Archive for the ‘In Our Experience’ Category
I’m back from Spatec Spring, which took place March 30 to April 2 at Chateau Elan Winery and Resort (Braselton, GA), and I’m pleased to report an overall mood of optimism for the future and excitement among the vendors and buyers about the opportunity to share latest and greatest news, products, equipment, and more. The event kicked off with a cocktail party where old friends and new connected. The next day began with a keynote presentation by Dr. Elaine Dembe, who shared her secrets for passionate longevity. One of my favorite pieces of advice? “Each day, plan a daily uplift. Do one small thing that inspires you.” It was one of many excellent pieces of advice for achieving health and happiness. The day continued with a series of one-on-one meetings between vendors and buyers. I spoke to several people, and I was pleased to hear that business was being done, orders were being taken, and relationships were being forged. The networking continued with a hilarious group attempt at African dance. Though there were a few shining stars who picked it up with style, for most of us, it was a session filled with laughter and rather uncoordinated attempts at following our instructors. (Here, I’m pictured with American Spa’s Lucy Hugo and IECSC’s Kathy Gruttadauria. We weren’t good, but we had fun.) The next day, the one-on-one meetings continued and were followed by a vendor showcase, during which time vendors displayed their wares. From new skincare and bodycare products and equipment to charming retail items to cozy fitness- and lounge-wear, it was a great chance to see what will be filling spa retail shelves and treatment rooms in the coming months. And, no Spatec would be complete without the fun final party, where we watch a CNN-themed video of our days on-site and danced the night away, celebrating another successful event. Next up is Spatec Europe, which takes place May 4-7 at the Corinthia Hotel Budapest (Hungary), and Spatec Fall, which takes place Sept. 7-10 at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel (Dana Point, CA). Visit www.spatecna.com for more information.
This past weekend, I had lunch onboard Marina, the latest ship from Oceania Cruises. It is home to a new Canyon Ranch SpaClub, complete with heated ceramic loungers, a private deck with plush day beds, a thalassotherapy whirlpool, sauna and steam rooms, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Relying on MorroccanOil, Red Flower, SpaRitual, and Voya products, the menu features a diverse selection of offerings that range from acupuncture to specialized wellness services, such as the Performance Orthotics Assessment. After touring the tastefully decorated spa, I found myself thinking I could easily spend several days at sea happily ensconced in the inviting space.
People often charge me with having one of the best jobs in the world, and I can’t say I disagree with them. I’ve spent the last decade visiting lavish spas around the world. Over the years, I’ve found myself in some uncomfortable yet laughable situations, such as the time I was in Jordan visiting a popular Turkish bath. There, I found myself in a near panic over the fact that I was convinced I was about to be scrubbed down with someone else’s dirty water. Upon seeing or rather hearing my distressed state, my driver, who was steaming nearby, had to step in to translate. To this day, I’m still unclear as to whether it was re-used water or not. I do know I caused quite the commotion trying to find out. Fortunately, most of my treatments are a bit more blissful. However, I always say, a treatment is only as good as the therapist giving it. What are some of your most memorable spa experiences? We want to hear the good, the bad, and the funny…
As an avid spa-goer for years, I’ve come to develop my fair share of pet peeves when it comes to treatments. One of my biggest is when therapists touch my face immediately after massaging my feet. I’m always listening to hear the sound of running water, so I know that they have washed their hands first. I also get anxious about anyone touching my face when their hands are covered with oil or cream intended for the body rather than the face. Following a deep cleansing facial, I also find it annoying when I leave the treatment room to find myself looking like a cross between Ozzy Osbourne and Tammy Faye Baker with massacred mascara that should have been removed. And finally, I hate when my pleas to leave my cuticles left uncut go unheard, and I have to make a fuss. Of course, these are the exceptions and not the rules when it comes to most of my experiences in the treatment room. I can only imagine the pet peeves that therapists must encounter each and every day. What leaves you anything but relaxed when spa-ing or dealing with clients?
Those who know me well know I generally dread my birthday. This year, however, I decided to try and embrace the passing of another year. Fortunately, it wasn’t too difficult considering that I was spending my birthday weekend at the beautiful Hotel Le Toiny in St. Barths. There, I got a taste of the good life in my own well-appointed villa with a private pool (seen here). I also experienced two decadent treatments in the property’s inviting Spa Cottage, which served as the perfect cure for my annual birthday blues. Stay tuned for more on Le Toiny’s charming Spa Cottage in a future issue.
