Archive for May, 2011

Spa Fit for a Sultaness: The Blue Spa

Friday, May 27th, 2011

In Talkspas’ “Spa Fit for a Sultaness” series, we profile the most luxurious and lavish spas in the world.


The Blue Spa at Carlisle Bay Resort, Antigua

Nestled between three stunning volcanoes in the picturesque West Indies, and what amounts to nothing short of an adventure traveler’s fantasy island, Antigua is a paradise on earth that is not to be missed. The island’s The Blue Spa at Carlisle Bay Resort, located on the stunning and bountiful south coast, is the ultimate spa retreat to kick back, relax and allow all of your stresses and tensions to melt away.

Set against the backdrop of rolling hills, tropical gardens, lush rainforest and the islands most ravishing beaches, The Blue Spa is an oasis of health and well being that makes a powerful and long lasting impact on all who partake in its healing pleasures. Need proof? Just ask Prince William and his new wife, Kate Middleton; or Paul McCartney and fiancée Nancy Shevell; or even Italian soccer goalie Gigi Buffon and his lover, Alena Seredova. All have partaken in the pleasures offered by this smart, conscientious and design-forward resort, which boasts spacious and contemporary suites decked out in white colonial style furniture, luxurious silk curtains by Jim Thompson and linen bedding by Frette. Of course, it’s The Blue Spa itself that is the true stand out here with six luxurious treatment rooms including a wet treatment and couple’s treatment rooms, a leading edge gymnasium with certified personal trainers, and a sauna, plunge pool, hair salon, and yoga and pilates classes. A plethora of spa treatments that address a number of areas of the body are on offer including the Luminous C+C antioxidant facial that nourishes the skin with vitamin C and fights the effects of aging; the Citrus Drench body treatment that hydrates with honey, shea butter and a generous dollop of orange extract; the Lomi Juma massage ritual that offers a dynamic fusion of healing traditions from the Pacific and Mediterranean; and the classic manicure that is, well, simply classic. All beauty products utilized by The Blue Spa are natural and locally sourced for maximum nutrient composition and sustainability. Additionally, the Carlisle Resort features two restaurants with healthy, deliciously prepared cuisine that goes hand in hand with the spa lifestyle.


In a world where the fast pace of life often leaves little room for considerations as basic and necessary as personal health and well being, The Blue Spa is an inviting oasis in the sea that promises to change the way you look and feel about yourself, and in turn, the way you view the world around you.


Seal Team Six: You Deserve a Spa Treatment

Thursday, May 26th, 2011


We’re not quite sure what’s more impressive; the fact that the U.S. Navy’s Seal Team Six – an elite commando unit so secretive that the White House won’t even directly acknowledge their existence – was able to take down the notorious and deadly Osama bin Laden in one fell swoop, or the fact that it was just another day on the job for them.

Either way, we’re sure of one thing: the members of this heroic unit deserve a day at the spa. Much has been made of the prowess of the Navy Seals, the highest standards they impose on those who wish to join, their regimented and grueling training and of course, “hell week” – the ultimate test of mental and physical toughness in which recruits are afforded only four hours of sleep over the course of five and a half days of nonstop running, swimming, crawling and other feats of fortitude. Seal Team Six is the best of the best within the Navy Seals and that is why they were tasked with the job of putting an end to bin Laden. Now, this crack team deserves some R&R and who better to make some spa-rific suggestions than the crack editorial team at Talkspas?

Seal Team Six is based out of the Dam Neck Annex of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, and there’s no shortage of fantastic spas in the area. The Spa Phoenix in Virginia Beach at Hilltop is a bastion of relaxation and personal pampering in the setting of a classic spa environment. There’s no doubt that the Seals could benefit for Phoenix’s plethora of spa offerings, especially the King Neptune’s Retreat, which is specifically designed for men. At $265, the package features the spa’s signature Massage, Men’s Facial, Men’s Manicure, Phoenix Pedicure and a gourmet lunch. Another option is The Beach Spa Bed & Breakfast, also in Virginia Beach, which features a range of massages including Swedish, sports, hot stone and Reiki – that latter of which utilizes healing energy to bring balance on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.

Seal Team Six is an extraordinary group of soldiers that put their lives on the line time and again. They deserve the best spa therapies around to keep them in tip-top condition for a lifetime.

Spa Romance: Penn Wines & Dines ScarJo at Famed Ojai Spa

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California

Hollywood hellraiser Sean Penn – notable for punching out camera men, maintaining a sustained presence in Haiti with his relief organization J/P HRO, and winning an Oscar for his Best Actor turn in Milk – recently decided to give himself a break and visit the historic Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California.

