An unassuming beach bungalow tucked just beyond the dunes of the Long Island Sound has been transformed into a wellness retreat that’ll inspire you to appreciate your natural surroundings, slow down and introspect.
Dr. Kristina Ivy, a clinical psychologist who owns Rica Bath + Body in Greenport, recently debuted Lake, Sand + Sound, a serene 1940’s lakeside bungalow now available to rent for North Fork getaways.
“It’s the luxury of a hotel, intimacy of a home and relaxation of a spa,” Dr. Ivy said on a recent tour of the two-bedroom, 1.5 bathroom space.
Large windows overlook Great Pond, where you can fish, kayak and watch for frogs on lilypads.
“You really feel like you’re inside and out,” Dr. Ivy said.
The sandy, lush outdoor space features a shower and converted shed for lounging, meditation and relaxation.
Guests at the bungalow can also take relaxation to a new level with in-house services including four types of yoga, reiki, massage and facials. Wine tastings, bicycle rentals and a private driver for vineyard touring are also available upon request.
“I want people to go on vacation and really heal,” Dr. Ivy said. “It’s about tranquility, mind and body.”
The bungalow is also a way for guests to experience Rica Bath + Body beyond the bathtub. The bathrooms are well-stocked with their products, but the entire space also features their home furnishings, robes, slippers, pillows, throws, candles and even a linen couch, all available in their Greenport retail location.
Dr. Ivy said it’s always been a goal of hers to extend the Rica brand and the increased demand for rentals during the pandemic accelerated things along, especially with her shop shuttered for seven months. She’s also planning to introduce some wellness services like acupuncture to her Greenport shop.
The Southold bungalow is the second property she and her husband, Ben Wartofsky, have renovated. Their other, Town & Bay, is located in Greenport.
The Southold retreat is decorated in calming, textured neutrals and relaxed, Scandinavian touches. “It has a boho coastal vibe that I think just puts people at ease,” Dr. Ivy said.
A clinical psychologist who specializes in women’s health, wellness and sexuality, Dr. Ivy said she’s especially interested in the intersection of wellness and healing. “Talk therapy is great, but it’s one avenue. It’s like going to a dentist,” she said. “You go when you’re in pain.”
Though a wellness retreat won’t replace the need for therapy, she said it can be an important addition on the journey. “Heal in whatever way you can,” she said.
Rica Bath and Body was launched in 2010 with four skincare products adapted from family recipes. Growing up in Virginia, she learned the formulas from her own great-great grandmother, who was lovingly known as “Big Mama.”
She recalls how the women would mix cornmeal and honey face masks, rose petals and milk and other concoctions. In the early 2000s, she started remembering those recipes and recreating them. “I became a mad scientist,” she said. Soon, her products could be found on the shelves of stores like Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel and West Elm.
She credits her grandmother with sparking her passion for health and wellness. “She always said her secret was that she never worried about things she couldn’t control,” Dr. Ivy explained. “Think about how hard that is.”
She’s hoping that idea translates to the bungalow property, which she envisions as a place to unwind, unplug (there are notably no televisions in the home) and a reminder to breathe deeply and appreciate your surroundings.
For more information, availability and booking, visit bungalowouteast.com, call or text 718-309-1305.