Archive for the ‘Aqua Spas’ Category

Spa Fit for a Sultaness: Kaya Spa

Monday, August 1st, 2011

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

The Kaya Spa

The Kaya Spa

When you think of exotic and luxurious spa getaways, perhaps Nairobi, Kenya is not the first locale that pops into your mind. However, at Kaya Spa, situated within Tribe Hotel in the city’s Diplomatic District, exotic and luxurious are exactly what you’ll get (more…)

State of the Spa Address

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Rejuvinating in the Spa

Rejuvenating in the Spa

To all our Talk Spas readers; we are here today to address the spa fanatics, members of the spa industry as well as the home spa enthusiasts of the world to let you know that the spa is here to stay. In the past year we may have not seen the spa industry or the number of home spa projects grow in number, but we did see the diversity in services and product offerings expand to a new high. Out of nowhere new markets have become much larger than before for the spa industry, including Medical Spas, Pet Spas, Teen Spas and even Baby Spas. In the past year, outrageous, amazing and extremely expensive spa treatments had their day in the limelight, while more custom, personal and home based spa services have continued to increase in popularity.

Las Vegas continues to be a hotbed for amazing new spas and more and more people are now using the quality of the spa amenities to choose their next resort or cruise vacation. While destination spas are still very popular, the home spa and more specifically the inclusion of a luxury steam shower with advanced technological systems continue to increase home values in these tough times.

Make no doubt that times are still tough for the spa industry as we have seen many close their doors and go bankrupt, but be clear that the surviving day spas, spa product manufacturers and resorts will come out of this downturn stronger than ever before. People across the world are beginning to re-discover how and why it is so important to treat your mind and body to spa treatments that provide relaxation that ultimately improves your overall health and well being. We can assure you that even if the tough times are not yet behind us, the light is visible at the end of the tunnel, and the light will please your senses and rejuvenate your body and soul.

Related Posts:

Spa Trends to Look for in 2010

SpaFinder’s Top 10 Spa Trends in the Past Decade

Enjoy a Spa on your Winter Vacation

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Now is the time of the year that people are taking, or planning their winter vacations. We thought that we would remind you that a great way to ensure that you get some rest and relaxation is by visiting a spa while you are on your travels. We all know that vacations (especially family vacations) can often be less relaxing than we would prefer, no matter where the location. But if you take some time out of your day to hit the hotel spa or a nearby day spa you will at the very least reduce your stress so you will not need a vacation from your vacation.

Alps Thermal Spa

Alps Thermal Spa

For those of you that are visiting the Alps during your vacation you’ll no doubt take part in skiing, snowshoeing and wine tasting activities. When your muscles get sore, or even just to break up all the winter activities make sure to visit the spas and the natural hot springs in your area. With the right balance of spa time you can have an active vacation that is also extremely relaxing and memorable for all the right reasons.

In any United States city you can pair your daily activities and sightseeing with amazing spa treatments (for when your feet get sore).  As one of the locations of SpaWeek, New York City is one of the best cities to enjoy a spa day.  When you’re in the Big Apple you have got to go to one of the amazing luxury spas in Manhattan if your wallet can handle it. If you’re in Los Angeles there are plenty of places that you can enjoy when you have some down time for a lot or even a little money (Chinese foot massages are amazing and very affordable in LA). If you are vacationing outside of a city take a look at the local spas, you might just find a beautiful, rustic spa that will become your favorite part of the vacation. For more posts about spas in California or Arizona click the links: California Spas & Arizona Spas.

If you are visiting a country in the Eastern part of the world, you will be vacationing in a land that may have invented the ancient holistic and spiritual healing treatments offered at the spas. Asian spa treatments are designed to restore inner calm, improve memory, balance emotions, refresh the body, enhance skin complexion and more. Some of the treatments you can expect to see at these types of spas include traditional Chinese medicine, gem therapy, crystal therapy, aromatherapy, chromatherapy, sound therapy and other Asian spa treatments.