Accompanying Penn was none other than starlet Scarlett Johansson, Penn’s latest romantic conquest, post-divorce from actress Robin Wright of The Princess Bride and Forrest Gump fame. Penn and ScarJo recently went public with their romance at Reese Witherspoon’s opulent wedding and decided to further see and be seen at Jimmy’s Bar within the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Overdressed for the casual restaurant and watering hole, all eyes were on the high star-wattage couple as they sipped gin and tonics and dined on brick oven pizzas and club sandwiches. One onlooker said, “Scarlett looked mortified that everyone was staring at her. But she also looked radiant and rested.” Her radiant and rested look was no doubt a direct result of the spa and its numerous luxury treatments. For over 80 years, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has been a retreat for Hollywood types who want to enjoy its casual Spanish-colonial elegance and rejuvenate from the grind of the movie set. The spa features several signature treatments that can’t be found anywhere else. The Essence in Balance treatment starts in the spa’s Apothecary where you are encouraged to rely on the needs of your unconscious to blend your own oils that will soon be used in a customized, classic full body massage that will help restore balance to your present state. The Shangri-La Body Treatment utilizes local honey and lavender grown on the property in a full body buffing and deep heat wrap. The treatment also includes a warm oil scalp treatment and a finishing touch of lavender shea butter over the entire body. The spa is also notable for its Kuyam Experience, named for the Chumash Native American Indian word, which means “a place to rest together.” Through a combination of self-applied desert clays, dry heat, and inhalation therapy accompanied by traditional Chumash wisdom, the Kuyam Experience is like no other.


Spa Fit for a Sultaness: Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

In Talkspas’ “Spa Fit for a Sultaness” series, we profile the most luxurious and lavish spas in the world.


Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, South Africa

South Africa’s “Garden Route” – a verdant and ecologically diverse stretch off the southeastern coast of the country – is an incredible paradise that is not to be missed. Perhaps there is nothing that exemplifies the natural beauty of the region more than the Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa.

Situated in the bustling, cosmopolitan town of Knysna, yet hidden away in a vast garden setting occupying nearly 2500 acres, Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa strikes a perfect balance and harmony with nature. Here it’s possible to transport yourself to another world and deeply feel the heart and soul that Africa is known for. The colors, textures and warmth of the continent all converge at Pezula, providing guests an experience that is impossible to replicate anywhere else in the world. Pezula’s spa boasts intricate reeded ceilings, fantastic stone walls, rich dark woods, plush fabrics and subtle earthy tones that all converge to create an environment of total aesthetic harmony. The spa focuses on treatments that utilize natural elements from the bounty of the region; the results are body scrubs, wraps, massages, steam baths and a variety of other sensory experiences that detoxify your body, relax your muscles, dissolve stress and leave you in a state of total relaxation. Pezula’s spa also offers a state-of-the-art gym, heated indoor pool, steam shower, rainforest shower, sun bed, hair studio, nail bar and a cutting-edge media room. The resort features 83 exquisitely appointed luxury suites and a restaurant, Zachary’s, which offers world class gourmet dining with an international menu. Zachary’s has a superbly intimate environment that is perfect for sampling some of the region’s most palette pleasing, award-winning wines with a loved one.



For a quick spa fix or an extended getaway, Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa is a unique luxury offering that is sure to leave you feeling radiant and blissful.

Spa Trend: Airport Spas

Saturday, May 21st, 2011


In this fast-paced and hectic world in which we will live, who has the time and money to spend hours at the spa receiving an endless array of treatments? Very few people, that’s who. The latest spa trend of offering quick stop spa treatments in airports hopes to cash in on a group of individuals – business travelers – who rarely take the time out of their busy lives to get massages, facials and other wellness enhancing spa treatments.

These mini-sized or “sampler” treatments, found in spas located alongside the typical magazine stands and food kiosks of airport terminals throughout the world, are 15-30 minutes excursions into health, beauty and tension release. Unlike traditional day spas, airport spas are less on an appointment basis and more on a walk-in basis. Specially tailored to accommodate passengers who are waiting for flights and in a hurry, airport spa treatments may include a 15-minute massage as found at Chicago O’Hare Airport, an expedited pedicure or manicure available at New York’s JFK Airport, or even an essential oil oxygen treatment to boost the immune system, which can be found at London’s Heathrow Airport. Though it may rank lower on the ladder than work and other types of stresses, travel-related stresses are extremely common and cause numerous inconveniences for passengers; a little pre-flight pampering in the airport terminal can go a long way towards healthier and happier travels. Besides, in this day and age of excessive flight cancellations, endlessly long security lines and intrusive security pat downs, who couldn’t use a little stress reducing massage or other luxury pampering to take the edge off?

If you’re planning on trying an airport spa, it may be best to go with a reputable chain that has experience and a positive track record within the airport environment. XPressSpa prides itself on the fact that they are not just a regular spa that made the jump to airports, but rather one that has developed a spa and brand specifically for the needs of travelers within airports. Best of all, they have a network of airport spas that span the entire United States, and they even have a few kiosks within airports in the Netherlands.

Spa Fit for a Sultaness: Brenners Park Hotel & Spa

Monday, May 16th, 2011

In Talkspas’ “Spa Fit for a Sultaness” series, we profile the most luxurious and lavish spas in the world.

Brenners Park Hotel and Spa

Brenners Park Hotel & Spa

For centuries, Baden-Baden (literally translating to “Bath-Bath”), Germany has been the premier destination in Europe for spa enthusiasts. The ancient Romans knew of the wondrous, healing springs present within the town and the famed emperor, Caracalla, somewhat of a bath addict, made the journey there to soothe his arthritis. So it comes as no surprise that one of the premier modern spas in the entire world, Brenners Park Hotel & Spa, calls Baden-Baden home.

