Archive for 2011

Spa Trend: Beer Spa

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
Beer Spa

Beer Bath at the Landhotel Moorhof in Austria, Germany

There are interesting spa trends; and then there is plunking down in a tub of yeasty brew to get your therapy on. In the last several years, beer spas have been popping up all over Europe – well, at least the countries that are well known for their beer-swilling cultures like Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. So what’s the point of a beer spa you ask?

No, it’s not the promise of fulfilling your inner frat boy’s (or girl’s) ale-induced dreams to splash in endless amounts of the hop juice. Soaking in a yeasty and aromatic vat of beer actually promotes your health and wellness in a number of ways, according to the ancient Romans as well as some modern-day spa therapists. Potential benefits are derived from the high vitamin (B-complex) and mineral content present within the hops and yeast; such medicinal properties are said to be good for the health of the skin, including hygienically as beer is an effective cleanser, and also for treating certain skin disorders like eczema. Want to feel for yourself what it’s like to plunge into a tub of barley pop? Head to the Landhotel Moorhof in rustic Franking, Austria; they offer what might be the most thorough beer treatment available anywhere. The Moorhof’s cellar features four couple-size wooden tubs filled with their own special brew in which to soak in and relax. Composed of a two percent-alcohol lager from the local Schnaitl Brewery, the therapists fortify the concoction with brewer’s yeast – known for its high nutritional content – malt, two scoops of hops and some pure mineral water. The result: rising bubbles from the bottom of the tub that activate the ingredients, causing a foam to form and turning the Jacuzzi into a giant beer stein. Of course, during the beer spa treatment, you’re not just sitting there twiddling your thumbs; you’re drinking a cold one that is also from the Schnaitl Brewery. Post dunk in the “stein”, you get wrapped in a starch white sheet and led to a bed to roll around in some alfalfa hay and build up a sweat. At the end, you take a dunk in a cool pool and rinse all the hops and other sticky beer residue off yourself. The feeling you will have when you are done is said to be pure bliss. And starting at around $60US for a half-hour treatment, it’s a deal that’s pretty hard to beat.

Differing from the world of vinotherapy – utilizing wine externally to foster health and well-being – that has a predominately female customer base, the beer spas is not dominated by a single sex. Unlike other spa treatments like facials, men have no fears of losing their masculinity when it comes to soaking in beer and a lot of times, women like to go to the beer spa with their husbands or significant others and bond over a brewski, or rather in one.

Ayurvedic Healing: Shirodhara

Monday, June 13th, 2011

 

Shirodhara

Shirodhara

Ayurveda is an ancient healing practice that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. At its core, it’s a comprehensive system of holistic medicine designed to facilitate optimal physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Modern lifestyle leads to numerous health problems and Ayurveda has the answers to address many, if not all of them. While there are literally thousands of different treatment options within Ayurveda, we’re going to focus on one therapy that is well known for its purification and rejuvenation benefits, known as Shirodhara.

Shirodhara is the culmination of two ideas working in unison: “shiro” meaning head and “dhara”, which means to flow. Conceptually, the idea aims to bring physical and emotional balance to an individual’s being. This is achieved through the use of a steady and focused stream of warm, herbalized oil poured over the client’s forehead – or “third eye” – for an extended period of time. Vasant Lad, a highly accomplished Ayurvedic physician, has stated that oil has similarities to amniotic fluid and has the ability to recreate the feeling of being back in your mother‘s womb. Pouring oil over the “third eye” takes us back to the memory of intrauterine life, which in itself is a profound journey. This technique is traditionally used to calm and restore nerves, release pent up emotions and purify the mind. Shirodhara works exceptionally well in cases of anxiety, fatigue, mental exhaustion, excessive thinking and other problems associated with the fast and detrimental pace of modern life. Additionally, it is beneficial for treating many diseases of the head, neck, eyes, ears, nose and throat, as well as nervous system disorders like facial palsy and paralysis. Perhaps most interestingly, the yogis of India have in the past and continue to utilize shirodhara to achieve higher states of consciousness.

