Archive for the ‘Travelblog’ Category
This past weekend, I visited Northern Quest Resort & Casino (Spokane, WA). Owned by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, the property includes Current Spa, which embraces the tribe’s healing traditions. One tradition I’m especially fond of is when therapists wash their hands before beginning any treatment. My therapist at Current Spa did just that when she entered the treatment room. Although it may seem like a small thing, it’s something that always puts me at ease before a treatment. Granted, I’m a self-confessed germaphobe, but I don’t think I’m alone in thinking it should be a standard practice in every spa. When I was in China last year, I had a therapist actually make a point of telling me that she was going to first wash her hands before commencing the treatment. I found it comforting to know. I’m also a fan of therapists washing their hands after touching the feet and always before touching the face. I’m sure I’m not alone in worrying that the products used during my body treatment may not be suitable for a facial massage. If they are, that’s great, but it would be nice to have that info communicated at some point. While it should go without saying that hand washing should be a given, making it part of the pre-treatment ritual can also put clients, like myself, in an even more relaxed state.
Last week, I headed south to visit Primland resort (Meadows of Dan, VA), set upon 21,000 acres in the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While the spa was my primary reason for visiting, the resort’s numerous outdoor activities proved just as enticing. Donning my favorite ExOfficio gear, I was dressed for adventure, which is exactly what I got with an unforgettable ATV trail ride and a walk in the woods along the original Appalachian Trail. I also took aim at some sporting clays, surprising even myself when I proved to be a rather decent shot. When I finally retired to the spa after the day’s exploits, I found a menu of tempting treatments that offered up another adventure all their own.
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.
This past weekend, I passed through Buenos Aires on my way home from an epic trip to Antarctica. While there, I had an opportunity to spend a night at the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Buenos Aires and experience an Aromasoul Renewal ($150, 50 minutes) at Ahin Wellness & Spa. The menu paints an enticing picture of the treatment by describing the hands of the therapist as “dancing like the waves.” After several days of tossing and turning on the Chilean icebreaker the Antarctic Dream while crossing the Drake Passage, I was a bit leery of any sort of wave action. However, the Comfort Zone massage soon lulled me into a state of total relaxation. It was the perfect antidote to 10 days at sea.
Like most New Yorkers, I’m not a giant fan of Times Square. In fact, I tend to avoid it at all costs. But, with the recent opening of The Chatwal New York, which is located smack dab in the middle of this bustling neighborhood, I discovered that I may have to change my opinion. The hotel is located in the former home of was The Lambs Club, a turn-of-the-century haven for stars like Fred Astaire, John Barrymore, Irving Berlin, Charlie Chaplin, and John Wayne. The new version pays homage to its storied theater history with a very cool Art Deco design, an inviting bar that serves vintage drinks, and an amazing restaurant, called The Lambs Club, that features photos of the original members, a giant roaring fireplace, and a divine menu. Even more exciting? The new Chatwal Spa by Kashwére. I recently met spa director April Greenwood at the hotel for lunch and got a chance to experience this inviting and intimate spa. Located in the hotel’s cellar level, it’s a haven from the madness of Times Square and features wonderful treatment rooms and services, hot and cold saltwater plunge pools, a saltwater lap pool, and a gorgeous relaxation area that includes back-lit art installations that make you feel like you’re in the midst of a forest. All in all, it’s a perfect escape from the urban jungle.
Be sure to check out our March issue, where we’ll be highlighting this cool new spa. And if you are coming to IECSC New York, which takes place March 6 to 8 at the Javits Center, be sure to schedule some time for a treatment. I guarantee, you won’t be disappointed.
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.
