While facilitating workshops at the Omega Institute retreat center in upstate Rhinebeck, Sea Cliff resident Stefanie Lipsey was inspired to bring a retreat of her own to the North Shore. “There’s really nothing like that here on Long Island,” she said.
The opportunity arose when Lipsey started a yoga studio, Luminous Yoga, at the Glen Cove Mansion three years ago. She and Kathleen DiResta, also of Sea Cliff, created the Winter Wellness Staycation, a weeklong, close-to-home retreat in the mansion.
“We started planning it after February break last year,” Lipsey explained. “We thought, wouldn’t it be great to have classes and other creative offerings every day?”
Many people visit the mansion during the winter, she said, but there are a limited number of activities for them. “We decided to create a week that was going to be extremely nurturing for the parents who come, and also have activities that would keep the kids engaged,” she said.
The overnight “staycation,” Feb. 19-25, offers a basic retreat schedule interwoven with specialized, all-inclusive programming, including fireside meditations, wine tastings, an evening lecture series, spin and yoga classes, a kids’ camp and a wellness boutique. Locust Valley High School students will be the “counselors” at the kids’ camp, and the wellness boutique, sponsored by Creation in Motion, will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24, for a $20 admission fee.
All of the amenities are affordable, Lipsey said. “If you go to a retreat center like Omega, you’re going to pay thousands of dollars for what you’d be getting here for $240 a night,” she said. “It’s a really incredible deal.”
Lipsey modeled the programming after the best that wellness retreats have to offer, bringing in practitioners from near and far to lead daily specialty workshops that guests can attend for an additional fee. DiResta will lead a painting and creativity workshop that will encourage guests to “nurture their souls” through different art techniques. “There’s a lot of benefit in bringing together healers and artists and wellness advisers into one week,” DiResta said. “It will give everyone an opportunity to slow down.”
Glen Head resident Cathy Epstein, of the Living Lotus Group, will teach guests about the benefits of mindful eating in her talk, “The Divine Dining Method.” “The staycation is a great way to break out of a routine without traveling very far,” Epstein said. “You’re close to home, yet you feel like you’re a million miles away.”
“I wanted to bring people from the city, as well as incorporate local people, to give guests something different,” Lipsey added. “My hope is that everyone who comes is going to walk away with something that will help them create change in their lives, and that they’ll walk away feeling inspired.”
The mansion, she said, is the perfect place to feel far away without leaving the comfort of the community. “When you’re here, you feel like you’re back in time, on some gorgeous estate in England somewhere,” she said. “I love that feeling of being away on retreat, where you let the rest of your world and obligations go, and all you have to do is take care of yourself.”
And self-care, according to Lipsey, is key. “I want people to have a great time and just feel completely energized and refreshed, and take advantage of all that we’re offering,” she said. “It’s a huge value for what we’re offering.”
For more information about the Winter Wellness Staycation, visit www.glencovemansion.com/winterwellness18 or call Lipsey at (516) 708-3759. To make a reservation, contact the Mansion at (516) 671-6400.