Archive for 2009

Six Luxury Swiss Spas From Around the Country

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

The six Swedish spas listed below are some of the nicest in the country according to Condé Nast Traveler Magazine. So if you’re traveling to Switzerland make a spa detour to one of these luxurious spas. Click on images for a larger version.

– Dodler Grand, Zurich – thedoldergrand.com– This spa is located in a castle in Zurich and features luxurious and modern interiors. The spa is broken down into two separate spas: a Ladies’ and a Gentleman’s’ spa. Each area offers a sauna, steam bath, kotatsu footbath, aroma pool, steampots, cold water basin and solarium. You will also find glass pebble filled baths in the swimming pool and the suna-buros for an added touch.

Dodler Grand Hotel, Zurich

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Cruise Ships with Luxury Spas

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

One thing I take a long hard look at when I’m choosing a cruise line for a vacation is the quality of the spa on the Cruise Ship. I look at what features and amenities the spas offer and over all what spa will fit me best and make me the most comfortable.

If you take my approach and really look over a spa before you choose your cruise line, keep in mind that even with an “All Inclusive” package, often the spas are not included and cost extra, so you should find out if any packages include spa treatments when you are trying to book your trip.

Here is a short list of the top Cruise Line Spas, the treatments they offer and other details you should know about each spa. You can click on any image for a larger version. All photo’s are provided by the cruise lines.

Carnival Cruise Lines– The Carnival Spas feature a health club with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a jogging track, and aerobics classes. They also feature a European-style spa and salon with a steam room and sauna. Some of the services offered include a variety of beauty treatments; specialized for men and women, including facials, acupuncture, massages, tooth whitening, detox wraps and slimming treatments, manicures, pedicures and hairstyling.  The new Carnival Splendor cruise ship, however, has a Cloud 9 SpaOne, which is one of the largest spas afloat with its 40,000 square foot, two-deck spa.

thalasso-pool-smCarnival Splendor’s Cloud 9 SpaOne Waterfall Pool

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Spa Industry Booming Despite Recession

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

DESPITE the recession, the spa and wellness sector is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth.

A boom in the development of hotel and inner city spas and salons across major cities, from Dubai to New York and London, has brought with it a renewed demand for skilled spa professionals, from therapists and beauticians up to spa managers, operators and developers.

With this demand for skills, comes great opportunities for those looking for a challenging new career… Excerpt taken from PressandJournal.co.uk.

Read more here.

Spa Week NYC 2009 Recap

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Spa Week was just held in New York City this past week (October 12-18) and was a great success. Many came out to treat themselves, or to get a break from the cold and damp weather that New York was receiving and others came out just to try something new.

If you didn’t make an appointment early, then you most likely missed out because everything was booked up weeks in advanced. The good news is that many of spas that were included in Spa Week, and even spas that were not in NYC are now extending the Spa Week $50 offers. If you still are looking to take advantage of these $50 deals then you should call one of the participating spas and you may be able to get the Spa Week deal. One such spa is the Crystal Resort & Spa in Thompsonville Michigan, where they have made all of their treatments $50. The Spa at Westwood in Westwood New Jersey has also extended the $50 deal to all massages and facials and if you’re in the Boston area you can visit the Adara Spa for $50 deals until the end of the month.

Some Spa Week highlights that were mentioned on Twitter include great treatments at a great price by Tribeca Beauty Spa and Haven, successful facials by The Red Door spa. Some people were wishing that every city in the country had a Spa Week while others were trying out new new treatments like eyelash extensions were tested out or going to the Hotel ZaZa for treatments with their girlfriends. Not all the talk was 100% positive as one reviewer tweeted that they had a nice facial but have had better in the past.

All in all it seems to have been a great Spa Week, as many enjoyed excellent treatments at great prices. We’ll be looking forward to the next Spa Week event!

How to Have a Home Spa Party!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

girls in saunaThere are plenty of reasons to have a Home Spa Party, whether it is a birthday party, bachelorette party, bridal shower or even just a great “Girls Night”.  Here are some easy tips to make sure your spa party is off the “robe” hook:

1. Invite The Right People – One sure way to have a good home spa party is to invite the right people. If you’re inviting all your caddy girlfriends, then don’t invite your grumpy old man neighbor because he might just show up. Also, remember not to invite two people that might end up in a hair pulling confrontation (although the men might like to dream about it). The best way to get the people you want to come to your spa party is to send out invitations. Everyone likes a nice, quality invitation… especially to a spa party! You can even attach little soaps or candles to the invitations if you plan on hand delivering them or if you don’t mind spending a few bucks on shipping.

2. Set Up Well Before Hand – There’s nothing worse for you or your guests to have waited to the last minute to get your home spa ready for your party. It is very uncomfortable for both the host and the hostesses to be subject to a mad dash to throw everything together while people wait, or feel obligated to help.

