Archive for October, 2009

5 Amazing Destination Spas in the U.S.

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Planning a trip this fall or winter? If so, you might want to look at the below list of destination spas and resorts to add to your vacationing plans. Here are just a few of our favorite luxury spas in the United States:

Spa Chakra

Spa Chakra

Formerly known as Cornelia Day Resort, the Spa Chakra on Fifth is located on the prestigious Fifth Avenue in New York City. This spa features 60 therapeutic treatments for the face and body at one of Manhattan’s finest hair salons. The spa’s design, decor and surroundings are magnificent and the treatments are amazing. They use products from the June Jacobs Collection which are all natural, while being paraben and preservative free. If you are looking for the best of the best when it comes to Age Defying Enhanced Facials, this is the place to get the best treatment that will leave you looking flawless and just ecstatic about the results from your treatment.

Eleven Spa

Eleven Spa

If you’re looking for more of a glitzy and glamorous spa then you HAVE to take a trip to the Eleven Spa in Las Vegas. As one of the top spas in Vegas, the unique design of the spa alone is worth going for. Like everything in Vegas, this luxury spa is big, boasting 20,000 square feet and located on the Vegas strip in the 1.5 million square foot lifestyle center known as the Town Square. The spa has amazing features such as a fantasy pool area with crystal chandeliers that drip into the water, twenty-eight treatment rooms, six makeup stations, a signature brow bar and more. This is definitely a spa experience you will never forget.

Element Spa

Element Spa

The Elements Spa in Vernon, New Jersey was rated the #1 spa in New Jersey and was among the top 30 spas in the US. This luxury spa is a very special Shangri la, where the healing powers of the earth have been incorporated into breathtaking design and rejuvenating services. The interior of Elements Spa brings the beauty of the outdoors in, with hand-painted earthscape walls sparkling with bits of mica, textured stone surfaces, illuminated rice paper artwork, hammered copper fixtures, natural fabrics and truly unique rainwalls, dripping with thousands of silver beads.  The spa offers special golfer-friendly massages and pedicures. The signature treatment is the “Elemental Journey,” a salt scrub followed by a lounge in a soaking tub with its own little waterfall which is big enough for two. The spa has all the amenities of a large resort, including a nearby fitness center and seven heated indoor and outdoor regular pools. The spa also offers consultations with plastic surgeons upon request.

Canyon Ranch Spa

Canyon Ranch Spa

The Canyon Ranch Spa in Las Vegas is another must visit spa. We love this spa and wrote about it earlier this year (Canyon Ranch Spa). There are two Canyon Ranch spas in Vegas, one at the Venetian and one at The Palazzo. The luxury of this calming retreat incorporates the philosophy of a premier health vacation resort with their rejuvenating facials, soothing body treatments, relaxing massages, energizing fitness classes and expert salon finishing touches.

Mayflower Spa

Mayflower Spa

The Mayflower Inn & Spa is located in Washington, Connecticut, only two hours from New York, and is perfect for those who prefer a cozy, traditional, New Englander feel to their spa.  Here you can choose several ways to access an experience that provides the finest in nourishing, energizing, purifying and restorative treatments as well as soul-enhancing rituals and a vast array of classes. Outside the hotel and spa the gardens and surrounding areas provide a beautiful setting, the perfect environment to enjoy a relaxing stroll or just some peace and quiet. Their large list of treatments includes facials, eye and lip treatments, Soul-Enhancing Rituals such as a Thermal Sanctuary Experience, Scrubs – Rubs and Soaks, Massages, Activities, Mind and Spirit treatments and more.

More Benefits of Steam Therapy

Monday, October 12th, 2009

steam-therapyThe Ultimate Cleanse: Nothing releases toxins from the body with the same precision as the steam bath. The soothing warmth opens the pores, which lifts out the impurities of everyday living. Soft, supple and healthy skin minus the use of harsh chemicals is the conclusion.

Promoting Good Health: Home steam baths are great for promoting good health. Allergy sufferers often turn to daily steam therapy as steam inhalation supports the respiratory system and may help sufferers to alleviate their sinus afflictions.

Muscle Relaxation: Steam baths generate heat, which in turn helps aching muscles to relax; widening the blood vessels, allowing more oxygen to flow through them and in turn releasing tension. Many users feel that the heat generated by steam causes the whole body to slip into a state of inner sanctum rendering steam baths perfect for those who suffer from arthritis or consistent muscle pain.