For those of you that visit the Tropics during your winter vacation, if you take some time away from the beaches and the scuba diving to try a spa you may be pleasantly surprised. Often spas in tropical locations are right on the beach at the water’s edge and offer everything from body scrubs and wraps to manicures, pedicures and facials, allowing you to enjoy being pampered in a beautiful, calm environment.

Many of us just can’t get away this year for a winter vacation. If you are part of this “vacationless” club that might be taking a staycation this year instead of a real vacation, don’t fret, for you too can take a spa day for yourself! Many people are staying home this year, and this means that you may find your favorite spa busier than usual so be prepared and book ahead. Also, this year we are seeing more people taking their vacation money and putting it into remodeling their master bathrooms to transform them into their own, personal home spa. This is a great alternative to a vacation, because with your own home spa you will be able to escape to your own personal retreat any time you’d like while increasing the value of your home.

Whether you are planning an elaborate vacation in the French Alps, or if you are planning on taking a day off from work for a spa day, we hope you find everything you’re looking for and enjoy the rest and relaxation you deserve.

The Evolution of the Spa

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

 

Antient Bath House

Ancient Bath House

Circa 1700 B.C. – The first mention of a bath dates all the way back to the time of Greek mythology, when the King of Crete built his exquisite palace of Knossos. In this palace, large bathtubs were built, and are the first we see of the tub in history. The bath then became famous due to this myth because it is said that it ended up being the place where the King was killed when the daughter of Cocalus, king of Agrigentum, poured boiling water over him while he was taking a bath.

836 B.C. – A spring is said to be discovered by the British king Bladud in Bath, England. It is often thought that this is the first use of the word “Bath” and is most likely the first indication of a hot spring bath in history. The Roman Baths themselves are below the modern street level.  The story of these baths was embellished to say that the spring had cured Bladud and his herd of pigs of leprosy through wallowing in the warm mud.

Circa 400 B.C. – It was during this time that in ancient Greece, a little city existed named Epidaurus. It was here that Asclepius, the most important healer god of antiquity, brought prosperity to the city, and with this prosperity large public baths were constructed, among other public monuments.

25 B.C – Emperor Agrippa opened  the first imperial thermae in Rome, with pools, steam rooms, grand halls and libraries.

737 A.D. – Japan’s first onsen (hot spring) complex opens near Izumo. It took centuries before this concept was combined with Japanese traditional inns called ryokan. Today there are more than 2,500 onsen sites that offer their visitors an escape from the daily stresses of life.

1000 A.D. – This was the first appearance of the Finnish Sauna, with saunas appearing along the Baltic, where it was said that pin tar, wine and saunas could cure any illness. Even today many Finns still subscribe to some version of this prescription.

1350 A.D. – It was during the bubonic plague that public baths were shut down throughout Europe to prevent spread of the plague.

 

Interior of the Cagaloglu Hamami, Istanbul

Interior of the Cagaloglu Hamami, Istanbul

1556 A.D. – The baths of Roxelana, the grandest of the Ottoman Empire, open a Hammam near the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. The Hammam contained huge domed steam rooms, private washing alcoves and a central massage platform, similar to a Roman bath, but designed to shut out the outside world. Photo Credit: http://www.cagalogluhamami.com.tr

1700’s – During the 1700’s Bath, England became “the premier resort of frivolity and fashion”. It was during the medieval times that Bath fell into disrepair, but during this time period the architect John Woods and his son completely made over the town as a grand Georgian showcase.

1830’s- 1950 – During the Victorian Age Saratoga Springs, New York uses their natural, carbonated mineral waters and luxe hotels to attract luminaries such as Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe and President William Taft. Horse racing and gambling also arrive in Saratoga, and then in the early 1900’s the invention of the automobile allows the wealthy to venture to Saratoga to enjoy the spa town.

1910 – In the 10’s the concept of the day spa was introduced to American women by Elizabeth Arden when she unveiled the Red Door Salon on Fifth Avenue.

