Archive for August, 2010

Bringing Fitness Home

While doing research for our September supplement, “ An Exercise in Fitness,” we came across some fun workout DVDs to take the monotony out of exercising. Here is a sampling:

Losing It and Keeping Fit! This 60-minute DVD features Valerie Bertinelli and celebrity trainer Christopher Ross Lane. It offers a beginner’s routine, a bikini-ready workout, and a bonus abs sculpting segment.

Tara Stiles Yoga Anywhere: The New York Sessions From tunnels in Central Park to the famous Flatiron Building, Stiles goes on location in The Big Apple while teaching viewers yoga basics, as well as more advanced moves in this 60-minute DVD set to rock music.

The Pursuit of Happy Hips Featuring routines varying in length from 25 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, this DVD from Canadian yoga instructor Eoin Finn features a series of alignment-based yoga moves for hip and shoulder opening, core strengthening, and breathing and centering practices.

Exhale: Core Fusion Thighs and Glutes Five 10-minute workouts demonstrated on this DVD by Core Fusion creators Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp focus on lifting your buns, toning your legs, and trimming your waist.

Black Belt Golf: White Belt Lesson Martial artist, golfer, and certified fitness instructor Ryan White teaches viewers some guided meditations using martial arts to help improve their golf game by helping them warm up, stretch, and increase stamina.

Be sure to check out other fitness tips and trends in our September issue, which you can view digitally here.

Ivy Spa Club Goes Gaga Over Lady Gaga

Earlier this summer, the American Spa gang and I headed off to Madison Square Garden to groove with Lady Gaga. Although we were somewhat conservatively dressed compared to many of her die-hard groupies, we still managed to get in the spirit. Minneapolis fans of Lady Gaga can now primp for her performance tonight at the Xcel Energy Center with a Gaga-inspired manicure and pedicure at Ivy Spa Club. The manis and pedis feature shades from the nail lacquer collection of celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippman, who collaborated with Lady Gaga in developing a signature color, “Bad Romance,” a black-burgundy glitter. Guests who purchase a manicure and/or pedicure and a Lippmann Collection polish on the same day Lady Gaga is performing in concert will receive a 10 discount off their total purchase. Says Ivy Spa Club owner Pamela Margolis, “With Lady Gaga’s ties to the Lippmann Collection and her upcoming local performances, we are excited about launching Ivy Spa Club’s newest line in a fun way for fans excited to dress up for the concerts.”

The Standard NYC Debuts Sky-High Yoga Classes

Yoga is anything but standard, thanks to Standard Yoga classes offered at The Standard hotels in South Beach, FL, and New York City. The program got its start in Florida and has now debuted at the Manhattan outpost of Andre Balazs’s hip brand. There, $20 classes are being held throughout the hotel, including the High Line room, the 18th floor Relax Pool room, and outdoors on the High Line Terrace and Roof Top Terrace, which offers inspiring views of the Hudson River and the trendy Meatpacking District. Classes will also soon be available on the west coast at The Standard, Hollywood and The Standard, Downtown LA. For more cool yoga classes being offered worldwide, be sure to check out An Exercise in Fitness, a supplement to our September issue that offers tips for whipping your spa into shape and provides a look at the latest fitness trends, clothing, equipment, and more.

New Las Ventanas Uniforms Offer Indigenous Appeal

Uniforms can play a unique role in enhancing the guest experience, and the ones at Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, do just that. The resort is enhancing its personalized service with its collection of new staff uniforms. Each department at the resort, including the spa, has a distinct uniform that is inspired by the history and culture of Mexico. The color combinations and embroidered designs pervade a special meaning that reflects and symbolizes staff member’s job at the resort and their commitment to providing ultimate service. The symbolism in the new uniforms is revealed in a new booklet exclusively for guests where they can learn about ancient traditions while experiencing luxury. Bellboys, for example, wear an embroidered ear of corn on their shirts-the country’s food of life since early times that symbolizes Mexican hospitality, while the planning committee wears blue and white to reflect the famed serenity of the Las Ventanas experience. The uniforms were created by acclaimed Mexican designers Maria Rosario Mendoza and Alejandro Julian who collaborated to create the fashions for Las Ventanas.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Hosts Wellness Journey

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort (Farmington, PA) is hosting a wellness retreat called Woodlands Renewal – A Wellness Journey from Oct. 22-24. Designed to celebrate the fall season, this retreat has been designed to help women renew, restore, and rejuvenate with sessions on fitness, stress reduction, and nutrition, combined with spa treatments at Woodlands Spa, light cuisine, wine pairings, yoga and fitness classes, and nature hikes.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, along with Magee-Womens Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), will bring physicians, health professionals, and fitness experts together to offer practical tools for living a balanced life. Educational programs will address women’s health topics, including cardiovascular awareness, mental sharpness, weight training, joint and bone health, and stress. “True wellness is the balance of inner calm, outer vitality and overall health,” says Lori Shubert, spa director at Woodlands Spa. “Through this specially designed weekend, we hope to inspire women to adopt a lifelong commitment to balanced living.”

For package rates, reservations, and additional information, visit

Laura Mercier Launches the
“What is Flawless?” Campaign

Laura Mercier, creator of the Flawless Face collection of primers, foundations, concealers, and powders, is launching a new campaign asking, “What is Flawless?” With this thought-provoking campaign, you’re invited to submit your own definition of “What is Flawless” and contribute to an online conversation designed to challenge the perception of traditional beauty. Through this initiative, women can share their vastly different opinions and feelings with others and participate in a conversation about what it means to be “flawless.” Remember there is no right or wrong answer, just the opportunity to share your beliefs.

