In the lobby of Parma Spa and Center for Health, a sculpture of a woman balancing on a jade-colored orb acts as an axis for a spiraling, gleaming ribbon. The statue represents the Ayurvedic philosophy of health, a belief that the client will be "on top of the world" when mental, physical, and aesthetic needs are met and balanced. Ayurvedic medicine strives to heal the emotional and physical cause of pain rather than just treat the symptoms. "Well-being is physical, mental and spiritual," owner and founder Dr. S Nicky Singh says in a feature on WUSA 9. "I believe in this with a passion. There is a need for people to look at themselves preventatively."
In addition to med-spa-quality services such as microcurrent facials, staff members trained in Ayurvedic medicine perform massages and body treatments with healing herbal oils that invigorate and detoxify the body. Physicians are on-hand to supervise, and they also provide health care ranging from counseling to cardiology. "The presence of physicians reinforces the idea that there's a quality to what we do that's [more than just a spa]," Dr. Singh says.
But the clinical capabilities of the spa and wellness center don't mean that it feels like a doctor's office. "In a frenzied, frenzied world, it was my goal to create a place where we [could have true] wellness," Dr. Singh says, and that means being kind to the eyes and the sleeping koala clinging to each person's shoulder. Oversize gilded mirrors reflect the twinkling lights of an imported Venetian chandelier, which in turn casts light over Italian linens, chamois robes, and a Limoges tea service filling steaming cups with herbal tea. "We're not trying to create a place which is just glamorous … The idea was to show that we worry about every little detail," she says.
Each of Merrifield Garden Center’s three locations overflows with thousands of plants throughout the year, encompassing such variety that a reporter for CNN’s Eatocracy claimed “I might as well endorse my paychecks straight to them…because I always want to grow what they've got.” Knowledgeable garden experts, 25 of whom have been with Merrifield for 25 years or more, guide customers through row upon row of flowers, trees, shrubs, and other plants, or help them sort through an extensive selection of bulbs and seeds. Visitors may also bump into the founders themselves, or their children and other family members, 38 of whom still work at the thriving business that started 40 years ago. Merrifield doesn’t just proliferate plants, however; amenities such as cafes in Gainesville and Merrifield and a dog park in Gainesville make each garden center into a leisure destination as well. Three of its garden gurus run an hourlong TV show that's been going for more than two decades, and other staff publish gardening advice on the website and Facebook. The staff also work to protect the environment with a variety of eco-friendly initiatives. Besides stocking native plants and water-saving devices for their customers, they also compost more than 20,000 tons of soil and 25,000 cubic yards of brush left over from their comprehensive landscaping services every year. The Gainesville location also gathers old concrete, metal appliances, and rusted Optimus Primes for recycling free of charge.
You might momentarily forget your hunger when you step into Curry Mantra's striking, newly expanded dining room, where vivid Indian artwork speckles the warm orange and yellow walls. Your appetite is reawakened, however, when you peer into the large kitchen window and catch sight of juicy morsels of lamb, salmon, and chicken waiting to be cooked in tandoori ovens. When discussing his decision to install a kitchen window with a food critic Tom Sietsema from the Washington Post, owner Asad Sheikh explained, "I want my customers to see what's going on in the tandoor." He's proud of the work that goes on in his kitchen, which earned Curry Mantra a spot on Northern Virginia magazine's 50 Best Restaurants list in 2011 and 2012, and Washingtonian Magazine's Best of Fairfax 2013. His chefs pull culinary inspiration from all four corners of India, folding lamb, chicken, and seafood into a wide variety of flavorful curries and fiery vindaloos. To craft their goat biryani rice dish, the chefs use a generations-old recipe passed down to Sheikh from his grandmother, peppering aromatic basmati rice and tender goat meat with saffron and nuts.
Silverware clinks against glass tabletops in the dining room, where diners sip on glasses of wine and creamy mango lassi. Come lunchtime, a buffet table will stretch across the room, lined with silver trays of freshly made dishes. On the weekends, the eatery hosts live music, as traditional flutists and drummers play classical Indian music and the theme from Three's Company upon request.
Executive chef Gian Piero Mazzi fell in love with food at a young age, when he was growing up in the Liguria region of Italy. His mother’s passion for cuisine planted the seeds for his infatuation, which he cultivated during formal culinary schooling in Florence as well as an internship in France. After honing his skills in the kitchen, Mazzi ventured across the pond, earning new fans stateside when he showcased his recipes at an event at the James Beard House in 2002.
But that was just the beginning. Today, at two locations of Piero's Corner, he and his team hand make an assortment of authentic pastas, including ravioli stuffed with Maine lobster or a blend of spinach and portobello mushrooms. The menu highlights Chef Mazzi's hometown cuisine, with a focus on fresh seafood. Entrees include blackened tilapia and shrimp served with fruit salsa as well as scallops wrapped in prosciutto and arranged on a bed of spaghetti carbonara. Pizzas are made to order and baked in a brick oven, as are calzones stuffed with ingredients such as ricotta, ham, spinach, and tomato sauce. A gluten-free menu features pastas and doughs imported from Italy, whose climate doesn’t support gluten.
Both of Piero's Corner’s locations facilitate mini European getaways, with brick arches framing murals of Italian landscapes, and columns reminiscent of classical architecture supporting their ceilings. In Fairfax, diners can eat or sip wine al fresco beneath red and white umbrellas.
With a stay at Residence Inn Fairfax City in Fairfax, you'll be convenient to Ratcliffe-Allison House and Pozer Garden and National Firearms Museum. This eco-friendly hotel is within close proximity of George Mason University and Patriot Center.
Make yourself at home in one of the 155 guestrooms, featuring kitchens. Wired and wireless Internet access is complimentary, and flat-screen televisions with satellite programming provide entertainment.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
DonÃât miss out on recreational opportunities including a 24-hour fitness facility and a seasonal outdoor pool. Additional amenities include complimentary wireless Internet access, a fireplace in the lobby, and a television in the lobby.
Grab a bite from a grocery/convenience store serving guests of Residence Inn Fairfax City. Mingle with other guests at the complimentary evening social, held on weekdays at early evening.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access, a 24-hour business center, and a computer station. Planning an event in Fairfax? This hotel has facilities measuring 595 square feet (54 square meters), including a meeting/conference room. Free parking is available onsite.
When you stay at HYATT house Falls Church/Merrifield in Fairfax, you'll be convenient to Inova Fairfax Hospital. This hotel is within the vicinity of Tysons Galleria and Ratcliffe-Allison House and Pozer Garden.
Make yourself at home in one of the guestrooms featuring MP3 docking stations and flat-panel televisions. Complimentary wired and wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and 42-inch high-definition televisions are provided for your entertainment. Conveniences include multi-line phones, as well as coffee/tea makers and irons/ironing boards.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Be sure to enjoy recreational amenities including a fitness facility and a seasonal outdoor pool. Additional features include complimentary wireless Internet access, wedding services, and a fireplace in the lobby.
Grab a bite from a grocery/convenience store serving guests of HYATT house Falls Church/Merrifield. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, audiovisual equipment, and express check-out. Free parking is available onsite.