Dream: Steam bathing is known to help promote a better night’s sleep resulting in a more revitalized you.

Content and image provided by ThermaSol Steam Showers

“The Biggest Loser” Opens Spa

Friday, October 9th, 2009

The television show “The Biggest Loser” backed by its franchise (NBC Studios) has opened their own resort and spa. The Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge is a fitness spa in southern Utah that has partnered with the NBC franchise to provide services that promote weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. Guests can pay up to $2,000 a week to experience what the contestants go through on “The Biggest Loser.”


The guests are kept on a strict 1,200 calorie diet, and have to start their day at 6 a.m. and go to bed at 10 p.m.. Their days are filled with a number of activities and lesson plans such as: hiking, cooking, fitness and nutritional classes, and of course working out.


The resort and spa has a one week minimum stay, and is filled with plenty of tough trainers, (although the television show trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels will not be there). When Bob and Jillian were asked by the L.A. Times if “The Biggest Loser” experience could be reproduced at the resort and spa without them, Jillian motioned in Bob’s direction and said, “We are ‘The Biggest Loser’ experience.”


The services at The Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge include various types of massage. The massages include Swedish, Deep Tissue, Reflexology, Reflexology Rocks!, Hot Stone, Body Polish, Shiatsu, Lomi Lomi, and LaStone Hot & Cold Stone Massage. The spa also has a salon that offers manicures, pedicures, waxing and more. Other spa treatments include facials and acupuncture. Take a Virtual Tour of the facilities by clicking this link.


biggest-loser-gameFor those of us that are a little shy of the $2,000 per week fee to go to the new resort and spa, “The Biggest Loser” Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS fitness games are available for purchase.  The games feature workouts, cookbooks and much more. The games prompt you to choose a 4, 8 or 12 week program and the game will build a workout and nutrition plan for you based on your fitness goals. The game also features Bob and Jillian who can motivate and help you along the way.

Meditation On The Go

Thursday, October 8th, 2009
Urban Meditation

Urban Meditation

Just as exercise is good for the body, and laughter is good for the soul, to achieve a total balance of self, the mind needs something to chew on as well. And while I usually turn to my TiVo for the latest episode of Project Runway to give me my mental fix, I’ve come to realize that perhaps I need a little less reality television and a little more reality to give my brain the calmness it so desperately needs.

Now, I don’t know about you, but between my work life, home life, gym life, and social life (and, of course, Project Runway), there’s not a whole lot of time left to attend to my mental needs. And while a stay in the sauna or a massage never fails to bring my brain some inner peace, I needed to find another outlet – even when I wasn’t spa-bound – to soothe my mind. Meditation on-the-go, here I go!

Meditation is one of the world’s oldest spiritual practices – a proven source of mental and physical healing – and one that usually evokes images of cross-legged people sitting in incense-filled rooms, wearing leotards, and uttering “Ohmm”s to their hearts’ content. Not-so-much-anymore. While many who practice meditation do prefer a quiet, contemplative spot rife with sandalwood, meditation really has less to do with where you are than how you are. And achieving the how can be done even in the midst of a busy life. Are you ready to medi? Let’s do it!

Start off by identifying an activity in your life that brings you inner peace – when you feel calm, serene, unstressed. It could be mile five of your daily treadmill jaunt. Or while brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Are you the designated 10 p.m. dogwalker in your house? Otherwise known as “perfect time to meditate on-the-go”?

Once you’ve nailed down when you can meditate, here are some ways to achieve the how. Meditation revolves around a clearing of the mind and the senses, of finding balance in your thoughts (good and bad), and discovering a sense of peace. Repeating a mantra can help you concentrate your energy – even using something as simple as “I am” can keep you focused and get you in the right mood. Physicality is extremely important in meditation. Sitting is far from necessary, but whatever your position, try to be as attuned as possible to your posture. Walking or standing straight will increase your physical and mental balance. And don’t forget to breathe –deeply!

(Figured I’d give you a second to regain your mental self after your first meditation-on-the-go experience. Intense, I know.)

Meditation can be an amazing addition to your life – in the spa, or out. Try different techniques, times, and places, and see what works best for you. And best of all – when you meditate on-the-go, there’s still time for Project Runway.

Creating an Eco-Friendly Home Spa

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

There are a number of things one can do when remodeling their bath to not only make it more luxurious and spa-like, but to also make the entire process more sustainable and friendly for the environment. Here are some tips that you can use if you are considering a partial or full renovation of your master bath.

