Archive for May 13th, 2009

The Stoneleigh Presents Spa In Bloom

The relaxation room at The Spa at The Stoneleigh in Dallas.

The relaxation room at The Spa at The Stoneleigh in Dallas.

Last spring I had the opportunity to visit the legendary Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa (Dallas) to check out its recent renovations and to visit The Spa at The Stoneleigh, a 5,200-square-foot haven for hotel guests and locals looking for a relaxing retreat. I truly enjoyed my visit there and wish I was in the area this spring to take advantage of the spa’s In Bloom offerings. Now through the end of June, spa-goers can indulge in a complimentary Tech Neck Chair Massage every Monday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; a complimentary Warm-Oil Aromatherapy upgrade when any massage is booked every Tuesday; a Spa in Bloom De-Tox Combo ($99, 25 minutes), which includes an organic sugar foot scrub and a 25-minute focused massage every Wednesday; and a complimentary Spa in Bloom Mini Facial (20 minutes) every Thursday. Spa In Bloom offers spa-goers the perfect excuse to pamper themselves every day of the week.

What’s Cooking at Chiva-Som?

Executive chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat demonstrates one of Chiva-Som's healthy dishes.

Executive chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat demonstrates one of Chiva-Som's healthy dishes.

Two years ago I was fortunate enough to visit Chiva-Som, a renowned destination spa in Hua Hin, Thailand. To say my experience there was life changing is somewhat of an understatement, but then again, that’s really the purpose behind a destination spa. Although I’ve never been overweight (probably on account of the fact that I’ve been blessed with a decent metabolism and am something of a fitness fanatic), I do have a major sweet tooth. Just ask anyone who knows me about my passionate love of ice cream. Before Chiva-Som, I had developed an unhealthy addiction to Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt. In fact, I was consuming up to five pints a week. Because a girl can only work out so many hours in a day and metabolisms do eventually slow down, I knew I had to kick the habit. It was at Chiva-Som that I totally changed the way I eat, cutting out sugary snacks (which in my case meant chocolate) and replacing them with fresh fruits, reducing my carb intake, and becoming a stickler for portion control. Imagine my surprise when, upon my return, the scale began registering numbers I’d never before imagined possible. When people ask how I did it, I credit Chiva-Som with kick starting my transformation. And now, guests who sign up for the spa’s culinary packages can learn to master their diet as well with a new hands-on cooking class in which they’re taught proper cooking techniques and the fundamentals of gardening. This year also introduced a Private Lunch and Learn, a one-on-one session that gives guests dining at the Chef’s Table a chance to create a personalized three-course menu that is prepared before them by the chef, and a Private Beach Barbeque, which treats guests to a selection of their favorite ingredients prepared to their liking. Thanks to my Chiva-Som visit, I’m a size or two smaller despite working out less than ever, and I have yet to indulge in my pint-a-night addiction.

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