1918 – Budapest’s Gellert Baths open and the city becomes Europe’s spa capital. Though Budapest has more than 100 baths and pools, Gellert with it’s amazing Art Nouveau architecture and Turkish inspired thermal pools becomes the place to go.

 

Two Bunch Palms

Two Bunch Palms

1940 – It was around 1940 that destination spas begin to open up in part because of the opening of Rancho La Puerta by Deborah Szekely in Baja California, Mexico. In 1958 Szekely unveiled her Japanese inspired Golden Door Spa in California, which had a more personalized approach to weight loss and fitness, later introducing Jane Fonda to aerobics.

1940’s – The hot springs in the desert of Two Bunch Palms, California becomes a popular hangout for Al Capone who built a hideout here in the 1920’s.  The restaurant and spa become a front for a casino and brothel, and in the 60’s the spa becomes legitimate and lures in Hollywood types. Picture of Palm Springs present day. Photo credit from http://www.twobunchpalms.com/

1957 – Vitabath introduces Original Spring Green Gelee as the first premium, luxury product for the bath and shower.

1958 – In 1958 David Altman designed, built and installed the first minielectric steam bath for home use. The word spread slowly amongst the affluent about this new home amenity. ThermaSol, the company that was founded by David Altman is now the leading manufacturer of Steam Showers.

1970 – The Home Spa becomes more and more popular as Roy Jacuzzi builds on the success of his indoor Jacuzzi bath by unveiling his Whirlpool Spa.

1974 – The fitness spa becomes more popular as the Ashram, in the Santa Monica mountains becomes the first fitness spa designed to provide extremely strenuous exercise with yoga sessions and vegetarian cuisine.

1986 – Spafinder begins as a small travel agency specializing in booking spa vacations, which at the time was a small niche for a travel agency.

1995 – High-end hotels answer the call to add spas to their list of amenities.

 

Medical Spa

Medical Spa

1996 – Bliss helps the day spa phenomenon hit a peak, combining details like turkey feathers and Mongolia lamb’s wool ottomans with their excellent treatments.

1997 – As plastic surgery and botox becomes more popular, dermatologists, surgeons and facial specialists join up to provide Medical Spas.

1999 – This was the first year that the spa industry overtook the amount earned by the ski industry with $5.3 billion in spa services.

2000 – Simultaneous treatments are added to many spa menus so spa-goers can receive a facial and a pedicure/manicure at the same time to save time.

2001 – Interiors of spas become calm and soothing with minimalist designs. Spas begin to hide product, increase privacy and provide private showers.

Future of Spa – The future of spas is uncertain, but it appears that as home spas become more and more popular, the service of having the spas come to you will be the next big step in spas. Soon spas will come directly to your house, as we are seeing with more and more spas offering a “Home Spa Party” package, or in-house treatments. Another example of this can be seen in the plans by the Porta-Spa company, which builds spas for their clientele. Soon Porta-Spa will be offering a Roman decadenza, Japanese grotto or a prefab spa which will be delivered to your home, complete with an aesthetian who will provide your treatments for the day when you purchase a spa.

Giving the Gift of Spa – Top 10 Spa Gifts

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Now that Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving looms on the horizon, now might be a good time to start thinking about gifts for the holidays. There are different levels of spa treats you can give to your friends, family or loved ones, depending on how much spa you want to dish out. Here is a top ten list of spa gifts you can start to think about for the holidays!

Boon Flow10. Scented Bath Candles -Scented candles are a nice gesture for a friend or relative that you know will enjoy them while soaking in the bath. Be careful as to who you give this gift too though, as it could appear as a very generic gift for someone that wouldn’t typically enjoy this gift.

