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Birdwing Spa
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12 - 17 of 22 reviews
Reviewed March 29, 2009

The other reviews are right - this is more like a camp than a spa.

The check-in process was poor, and then we were surprised that there were no snacks or water available. So we made a 7-mile drive to town and stocked up on snacks for the evening. The meals, though, were awesome - impeccably cooked and delicious. We had hoped for private dining, but ate in a communal-style dining room - which wasn't so bad after all.

The slow stretch class was good, but wasn't really what we expected. Same for the other exercise classes. The teacher was nice, but didn't seem to take the class seriously. At the end of the class, we didn't know when the class was done because the teacher had chatted with the other guests and when they kind of let the exercise wane off, we realized the classes were over.

We stayed in the "manor" and all the decor was terribly outdated - 1960s/1970s tiles, walls, accessories, bedding, etc. Although we both are outdoor enthusiasts, we found the conditions to not be so sanitary (they weren't filthy, either - just in between). There indeed are no clocks, which is not a big deal - but I found it ironic they gave us schedules and all, yet had no clocks.

I took my husband here for his birthday and chose spa services in advance. I am almost 9 months pregnant, and at no point did anyone tell me the herbal wrap wasn't safe for me (not even when I asked the manager on the phone two months prior to the visit) until I asked the spa person. She said simply and unfriendly, "It is very hot." Later, my husband got the herbal wrap and had burns all over his body - what if I hadn't asked about the herbal wrap? I shudder to think of how it could have harmed or even killed my unborn baby. I asked to change my option, and was given two alternate choices: a hand massage or a scalp massage - and I don't think either was the equivalent of a herbal wrap. I chose the scalp massage and after a 10-minute massage (instead of 20 minutes or 25 minutes), I was left with oil in my hair I had to wash off myself in my room, after walking upstairs and having people see me with oily hair. The facial was great, though, done by a different person.

Overall, this is a decent budget-wise choice for people who like rustic surroundings. But there is a lot left to be desired. The next spa we go to will be in a modern facility with the little details that count - fresh water, snacks (bananas, nuts, apples, whatever), updated decor and amenities, FRIENDLY people, and CLEAN rooms. Even the in-room trail map was shoddy, so we ended up not hiking because we couldn't find any of the trails. We left without anyone bidding us farewell because nobody was around to see us off.

We did make some new friends with the other three guests, and they were great company. Overall, I don't think this "spa" is worth the money at this point.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with friends
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3  Thank eightcedars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2008

I found the Birdwing spa searching for a place to get away for a week to eat healthy food and exercise. What I found was a list of Destination Spas, spas that in years past might have been described at 'fat farms' The exercise facility and the staff were great. I was able to take a variety of classes each day, including water aerobics (in a pool) and kayaking (in a lake). There were also trails for hiking/walking.

In addition to exercise classes, each day you're scheduled for a spa treatment. My favorite not included but well worth adding, was the hot stone massage. The spa facilities have all been redone and they're lovely. The staff was really top notch.

Surrounded by lakes and fields this is not the place to go if you want to end your day by a having a drink at a bar, shopping, or going to a movie. Each evening I went to my room and read, a treat for me. I would have enjoyed an evening walk BUT, Minnesota has some serious mosquitos, black flies and ticks. Wood, not deer, but still something you'll need to 'get over'. While the bugs were my least favorite part, they wouldn't keep me from returning.

The food was wonderful. If you are not interested in losing weight you should bring snacks. Fruit and popcorn are the only things offered besides the meals.

Accommodations- Think hunting lodge, not 4 star Hotel and you'll be fine. Everything was very clean, just not my taste in decor. There is no room service or even phones in the rooms. All the suites in the 'barn' have there own bathrooms. A few of the rooms in the main lodge share a bathroom in the hall. Be sure to ask if having your own bathroom is important to you. It was to me, originally booked in one of the sharing rooms. I upgraded to a private bath as I was going to be there a full week. Between swimming, exercise classes and spa treatments that often involved oil, it wasn't unusual for me to take 2, even 3 showers a day.

One of the negative reviews says Birdwing shouldn't all itself a spa. They also referred to several things that simply weren't true, like a dark dirty, kitchen. If you want to lie around a tiled pool being waited on, and spritzed with mineral water while sipping a drink with cucumbers on your eyes, then Birdwing is not for you. If you want to be surrounded by breathtaking beauty, eat wonderful food and exercise, or even just sit a look at nature, I would most definitely recommend Birdwing.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled solo
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4  Thank louisvillegal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2008

I have been coming to Birdwing for 16 years on a regular basis and it is nothing short of paradise. The staff is friendly, the grounds are beautiful Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall. The activities are well organized and conducive to a magnificent experience. The food is always great and prepared with each person's needs in mind. The accomodations are always clean and attractive. The spa experience at Birdwing is so great that it is beyond imagination. I can not praise Birdwing enough.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank gerrithegreat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2008

We have been guests of Birdwing Spa each June for 14 years in a row and have just made reservations for our 15th visit. We love it at Birdwing! The staff at Birdwing truly appreciates our loyalty and treats us with exceptional hospitality and service. Birdwing gives us a chance to relax with nature, eat healthy, be pampered and exercise. Birdwing Spa is good for the spirit. Birdwing Spa makes us feel special. We have met some exceptional people through Birdwing Spa and have always been pleased with our experience. We hope to be able to continue our annual visits to Birdwing for the next 15 years.

Mary & Sharon from Wisconsin

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with friends
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1  Thank scotchandsoda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2007

Birdwing is a winter wonderland with experienced fitness and wellness teachers who teach snowshoeing and cross-country skiing as well as other classes. The staff was professional and personable with myself and my friends. My room was cleaned daily, linens and towels very soft/comfortable. Oh, the meals were so good especially the heathly desserts. I cook up many of the meals for my family from the Birdwing Cookbook and they are a hit!

I look forward to returning for another Thai Yoga Therapy and sharing the Birdwing experience with my husband for our honeymoon.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with friends
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Thank gardenerrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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