Best of Hudson Valley 2009

It’s that time again, folks. For 23 years, we’ve brought you the Best of the Hudson Valley, soliciting your take on the region’s finest restaurants, shops, services, and people — and offering up a few choice picks of our own. Conjure up a category and you’ll likely find it somewhere on the following pages, from the tastiest shrimp-stuffed jalapeños to what you, dear readers, believe to be the greatest thing about living here. (Hint: it’s big, it’s blue, and it flows in two directions.) So without further ado, we present to you the biggest, the brightest, and the best our region has to offer


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Body Wraps

Haven Day Spa Rhinebeck
There’s a bustling village nearby, but step over the spa’s stately threshold and tranquility begins. “Our goal is for you to be able to have a vacation in an hour,” says owner Lisa Bare. With body wraps called “warm milk and honey” and “chocolate” — as well as the classic mud treatment — total relaxation seems inevitable. Check out the special fall skin-care package that helps relieve sun damage and recondition before winter blows in. • 845-876-7369;

Eyebrow Threading

Ciao Bella Salon & Spa Campbell Hall
For some ladies, monthly visits to the beauty salon make a dentist appointment seem like a piece of cake. Between bleaching, waxing, and plucking, it’s no wonder women are looking for an easier alternative. Enter eyebrow threading, the latest craze to hit the country — and the Valley. Adopted from an Indian tradition, the service — which winds a thread (usually cotton) around a row of hairs for quick and easy removal — involves no chemicals or damage to skin; since the hair is removed by the follicle, the results usually last longer than other techniques. At Ciao Bella, Manju Kashyap (who was an aesthetician in India for over 25 years) has been wowing clients since the day the spa opened in 2002. Twenty bucks and a breezy five minutes later, you’ll see why you should kiss those tweezers goodbye. • 845-294-8860;

Salon for Brides

Marion Salon Spa Pleasant Valley
We can’t really count how many times we’ve seen Marion Salon Spa in our “Best Of” back issues, but we do know this: When it comes to taking care of the Valley’s brides, there’s a good reason this beauty epicenter — with dozens of exclusive packages and services for the entire party — makes our pages year after year. • 845-635-1626;

Thinking Person’s Workout

Boxing for Poets, Trainer Anne Vitiello at Many Light Hands Studio Cold Spring
Founded by Golden Gloves Flyweight Novice Champion Anne Vitiello, Boxing for Poets is a hybrid workout that combines all the elements of boxing (sans the center ring) with yoga and a mind-body emphasis. Vitiello describes it as a “Western version of martial arts, with an element of boot camp.” Clients choose from one-on-one workouts or larger group sessions. Don’t be fooled by the “poets” part: Workouts are tough, and students train interval-style, using the three-minute timing of boxing rounds — and jump rope longer than you ever thought possible. For many, it opens the creative floodgates and facilitates the artistic process, which is why Vitiello counts writers, designers, and even a professional opera singer among her poetically minded clients. • 845-809-5322;

Permanent Makeup

Mi Ché Permanent Cosmetics at Beauty Secrets Victorian Day Spa Pearl River
Unless you’re blessed with perfect skin, chances are you need some maquillage for that visage. Too busy for cosmetics? Try the growing trend of permanent makeup — in short, cosmetic tattooing — for long-lasting enhancements. The process (performed within two hours by board-certified technician and instructor Michael Katz) gently implants color into the upper layers of skin and can include lip and eye liner, eyebrow filling, eyelash enhancement, full lip color, and scar and beauty mark camouflage. The treatments, which cost about $150-$750 each, last from two to five years. They’re perfect for those with allergies to conventional makeup, medical conditions like alopecia, or unsteady hands. The result? A natural, balanced complexion — and more time in the morning. • 845-735-6100;


River Rock Health Spa Woodstock
Need some help facing yet another day? Check out the soothing, rejuvenating, healing facials at this relaxing day retreat. Options include rose-based procedures (ideal for sensitive skin); a classic European facial (great for clearing clogged pores); and a hot-towel treatment (especially for men) that battles the effects of sun damage and aging. Whatever your skin issues — acne scars or age spots, stress lines or pregnancy-induced puffiness — River Rock helps you put your best face forward. • 845-679-7800;

Readers' Picks

Beauty Salon: Shapers
New Paltz. 845-255-3355;

Day Spa: Marlene Weber Day Spa
Poughkeepsie. 845-454-5852;

Manicure/Pedicure: French Tips Nail Salon
Hyde Park. 845-229-0091

Pilates: Pilates at the Bungalow
Accord. 845-626-5600;

Yoga: The Living Seed
New Paltz. 845-255-8212;

Health Club: All Sport Fishkill Health and Fitness Club
Fishkill. 845-896-5678;


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