Spa Fit for a Sultaness: Brenners Park Hotel & Spa

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

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

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.

Spa Fit for a Sultaness: Maru Spa

April 27th, 2011

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


Maru Spa at Bora Bora Lagoon Resort

In this day and age of discount Internet travel packages and the fast & loose advertising schemes that go along with them, the terms “luxurious” and “paradise” have been thrown around and overused to the point they are virtually meaningless. But Talkspas would never abuse those words and with that said, we’d like to share with you a truly luxurious paradise that is tantamount to heaven on earth: Maru Spa at Bora Bora Lagoon Resort.

Located in the South Pacific’s French Polynesia and a member of Orient Express – a collection of the finest hotels, trains, resorts, restaurants and travel experiences in the world – Maru Spa is located on an idyllic islet with the exotic name of Toopua, and situated along a cobalt blue lagoon. If that doesn’t sound paradisiacal enough, consider that Maru Spa is located on a treetop surrounded by lush vegetation, waterfalls, pristine beaches and sacred Banyan trees. Oh, and one more thing: this tropical heaven is only accessible from the resort by boat. Maru Spa’s offerings, not surprisingly, are like no other; incorporating a distinctly Polynesian twist, the spa’s therapists utilize locally harvested coconuts and macerated tiare – the Tahitian Gardenia flower – to create beauty-enhancing concoctions that exude the most divine aromas. Spa treatments include: The Signature Experience, involving a tropical rain massage, body modelage using a fruit-based body mousse, and gentle exfoliation; the Sacred Tamanu, a wrap, massage and facial incorporating oil from the ancient Tamanu tree; and the Royal Maru Spa Experience, which lavishes couples with a full body treatment including a coconut milk wash and an exotic flower bath.

If paying a visit to Maru Spa, it is well worth staying at the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort. A tropical hideaway unlike any other, its elaborate waterways and gardens, and lavish dining – delivered to the room by canoe if desired – offer even the most demanding spa-enthusiast a highly original experience.

Spa Trend: Stem Cell Facial

April 25th, 2011

There are few instances at a spa where a treatment ends up being controversial, but with a stem cell facial, beauty goes hand-in-hand with controversy.

The stem cell facial is a restorative process that promotes rejuvenation of tissue, skin tightness, natural contour and shape of the face, and requires absolutely no surgery. The process involves topically applying embryonic stem cells to the skin, usually in the form of a cream, and often utilizing gold as a vehicle to allow it to penetrate into the skin. The stem cell facial takes beauty maintenance to a whole new level; while surgery can get rid of an unsightly turkey neck and remove other pockets of drooping fat, stem cell facials can restore aged skin to a soft an succulent state.

Many celebrities are milking the stem cell facial trend for its age-reversing abilities; in a recent episode of TV Guide’s “The Fashion Team”, Denise Richards visits her favorite Beverly Hills dermatologist, Dr. Harold Lancer, as he demonstrates on her how stem cells can be topically applied to the skin for a dramatically youthful effect. Her obsession with beauty particularly shines through when she says, “Every time I come here, I ask what do you have that’s new? I’ll try anything!”

Though it may not be a concern for the ex-wife of Charlie Sheen, the use of stem cells is not supported across the board. In his book Human Embryonic Stem Cells, author Steve Usdin says, “Ethical judgments about the use of embryonic stem cells in research and therapies flow from the status accorded to the embryo. Those who feel that an embryo is a human being, or should be treated as one because it has the potential to become a person, contend that it is unethical to do anything to an embryo that could not be done to a person.”

For those who are against stem cell research, the fountain of youth-like powers afforded by related treatments, along with potentially many more important ones like cardiac and spinal cord repair, means the battle to ban stem cell use is going to be monumentally difficult.

Spa Fit for a Sultaness: Spa Radiance

April 20th, 2011

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


Spa Radiance in San Francisco, CA

Imagine a facial unlike any other, where micro-diamonds are used to exfoliate your face, your eye lids are treated with the finest caviar and Microcurrent Disencrustation (don’t ask, we’re not getting into it here) are utilized to remove blackheads and sebum deposits.

With a duration of three hours and a cost of $750 US, the only place in the world where you’ll find such a treatment is at Spa Radiance in downtown San Francisco, California. What sets Spa Radiance apart from many of the other high-end spas throughout the world is its results-oriented philosophy – rather than simply lavishing guests with scented oils and a gentle touch, the expertly trained staff aims to focus on the immediate turnaround effect they experience. This family business has its roots in Moscow in the early 1940’s, when Grandmother Rose developed many of the spa’s world-class treatments. Today her daughter and granddaughter carry on the legacy that so many devoted clients appreciate.

For an especially indulgent treatment that doesn’t require diamonds, try Spa Radiance’s Super Duper Body Massage featuring an aromatherapy steam tent for clearing sinuses, a massage for releasing toxins, an eye mask treatment and a paraffin dip for ever-soft hands.

