My mom always told me that if you’re going to show your feet, they ought to look nice. This adage was centered around toenails shimmering like seashells; I don’t recall her ever having any specialist tools beyond small glass bottles of pale pink polish in the bathroom drawer. I’ve always followed this rule so when I recently moved my strappy sandals to the front of the closet, I knew show time for my tootsies was around the corner.
I can probably count on one foot, maybe both, the amount of times I’ve had a professional pedicure. Like my mom, I mostly take care of business at home with clippers and a collection of polish. My most recent pedi was a walk-in (no appointment) at a bustling strip mall before the pandemic. To kick off this summer in style, I decided it was high time to go pro and booked a visit at The Norwich Spa located inside Graduate Providence.
It’s always a treat to step inside the opulent hotel lobby (formerly, the Biltmore) and I had to pause and marvel at the Titanic-like staircase before heading toward the back, just beyond the front desk, to enter the spa. Inside is a sensory juxtaposition of the vibrant and lively lobby – neutral tones and breathing space lend serenity to the luminous interior; I’m asked if I’d like tea, coffee, or water before being led up by elevator to the second level to the changing and treatment rooms.
This is a third location for the spa, which started at the Norwich Inn, with another facility at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Spa director Melanie Gutierrez suggested I get the Honey “Be” Pedicure, which features homegrown products made with honey harvested from their onsite apiary in Norwich. My appointment was smack-dab in mid-week and mid-day and I practically had the place to myself. My assigned nail technician Jennifer let me know that weekends are generally very busy with travelers and wedding parties.
Snug in my robe with a cup of hot tea, I sat on the pedicure bench with my feet in the square soaking tub. A mix of soft rock music played while Jennifer got busy cutting, filing, and pushing back cuticles before exfoliating my skin with their signature Honey “Be” Body Scrub, made of honey, fine cane sugar, and oils. Nourishing Honey “Be” Body Lotion was then applied and my legs and feet were wrapped in hot towels to help the healing properties sink in. After a short time, the now-cooled towels were unraveled and the treatment ended with a light application of lotion.
Relaxed and ready for a nap, it was time for the polish. Earlier, Jennifer and I discussed painting daisies on my big toes so I selected periwinkle as the base coat. With a fine brush and palette of polishes, she drew the petite flourishes before sealing with coats of clear polish. In provided flip-flops, my feet still slippery, I slowly shuffled to the changing room to turn back into a pumpkin. As I headed out the Graduate lobby doors, I was compelled to stop and take a quick pic of my toes, all pretty with posies peeking out of my black sandals. Summer is here and so are my feet!
11 Dorrance Street, Providence
455-3100 • NSpaAtGraduate.com
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