For many common and not so common disorders, Ayurveda holds the key to profound healing; Shirodhara is one of the Ayurvedic tools that when administered regularly, can do wonders.

Spa Fit for a Sultaness: COMO Shambhala Retreat

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
como shambhala aerial

COMO Shambhala Retreat

There are a few places in the world that are so remote, exotic and authentic, that the allure to embark on a journey and visit is simply built in without any salesmanship. The Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, 250 miles south west of India, and composed of 26 atolls, is one of those rare locales. Just getting to the Maldives is part of the adventure, as there are no direct flights from say, Denver to Malé International Airport (MIA) – the gateway to this breathtakingly beautiful destination. However, once you have arrived, paradise is there for the taking; and what could be more paradisiacal than the COMO Shambhala Retreat?

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Game-Changer: ThermaSol Introduces Bluetooth Technology to the Steam Shower

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

steam shower bluetooth

ThermaSol has long been known as an industry leader in advanced steam shower products. They’ve managed to raise the bar again with the release of their game-changing, Bluetooth equipped Serenity Light & Music System.

In true ThermaSol style, they are the first to bring Bluetooth technology to steam shower products and have effectively created the next generation of steam shower technology. With ThermaSol’s new Bluetooth offering, now instead of using a docking station or a hard wire receiver, you can simply enter your bathroom with any Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as smart phones or laptops, and start streaming music at the touch of a button. All ThermaSol Serenity Light & Music Systems will now be Bluetooth-equipped, enabling you to create the ultimate steam shower experience in the home through the harmony of light, music and steam. The Bluetooth technology allows you to wirelessly control the audio in your steam shower from anywhere in the bathroom.

Additionally, with the use of a waterproof case, your devices can be brought directly into the steam shower, allowing you to conveniently customize your experience with whatever audio selections you like. ThermaSol’s Serenity Light & Music System also provides you with the therapeutic benefits of Chromatherapy and music therapy; both are ancient healing practices that are still used in upscale spas today and you can actually have them in your own home steam shower. The system includes an all-in-one, high intensity full spectrum LED light system for the ultimate light therapy session, as well as a high-performance speaker set. The system features a built-in FM receiver and an additional input source for Bluetooth-enabled MP3 players, TVs, cable tuners, stereo receivers or even DVD players.

ThermaSol never ceases to amaze with their technology enhanced and design savvy product offerings. There’s no doubt Bluetooth technology in the steam shower takes the art of steaming to a whole new level.

Summer 2011 Spa Deals

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Summer is almost here and you know what that means: vacation, lounging outside and dinner parties. Moreover, it is a prime time to go to the spa and leave the stress of the year behind. As you decide how you will wind down from another hectic year, consider the deals that these spas are offering.

Deals:

Taj Resort & Spa

Taj Resort and Spa

Taj Resort & Spa

Located on the private Maldive Island, the Taj Resort & Spa is the perfect getaway from the raucous city-life. The island is a 15-minute luxury boat ride away from the rest of civilization, ensuring that its guests are surrounded with tranquility. Its Jiva Grande Spa is known for its “Indian-inspired healing” and soothing design concepts that feature beautiful views of the water throughout the spa. The resort is giving you 30% off all room accommodations as well as a free, 60-minutes spa service with your reservation at Taj Resort & Spa.

Regent Spa

Regent-Spa

Regent Spa, Providenciales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Regent Spa, part of the Regent Palmson Providenciales Island in Turks and Caicos, is another spa you must visit if you love traveling and the tropical atmosphere. The spa’s 150-foot water garden, and multiple reflection pools immerses in a breathtakingly serene environment. If you’re an organic-lover, you would enjoy their Caribbean and herbal inspired treatments such as the Zareeba, which uses hand-picked herbs from the island for a steam cleansing. Regent Spa is offering 20% off all spa services.

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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

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.

blue-spa-yoga

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

Navy-SEALs

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
Spa-Ojai

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.

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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

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.

pezula-horses

pezula-spa

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

airport-businessman

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.


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