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Rush Creek Lodge Offers Yosemite National Park’s Most Luxurious Spa Experiences

Rush Creek Lodge quietly debuted their one-of-a-kind spa earlier this year, but with travel slowly picking up again it’s time to officially re-announce the opening of the brand new 5,000 square foot Rush Creek Spa. This indoor and outdoor spa was specially designed to bring the beauty of Yosemite National Park into each luxe experience.

The innovative environment was inspired by Yosemite. This can be seen and felt within the massage offerings and creative spa activities, many of which incorporate warm water features reminiscent of the park’s many waterfalls, a cool mist room, heated stone lounge chairs inspired by the sun-warmed rocks of the park, and a sensory room that with special light, sound, heat and scent.

Rush Creek Spa was imagined by Spa Director Gigi Richardson and designed by well-known San Francisco Bay Area designer Anthony Laurino. Inside the stunning spa are natural elements, neutral tones and a warm color palette that nods to the beauty of the park itself.

“When we were designing Rush Creek Lodge, we always thought guests would really enjoy a spa experience as a perfect complement to a day exploring Yosemite’s great outdoors. We felt people would just love that memorable combination,” says Lee Zimmerman, Co-Owner, Rush Creek Lodge. “Since opening Rush Creek in 2016, it’s been great fun seeing guests balancing time in the park with the richness of the experience we provide at the lodge.”

“The Spa adds yet another really cool reason to stick around, and another perk for the adults while the kids are out and about enjoying all of the fun-filled features of Rush Creek. And, we love being able to provide pampering in our own style, inspired by the grandeur of Yosemite.”

The Spa’s signature features include a multi-sensory exploration of Yosemite, integrating a relaxing combination of water, stone, sound, scent and warmth. This includes warm waterfall coves; aromatherapy steam room; Himalayan salt block sauna; cool mist showers; sensory room; warm river rock beds; and an outdoor covered lodge.

Individuals, couples and groups can book exclusive usage of the spa in its entirety, which includes food and beverage offerings.

The menu includes a cheese board with artisanal cheeses, assorted nuts, sliced figs, fruits, crostini and red onion jam; charcuterie with meats, capicola wrapped asparagus, gherkins, peppadews and crostini; pinwheel board with citrus pesto turkey, roast beef, goat cheese and grilled veggies; smoke salmon platter with goat cheese, grilled artichoke, pickled veggies, pita, and mixed green salad; Tuscan skewers with olives, grilled artichokes, mozzarella and sun-dried tomato pesto; house-made falafel with tzatziki and more.

Cocktails that include large format jalapeno margaritas, mimosas and bloody Mary’s; wine and bubbly; and non-alcohol beverages such as fresh juices are also available.

Guests can also work with Executive Chef at Rush Creek Lodge Anthony Lemens to create a customizable and unforgettable dining experience within the Spa. Chef Lemens cuisine incorporates fresh, seasonal California ingredients with his contemporary style of rustic American cuisine. The culinary team prides itself on preparing fresh and hearty California mountain lodge cuisine that aims to please a wide variety of palettes.

Entrees include king salmon with bok choy, soy-glazed shiitake mushrooms and yuzu ginger butter; ciopinno with scallops, halibut, shrimp, mussels in a white wine tomato broth; Korean Chicken with napa cabbage, carrots, snap peas, shiitake mushrooms in a Korean BBQ sauce; and more.

We chatted with the Rush Creek Lodge and Spa team on the property, food, overall experience and more. Here’s what they had to say.

In your own words, what is unique about the Rush Creek Spa? 

Gigi Richardson, Spa & Wellness Manager: All of Rush Creek’s Spa amenities come with a story or an experience that relates back to Yosemite in some way. So not only will you find innovative features such as our Warm Waterfall Coves, but also a distinctly Yosemite vibe that speaks to both spa enthusiasts and those just seeking a place to completely relax and renew.

How did you draw inspiration from Yosemite National Park? 

Teri Marshall, Director of Marketing: We have all had incredibly powerful moments of joy, healing and wonder in Yosemite over the years. Thinking about our personal favorite Yosemite experiences, we decided to focus first on Yosemite’s elements that should be a part of every Spa experience: stone, sound, scent, and warmth. From there we thought about how to recreate some of these Yosemite moments in the comfort of a spa setting. 

One of our favorite creations is our Warm Waterfall Coves, imagined from our Spa Manager, Gigi Richardson, after a memorable day washing her cares away in nearby Carlon Falls.

The movement from our Aromatherapy Steam Room infused with Eucalyptus and Lemongrass to our Cool Mist Showers mimics the sensation of warming up on a challenging hike and being rewarded with the cool mist spray of one of Yosemite’s many waterfalls.

The Warm River Rock Beds are inspired by lazy afternoons lying on Yosemite’s sunbaked, smooth granite, that’s so soothing after a refreshing swim in Yosemite’s cool waters.

Why is Rush Creek Spa a perfect getaway for COVID times? 

Teri Marshall, Director of Marketing: A getaway to Rush Creek Spa means that you’ll be surrounded by forests, fresh air and endless opportunities to enjoy being outdoors in one of the most beautiful mountain locations imaginable, right at Yosemite’s front door. The intimate size of the Rush Creek Spa makes it a perfect destination for individual guests as well as private groups, from a family vacation or girlfriend getaway “pod” to a couple celebrating a wedding or honeymoon.

Private group guests can enjoy two-and-a-half hours of exclusive use of the Spa for a single party of up to 15 people for $1,200, where they can experience spa amenities such as Warm Waterfall Coves, Cool Mist Showers, Aromatherapy Steam Room, Himalayan Salt Sauna and Granite Waterfall Hot Tub.

Additional services can be added, including Full Body Massage, Chair Massage, Magnesium Foot Soaks & Scrubs, Aromatherapy Blending Bar, and more. Food and beverage packages are also offered. “Pod Pampering” as we like to call it. 

What are your COVID cleaning protocols?

Teri Marshall, Director of Marketing: We are open for individual appointments and services in addition to the private group parties.  Individual appointments follow recommended health and safety practices such as use of face coverings, frequent hand sanitizing, and a host of other sanitization protocols such as a 30-minute break between services for ionized disinfecting of air and surfaces, and servicing of hampers between treatments.

A full list of enhanced health and safety protocols is available. It’s worth noting, however, that while our individual treatments are amazing, people are really loving the freedom of having our truly innovative amenities all to themselves through our private party options.

Which spa features have been the most popular? 

Teri Marshall, Director of Marketing: Waterfalls are emerging as a guest favorite – the Warm Waterfall Coves and the Granite Waterfall Mineral Hot Tub top the list. Also proving popular is the nature of the experience itself, moving between the Yosemite-inspired elements. The sensation of moving from warm waterfalls to fragrant steam to cool mist to dry heat and the tranquility of the Sensory Room, it’s just a welcome departure from your typical spa experience. 

How does the food enhance the private spa experience? 

Teri Marshall, Director of Marketing: We have a full menu of freshly prepared items to enhance any Spa experience, and a soothing space for enjoying food and beverages in our Outdoor Lounge featuring heated floors, ambient heat and a beautiful waterfall.

 Although it may not look like it, Rush Creek is a small business that is owned and operated by two Bay Area dads who want to share a hospitality experience that they want for their own loved ones, so no matter how often the rules change for food service, we’re finding a way to make it wonderful for every guest.

If dining is not permitted indoors, our culinary team is still making fabulous freshly prepared mountain cuisine available to enjoy as take out on property or on your private deck. Simply stated, you can safely expect to eat and drink to your heart’s content no matter what.

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