  • stone-flooringSustainable Flooring – Let’s start from the ground up! There are all kinds of sustainable flooring options on the market today, everything from sustainable linoleum to bamboo. Bamboo, although not a conventional choice for a bathroom or spa, is a great material to use as it brings a sense of Zen to your space and is also very sustainable. Bamboo grows so fast compared to any other woods, so if you are shopping for any wood products see if they too are offered in bamboo. Other sustainable flooring materials include:
    • Recycled Glass Tiles – They look great and are recycled
    • Linseed Oil Based Linoleum – Acts as a natural antimicrobial flooring
    • Recycled Metal Tiles –  These will add a versatile and textural design element
    • Natural Stone Tiles – One of the best choices for home spas because of their durability and resistance to water. Natural stone tiles will also retain heat, which is an added plus.
  • Caroma ToiletSustainable Fixtures – Luckily, style does not need to suffer when you are picking out a sustainable bathroom sink faucet or shower head for your home spa. There are many to choose from, and you can get sustainable fixtures in many shapes in sizes.
    • Low Flow Shower Head – Pick from hundreds of high end brands of shower heads and hand showers with low flow (but still powerful) streams
    • Low Flow Sink Faucet – Another area where you can save water is with your bathroom sink. The future of your sink may even show us sinks that are piped into the toilet to reuse the greywater
    • Greywater & Low Flow Toilets – Sustainable brands of toilets have made great progress in the past five years or so and dual flush toilets are available nearly everywhere. Now you can get even get a luxury toilet with a greywater sink in the back where the water tank is.
  • Steam ShowerInstall A Steam Shower – Did you know that some steam showers only require a gallon of water for a 20 minute steam bath? The ThermaSol Pro Series Generator is one such steam shower, and was even chosen as the steam shower for the home spa of the Eco Smart home that is currently being built in Florida. (Eco Smart Home Article.)
  • Energy Efficient Lighting – Energy efficient lighting will reduce your electricity bills, while saving valuable natural resources. The most Sustainable Lighting usually relies on LED lighting, but if you don’t want to remove your lighting fixtures you can also purchase CFL lightbulbs (consumer compact fluorescent).
  • Sustainable Wall Treatments – These materials are virtually the same as the flooring, except with your walls you probably wouldn’t use lanolium, and you may also want to just paint. FRESHAIRE is a line of sustainable paints that also promote a healthy life with zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds) being released into the air, providing you with better air quality. You can also use these paints for your vanities or other wood spa decor.
  • Shower curtain – Vinyl shower curtains can also contain VOCs and release them into your indoor air. For a healthy alternative, choose a shower curtain made from hemp, which is not only more healthy, but also sustainable, fungus resistant, and easily washable.
  • Essential OilsBathing Soaps and Products  – Personal bathing products should contain certified organic ingredients. This is particularly critical for all products containing essential oils, as some methods of extraction can include toxic solvents. Not all natural products are created equal and some that are not certified organic can still contain synthetic ingredients, as well as extractions from plants that are heavily contaminated with bacteria, pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
    • Certified Organic Soaps- They smell excellent and are good for you and the environment
    • Certified Organic Bath Gels – Don’t give up soaking in a bubble bath, just find a sustainable bubble bath or bathing gel to enjoy
    • Certified Organic Shampoo – There are many different kinds for all different types of hair, so try a few and find one you like. Organic baby shampoo is also much preferred.
    • Certified Organic Essential Oils – If it’s not a certified organic essential oil then it could potentially harm you. Make sure you don’t sacrifice your health for price.

Spa Week Starts Next Week!

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
Spa Week

Spa Week

Get ready once again for Spa Week! This is the second installment of Spa Week for 2009 and is being held in New York from October 12 to the 18th. The founder of Spa Week, Cheryl Reid, created this special event as a way for New Yorkers to get a bit of quiet relaxation in the frantic world of NYC. Travelers and New Yorkers alike come to unwind, while experiencing the relaxing spa lifestyle at for an affordable price of $50 per service (when normally these treatments would cost $100-$200).