By submitting your views, you will also help contribute to a great cause. From Sept. 1 – Dec. 1, 2010, for every answer that is submitted to, the company will make a donation to the Gulf Relief Foundation, helping to restore the Gulf to its previously flawless state. For more information, visit here now.

Guidance From the IRS on the New Tanning Tax

Anyone familiar with Snooki, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, or any of the other roomies from MTV’s hit reality series, “Jersey Shore,” knows that tanning is as popular as ever for some. Unfortunately for spas, salons, and other businesses offering ultraviolet tanning services, a new tanning tax went into effect on July 1 stipulating that they must collect a 10 percent excise tax as part of the Affordable Care Act, enacted in March. If you’re still a bit confused about what this may mean for your business, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers some guidance on the topic:

  • Businesses must collect the tax at the time the customer pays for the tanning services. If the customer doesn’t pay the excise tax, the tanning service provider must pay it.
  • The tax does not apply to spray-on services or tanning offered as an incidental service, without a separately identifiable fee, to members of certain qualified fitness facilities.
  • If a customer buys other goods and services when paying for tanning, a business does not need to collect the excise tax on those other items provided that they are separately stated and the charges do not exceed the fair market value for those items. However, if the charges are not separately stated, a business should collect the tax on the amount that is reasonably attributable to the tanning services.
  • A gift certificate for unspecified services is not subject to tax when it is purchased. If the recipient uses the gift certificate for tanning services, the provider will collect the tanning excise tax at that time.
  • Tanning service providers must report and pay the excise tax in full on a quarterly basis. The first quarterly return and payment, due Nov. 1, 2010, covers taxes collected during July, August, and September. To report and pay the tax, a business must have an Employer Identification Number assigned by the IRS and must file IRS Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. Businesses that do not already have an EIN can apply for one at Business that do not file and pay the tax by the quarterly due date may be subject to a penalty.

SUU Hotels Introduces Line of Spa Products

The SUU Hotels, a brand of lifestyle small hotels in Costa Rica and Turkey, introduced the Xantos Francesco Corleone product line at each of its hotel spas. Guests can be pampered while indulging in indoor and outdoor spa services using the products, which contain natural spices, fruits, and minerals that are indigenous to the area. The SUU Hotel-exclusive line utilizes organic oils to help clients relax and achieve center and balance emotionally, physically, and mentally. “The SUU Hotel’s spa is a great place to relax and rejuvenate your body all while receiving organic and luxury treatments,” says Teresa Alfonso, vice president of The SUU Hotels. “The brand, Xantos Francesco Corleone, is our collection of spa products and provides our guests with balance and purity.”

New ISPA Industry Stats Released

The International Spa Association (ISPA) has released its 2010 U.S. Spa Industry Study, which was conducted in partnership with one of the world’s leading research organizations, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Each year ISPA closely monitors five key statistics, including revenue, spa visits, locations, total employees, and square footage, all of which help gauge the performance of our industry. Check out the results here:

“These numbers illustrate that the great recession has left virtually no industry untouched,” says Colin McIlheney, global research director at PwC. “After many years of very rapid growth, all five of the key measurement statistics for the spa industry show a decline after 2008. However, many in the industry who took part in the ISPA survey report that they have been proactive in taking measures to combat the impact of the recession. Respondents are indeed cautiously optimistic about the future while also recognizing there are still challenges to face.”

What do you think of these numbers, and what have you been doing to help survive the recent recession? Share your ideas here!

Spa Week Predicts Top 12 Fall Treatment Trends

For years, I have been a huge fan of Spa Week, the event where spas across the country offer some of their most exclusive services for the discounted price of $50 during the designated week. This year, Spa Week will take place Sept. 13-19th on the West Coast and Oct. 11-17 throughout the rest of the country. To prepare potential spa-goers for the event, executives at Spa Week have compiled a list of the top 12 spa treatment trends for the fall:

1. FIGHTING ALLERGIES: Sinus massages, breathe-easy facials, and other treatments featuring eucalyptus, humidifiers, and lymphatic drainage techniques are a just few of the services being offered to help clients suffering from allergies.

2. BIKINI GLAMOUR: Post-Brazilian waxing rituals are taking center stage, such as vajazzling, vattooing, and airbrush painting.

3. SLEEPING AND DREAMING: Services designed to promote a good night’s sleep, such as stress solution facials, private yoga sessions, and meditation are becoming hugely popular.

4. LASH EXTENSIONS: Techniques that promote eyelash thickness, length, volume, and color are high on the priority list of spa-goers this fall.

5. INSTANT INCH LOSS: Colon hydrotherapy, Ionothermie, and other treatments that give immediate weigh-loss results will be in high demand.

6. REIKI AND ENERGY WORK: The demand for holistic healing and energy work that deliver health benefits ranging from spiritual growth to injury recovery are on the rise.

7. ACUPUNCTURE: For both the face and the body, this technique is recommended for the treatment of more than 40 conditions ranging from anxiety to pain by the World Health Organization.

8. BOTOX ON-THE-GO: Reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines hassle-free is at the forefront of many spa-goers’ beauty lists.

9. HOT AND COLD STONE MASSAGES: Instead of using only hot stones for a massage, the application of cold stones will be a popular request, adding multi-dimensional stimulation.

10. CHAMPISSAGE: Also know as Indian Head Massage, this technique is now being interpreted as a custom ritual at many spas.

11. EVERYTHING SEAWEED: Treatments incorporating seaweed and seawater to detoxify the body, eliminate excess fluids, and increase blood circulation will be in more demand than ever.

12. SIMPLY OXYGEN: Spa-goers will be looking for more treatments, such as oxygen facials, that incorporate this life-sustaining molecule.

To find out a complete list of participating spas, visit

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