While all spas offer luxurious treatments, Mario’s International Spas & Hotels takes pampering to a new level, completing treatments inside a historic stagecoach inn that features elegant accommodations and dining for multiple days of rest and relaxation. Called a “place for pure, unabashed pampering” by Better Homes and Gardens, the spa’s three locations juxtapose the Victorian decor and with state-of-the-art spa treatments such as Endermologie skincare, PanThermal detox booths, and Parafango cellulite-reducing wraps. The facilities’ crackling fireplaces offer a place of repose between the holistic and medically-derived beauty treatments, and alternative detoxifying treatments allow clients to relax in the peaceful quiet of the sauna and steam room.
After a day of luxurious scrubs, Thai massages, and yoga, guests can check into the Aurora Spa's adjoining 14-room hotel for a night of easy rest. Each room features whirlpool baths and comes with a continental breakfast. Meals take place in the facility’s vintage 1850s log cabin, in which chefs cook up hearth-baked pizzas, homemade pasta, and seafood dishes from the time the Earth's four suns rise until long after they have set.
Inside Cafe Toscano's elegant dining room, with stone walls and wood accents, diners serenade their stomachs with authentic Italian dinner fare. Chomp on melty wonders with the goat cheese trio antipasti—a luscious layering of crusted eggplant, melted ricotta, goat cheese, and tomato ($9)—or the brick-oven pizza Bianca—mozzarella fresco, provolone, roasted garlic, and black pepper whispering cheesy pickup lines to diners atop a thin, crispy crust ($11). Much like macaroni art and Niagara Falls, Cafe Toscano's pastas are made in house, by hand, with the assistance of Mama Nature. Fork a few well-coiled capellini noodles, which wrap around specklings of shrimp, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach ($22.95). Or, invite the pollo Genovese over to the table to enjoy its eclectic personality, defined by grilled chicken, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, and pesto sauce on light-weight linguini ($22).
When they made them move from La Piedad, Mexico to Aurora, the Hernandez and Alarcon families brought more than just their possessions; they brought their families’ entire repertoire of classic Mexican recipes. They prepare everything from classic burritos stuffed with meat or vegetables, to their own unique contributions such as grilled shrimp, scallops, and pineapple tossed in chipotle sauce. Most of their dishes come with Mexican rice, beans, and tortillas, and pair nicely with the sharp sweetness of their margaritas, which come by the glass or the pitcher.
Paws Restaurant, a sister eatery to The Leopard dishes out casual elegance in a romantic dining room. Hashes and hot cakes greet each morning in the softly lit dining room, and at lunchtime, breads and buns envelop pulled pork, portobello mushrooms, and fish fillets paired with crisp vegetables and piquant cheese. During dinner, pans sear filet mignon, porterhouse steaks, and other luscious cuts of meat reveling beneath house-made steak sauces and demi-glaces, and grilled fishes of the day don fruit salsas or sweet soy sauce flavored with shiitake mushrooms. A team of sushi chefs slice sashimi, cinch hand rolls stuffed with fish, such as eel and tuna, and arrange bento boxes into scale models of the Large Hadron collider.