9. Bubble Bath DispenserOur favorite bubble bath dispenser is the Boon Flow bubble bath dispenser which also serves as a faucet protector for the kids. This is a great gift that I’m sure your recipient will have never heard of and will enjoy for years to come. Perfect for the bubble bath lover of course!   One of our editors just purchased this product and has told us that this bubble bath dispenser does not produce good bubbles, but it is good as a faucet protector for the kids. 

hydrosol-aromatherapy8. Aromatherapy Hydrosols and Essential Oils – Hydrosols and Essential oils are perfect for those that have a steam shower, or that are serious about relaxing in their bathtub or home spa. This is great gift for a loved one, because then you can actually hand deliver the treatment in a sweet way by drawing the tub for your loved one, starting the steam shower, spraying the hydrosol mist or dripping the essential oils on the steam shower head. Take this gift to the next level by following through and setting your loved one up with a romantic time for relaxation.

7. Thermal Spa Bath Mat – This is another excellent gift for someone that loves to be in the tub. If someone you know spends a lot of time soaking, then let them take their soak to the next level with this Thermal Spa Bath Mat. This gift has an a adjustable neck massager pad, dual back massager, footrest with bubbles, vibration, massage and rotating rollers for sore achy feet, soft, comfortable padding throughout, allover bubbling action with level selector and comes with a remote control.

ugg-slippers6. Slippers -Buying that special someone a new set of very nice slippers is an amazing gift that they can use when indulging in a home spa. This is one gift that you absolutely cannot cheap out on however, because there’s nothing worse than a pair of cheap slippers that only last a month, or worse yet, are never ever comfortable. We recommend a pair of Ugg designer slippers that typically cost around $100 a pair. When you are picking out this gift, make sure you choose between slippers that will be used at home vs. slippers that will be used out, at a day spa.

5. Bath Robe – A nice, new robe can be expensive, but if you really want to give someone something that they would never spend money on for themselves, then a new robe might just be perfect. This is another item you cannot cheap out on, because there is nothing worse than a cheap robe. You will have to spend at least $100 for a good quality robe, and really nice, designer robes are more around $300-500. Robes are perfect gifts for those that like to relax at home and for those that spend a lot of the time in the home spa or master bath.

4. Day Spa Gift Certificate – Now this may seem like a very generic spa gift, but if you get someone a $100-$200 gift certificate to an amazing, high-end spa that is known for its architectural values, treatments and customer service… your gift will be well received. Make sure you don’t just get a gift certificate from some place down the road, and really research the best spas in and around. Nothing is better than sending someone to a swanky, luxury spa that they would normally never get to experience.

girls in sauna3. Spa Party – Most spas now have “Day Spa Party” packages that allow you to buy a gift for one or two people that will also allow them to bring a friend or two. Enjoying the spa with friends or loved ones is a great way to experience a new spa, and the same rules apply from the Day Spa Gift Certificate, make sure it’s a good spa that will leave them with a long lasting memory of delight. You can also have the spa party at home by having the equivalent of a catered “home spa party”. Both of these options will cost you a pretty penny, but are quite the spa experience that will not soon be forgotten.

ThermasolControl2. Hot Tub – Expanding your home spa is not a trivial task, nor is it easy on the wallet but if you’ve just had a major anniversary or are looking to improve your indoor or outdoor space or the retail value of your home, then a new Hot Tub might just be the perfect gift. Picture whether or not many romantic nights will be had in the hot tub before you decide to purchase one, as there’s nothing worse than an expensive gift like a hot tub that never gets used.

1. Steam Shower – The ultimate spa gift is having your own luxury steam shower. A steam shower will bring with it an added luxury that will not only increase the value of your home, but also increase your enjoyment and add endless home spa options to your home relaxation. Steam showers can be affordable, but make sure to have the pros install it if you don’t trust yourself with the installation because no gift should turn into a project gone wrong.

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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Soaking Tub or Whirlpool?

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
Whirlpool Soaking Tub

Whirlpool Soaking Tub

When it comes to the bathtub, people can pretty much get anything they want. From whirlpools offering various massage cycles to colorful chromatherapy, the bathtub has become automated and can even be operated via remote control. However, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, homeowners may be trading their high-tech whirlpools for something a little more simple: the soaking tub.

