One of the newest travel trends is a vacation with a theme or event tied in. Major cruise lines offer concerts, wine tastings and the chance to hobnob with celebrity chefs almost regularly now. Culinary and adventure trips are popping up everywhere, and traveling to volunteer is so popular it’s gained a moniker: voluntourism.
I don’t normally get so excited about such trips. However, given the right combination, even I can be persuaded. And so it is that I am headed to the Heartland Spa in January for their Jane Austen weekend. I mean really, a relaxing massage, delicious cuisine and stimulating book discussions: I’m all in!
The Heartland is an all-inclusive spa located about two hours northwest of Noblesville, in Gilman, IL. Stays include lodging, all meals/snacks, a spa treatment (additional treatments for purchase), fitness classes and wellness discussions. Guests enjoy use of the salon, spa and fitness center with indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna.
The idea for the weekend came from the Heartland’s Reenie Kietzman.
“I was walking around and noticed several of our guests were curled up on a sofa reading a book,” says Kietzman, “I finally asked one guest if she’d be interested in a book-themed weekend, she was so enthusiastic we decided to try it.”
Kietzman notes that reading is a great stress reducer, and thus an important part of health.
While guests are free to simply enjoy the spa, book lovers can unite to celebrate Austen through book discussions, an Austen movie-marathon and much more. In addition, Noblesville’s own Jo Mader and her husband are guest speakers for the weekend. Mader is a previous board member and current member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Being able to relax, learn about Austen and support a local speaker: that’s a marketing ploy I’ll take anytime.