The weight of a first impression is the emphatic light it has on the expectations of a future relationship. Whether it is business, personal, or your first crack at a new dish, initial contact reveals much about if a connection is temporary or on a more permanent basis. If my first personal encounter with Buick was a precursor of how I would feel at the end of it, the future of that relationship was looking optimistic, and Buick knows how to treat a lady!
The meeting was in the heart of Columbus Circle in New York City at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Upon entering through the glass doors, the gray filter of the outside hustle and bustle of the New York City streets transformed into a unique world of intricate design, color, and ambience. The elevator doors opened on the 35th floor where I met Buick representative Michael, who invited myself and party to a delicious breakfast and a overview of the new Buick Enclave Avenir. Michael points out that “In the past, people would just get a trim line or a high-level vehicle, well the Avenir is how we want to actually elevate the brand. This is why we are enjoying breakfast on the 35th floor. We want this to be an elevated experience.”
Now this is all coming together, being wooed by the atmosphere of one of finest hotels, breakfast in the sky, overlooking a breathtaking view of Central Park and one of the most popular skylines in the world, it was time to experience the Buick Enclave Avenir and form my own sentiments of the vehicle I came to meet.
We travel back down and on the New York City street, there it sat. It was handsome. Its black color shined like a cold moonlit water reflection on the darkest of midnights. Accented with just the right amount of chrome, nickel, and steel, the Avenir appeared strong but not hefty.
Family-friendly, dark-colored leather added a noble feel to its insides. Engulfed in rich chestnut and ebony with contrasting stitching and embroidery accompanied by a panoramic moonroof, heated seats, wireless charging, and its own Wi-Fi, just to name a few specs, this was enough to add a royal feel for any occupant. The Buick Enclave Avenir design was perfectly constructed to be beastly but with still enough brilliance to be beautiful.
After a few legalities, instructions, and, of course, a few pics, the Buick team gave a grand send-off to the next elevation of this Avenir experience. With a three-hour drive to the Berkshire Mountains, comfort was a must and I wasn’t disappointed.
The drive was smooth. SUV’s have tendency of feeling rugged, bulky, and sound like a monster is under the hood. The maneuverability was extremely precise and controlled. The tone of the underlying mechanics was never more than a whisper. My seat conformed to my comfort desires and the three-hour trip felt no different than snuggling into my sofa for a movie night. As comfortable as I was, I was still excited to pull up to the next destination…a spa weekend in the Berkshire Mountains.
Canyon Ranch was an amazingly cozy setup that turned into a fascinating winter wonderland after a blanket of snow fell after nightfall. A few gentlemen met me at the entrance, unloaded my bags, and whisked them off to my room. One step into the lobby and I felt grossly over-dressed. My traveling getup was nowhere near as relaxed as the natives here. The dress code seemed to be anything from a robe and slippers to workout gear and sneakers…nothing more. After I was greeted with hot cider, a schedule for my services, my very own Canyon Ranch T-shirt (feminine fit, of course), and a water bottle, I retreated to my room.
I prescheduled my spa services but was amazed at how many services the place actually offered. Spa services included everything. There were ordinary facials to vita-infused facials, acupuncture, scrubs, wraps, deep tissue massages, and Shirodhara treatments. There was relaxation in a sauna, steam room, or whirlpool. You can join pilates and yoga classes, or choose to go hiking. There were full basketball and tennis courts. There was even an African drumming class. Everything here was designed to disconnect you from tension and stress, restoring you to a clear mind and healthy soul. Therapy began as you walked through the spa-area doors. As I sat and waited for my massage, I couldn’t help but notice that from the staff’s tone of voice to the way they moved, therapy was entwined in every thread. I have never experienced staff so dedicated to delivering total satisfaction in service. It was an exhilarating encounter.
My relaxed state had me ready for dinner so that I could retire to my room. As I was on my way to dinner, I lost my way and was guided by one of the staff members on where I should go. I wasn’t aware that she was staff at first. She was dressed just as relaxed as any of the patrons. I casually asked how she liked visiting here. She told me her position and replied, “I’m here every day. I started coming here years ago and I met my husband. I ended up getting hired on and have been here ever since. This place has become my family and even saved the life of one of my family members. I feel like I owe this place.” I quickly began to understand that this place not only was a sanctuary for relaxation and pampering, it was healing people as well.
If you’re ready for a lifestyle change that promotes wholeness and health…this is where your change begins.
Cooking demos are a unique way to learn tips on healthy eating and I was able to join one of the classes. My demo class churned out a delicious bowl of cream of celery soup, beet salad with vanilla bean balsamic vinaigrette, roasted lamb chops, and garlic mashed potatoes. I was even able to cheat a little and get my hands on some real salt, but it’s not a popular item in these parts. Breakfast was probably my favorite meal. The apple cider pancakes are impressive. So impressive, in fact, I made sure they were my last treat before I made my exit.
Organic foods and all-natural ingredients are all that is used to create the fine dining you will receive here. Cooking demos are a unique way to learn tips on healthy eating and I was able to join one of the classes.
As the image of the mansion slowly dissipated in the rearview mirror and the Berkshires faded in the distance behind me and as I walked away, leaving my ride for weekend in a dark garage on a tight street in the middle of New York City, the recollection of a perfect weekend was playing back in my relaxed mind. Buick had done its due diligence. They successfully elevated my standards in a vehicle while elevating my state of mind, body, and soul at the same time. I’ll say I was spoiled at best. If I never do it again, Buick has absolutely demonstrated to me the highest expression of luxury.