Although I generally enjoy working out, I bore easily when it comes to classes. That’s why I eventually cancelled my gym membership and took up taekwon-do. I found the progressive nature of martial arts appealing, as I was constantly being challenged to learn new things. That’s one of the reasons I was so excited to hear that Core Fusion co-creators Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito had recently created a new approach to Core Fusion training with the introduction of Core Fusion Boot Camp. I attended a preview class earlier this week and found myself challenged in numerous ways. The new class accelerates and enhances the strength and flexibility benefits of traditional Core classes by adding power moves that incorporate core balls and weights to the workout. With summer right around the corner, I’m looking forward to incorporating the class into my own workout regime and even more excited about the lean abs and sculpted legs that are sure to follow. There is even a dvd that I can watch from home. Core Fusion Boot Camp is slated to launch in Exhale spas nationwide in late April or early May.
I’ve been dealing with sleep issues for years, and when I was searching for my current apartment a few years ago, my realtor was concerned about the fact that the windows in my bedroom faced east, as he explained to me sunlight would be streaming in directly on to my bed in the morning. I assured him that wasn’t a problem, that I rarely sleep more than 4 hours a night and am usually up before the sun (not by choice). Well. That all changed earlier this week when I was sent a Branché Belle De Nuit Eye Masque at work. I have to say (sweeping statement alert), this little eye mask has changed my life. After reading how the mask contains 18 amino acids (the same ones the skin uses to repair and rebuild itself) and copper (which has anti-microbial properties) to help the delicate skin around the eye area stay protected, I decided to sleep with it on Tuesday night. I went to sleep around midnight, as usual. When I woke up and took the mask off, I could not believe it was already daylight! Much to my amazement, I looked at my clock at it was 6:30! Thinking it might have been a fluke, I wore the mask last night, and, again, slept almost 7 hours straight. Apparently, an eye mask not only blocks external light, which disturbs the sleep cycle, but it also helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm (internal clock). Plus, it’s made of 100% silk so it’s light as a feather and super comfy. Who knew the secret to a good night’s sleep could be so easy?
A few weeks ago I was out to dinner with a friend of mine who is training for a marathon. He was telling me how the training was more grueling than he originally anticipated, particularly on his joints and muscles (three weeks into training he had already sprained his ankle). I immediately remembered some products that I had received at work from H. Gillerman Organics, a range of essential oil remedies that double as aromatic bodycare products. So I passed along the blend labeled Muscle Remedy. With key ingredients such a lavender, basil, vetiver, and more, this blend was formulated to recuperate muscles from sprains or spasms, reduce pain, decrease tension, and reduce inflammation. Although he was skeptical, my friend followed the instructions, using the roller-ball applicator to massage the blend into the muscles after every training session. After about 3 days, he reported that his muscles felt looser and more relaxed, and his sprain was noticeably improved. In fact, he was so convincing, that I can’t wait for my next business trip so I can try Travel Remedy, which was formulated to relieve jet lag symptoms, reduce fluid retention, and adjust the sleep cycle. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome!
I must admit, I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. It may stem from the fact that I was serially single for my fair share of them. Then there’s the fact that I was on my way to summit Kilimanjaro one February 14th when a friend I was trekking with came down with altitude sickness and had to be evacuated off the mountain. Concerned about her well-being, I reluctantly trudged down the mountain after her, bidding adieu to my summit dreams. With that said, I think I could come around to this sentimental holiday had I plans to take advantage of the new “Love Birds Getaway” package at Lost Iguana Resort & Spa (Arenal, Costa Rica). The minimum two-night package (starting at $420 per couple) features an in-room welcome flower arrangement and wine basket to immediately set the mood, a sensual couples massage in an open-air massage bungalow at the resort’s full-service Balinese-themed Golden Gecko Spa, and a cozy candlelit dinner. Available throughout 2011, this is one package that could actually make me embrace Valentine’s Day once and for all.
This past weekend, I had the good fortune to experience Bermuda’s spa scene. Although the island is a bit chilly this time of year, it proved an infinite improvement over New York’s bitter cold. And the weather made the spas seem even more inviting. With a host of special offers designed to entice spa-goers in the off season, The Spa at Elbow Beach features the Midday Escape ($245), which involves a Quintessence Body Scrub, a 50-minute Hot Stone Massage, and a bento box lunch throughout the month of January. That was just one of the many enticing specials I came across. The treatment offerings were also something to write home about. I was especially excited to try the $100,000 Silver TAG shower with 18 showerheads at The Spa at Tucker’s Point. It’s one of only seven in the world. Needless to say, it was quite the experience. Look for more on the spas of Bermuda in an upcoming issue.