Archive for the ‘Spa Reflections – Experiences, Rituals, History’ Category

Age is All the Rage

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

For so many Americans, the notion of “hopping into the tub” is much easier said than done. Those with arthritis, mobility limitations, or anyone who’s suffered from the sneaky side effects of aging (like that new pain in my back I felt this morning) know that your bathroom or home spa needs to be accessible. And thanks to a number of forward-thinking manufacturers, getting older doesn’t mean losing out on a luxurious bath experience.

Forget the days of the clinical, unappealing walk-in bath. It’s true – not that long ago, stylish options for walk-in tubs were nearly non-existent. But today, you can outfit your bathroom with a walk-in tub that doesn’t disrupt your home design. Like Maax Professional’s high-concept collection of ADA-compliant showers and tubs, all of which keep you comfortable and your bath beautiful. And just because you have a new tub doesn’t mean you need to change your design tactics – compliment the wall of your bath with tiled designs as you would with any other tub. Stylish, but most importantly, safe.

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Green Feels Glorious!

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

While we’re spending our spa time saving our skin, why not save the environment at the same time? The movement towards a greener spa experience has so many positive ramifications – and like most other eco-conscious trends, it takes only small changes to make a substantial impact.Water conservation

It sounds like the simplest thing in the world but the #1 spa-thing you can do to minimize your environmental footprint is to keep your H2O usage in check. When looking for products for your home spa, keep an eye out for bath elements that emphasize low-flow or water-saving technology – it’s incredible how the most basic of eco-conscious actions can still have such a tremendous effect. Choose products identified as “WaterSense certified,” as they comply with specific guidelines identified by the Environmental Protection Agency to promote water efficiency. And while you’re saving water, keep an eye on your energy consumption too. Products that incorporate green-friendly elements, like ThermaSol’s patented SmartSteamTM technology – a temperature control feature that conserves energy by maintaining even levels of heat, and never using more power than necessary – make putting your green-foot-forward easy and effective.

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Small Bath? No Problem.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Let’s face it – unless you had the luxury of designing your home from the ground up, or spent a month brushing your teeth at the kitchen sink while construction workers knocked down walls and descended on your W.C., chances are your bathroom isn’t the biggest room in the house. But fear not – a petite loo just might be the perfect size for infusing a lot of luxury into a little space.

LAUFEN mimo

LAUFEN mimo compact bath collection

In any compact area, the most important consideration is to make sure that everything you fill a room with is more than just “occasionally” useful. So if you don’t find yourself lounging in a bubble bath three times a week, why not skip the tub basin and opt for a shower stall? Space-saving and efficient, a shower stall can be custom-fit to your bath’s dimensions, and immediately enhances the size of the room. Amp up the luxury by installing a steam shower – ThermaSol has revolutionary steam units designed for even the tiniest bathrooms – and your days of soaking in the tub will be a distant memory.

While you’re saving ground in the shower, why not really free up some floor space and go small with other elements for the bath? Manufacturers have taken note of the shrinking trend in bath design, and have crafted gorgeous collections with a diminutive take. The mimo collection by Laufen is short in stature but huge on style, with smaller-than-norm sinks and toilets that pack a punch without monopolizing square footage. And never fear – the difference in size of the scaled-down versions is virtually unnoticeable in everyday use.

But if you’re not yet ready for a big bath overhaul, your small space can still benefit from some spacious updates. Make things feel instantly open with a lighter wall color – bright yellows, soft greens, and pastel grays are my favorites in a tiny bath. Opt for open-air shelves or cabinets – it’ll give the illusion of a bigger room, and gives you easier access to your bath knickknacks. And remember to de-clutter! The more you organize, the more space there is for you. So don’t dismiss your small bath just yet! There’s a lot of luxury to be had in even the tiniest of spaces.

Auriga at the Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Occasionally we will be sent stories of spa experiences from our readers that are particularly memorable. We read about an experience at the Auriga spa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico that reached that level of relaxation and revitalization that all spas seek to achieve and thought we should share it.

By: A fellow spa goer

There are spas…and then, there are spas. And the Capella Pedregal’s Auriga Spa in Cabo San Lucas certainly falls into the latter. Promising to not only transform but to transcend the spirits, this is one destination that delivers relaxation on a whole new level.

