Spa Fit for a Sultan: Gentlemen’s Tonic

July 25th, 2011

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

It’s no secret that many men feel self-conscious going to the spa; after all, marketing and advertising trends would have us believe that spas focus most of their attention on attracting women with their plethora of therapies and treatments. However, every once in a while a spa emerges that is designed to cater exclusively to the needs of men; Gentlemen’s Tonic, with locations throughout the world including London, Houston and Hong Kong, is one of those much needed spas.

Gentlemen's Tonic Spa

Gentlemen's Tonic Spa

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Ayurvedic Healing: Netra Basti

July 21st, 2011

We talk a lot about Ayurveda here at Talk Spas, not only because it is a proven system of physical, mental and spiritual healing that dates back over 5,000 years to ancient India, but also because it has grown in popularity in the Western world and many spas are offering one or more Ayurvedic treatments to their clients. One therapy that is an excellent all around treatment for the eyes, as well as for reversing the harmful effects of our modern lifestyle – specifically, staring at a computer all day – is known as Netra Basti.

Oil being poured as part of the Netra Basti

Medicated oil being poured as part of the Netra Basti

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Draped in Comfort: 10 Things to Consider When Buying a Bathrobe

July 19th, 2011

The bathrobe has been around as long as the public baths that were popular in ancient cultures like Rome, Turkey and China. Today, the tradition of slipping into a plush bathrobe after a warm bath or steam session is still thoroughly embraced by home spa enthusiasts. Depending on what you’re looking for, buying a bathrobe can be as simple as buying gas or as complicated as buying a car. After all, all bathrobes are not created equal; they vary in quality, they’re available in a variety of different materials and offer a plethora of options from which to choose. The following are some key points to consider when selecting a bathrobe:

People enjoying their bathrobes

10 tips for picking out a bathrobe

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Nude Spa-cation: Sea Mountain Resort

July 14th, 2011
Sea Mountain Resort in Desert Hot Springs, CA

Sea Mountain Resort in Desert Hot Springs, CA

Less time doing laundry. Less chance of spilling something on your clothes. Less stress trying to decide what to wear. Less time spent packing when heading off to a nudist resort. It’s a fact: the benefits of nudism far outweigh the benefits of non-nudism, and perhaps there is no better place to experience those benefits than at Sea Mountain Resort, a private nudist-friendly retreat in Desert Hot Springs, California.

Sea Mountain Resort is an upscale and sensual desert oasis that offers guests a chance to relax and enjoy world-class facilities under the sun. Well known as an environment safe for couples and females dedicated to pleasure and respect, Sea Mountain Resort is the premier adults only upscale retreat for rejuvenating the soul and relaxing the body. Choose from a range of activities including swimming nude in a cool, pure mineral water pool with curative properties, taking a dip in a hot sauna or relaxing in the 24-hour lounge club, Taboo Gardens. Accommodations include well-appointed rooms with large, flat-screen TV’s, Four Seasons beds, and Egyptian cotton linens. The resort offers world-class dining and is in close proximity to outdoor recreation, cultural and sightseeing opportunities, and terrific nightlife. The Spa at Sea Mountain Resort offers a plethora of treatments for both individuals and couples: the VIP Premier Spa Pass for couples offers garden curative mineral water showers, full access to all nude pool and private retreat meditation areas, tandem nude tanning, access to Taboo Gardens and a gourmet lunch for two, among other benefits; the One Woman – One Day Dream package allows a woman to soak sensually in the sun, let stress fade and enjoy the tranquility afforded to her through massage, curative mineral water showers and other pampering treatments and activities. Additional therapies on offer at Sea Mountain Resort include: Aroma therapy with special essential oils, reflexology focusing on Meridian points on the feet, hands and head, and reiki, which balances Chakras through focused energy re-alignment. If you still aren’t convinced of the merits of visiting Sea Mountain Resort, consider the following: The resort was ranked Top Celebrity Spa in the United States by MSN and awarded Best Private Retreat in the United States four years in a row. Furthermore, AOL has called the Sea Mountain Inn one of the “top five places to be naked in the world.”

The ultimate in nude recreation, Sea Mountain Resort’s location in the heart of Southern California is just a short drive from Los Angeles, San Diego or Las Vegas. For clean air, blue skies, crystal-clear desert nights and a relaxing and stress-free nudist experience, Sea Mountain Resort is the ideal choice.

The Chocolate Spa

July 12th, 2011
Spa At The Hotel Hershey

Spa At The Hotel Hershey

Is chocolate really a girl’s best friend? Well, the Chocolate Spa at The Hotel Hershey certainly thinks so. The Spa is dedicated to providing a luxurious experience for all senses of the body, blending relaxation and sweet indulgence with its signature chocolate treatments.