Spas in the New York metro area including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island are participating. Some spas participating include: Jurlique, Clarins Skin Spa, and Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at the Plaza. Various services offered include: body wraps, massage, facials, pedicures, and laser hair removal at $50 dollars each. Want to test a new treatment, or are you long overdue for your treatment? You can get a great deal on everything spa related during Spa Week. The first day to book appointments was September 11th, and waiting lists are already filling up so make sure to book ahead. For a full article on how to get around Spa Week, take a look at our “Spa Week Splurge” entry here:

Click Here for Tips for Spa Week

Adding a Steam Shower to Your Home Spa

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

One of the best things to incorporate into your home spa is a steam shower. A steam shower will allow you to steam away your stress and anxiety.  Even though the Home Spa has become increasingly luxurious and exclusive, they don’t always have to be. Even back in Roman times, people relied on steam baths as a way to relax, unwind and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now, nearly everyone can have their own steam shower added to their home spa as they are becoming much more affordable. One such steam shower is the SteamSuite Series by Thermasol. (Visit the SteamSuite website at or ThermaSol at

Steam showers have always been the must have amenity of the luxury bathroom and price points have kept many homeowners from incorporating a steam element into their own shower, despite their track record of promoting wellness, relaxation, rejuvenation and removing toxins from the body.  Now you can purchase a ThermaSol SteamSuite Basic Package for as little as $894. These new and affordable steam shower systems will surely appeal to homeowners who are looking to improve their master bath or home spa.

To install a steam shower system all you have to do is put your generator somewhere, whether it be under the vanity, in a closet, or even in the basement; then run your lines to the shower where you will install the steam shower controls and steam head. Here is a basic diagram that shows the basics of the installation. (More installation information here: Installing a Steam Shower).


A steam shower is very easy to use and only requires you push a simple button to activate the steam. Once you push the steam shower button you will have steam in seconds, and there are even additional features and products you can get for your steam shower such as a music and light chromatherapy system or aromatherapy scents designed specifically for your steam shower head.  It’s no wonder why steam showers are becoming so popular in the home bathroom.

Spa Basics – How to get the most from your Spa Experience

Monday, October 5th, 2009

In today’s hustle and bustle world some people feel the need to rush through their spa treatment. Unfortunately, this happens at all types of spas from the home spa to the day spa to the spa at your gym. Here are a few basic tips that will help you to enjoy your next spa treatment to the fullest:

  1. Make an appointment – If you are going to a day spa or resort, you should book your appointment in advance to avoid unnecessary stress. If you don’t book ahead of time, you might end up waiting hours for an appointment to open up or end up wasting your time because the appointment book is full. In addition, make sure you know where you’re going if you’re visiting a new spa. You don’t  want to miss your appointment because you got lost on your way there. If you are planning on giving yourself a treatment at home, the same can be said. Make sure that you have blocked out a good amount of time to fully enjoy yourself.
  2. Relax – It sounds like common sense, but with all the stress in the world – people can still be tense and anxious when they really should be relaxing. One relaxation technique I personally do is to close my eyes and begin relaxing every muscle in my body, starting at my toes and going all the way up to the top of my head. You can use this technique at any spa.
  3. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind – I recently went for a Thai massage and almost ruined my own experience because I was too shy to ask the masseuse to be gentler or even to avoid my knees all together. When the masseuse was pulling my legs while sitting on my knees I was experiencing a very uncomfortable pain, but didn’t speak up. If I had spoken up the experience would have been a 100% better, but because I didn’t ask the masseuse beforehand, or during the massage to avoid my knees, a portion of the massage was unpleasant. Don’t be afraid to tell the one providing your services what you like or dislike, just do so in a respectful and kind manner.
  4. Drink water – Make sure to drink water before, during and after your spa treatments. Drinking water is especially important when getting a massage, using a steam room or getting a facial. If your spa doesn’t provide water, then bring your own as you will have a much better and healthier experience.
  5. Ask questions – If you are unfamiliar with something or have a question about a treatment just ask. This will help you with tip #3 by speaking up if something makes you uncomfortable or if there’s another technique you would prefer.

Spa Raising Money For The Homeless

Friday, October 2nd, 2009


As part of the “Hearts at Home” Charity Event, the Blu Water Day Spa in Kensington, Maryland, will be donating all of the proceeds that they make on November 15, 2009 to the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH). The MCCH will also be collecting food items for the homeless the week of November 9-15, 2009. In addition to the food drive, the MCCH has put together a wish list which can be viewed at: MCCH Wish List Donation Drive. If you donate an item your name will be entered in a raffle for spa products, gifts, services etc. Services may be booked online at For more information regarding Blu Water Day Spa, please visit or call 301-984-6245.

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