Author Archive

Hilton Bora Bora Nui Welcomes ABC’s The Bachelorette

When dealing with addiction, the first step is to admit that you have a problem. Well, I’m addicted to ABC’s The Bachelorette—and, let’s be real, to The Bachelor, as well. I tuned in all season to watch Ali Fedotowsky travel around the world (Iceland, Turkey, Portugal, oh my!) before she ended up in beautiful Tahiti where she ultimately chose Roberto Martinez to be her betrothed.

Forget the flowy dress, the Neil Lane diamond, and the drama (!), what really caught my attention was the setting of last night’s episode—the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, which I was lucky enough to visit last year. From its stunning setting to the double-decker overwater bungalows (I wrote about them here), the property is truly a sight to see.

One of the best places to take in the scene at the resort is from the hilltop Hina Spa, which boasts panoramic views of the lagoon. The spa’s menu features locally inspired services, such as a Polynesian flower-laden Coconut Milk Bath and a Hydrating Black Pearl Facial. Spa-goers can forego their individual treatment rooms and enjoy a fantasy-like al fresco service in a palapa that is perched on one of the highest points on property. The “One Million Dollar View” Experience (price tag is only about $363!), includes a body polish with bamboo shoots and Tahitian vanilla, followed by an hour-long massage with warm honey monoï oil. This is one sweet way to soak in the beauty of the islands. And, with services such as this, you’re guaranteed to find true love in Bora Bora—even if it is with the spa.

For more on the seductive spa scene in Bora Bora, click here.

DEAL ALERT: Skin Authority’s New Referral Program

We know a good deal when we see one. Skin Authority has recently launched a referral program giving its loyal fans even more reason to spread the word about the brand. Here’s how it works:

•Send Skin Authority names and contact details of friends who you think would love the products and benefit from them.
•As a thank you for making the introduction, you receive online credit instantly to be used toward products.

That’s it. No, seriously.

Every three referrals amounts to $25 in credit, and you can earn as much as $75 in Skin Authority credit every 90 days. The referral credits can be used for online product purchases or toward products and treatments at any of Skin Authority’s spa partners (there are almost 200 of them!)

Interested in cashing in? Click here!

Cool Down with a Refreshing Salad from L.A.’s Culina

It’s been sweltering in New York City and today, rain. I am California dreaming! It seems like the mercury hasn’t dipped below 90F in an eon and not only am I craving a crisp SoCal summer, but I’m also craving a refreshing dish I sampled during my last trip to the west coast. While there, I was lucky enough to try out the recently opened Culina, a truly divine culinary experience at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. While the restaurant offers delicious handmade pastas and indulgent desserts, it also offers delectable healthy bites that tantalize the palate, while keeping L.A. physiques svelte. Here, chef Victor Casanova shares his recipe for a beautiful salad, which really allows seasonal ingredients to shine.

Culina’s Panzanella Recipe

•Rustic country loaf, exterior removed then cut into 1/2 inch dice
•3 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
•2 cups fresh ripe watermelon, cut into 1/2 inch dice
•1/2 red onion, julienne
•1/2 bunch basil, torn into 1/2 inch pieces
•1/2 english cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch half-moons
•4 oz. ricotta salata, coarsley grated
•4 vine-ripened tomatoes, passed through a food mill
•4 oz. DaVero Champagne Vinegar
•3 oz. DaVero Extra Virgin Olive Oil “Dry Creek Estate”
•Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Toast bread in pre-heated oven at 375 degrees until well colored but
not brown.
2. Reserve bread.
3. Take the four vine-ripened tomatoes and pass through a food mill then combine in mixing bowl with vinegar and oil.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Reserve vinaigrette.
6. In a large salad bowl combine all ingredients and toss well.
7. Season to taste.
8. Divide into four small salad bowls.


Time to Vote for the American Spa Professional’s Choice Awards!

What’s your favorite spa that opened this year? In your opinion, has anybody moved up in the ranks or emerged as this year’s favorite spa consultant? Have you sampled some amazing spa cuisine in 2010?

It’s time to tell us about the best things you came across in the industry this year. Please take a few minutes and share your thoughts for our annual Professional’s Choice Awards—click here. The polls are open through September 22nd and the results will be featured in the December issue of the magazine. To thank you for your time, you’ll be entered in a contest to win a $500 American Express Gift Card. Vote now!!