3. Have Door Prizes – Nothing gives a good first impression like free stuff the minute your guests walk through the door. Even if these prizes are as simple as bath salts or aromatherapy essential oils, your guests will appreciate the thought and the time it took you to go to the trouble to get something nice for them.

4. Decorate for Comfort – Make sure you’ve got the decor to please your guests. Now would be a great time to break out a dozen or so of your favorite candles, and you should also set up a few, small intimate seating areas around tables with hand creams, nail polishes and other mani and pedi tools to use while your guests relax and enjoy your hospitality.

5. Provide Spa Food – Don’t forget to surround your guests with plenty of refreshments including bottles of water (which you could print your own labels for), smoothies, small plates of chocolates and candy, fresh fruit and vegetables with delicious dips, or even some caviar or shrimp cocktail on ice if you want to make your cuisine as luxurious as a top resort spa.

6. Spa Music – You should have some soothing natural sounds or new age music playing in the background. If you need help choosing the right music we have an in depth post about spa music with plenty of top sellers here: http://talkspas.com/2009/07/07/music-for-the-spa/

7. Spa Treatments & Activities – Even though keeping company with a close group of friends will often be enough entertainment for a spa party, it never hurts to have professional treatments! You can hire an esthetician, nail technician or masseuse to come to your spa party. Other fun activities could include spa games such as spa trivia, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, or 80’s name that tune.

8. Kid Control – If you have children, or your guests want to bring their children, then make sure you have a kid friendly area set up away from your spa party. Provide the kids with fun activities that will keep them occupied, and make sure an older kid can supervise or else you should hire a sitter. Nothing will ruin a good spa party quicker then kids!  I have children and love them very much, just not at my spa party ;-)

9. Adult Drinks – It’s entirely up to you whether or not you’re going to provide alcohol, but if you do make sure your guest also have plenty of water. Some spa-friendly drinks include alcoholic smoothies, pina coladas, cosmos and pink daiquiris. We’ve compiled a list of spa cocktail recipes that are perfect for your next spa party: Spa Drinks

10. Don’t Forget About Yourself – Even the host has to take a load off and enjoy her own spa party. Make sure to have some food, chat and just have a good time. Some people need to be reminded to take care of themselves, so consider yourself reminded!

When your spa party is over, the fun doesn’t have to end. Put on a chick flick or get a game of cards going if you want to continue to have fun with your guests after the spa portion of your part has ended.

Spa Cocktail Recipes

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

spa-drinksFor many, a nice glass of wine or champagne is the perfect drink for the spa, but if you’re feeling more adventurous, or if you’re having a spa party, then here are some delicious recipes we have collected that are all perfect for “spa” cocktails:

Rainbow Brew

Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz Vodka
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Coconut Rum
2 splashes Peach Schnapps
4 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice

Pour ingredients slowly into a hurricane glass in the above order.

That Cosmo Girl

Ingredients:
1.5 Oz citron or raspberry vodka
.5 Oz fresh lime juice
.5 Oz Triple Sec
1 Oz cranberry juice

Chill a 6-ounce cocktail glass. Fill a cocktail shaker with the ice and add the citron or raspberry vodka, lime juice, Triple Sec, and cranberry juice. Shake vigorously to blend and chill. Strain the mixture into the chilled glass.

Pink Daiquiri

Recipe from www.epicurious.com

Ingredients:
9 Oz white rum
6 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1.5 Tsp grenadine
4.5 Tsp superfine granulated sugar

Stir together all ingredients in a pitcher until sugar is dissolved, then add about 2 cups ice cubes and stir until very cold. Pour daiquiris through a sieve into Martini glasses.

Chocolate Martini

Recipe from www.drinksmixer.com

Ingredients:
1.5 shots Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1.5 shots Creme de cacao
.5 shot vodka
2.5 shots half and half

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Strawberry Pina Colada

Perfect for the Spa! Recipe from www.drinksmixer.com

Ingredients:
1 1/4 oz white rum
1 oz strawberry liqueur
1 oz strawberry puree
1 1/3 oz coconut cream
3 oz pineapple juice
1 tsp whipping cream

Blend briefly with a glassful of crushed ice in a pina colada glass. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry, add straws, and serve.

Diamond Fizz

Ingredients:
1 oz gin
1 tsp lemon juice
sprinkle of powdered sugar
3 oz of chilled champagne

Shake the gin, lemon juice and powdered sugar over ice and strain into an ice filled highball glass.  Top off the glasses with the champagne.  For an extra kick, drop in a couple of frozen raspberries and serve.

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.”

lounge

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.

food

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.”

gym

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.

pool

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.


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