Imagine lying down and smelling the fragrant aroma of red roses and dark chocolate while the masseuse exfoliates, wraps, and moisturizes your body in the classic Chocolate & Rose Decadent Body Treatment. Enjoy a hydrotherapy session with a cocoa twist. How about a chocolate sugar exfoliation with your pedicure in the Sweet Hands and Feet? My personal favorite is the Whipped Cocoa Bath in which you can literally lounge in a pool of foaming chocolate milk and leave with softer, nutrient-rich skin.

Health experts have recognized several holistic benefits found in chocolate. Research shows that chocolate is full of antioxidants, which are chemicals that decrease the oxidant reactions that cause cellular damage. Moreover, chocolate, similar to red wine, contains polyphenols, which help prevent heart disease. Chocolate is also known as a mood- enhancer because it triggers the brain to release pleasure endorphins. All in all, chocolate has many different facets to be enjoyed and experienced, and the Chocolate Spa gives you the opportunity to do so.

The Chocolate Spa only augments Hershey’s legacy of satisfying customers with the most savory chocolate. Only this time, chocolate is not only used to seduce the gustatory senses, but also to soothe spa-lovers by the touch.

Luxury Uncorked: South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

July 11th, 2011
Relaxation Room at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa in Temecula, CA

Relaxation Room at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa in Temecula, CA

Ask the editorial team members at Talk Spas what their number one passion is and they will all tell you the same thing: spas. Ask them what their number two passion is and there’s a good chance that many will tell you that it’s wine. So it comes as little surprise that when the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa – a working winery and full service spa in one – popped up on our radar, we were ecstatic.

South Coast Winery & Spa, located in Temecula, California, a renowned wine region about an hour’s drive from Los Angeles or San Diego, is a luxury resort that combines great food, excellent wine and healing spa treatments for an all-around incredible and unique experience. Offering spacious villas with marble bath environments, secluded patios, fireplaces and no common walls between, South Coast Winery & Spa is the ultimate retreat for peace and quiet. The resort’s GrapeSeed Spa “soothes and re-energizes body, mind and soul with a blend of innovative vine based treatments, state-of-the-art fitness center, private movement studio and secluded places to simply unwind.” Treatments include the Full Day of Bliss featuring the spa’s signature massage, GrapeSeed Scrub, a facial, and a 50-minute South Coast Manicure and Pedicure; the treatment also comes with a special spa cuisine. The Half Day of Balance treatment includes Harmonizing Hatha Yoga, Honey/Lemongrass Revitalizing Ritual, and Raindrop Technique Massage; a spa lunch is also inclusive. When not indulging in spa treatments, it’s the perfect opportunity to experience the resort’s state-of-the-art winery, appreciate its carefully tended vines and sample its finest wines. South Coast Winery & Spa is well known for its Merlot, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc varietals, all which offer intense flavors and supple structures. The wines are particularly special because of the rich Southern California soil and the abundant sunlight bestowed upon the Temecula Valley. Read the rest of this entry »

Separate Spas: Penn and ScarJo Part Ways

June 30th, 2011
Wellness Men's Day Spa, Manhattan

Wellness Men's Day Spa, Manhattan

Celebrities are a fickle bunch; it was only a few weeks ago that we profiled the romantic spa getaway Hollywood hellraiser Sean Penn and his young lover, Scarlett Johannsen, experienced together at the historic Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California. Alas, word of their recent and inevitable split has left fans and admirers wondering with whom the two stars will end up in the arms of next. We can only imagine the crash and burn of their whirlwind romance has taken its toll on them, so to prep them to once again be lucky in love, we have separate spa suggestions for each of them. And we’ve even carefully selected spas on two different coasts to avoid the faux pas of Penn and ScarJo running into each other.

For Penn, we’ve chosen the Wellness Men’s Day Spa in Manhattan. New York, with its lively nightlife and beautiful women, is the ideal place for the renowned playboy to get his mind off ScarJo. When he’s not busy partying or sleeping, he can check in to a VIP Room at the Wellness Men’s Day Spa to relax and find balance with some Eastern inspired relaxation therapies. The 60-minute Intense Wellness Treatment utilizes Marine sediments and Green tea to help detoxify, promote weight loss and purify the skin. It’s notable for combating toxins and free radicals in the system. Penn could also opt for a 75-minute Chakra Massage that combines deep-tissue techniques with ancient Ayurvedic philosophy; Ayurveda recognizes seven chakras, or spinning energy centers, along the spine, that contribute to one’s sense of well-being. Afterwards, Penn could treat himself to hot sandwiches, cold salads and wine or beer at the bar. Now that’s a man’s spa getaway!

