Monday, February 11, 2013

Connecticut Snow Dome

I just can't let the historic New England blizzard of this past weekend melt away without a ski house to mark the occasion!  I enjoyed the snowfall, but was on the fringe, so I didn't get the full effect.  The snowstorm hit hardest in Connecticut and the Boston area, which are not the first parts of New England that come to mind as skiing hot-spots.  But with Ski Sundown (New Hartford, CT) currently claiming "historic snowfall and historic conditions" (about 3 feet), and Mohawk Mountain (Cornwall, CT) getting about the same, Connecticut actually got a bigger powder dump than did the larger mountains to its north.  For those who live there and have to deal with the clean-up, it might not be inspirational, but for skiers, it's pretty great to get 3 feet of snow in a single storm in CT!

As I researched ski houses in Connecticut, I mostly found historic, traditional, country New England style homes.  But then, I found inspiration in an outstanding and most unusual place, not far from those CT ski area that got so much snow.  The Ski House of the Day is the Prana Residence Spa in Cornwall Bridge, CT.  It is uniquely fantastic, particularly blanketed in all that snow:

Prana (which is a Sanskrit word meaning vitality of spirit and life) is a holistically designed, timbered geodesic dome structure/cluster that was built in the mid-1970's.  Its thick foam walls not only give it its unique form, but also are an efficient way to keep it well insulated from the winter cold (and the heat in summer).

 Inside, the living spaces, like the area around the 1970's round fireplace, are cozy and inviting, with a peaceful simplicity:

 The height of the dramatic dome is a soaring 20 feet, and the spiral stair case winds its way up to the top of it:

There are three bedrooms (plus a sleeping loft)...

...and there is also a separate (but attached) guest house with several additional rooms.

Over the years, the structure has been called "The Egg", and the "Foam Home", among other things.  But its current moniker, Prana, seems to suit it well as it is actually a spa unto itself, as well as a residence.  This is a ski house that can revive the physical and spiritual being of any weary skier.  Stroll down the hallway (which to me resembles an extended snow cave (...or to one seeking their own prana it could resemble whatever spiritual transition might be needed at the time)...

...and you will arrive at the incredible, zen-inducing, indoor pool!

As a swimmer, skier, and longtime student of yoga, I'm totally inspired by this place!  Imagine a unique ski house that is also its own spa...with a perfect vibe for apres-ski yoga practice.  (Astonishingly, Prana Residence Spa is available for rent...maybe one of these days I can get my yoga friends to join me on a ski/spa/yoga adventure...unlikely, but if so, this would surely be the place!).  The numerous other spa features here include a solarium / massage room, indoor Jacuzzi, sauna with cold plunge-pool, and outdoor hot tub!  Pretty amazing.

Here's to the unlikely, historic blizzard of 2013 in Connecticut, and here's to the peace, joy, and inspiration that might be found in unexpected Prana.