As the thermostat dips to precarious temperatures in New York City, I find myself longing to return to the new Tempo Miami, A RockResort. The weekend before last, I spent a couple of days in the stylish and hip hotel located in downtown Miami. It was the perfect home base from which to explore all that Miami has to offer. That particular weekend, there was plenty to see and do with Art Basel, the popular contemporary art exhibition, taking place. In addition, Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza could be found right across the street. Add in some former American Spa colleagues who just happened to be in town with a Camaro convertible and it had all the makings of an ideal getaway. Of course, the real treat for this spa editor was indulging in an 80-minute Swedish massage at the 8,000-square-foot RockResorts Spa. It was just what my body craved after pounding the pavement on a much-needed run. Next time, however, I’m opting for one of the spa’s signature treatments, all of which tie into the hotel’s name and are designed to reflect both the pace and tone of various musical movements. I was especially intrigued by the Sonata (4 hours 30 minutes), which involves a 50-minute Swedish Massage, a 50-minute Lime and Ginger Salt Scrub, and a specially designed Fennel Body Mask. As I prepare to bundle up before heading out and facing the brutal cold, I’m reminded that there is a warmer retreat tempting me with its siren’s song.
We’re slightly obsessed with lashes here at American Spa. You name the lash extension, conditioner, treatment, and trend, and you can pretty much guarantee one of us has tried it. So when I received an invitation to receive a LashDip treatment, an in-spa semi-permanent lash cosmetic service, I was excited to sign up. The session, which was performed for me by charming company co-founder Jessica Harley, is basically a glorious enhancement of your regular lashes that provides the look of perfectly applied mascara. It is waterproof, creates a lasting lash lift and curve, sculpts lashes, separates lashes, increases lash volume, and extends the length of lashes. Best off, it is completely durable and waterproof (which means no unsightly smearing or running), and it lasts up to six weeks. And when the application was finished, my eyes weren’t even a little bit irritated, which is amazing because I have sensitive eyes that tend to stay red for three days following a lash extension service. Today, I arrived at the office sporting my fabulous new lashes, and I’m the envy of all the other editors. Plus, I arrived early, because my makeup application time was cut in half—no need to curl my lashes and apply several coats of mascara to achieve my desired look. In fact, the color is so black, I really don’t need to wear much makeup at all. Rest assured, I’ll be happily batting my lashes for the next six week and sharing my love of this amazing new service.
Last year, I was lucky enough to visit the new Auriga Spa at Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It was created under the guidance of acclaimed spa consultant Sylvia Sepielli, who I think is a genius when it comes to creating memorable spas. One of the coolest aspects of the Auriga brand is that the treatments are based on the cycles of the moon. The concept is so popular that it has expanded into locations around the world, most recently at The Setai Fifth Avenue, which is managed by Capella, as well. Anxious to check out the latest outpost of this new location, I headed there this weekend for a little refresher before a holiday party. Also created with the help of Sepielli, the spa taps into the phases of the moon using products from the divine organic line, The Organic Pharmacy. I tested out the heavenly Rose Crystal Lymphatic Facial, which includes a deep cleaning and exfoliation, a mask, and massages, and also incorporates healing rose crystal. Next, I headed to the adjoining Julien Farel Salon, where I was greeted by Farel himself and enjoyed a soothing manicure and pedicure and a hair styling. At the end of the day, I was relaxed, primped, and ready to enjoy a night out on the town, where I was sure to spread the word about this wonderful new Manhattan oasis. Indeed, I was moonstruck by the spa, salon, and this hip new hotel. Be sure to check it out during your next visit to the Big Apple.
Last week, the American Spa crew took a road trip to D.C. for the annual ISPA Conference. There, we caught up with old friends; made some new ones; discovered interesting new products; attended various industry parties, including bashes by Clarisonic, Éminence Organic Skin Care, and Universal Companies; and bonded with a group run through the streets of Old Town Alexandria. Best of all was the opportunity to spend time with our fellow American Spa teammates who are scattered throughout the country and beyond. As we parted ways, it was with a renewed sense of purpose to continue giving our best to bring you a must-read spa publication that reflects the people and places that make this industry truly special.