniques, from deep tissue to aromatherapy and hot rocks, dot a sublime menu of services, and that’s just part of the appeal. As a full-service salon, Indigo Spa offers facials, beauty consultations and a full range of hair care treatments from root to tip.

hhihealth5You could easily spend an entire day in the salon, unwinding in the majestic relaxation room where lagoon views meet overstuffed chairs in a marriage of bucolic zen.

“If you just want to spend a day in the spa, you’re more than welcome to. You can even order food in the relaxation room if you wanted to,” added Martin.

Hilton Head Health may no longer be the domain of the glitterati and the health-conscious jet set, but for locals it’s a great way to live like one for a day. And if that one day leads to a healthier outlook on life, all the better. (By the way, if it doesn’t, you can always extend your day and spend a week finding out what all the hype is about).

A day pass runs $350 for 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. pampering. For a complete rundown of services, visit www.hhhealth.com.