Archive for November 16th, 2009

Spain Set to Welcome its First Mandarin Oriental

mandarin_oriental_barcelona_-_restaurant_lounge_11Slated to open November 26, the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona will be the brand’s first hotel in Southern Europe. The 96-room hotel is situated on the famed Passeig de Gracia, one of Barcelona’s toniest addresses, which is also a popular shopping and business area. Guests will be able to visit the 10,763-square-foot spa, which is set to feature eight treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a 39-foot indoor swimming pool. The modern, minimalist aesthetic of the hotel will be carried through to the sleek and stylish spa, which was designed by Spanish-born Patricia Urquiola. In addition to signature Mandarin therapies, such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), this spa will also offer treatments inspired by its stunning locale. The Barcelona Spring services will incorporate sage, fresh mint, and olive oil, all ingredients that are native of the area. We look forward to learning more about this brand-new Spanish sanctuary!

Discovering A Jamaican Gem At The Ritz Rose Hall

custom_rcjamac_00031_8786If you visit the official website for Jamaica, you’ll see the slogan, “Once you go, you know.” Though I’ve been to most of the islands in the Caribbean, Jamaica was one that I had not, until last weekend, visited. But after a few days spent at The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica, I must admit that the slogan makes perfect sense. I had heard that Jamaica is known for its beautiful beaches. But after my visit, I realized that there is so much more to the story and wondered why I hadn’t visited sooner. First, the people of Jamaica are lovely. Everywhere I went, I was greeted with warm smiles and wonderful conversation. And nowhere was that more evident that at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, Rose Hall.

Although the decor was charming, with fresh native plants and flowers and local artwork from members of the Jamaican Art Guild, it was the spa team that really made an impact on me. My spa attendant, Lora, greeted me with a smile when I first arrived. When I came back for additional services, she gave me a hug, asked about my day, and had my perfectly sized robe and slippers waiting for me. My therapists were equally amazing. I was charmed by the fun personality and magical hands of Suzette, who performed my Drift to Sleep ($299, 120 minutes) signature service. My esthetician, Latoya, gave me all sorts of interesting information about the ingredients she used for my facial. Sophia, who gave me a fabulous manicure and pedicure, worked wonders with my tired hands and feet, as they both and been pretty battered from spending several days walking the aisles of IECSC Florida. I also shared fun—and informative—meals with spa supervisor Kaye, spa director Shelly-ann Myrie, public relations coordinator Michele Gray, and hotel manager Grant Noble. Needless to say, at the end of the trip, I felt like one of the family and was sad to leave this enticing tropical isle. For more on my visit, watch for an upcoming winter feature in American Spa, and you’ll soon learn how the Ritz makes it easy to come to Jamaica and feel alright.

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