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Finished With Tea? Then Drop and Give Me 20

Barking stern encouragement -- "This is an NFL workout! And you know what NFL stands for? 'NOT FOR LONG!' " -- Haley has me lifting my legs, my arms, my butt. Muscles I didn't know I had scream in pain. Rotating, lifting, kicking, stretching. The "side press," the "chest fly," "barrels" and crunches.

Sputtering, sweating and drooling after it is finally over, I ask Haley how long we had been going at it -- an hour? Two hours? "I was afraid you were going to ask that," he says, laughing. "Twenty minutes."


Darryl Haley leads guest through a workout. (Jay Paul For The Washington Post)

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The next morning -- after a long night's sleep in the Yolanda Adams Suite, named after the Grammy-winning gospel singer who likes to unwind at the inn -- I have just enough strength to lift a fork and devour one of Haley's waffles.

Feel the burn, pass the syrup.

Escape Keys

GETTING THERE: The Villa Bella Vista inn (540-843-4800; www.villabellavistainn.com) in Luray, Va., is 85 miles west of Washington. Take I-66 west to Front Royal. Take Route 340 south to Luray. After about 30 miles on 340, take a right on the Route 211 bypass.

STAYING THERE: Smiles, everyone, smiles! Innkeeper Darryl Haley likes to get a "Fantasy Island" thing going at the Villa Bella Vista and encourages guests to build their own getaways. Nightly suite rates (based on double occupancy) range from $275 to $725 (including breakfast, afternoon tea, wine, champagne and access to the shooting range). Spa treatments and a one-hour "kinetic" workout start at about $75. Weekend packages are also available: The "Ladies Night In(n)" -- including massage, pedicure and morning workout -- starts at $475. A golf weekend (starting at $450) includes a round at a local course, a session of golf stretching and strengthening exercises, and a full hour of massage. And for those looking for an NFL-style workout -- not for the wimpy, folks -- Haley's "3 & 3 Fitness Package" ($1,500) is four nights of personal training, massages and meals.

WHERE TO EAT: If you're still hungry after Haley's waffle and turkey-bacon breakfasts, make a beeline for downtown Luray's Main Street Bakery (127 E. Main St., 540-743-6909), where the sticky buns are good but the brownies are downright knee-buckling. For lunch, grab a deceptively healthy Thai chicken wrap at the shabby-chic A Moment to Remember Espresso Bar & Cafe (55 E. Main St., 540-743-1121), where sandwiches are about $6. Luray doesn't exactly bustle in the evenings, but you might be able to find some nightlife in the neighboring town of New Market. Order the catfish at Johnny Appleseed (162 W. Old Cross Rd., 540-740-3141) or its other entrees under $10.

WHAT TO DO: It'd be easy to spend a weekend at the Villa Bella Vista without stepping off the grounds. That said, Skyline Drive is five minutes away. And the popular Luray Caverns (540-743-6551, www.luraycaverns.com) are one mile north of Haley's inn on Route 211. But if you don't want to battle the tourists, check out Luray's Lake Arrowhead (540-743-6475, www.townofluray.com), which offers hiking, fishing, swimming, boating and feisty-duck feeding.

INFO: Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce, 888-743-3915, www.luraypage.com.


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