Spa Fit for a Sultaness: Terme di Saturnia Spa & Resort

April 18th, 2011

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


Gold Facial at Termi di Saturnia Spa & Resort

While most spas can offer you a relaxing massage, a rejuvenating facial or a revitalizing body wrap, only a select few truly focus on one’s well-being by means of their psycho-physical balance. The world-renowned Terme di Saturnia Spa Resort offers clients just that – and so much more.

Treat yourself to a mind, body and soul vacation in Saturnia, Italy and indulge in a spa experience like no other. This secluded resort is tucked away nearly 100 miles from the nearest airport in the Tuscan hillside. Guests stay at the resort in hopes of restoring their previously mentioned psycho-physical balance through the spa’s essential elements which include hydrotherapy, beauty, stress management, diet and fitness – ensuring a well-rounded and unique approach to the spa experience. Guests also come to experience the thermal well water of Terme di Saturnia , which lends its healing waters to several hydrotherapy treatments including Balneotherapy and hydro massage.


Piscine Termali - Thermal Pool at Terme di Saturnia Spa & Resort

Situated in the romantic Tuscan region, guests of the resort are immersed in the hillside’s rich culture, exquisite cuisine and breath-taking landscape. Whether you’re looking to pamper yourself with a weeklong retreat or simply treat yourself to a day at the spa, Terme di Saturnia promises world-renowned services hidden in a Tuscan paradise.

Snake Sensations

April 4th, 2011


It may sound like a scene out of an Indiana Jones flick, but being covered in snakes is an unorthodox new spa treatment that pushes the boundaries of what constitutes as a “relaxing” experience.

Thanks to an innovative spa in Israel, what amounts to many people’s biggest fear can actually provide therapeutic benefits. Snake massages have intrigued patrons after first being introduced in Ada Barak’s spa in Northern Israel. That’s right – non-venomous snakes are placed over one’s bare back and stomach to slither around, causing a deep kneading massage that many clients have describe as “deeply soothing.” The idea behind slithering sensation is that as the snakes move along the body, they release muscle tension and promote blood circulation. California and Florida King Snakes, Corn snakes and Milk snakes are used on the body for their size and power – the stronger the snake, the more pressure they can apply. Smaller snakes are used on the face, providing a unique spa experience that promises to test your fear threshold. If it’s any consolation, a masseuse is present the entire time to help direct the snakes and reassure the client.

Whether you’re intrigued by this new trend or are looking for a unique way to face your fears, snake massages promise a truly one-of-a-kind spa experience you won’t soon forget.

Video of Ada Barak’s snake massage treatment:

Top 10 Spa Don’ts

March 23rd, 2011


Like a fine cigar lounge or a posh country club, a quality spa requires that you adhere to proper etiquette. This ensures that you, your therapist and other patrons are comfortable at all times during your visit. To get you started, the following is a list of things you should never do at the spa:

10. Bring children and leave them unattended.
9. Skip your daily (we hope) shower before arrival.
8. Forget to tell your therapist about any product allergies you may have.
7. Talk loudly in public spaces.
6. Expect a sensual experience when you’re there for a therapeutic massage.
5. Wear heavy perfumes, deodorants or other fragrances.
4. Freak out when asked to take your clothes off.
3. Skip out on your appointment without calling.
2. Show up drunk. You’d be surprised how many do…
1. Leave your appointment without paying a proper gratuity.

Spa Trend: Take a “Man-cation”, Save Your Life

March 21st, 2011



Here are a few facts for you: American men are routinely overwhelmed by stress – even more so than women. Men experience coronary artery disease 15 to 20 years before women, and twice as many men will die from it than women. Even beginning in the womb, the male fetus is at greater risk of death or damage from all sorts of awful obstetric dangers that can occur before birth.

So what can men do to bring some peace into their lives and reduce their dangerous stress levels? They can take a man-cation. A man-cation, as it sounds, is the act of a man going on a unique vacation that distances him from the pressures of daily life that build up and potentially bring him fatal harm. While a vacation may take him to Vegas or a golfing resort, a man-cation takes him somewhere far more tranquil and healing. And why shouldn’t a man treat himself to such relaxation? Historically, women have been hitting the spa to pamper themselves and relax; with the proven results they have been achieving, it’s time that more men follow their lead into the world of healing therapies. Massage and other relaxing body treatments are ideal for men with high stress levels, tension and anxiety. Just a half hour of undergoing stress and tension reducing treatments can significantly reduce a man’s chances of experiencing a heart attack.

We all know that some men are reluctant to go to the spa fearing that their masculinity is at stake, but when the benefits of doing so are so great, a man-cation to the spa is the only way to go.

The above statements about spas have not been medically evaluated. Always consult your physician before undergoing any spa treatments.

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