The Lounge Spa, Los Angeles

The Lounge Spa, Los Angeles

For ScarJo, we’ve selected The Lounge Spa, right in the heart of Los Angeles. The Lounge Spa claims that their “red velvet ropes are open to everyone.” That’s great, but we’re sure ScarJo’s charms will help her get an extra special treatment. The Lounge Spa’s massage treatments mostly have playful cocktail themed names and in light of ScarJo’s recent heartbreak, perhaps their Soothe Your Soles on the Rocks massage is ideal. The 2-minute treatment utilizes heated lava stones that loosen up the soles before being massaged on specific pressure points to ease tension and improve circulation. In order to keep her face looking extra appealing for her next actor-boyfriend, ScarJo could opt for a Citrus Squeeze Facial 
that incorporates pure Vitamin C, lightening ingredients and powerful antioxidants, leaving her skin luminous, healthy and vibrant. The Lounge Spa also offers a private lounge area for VIP parties, so ScarJo could decide to invite her gal friends for the ultimate spa break. Now that’s a spa getaway fit for a starlet!

Breaking up is hard to do, but with a great spa to fall back on, Penn and ScarJo will be back in the game in no time at all.

Spa Theft: Watch Your Credit at the Spa

June 28th, 2011

identity-theft

A visit to spa is always one of luxury, pampering and peace of mind. Or at least that’s what we thought. Recent headlines in the news have made it abundantly clear that the spa can be a magnet for unsavory criminals who are seeking to steal from the often well-heeled clientele who pay big dollars for high-end treatments. Often times, it’s the spa owners themselves who are doing the stealing.

It wasn’t long ago that a Granite Bay, California spa owner was arrested on suspicion of identity theft, grand theft and, fraudulent use of an access card. The owner was brought to the attention of authorities by way of forty customers who had filed complaints about double and triple billing after visiting the spa. The owner was also accused of charging customers for products and services using two non-existent companies. Another case of spa theft targeted celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Cher, Anne Hathaway, Melanie Griffith and Liv Tyler – the latter was allegedly hit with $200K-plus in fraudulent spa credit card charges over a five month period. The spa in question was one located in Beverly Hills, California that specifically catered to wealthy celebrities who make prime targets for crooked spa owners. Celebs often have several handlers who comb through their finances and incorrect charges can easily go undetected for months, or even forever.

Celebrity or not, it’s a good idea to do as much research on a spa as possible, utilizing the services of organizations like the Better Business Bureau before heading in for services and offering up your card for payment. And of course, monitor those credit card statements on a regular basis so you don’t end up with $200K in charges like that aforementioned starlet.

The Lukács Baths: Brad & Angie’s Favorite Spa

June 27th, 2011
The Lukács Baths

The Lukács Baths

Ok, we’ll be honest: we’re not sure that Lukács Baths is the favorite spa retreat of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and their adorable brood of international children. However, since we know they’ve all been there and frolicked in the ancient baths, we wouldn’t be surprised if it was.

The Lukács Baths are one of the largest thermal baths in Budapest and a favorite of visitors from all over the world. The nearly 6,000 square-foot park is blessed with natural healing springs that have been in use since at least the 12th century when knights of the order of Saint John engaging in caring for the ill settled in the area. The bath continued to operate until the Turks moved in; at this point, the energy of the powerful springs was redirected to produce wheat and grind gunpowder. The property eventually ended up under the control of the government treasury until a private owner purchased it in 1884 and built a hotel, turning the springs into a beloved hydrotherapy spa. From there forward, the Lukács Baths saw steady improvement and refinement with the additions of a drinking cure hall, a hot water mud bath, open-air pools with whirling corridors, underwater effervescence, neck showers, water beam back massagers, whirlpools, geysers and many other advanced spa amenities. It has been said of the waters at Lukács Baths that due to their high sodium, calcium, magnesium, hydrogen carbonate, fluoride ion and nitrate content, that they are highly effective in curing numerous degenerative illnesses including: chronic and semi-acute arthritis, deformations of the vertebral spine, dislocation of the inter-vertebral discs, and certain cases of neuralgia. The waters are also said to infuse the bones with calcium, especially effective for post-injury treatment. The baths offer a daytime outpatient hospital with a complete physiotherapy department for those who wish to receive a highly personalized level of healing treatment.

It was on a break from filming that Brad and Angie brought the kids, including Pax and Zahara, to the Lukács Baths. Pax was having such a good time that he didn’t want to leave. It was also mentioned that the couple took the kids to McDonald’s afterwards; not exactly the most nutritious meal after a winning day in the healing waters of Lukács Baths, but hey, maybe Pax just ain’t down with the Budapestian cuisine.

Spa Fit for a Sultaness: Aman New Delhi

June 21st, 2011
Aman New Delhi

Aman New Delhi

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

To the Westerner, India is about as exotic of a locale as it gets. To the spa enthusiast, India offers a plethora of rejuvenating treatments based on ancient healing traditions like Ayurveda, which create an authentic experience unlike any other available in the world. Aman New Delhi, located in the heart of the capitol city of India, is the ultimate hotel and spa to experience the pleasures of this incredible country’s rejuvenation therapies.

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