Brenners Park Hotel & Spa makes a strong point of letting its customers know that the words “problem” and “no” are not in their vocabulary. From the moment you arrive, the staff will go to the ends of the earth to make sure you are comfortable and have everything you want; this translates to a hotel and spa atmosphere that makes even the hotel’s most discerning international guest feel special. The spa at Brenners Park Hotel & Spa offers an array of luxury treatments including: The Phyto-aromatic Sisley facial, with Vapozone steaming and deep cleansing, which blends high-tech active ingredients based on natural plant extracts and essential essences combined with an intensive relaxation ritual; and the Niance® powder, including premium glacier eye deluxe, which calms stressed skin for a healthy glow and gives the eyes a sparkling, wide-awake look. Perhaps even more than such lavish treatments, it’s the amenities at Brenners Park Hotel & Spa that keep guests coming back. The Spa Suite is a private sanctuary with an Asian ambiance that includes a Japanese blossom bath, a Finnish sauna, a media room and a private balcony. The Saunarium Spa is a spa enthusiast’s dream, complete with steam shower, aromatic bath, whirlpool, plunge pool and hot foot bath.

Brenners Park Spa

Brenners Park Hotel & Spa

Situated in close proximity to the famous Baden-Baden Casino, the northern foothills of the Black Forest, and a plethora of castles, museums and other points of interest, Brenners Park Hotel & Spa is the ultimate weekend getaway, or extended vacation from the rigors of life.

Banyan Tree Spa

Monday, May 9th, 2011

In Talkspas’ “Spa Fit for a Sultaness” series, we profile the most luxurious and lavish spas in the world.

banyan tree spa

Banyan Tree Spa

There are opulent spas located throughout the world in the most exotic locales; and then there is Banyan Tree Spa. Situated in the Republic of Seychelles – an island country in the Indian Ocean about 1,000 miles east of Africa and spanning an archipelago of 115 islands – Banyan Tree Spa’s pristine tropical setting is unlike any other in the world.

Boasting a backdrop of majestic granite mountains and offering several luxury hillside pavilions nestled within a virgin jungle, Banyan Tree Spa affords its guests the luxury of experiencing nature at its best. The spa’s world-class therapists receive their training at the prestigious Banyan Tree Spa Academies in Indonesia, and are particularly known for their grace, attentiveness and devotion to client needs. The spa’s focus on the garden-setting concept is directly in line with its focus on Eastern therapies, holistic medicine and promotion of spiritual, mental and physical harmony. One treatment in particular at Banyan Tree Spa – the Royal Banyan – is popular with guests who seek the gentlest of touch and the deepest of relaxation. The Royal Banyan treatment utilizes an East-meets-West technique in which a therapist uses an herbal pouch dipped in warm sesame oil to iron out muscular tension and improve blood circulation. Another treatment known as the Rainmist is a steam bath experience where clients indulge in aromatherapy oil-scented mist; the Rainmist makes for an excellent prelude to additional tropical treatments.

Much like the sacred tree from which it derives its name, Banyan Tree Spa is a sacred place; a “low-tech, high-touch” sanctuary from the bustling, over-stimulated world. With an extraordinarily successful track record, Banyan Tree Spa has opened franchises in the Maldives, Bangkok, Shanghai and several other world-class locales. For the spa-enthusiast, a visit to one is mandatory.

Spa Trend: Salt Caves

Monday, May 2nd, 2011
Salt Cave

Salt Cave

For centuries, Eastern Europeans have been reaping the plethora of benefits derived from spending time in salt caves. These types of treatments, known as Speleotherapy (treatment in a natural salt cave) and Halotherapy (treatment in a man-made salt environment), have been known to facilitate significant improvements in individuals with certain types of illnesses.

From respiratory and circulatory conditions to skin ailments and stress, breathing in air saturated with the healthy minerals found in salt, such as iodine, magnesium, potassium and selenium, can alleviate health problems that can otherwise be difficult to cure. In many countries, like Israel, salt caves are gaining popularity and being built into the homes of families in order to provide regular therapy for children who suffer with asthma and other respiratory ailments. Salt caves have even been used to cure the unwanted symptoms of the common hangover. The salt cave phenomenon is on the verge of significantly taking off in the United States as well; currently several east and west coast cities have salt caves. The Salt Chalet, located in Encino, California in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, offers salt-related therapies as “a healthy, natural and safe alternative to steroids, drugs and other invasive medicines.” One treatment session at Salt Chalet lasts 45 minutes, and depending on the extent of the condition, 10-15 sessions are recommended.

As we are increasingly exposed to the pollutants in the air we breath, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the shower or bath we cleanse in, respiratory and skin problems are inevitable. While conventional medicine can offer chemical-based drugs to mask the symptoms, a visit to a salt cave is a natural remedy that is well worth looking in to.

The preceding statements about the health benefits of salt therapy have not been medically evaluated. Consult your physician before beginning any such therapies.

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