Completely Bare Thinks Ink

I’ve always abided by the ye olde laws established by the iconic Coco Chanel–too many accessories clutter an outfit. Should this maxim also be applied to body art “down there?” In the shadows of the Vajazzle (a service that allows ladies to add a little bling to their…ahem), emerges Bikini Ink. For $75, clients can get tagged with non-toxic body airbrush paint post-bikini wax at Completely Bare in New York. They can choose to get a temporary tat of a flower, sun, butterfly, or a group of letters. With a five-day life span, these waterproof tattoos, which can be easily erased with rubbing alcohol or baby oil, are meant to be a sassy add-on to a fairly standard service without much commitment. What do you think? Is Bikini Ink cheeky or chic? Fun or a faux pas? Tame or tacky? We would love to hear what you’re opinion is on this saucy statement!

South Florida Spa Lovers Celebrate Miami Spa Month

While the mercury rises in Miami, the prices at South Florida’s spas are dropping—again. From now until August 31st, relaxation seekers can enjoy $99 treatments (normally valued at $199 or more) at 36 different spas thanks to the third annual Miami Spa Month. These healthy havens are offering everything from classic massages to mango manicures. And, if the specially priced services do not pique the interest of spa-goers, some spots, such as Spa at Icon Brickell at the Viceroy, are offering 15% off services during the promotion period. This year, eight new spas are participating in the promotion, including:

•Bliss Spa, W South Beach

•Elemis Spa at Village of Merrick Park

•Exhale Spa at the EPIC Hotel

•RockResorts Spa at Tempo, Miami

For a complete list of participating spas, click here.

Spa-Goers Make Beautiful Music Together at
One&Only Palmilla

A day at the spa normally means taking in some peace and quiet. While enjoying the sound of silence is very necessary, shaking this idea up a bit and making some noise is sometimes very beneficial. During a recent trip to Los Cabos, I was lucky enough to visit One&Only Palmilla where I partook in Musical Therapy with the small group of writers and editors I was traveling with. As we made our way through the stunning grounds of the resort, we came across a palapa that is situated on a bluff overlooking the Sea of Cortez that was set up for a major jam session. There were different types of drums, rattles, flutes, rainsticks and we were going to be playing all of them. Our musical stylings were brought out and directed by our patient leader, Mexican-born contemporary musician Antonio Zepeda. There was a touch of intimidation mixed with skepticism when the group first laid eyes on the scene. Zepeda’s soothing voice and calm demeanor talked us through a very rusty beginning as we “played” our instruments and he successfully guided the group into a definite groove. The more confident we got while playing, the more relaxing and fun it was for us, and, dare I say, we were making music. The combination of the breathtaking setting of the palapa with the steady beat we were producing seemed to create a lulling affect that allowed us to get lost in another world—sixty minutes just flew by and I was feeling rejuvenated by the end of it.

This Musical Therapy is part of a Three-Day Joyful Journey Package offered at One&Only Palmilla. Priced at $650 per person, this package (not including accommodations) focuses on mind-body wellness by bringing together activities that are scientifically proven to reduce stress, such as meditation, painting, massage, and laughter. For more on this package—and for what’s hot on the Cabo spa scene—check out the July issue of American Spa.

Signing Off: Cancer

“Cancer (June 22-July 22) is one of the most emotional and feeling-generated signs of the zodiac, even if it’s sometimes hard to recognize, given the protective shell that they don. Their sensitive and maternal nature makes those in their presence feel cared for and nurtured. What they offer others is also what they seek—a sense of deep-rooted comfort and connectedness. A water sign, Cancerians find this elixir to be very healing.”—Stephanie Gailing

Stephanie Gailing, MS, CN, is a professional astrologer and nutritionist with more than 16 years of experience. The author of Planetary Apothecary: An Astrological Approach to Health and Wellness (Crossing Press, 2009), Gailing writes “Signing Off,” a monthly column for American Spa that gives guidance on using the stars to cater to clientele. To check out Gailing’s blog, click For further insights on Cancers, turn to page 100 of AmericanSpa’s July issue or click here.

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