The realization that this is an environment like no other begins when you walk through the enormous center-hinged pivoting solid wood door. Flanked by a long hallway glowing with candles in amber votives, you weave your way into warmly lit rooms, styled from both Mexican and Mid Eastern influences. Here, your comfort is their only concern. Relaxation rooms, stocked with premium teas and healthy refreshments, are designed for ultimate luxury and rest. And what’s standard fare for most spas – pool, steam and sauna rooms, cold room – is simply the beginning at Auriga, as evidenced by the stunning entrance to their saltwater pool, adorned with stepping stones gushing with running water.

But the amenities are just the beginning. The true healing starts with one of the many treatments from Auriga’s extensive menu of spa services. Designed to “restore and rejuvenate the skin while relaxing the body and mind,” my Cocoon treatment was simply a taste of heaven. The two-hour package begins with an herb-infused foot bath, followed by two types of invigorating body scrubs, a rinse-off, and finally, a warm seashell massage. At the end of this treatment, I kid you not – not only was my skin glowing but my senses were transported into a state of relaxation so rarely achieved by a spa experience. It was then, in the warm after-glow of my experience at Auriga, that I knew what a magical place this was, and how this could be one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had with a spa.

Find more information about Auriga at www.auriga-spa.com

If you’ve had a similar transcendent spa experience please tell us about it in the comments.

Auriga Spa Entrance

Auriga Spa Entrance

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Spa Customer Service is More Important Than Ever

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

I read an interesting post on the NY Times business blog about how a spa owner in Mt. Kisco, NY let negative energy bring down the spa’s atmosphere, and in turn the spa’s sales. It got me thinking about spa services and how they are delivered is so important right now. Spas may seem like a non-essential luxury in these tough economic times, but we have seen that many people actually view a visit to the spa as a more affordable way to treat one’s self as opposed to purchasing large ticket items like a pricey new car. Spa treatments are also a great way to relax and relieve stress in these stressful times.

Spa Customer Service

Exemplary Customer Service

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Fish Spa Treatments Getting Shut Down

Monday, April 19th, 2010

We’ve written about unusual spa treatments in the past, but this spa treatment is actually not as far out as the snake massage or gold facial, yet is getting a lot more slack than any other treatments we’ve mentioned lately. In a recent story by NPR.org, they discuss how this treatment is being shut down in various states. If you’ve ever sat with your feet in the water of a lake or pond, then you’ll know that if you have a lot of dead skin on your feet, that often little fish will come and tickle your toes with their little nibbles. While it might just seem cute at the time, spas in the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Turkey began offering this spa treatment in 2008 when this treatment began to boom.

Spas are now being ordered to shut down any fish spa treatments because the cosmetology boards have ruled in over two dozen states because you can’t clean the fish, and every tool that is used on someone needs to be either disinfected or thrown away. We don’t want to see the fish be thrown out, with their last meal being the dead skin from your feet! Some say that there have been no proven cases of foot fungus being passed by these fish, but the possibility that this could occur seems to be quite real, so the fishies have had to go, at least for now.

Fish Spa Gettting Shut Down

Fish Spa

Spas that offer this treatment have warm pools or hot springs that contain cute little fish known as doctor fish. These little fish don’t have their medical degree; they are actually one of two species of fish: Garra rufa or Cyprinion macrostomus. Other nicknames for these little nibblers include: nibble fish, kangal fish, and little dermatologists. These fish are used primarily for foot treatments, but also can be used for facial and body treatments and even to treat various skin diseases such as psoriasis.

When you put your feet in the water, the fish swim up to your feet immediately and nibble off all the affected and dead skin, while leaving the healthy and young skin untouched and unharmed. This treatment is painless and actually tickles a bit, making it a very popular and fun treatment for many people. Now that the spas are being forced to stop this treatment though, you may need to visit your nearest pond or lake to get a similar spa sensation. We have also seen a trend that is beginning to become more popular where people are purchasing their own nibbling fish and setting up their own home fish spas! Talk about a luxurious home spa!

Tax Time Increases Trips to the Spa

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Although the title “Tax Time Causes More Trips to the Spa” has not been proven in any way, shape or form, it makes sense doesn’t it? Tax time is a stressful time when many people spend the last day possible staying up all night trying to cram through their taxes. Many more people are filing their taxes online, which has led to an easier experience and less of a deadline to worry about, but for those that are spending tonight finishing up their taxes, I suggest you treat yourself to your favorite spa services as a way of celebrating getting your taxes done… even if it IS at the last second.