“The trend began in the mid-1980s with the physical fitness and health craze, as well as the cocooning trend,” said a source from the Wall Street Journal. “In the ‘90s, we saw the trend surge and evolve into an interest in yoga and day spas. Now the trend is moving into the home.”

With wellness and alternative medicine becoming more popular, several studies reveal the many health benefits of soaking tubs. For instance, they are said to reduce stress, alleviate insomnia, and lower blood pressure. A recent study by the Mayo Clinic showed that soaking in hot water reaps the same benefits as exercise. And the National Sleep Foundation found that soaking in a bathtub filled with 104 degree Fahrenheit water for 15 minutes before bed is helpful in promoting restful sleep. The warmth and buoyancy that soaking provides can also help alleviate arthritis symptoms.

Bathtub manufacturers have introduced several different styles of soaking tubs for Zen peacefulness in the bathroom. From the deep, full body immersion models in sleek stainless steel inspired by the Ofuro bathtubs of Japan to the ones that allow you to float chin-high – there is something for everyone. Some soakers even feature a unique overflow design, allowing the bather to be fully immersed, with any displaced water trickling over the sides of the tub, creating a haven for relaxation and therapy.

Super Soakers – Soaking Tubs

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Super Soakers: Soaking Tubs that allow you to Soak in Style

The bathtub has become the showcase element of the home spa, thanks to a proliferation of unique new textures, materials, shapes and sizes. From thousand-pound tubs hand-chiseled out of blocks of stunning silver travertine extracted from quarries across the globe, to soaking tubs swathed in clusters of Swarovski crystals, there is no limit to the length people will go to soak in style.

Soaking Tub

Palomba Soaking Tub

One of the most interesting new trends in tubs is that of unique shapes. The freestanding, drop-in tubs from the Palomba Collection by Laufen were designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba and showcase organic shapes in ceramic. In producing the design for a freestanding tub, Ludovica and Roberto Palomba took their cues from the sea and refers to it as a “fingerprint of nature.” While the walls of the tub are of constant thickness, the bottom of the tub looks as though a cube has been rounded out – like the erosive effect of water.

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The Biggest Sauna in the World

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

The Biggest Sauna in the World: Therme Erding

Ouside view of Largest Sauna in the World

Ouside view of Largest Sauna in the World

Therme Erding, just north of Munich, was voted Germany’s best sauna in the online sauna guide. This unique spa features 18 saunas with different themes and temperatures spanning from 95 degrees Fahrenheit to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. They offer a rose sauna and citrus scented sauna for aromatherapy as well as a mediation sauna. There is even a Finnish log cabin sauna with kelo wood walls and a fireplace. Plenty of showers and cold bathtubs help to cool visitors off after all the heat and steam treatments. One shower is in the shape of a 15 foot tall bundle of calla lilies and spouts 80 gallons of water.

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Green Spas

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

The phrase green spa sounds like an oxymoron. After all, this is the type of facility that capitalizes from its use of water – be it steam, soaking tubs, elaborate whirlpool baths or saunas. However, these days spas are turning over a new leaf – a new and greener leaf, that is. Here is our sampling of spas that showcase new and innovative ways to conserve water and other precious natural resources:

El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa, Taos, New Mexico

El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa, Taos, New Mexico

New Mexico’s El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa features the “Living Machine,” a water recycling system that is designed to filter waste water through pools that are rich with fish, plants and other natural filters. The end result is reclaimed water that is used to irrigate botanical gardens and landscaping, including herbs, vegetables and exotic fruits that are served at the property’s restaurant.

Titanic Spa in Linthwaite, England – located in Yorkshire, has tackled the serious issues of energy use, water waste, and the building’s carbon footprint. Photovoltaic panels and a biomass generator burning wood chippings from industry waste are topped up if need be with the purchase of 100 percent renewable energy.

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