Carmel Salt Caves to open in December in Home Place


An anniversary gift had an immediate impact on Skye Winslow.

Winslow and her husband, CBS4 news anchor Bob Donaldson, visited Scituate, Mass., in June to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Donaldson’s sister gave the couple a gift of a session at the coastal town’s Salt Cave.

“It’s not only beautiful but very therapeutic,” Winslow said. “We knew we needed to bring this concept back to Carmel.”

CIC HEALTH 1107 Salt Caves
Bob Donaldson and Skye Winslow on their 40th anniversary trip to Scituate, Mass., where they first experienced time in a salt cave. (Photo courtesy of Skye Winslow)

Winslow’s Carmel Salt Caves & Spa is set to open by mid-December at 10696 N. College Ave. in the Home Place Area.

“Salt caves are quite popular, not just for their beauty and uniqueness, but for their therapeutic effects on the respiratory system,” the Carmel resident said. “Known as halotherapy or dry salt therapy, these woman-made caves can provide much comfort to people with various conditions like asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), to name a few.”

The cave builder is Dr. Margaret Smiechowski, the person who introduced America to salt caves nearly two decades ago, Winslow said. Smiechowski has built more than 100 salt caves.

Twenty tons of pink Himalayan salt will line the walls, ceiling and floor.

“In terms of size, our caves will be quite large with interesting features like a moon roof with twinkle lights, a salty fireplace, fire pits and lava walls,” Winslow said. “Each cave is a unique design and work of art by (Smiechowski). So, not only do the caves look cool, they are cool. The caves are maintained at a constant temperature of 70 degrees.”

Winslow said guests in the cave recline in zero-gravity chairs and listen to high-quality guided meditations or experience quiet time with music or silence. The cost is $45 for a 45-minute session.

“During this time, a halogenerator crushes pharmaceutical-grade salt and dispenses it into the air,” Winslow said. “As the guest rests, they breathe in this deep healing relief.”

She said it is an eligible expense for most flexible spending accounts and health saving account plans.

In September, Winslow purchased a building, which was the former home of Polina’s Salon and Spa. Carmel Salt Caves & Spa will offer two caves.

Winslow said the largest is called Harmony and is more communal by design. The 400-square-foot cave can support 12 to 14 people.

“However, I plan to ‘market’ only 12 chairs, with two being open for firefighters at no charge and financially challenged patients whose doctors refer them to us. ‘Harmony’ will be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. We definitely welcome people in wheelchairs. I’m installing a wheelchair lift and ADA bathroom into this 100-plus year-old building to ensure their comfort.”

The second smaller cave is Tranquility. The 240-square-foot cave can accommodate six to eight people.

“This cave is more intimate and is available for parties as small as two people,”  Winslow said. “It can also be utilized by children, supervised by their parents and with their doctor’s permission. Additionally, both caves are available for private rental.”

Winslow, a board-certified medical support hypnotist, closed her Winslow Hypnosis office in Carmel in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The former TV anchor recently received an associate degree in psychology from Ivy Tech. Winslow said in addition to the regular $45 stress relief sessions in the salt caves, she will offer targeted sessions to help people manage a number of emotional and behavioral issues like anxiety, weight loss, pain relief, memory support, cancer support, smoking cessation and more.

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