Archive for February, 2010
Baby, it’s cold outside. Want to warm up at the spa, but don’t want to venture too far? Thanks to our friends at SpaFinder, now, there’s an app for finding the closest spa to your current location. Available in the iPhone App Store, the free SpaFinder application automatically searches its database of 5,000 spas and salons to locate nearby relaxing respites. There’s no need to be tech-savvy—the easy-to-use application gives you directions, offers reviews and descriptions, reveals price points, and even identifies which spas offer SpaFinder deals. For some spas, you can also easily book treatments using the SpaBooker Network making a visit to the spa hassle-free and even more relaxing from the start. The most difficult part of the process will be deciding where to go. For more on the application, click here.
As a frequent flyer, nothing frustrates me more than a lengthy layover except maybe being told that I have to check my carry-on luggage. Having spent more than 12 hours in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and 10 hours in Dubai International Airport waiting for connecting flights, I’m all-too familiar with long layovers. That’s why I appreciate a passenger-friendly airport. Topping that list is Munich Airport, where travelers can leave their air rage behind thanks to a host of spa options, such as chocolate massages and more. In-transit passengers can pre-book treatments at the Kempinski Airport Hotel’s Fit & Fly Health & Spa Club or purchase a one-day pass to use the facilities, which include a sauna, steam baths, and pool. There’s also the Be Relax Spa and the Cosmetic Institute, which relies on products from Clarins, Lancome, La Prairie, and Sisley. Men can get in on the act, too, with their own private retreat at Brants Barber & Shop. Munich Airport is one airport I actually wouldn’t mind a long layover.
The IECSC New York show is a little bit more than a week away, and I wanted to take the opportunity to invite anyone who will be in the New York City area on March 8 and who has interest in running a successful urban spa to come to the Javits Center for my exciting panel. I’ve gathered a group of New York City industry insiders for a panel called, Running a Successful Urban Spa: Case Study NYC, from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m.
Join experts from NYC’s hottest urban spas to find out how they have risen to the top in one of the country’s most competitive marketplaces. This interactive panel will touch on current trends in the New York spa market as well as successful marketing, operations, and retail strategies. Panelists will share their secrets for catering to the “post recession consumer” and surviving the current economic climate.
Panelists include Cheryl Jacobs, spa director at The Spa at the Surrey; Sandra Sadowski, director of spa and fitness at La Prairie at The Ritz-Carlton Spa; Bruce Schoenberg, co-owner of Oasis Day Spa; and Jillian Wright, owner/esthetician at Jillian Wright Clinical Skin Spa.
And this is just one of many exciting educational opportunities at the upcoming show. Visit www.iecsc.com for a complete look at the conference program for the three-day event. I look forward to seeing you there!
Ever since visiting Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun (Mexico) a little more than a year ago, I’ve become a huge fan of AMResorts, which is a family of upscale resort brands including Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, The Zoëtry Collection, Secrets Resorts & Spas, and Dreams Resorts & Spas. Offering an adults-only all-inclusive vacation, Secrets Maroma Beach was the perfect place relax and be pampered. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find out that AMResorts recently launched Now Resorts & Spas, a new luxury lifestyle resorts brand that provides guests with the ideal vacation environment to relax and reconnect.
The first property, Now Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa (Mexico), opened at the end of January. Each property will offer a unique flavor, look, and experience, but the overall brand features will be the same. These include oversized guest rooms and suites with ocean views and private terraces, 24-hour room and concierge services, multiple gourmet dining offerings, and full-service spa and fitness facilities. “Our success with other brands, ranging from major awards and recognition to high occupancy rates and repeat guest ratios, encouraged our continuous growth,” says Alex Zozaya, president of AMResorts. “Significant positive awareness among agents and consumers and strong distribution channels should be key factors in our success.”
I’m not much of a gambler, so I never particularly enjoyed visiting Las Vegas. But that changed thanks to a recent visit I took to check out the new CityCenter, where I spent five nights at ARIA, one of the new hotels in the complex. When I wasn’t enjoying my state-of-the-art room, I was indulging in decadent meals at one of the resort’s many restaurants, including Michael Mina’s American Fish and Bar Masa, where award-winning chef Masayoshi Takayama created the menu. I was also lucky enough to see a preview of Cirque du Soleil’s Viva ELVIS, which was amazing. Of course, I had to check out Crystal’s, CityCenter’s 500,000-square-foot shopping area, which boasts such stores as Louis Vuitton, Roberto Cavalli, and Bulgari, just to name a few. And I even attended a private champagne reception at Tiffany & Co, which was quite the experience. Although I had quite a hectic schedule trying to fit it all in, I still made time to enjoy treatments at The Spa at Aria, Vdara Health & Beauty, and The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, all of which are equally impressive. If I were a gambling woman, I would bet that these three spas are going to be the talk of the town. To find out more about these Sin City havens, keep an eye out for our April issue.