Tax Angst

Tax Angst

Some of our suggestions for tax day celebratory spa treatments include:

  • Deep tissue massage – Get all that icky tax day stress out with a nice, long, deep tissue massage at your local spa
  • Steam away the stress – Start up the steam shower and steam away all the stress and sweat out all the tax grime that came along with tax day
  • Tax day facial – Put on a new face for 2010 by treating yourself to a facial and look like a different person for the rest of the year
  • Manicure – Now that you’ve broken a nail or two filling out your taxes, it’s time to get them fixed up with a post-tax-day mani

We know that this post may not bring relief to those that still have to spend the night finishing up their taxes, but just think of what you can treat yourself too when the refund comes in!

The Tub Experience

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

When creating a sensuous, spa-like bath environment, designers know that every detail counts. Other than the shower experience and all of the accoutrements that are associated with vertical bathing, the tub is the unspoken grande dame of the bathroom. Immersing oneself completely in water remains a sensuous experience unlike any other. What differentiates today’s bathtubs from the old standards are the shapes of the tubs and the materials. You are no longer restricted to porcelain as the only viable option. Stone, teak, copper, even steel are materials now used in tubs. We’ve become intrigued with creative uses of materials like silk, Corian, and polyminerals; all smooth and sensuous, they are redefining the everyday bath experience into something much more. The ‘ahhh factor’ plus the ‘it factor.’ Below are a few tubs from Hastings Bath & Tile. All images provided by Hastings.

Hastings Round Tub- A

Hastings Round Tub- Atmosfere

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Spa Bachelorette Parties!

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Normally when you think of a bachelorette party you think of a bunch of girls going wild and crazy at a club or strip club in Las Vegas, but we have noticed that many brides today are beginning to use their chance to do whatever they want with their friends as a free ticket to the spa. Spa bachelorette parties have been gaining in popularity lately as these relaxing and fun alternatives let you and your friends spend some quality time together getting pampered and primed.

There are many companies that now cater to Spa Bachelorette Parties, some provide bachelorette party goers with yummy cocktails, food, and some even give you the option to have your spa party at home or at a special location. Sparty! is one such spa that offers bachelorette parties and blends their spa treatments with scrumptious cocktails of all types. Their Bachelorette Party services include signature drinks, hot stone massages, custom facials, manicures, and pedicures. Add-on options such as food, custom cakes, custom cocktails and gift bags are available.  (Image courtesy of Sparty!)

Spa Bachelorette Party

Spa Bachelorette Party

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The Benefits of Mud Baths

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Enjoying Natural Mud Bath

Enjoying Natural Mud Bath

Mud baths are ancient treatments that are rooted in tradition dating all the way back to the days of Cleopatra, who used mud from the Dead Sea to absorb the natural ingredients from the mud. While these treatments are fun and are used today more for a relaxing and luxurious experience, the practice has actually been used for centuries throughout Europe to treat rheumatism and various skin conditions. The use of natural occurring mud baths to help with these ailments is known as fangotherapy, which belongs to the wider spectrum of balneotherapy.

Recently (2007) a study found that mud baths followed by hot baths can reduce pain and other symptoms in people with fibromyalgia. This was actually a fairly important breakthrough for people suffering with this disease, yet has not been widely reported due to the stigma of many medicinal, natural and herbal treatments in the medical community. People are also using mud baths to treat ailments such as arthritis, muscle fatigue, nervous diseases, painful joint diseases, kidney diseases and as treatments for the urinary system.

While mud baths are an excellent form of therapeutic treatment for a variety of ailments and diseases, their most popular benefit is the one that they have on the skin. Many people throughout the world swear by mud baths as their fountain of youth, and this is not an unfounded claim as the mud does contain sulfur, chloride, fluoride and other natural occurring chemicals which help the complexion. In addition, when the mud dries, it also stretches the skin and helps with wrinkles.

These days you can find all types of mud therapy in nearly any day spa, as well as natural occurring hot mud baths. Natural mud baths can be found anywhere that there are hot springs or volcanoes which will also contain volcanic ash. Some of the more popular natural mud bath locations include the Zorritos mud bath in Peru, the volcanoes Miravalles and Tabacon in Costa Rica, the volcanic mud bath in Cartagena Spain, the Dalyan channels of Turkey, the thermal mud baths of Rotorua in New Zealand and of course the volcanic ash laden mud baths of Calistoga, California where Mt. Konocti erupted and where you will find the most famous geyser, Old Faithful.


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