West Virginia
The Greenbrier resort is as old-school as they come

From the March 26, 2001 Issue of New York

You can have your hot-rock treatments and your newfangled pilates, but sometimes there's no substitute for the real thing. For decades, the wizened spa professionals at the Greenbrier resort, in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, have been sandblasting potentates and old-world society pooh-bahs with a nozzle contraption called a Scotch Spray. If you don't feel like getting violently hosed, then just loll in the soothing, naturally calibrated spring waters over which the hotel was built. Afterward, take falconry lessons on the grounds, or play a round of croquet. The Greenbrier, which perfected its own brand of assembly-line opulence before Las Vegas was on the map, runs through 1,249,500 cocktail napkins per year and 215,400 bars of soap. Until 1992, when its cover was blown, the resort's fabulist baroque interior, by designer Dorothy Draper, helped disguise an entrance to a vast fallout shelter designed to house the entire U.S. Congress. After a midday tea, or even a cocktail or two, you can go ogle the congressmen's decontamination showers, among other nostalgic Cold War relics.

The Greenbrier, 800-453-4858 or www.greenbrier.com (doubles start at $253).