After a bad spill on the steps at the subway station, I was left with some pretty nasty bruising on both shins. Between the soreness and the aesthetics, I was not happy about the aftermath of my fall. To make matters worse, I had a ski trip coming up and tight-fitting boots are already painful enough to fashion–I was worried I wouldn’t be able to wear them, in turn making my trip a bust. After my fall, I started religiously applying Dr. Hauschka Skin Care’s Ouch! Aid Arnica Compresses and noticed that my legs were looking and feeling better after several days. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, arnica has been used for centuries to treat topical skin disorders by helping disperse trapped fluids and improve circulation in connective tissue. These handy pads by Dr. Hauschka made applying the oil easy and I was able to nurse my bruises several times a day–even from desk at work.
The day before skiing in Park City, I visited the Golden Door Spa at Dakota Mountain Lodge and asked the therapist to work some arnica oil into my 80-minute Mountain Salvation Massage. He happily obliged and commented that he uses arnica regularly on his little boy’s bumps and bruises because it’s so gentle, yet effective. By the time I hit the slopes the next day, my legs were in great shape and I didn’t have any discomfort sporting my ski boots. While I didn’t fall once on the slopes, I did come home from that trip with a few bruises from tripping over my own luggage at the airport. Of course, I went back to using the Ouch! Aid Arnica Compresses—too bad they can’t help me become less clumsy! For more on the magic of arnica, click here.
Panama probably isn’t the first place you think of as a prime spa destination. However, that is beginning to change thanks to an influx of development in the country. Travelers who visit the lush tropical country are finding more than just the famed canal, a true engineering feat, to attract them. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit The Bristol Buenaventura and its Corotu Spa. There, spa director Alejandro Gomez is focused on giving guests a taste of Panama with a host of treatments that rely on indigenous herbs, locally grown palm fruit, and iron-rich volcanic sand that is carried down the Rio Hato river. After indulging in a quick chair massage, I chatted with Gomez about some of the many reasons that make Panama such an inviting spa destination. Stay tuned for more on Corotu Spa in an upcoming issue.
TheSpaBuzz.com, an online resource for the spa and wellness industry, has launched a new online auction site, www.SpaBuzzAuction.com, offering consumers the opportunity to purchase fitness, spa, and wellness services and products while supporting a good cause.
Categories include alternative wellness services, body treatments, esthetic services/facials, fitness products/services, getaways, hair services, massage, medical spa services, nail services, nutrition services, packages, spa products, spa rituals and wellness products.
Among the featured spas are Cooper Clinic (Craig Ranch, TX); Bliss (Dallas); The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas; Williams Island Club (Aventura, FL); Spa 950 (Deerfield Beach, FL), Golden Door Spa at the Dakota Mountain Lodge (Park City, UT), Exhale Mind Body Spa (Various Locations), Facelogic (Various Locations), and more. Products offered include Advantage Fitness Products, CO Clothing Company, Hip and Hippie Candles, Phytomer, Actifirm skincare, Archipelago Botanicals home products, SwissClinical skincare, Me!Bath, Oka B shoes, and more.
To purchase items, buyers create an account and place a bid or select the “Buy It Now” option. Payment is made via credit card, and items are mailed in three to five days. A portion of the proceeds collected will go to The Spa Buzz initiative called Buzz Keepers, providing money to the American Beekeepers Federation and the American Community Garden Association.
I was just informed that the deadline to enter Harms Software’s The Perfect Match Contest has been extended to April 7. The contest is offering up to $13,000 in prizes. In 500 words or less, contestants must describe heartwarming characteristics of Millennium as if it were his or her significant other. Descriptions should explain why Millennium could steal or has already stolen your heart and why it Millennium is your Perfect Match. All entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges from Harms Software Inc. who will then select their favorites. Judging will be based on the most compelling and creative submissions. Winner will be announced on or before April 15. For details, visit http://harms-software.com/perfectmatch.
While wearing sunscreen, moisturizing, drinking plenty of water, and watching your diet can help in the battle of anti-aging, going raw can also be a powerful weapon. Explore the art of a raw foods diet at Montage Laguna Beach, April 18th-April 20th. Natural wellness educator Susie Sondag, owner of Opulent Living, will teach the benefits of incorporating whole foods into your diet to purify and energize your body. You can choose among the following programs:
•The Art of Living Raw Retreat ($1,135 per person) includes accommodations for two nights, three re-mineralizing Thalassic beach walks, three Art of Living Raw lectures, three raw food prep and tasting workshops, one 60-minute Surrender spa treatment, one 90-minute Anti-Aging Facial, and one 90-minute Aromabalancing session.
•Day of Living Raw ($395-$435 per person) includes a beach walk, lecture, food prep workshop, and Surrender spa experience. Guests can choose from the following lectures on the following days: Surrender to Cleanse & Detoxification on April 18th, Surrender to Anti-Aging on April 19th, or Surrender to Longevity on April 20th.
•Art of Living Raw Lecture ($195 per person) includes a one hour lecture. Guests can choose from the following topics: Disease & Detoxification on April 18th, Regeneration & Anti-Aging on April 19th, and a Longevity Lifestyle: Feel Confident & Empowered on April 20th.
For more information and to make reservations, please call (888) 715-6700.