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Interesting Treats Found in Spas Around the World


We’ll never tire of time spent at the spa. Whether we’re indulging in a facial or working out some tired muscles with a massage, we leave feeling like a new person. What we can get tired of, though, is the spa water and dried fruit we find at every spa. We know it’s good for us, but we’d love some variety! Check out a roundup of some spas around the world that are doing some fun and interesting things with the snack offerings in their own spa lounge or relaxation area. It just may bring the spa experience to another level!

Wine and Cheese

Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at The Plaza Hotel offers distinct spa treatments for hotel guests and locals alike. With the French Paradox Wine Lounge located in Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at the Plaza Hotel, spa-goers are offered wine by the glass or bottle, artisanal cheese plates, fresh grapes, and wine flights to enhance the relaxing, vino-inspired experience. There is even a sommelier in the spa’s lounge!

Fiesta Americana's Somma Wine Spa is the only spa of its type in Mexico, uses the healing and rejuvenating power of wine in all aspects of treatment, from merlot and chardonnay creams to a post-massage local wine pairing. Offering a fresh take on the common grape, the spa concept is based on the natural healing and rejuvenating power of grapes from Baja California’s up-and-coming wine country, the Valle de Guadalupe. A tribute to the celebrated Somma Lombardo Italian wine region and to the Greek word for body (soma), the resort’s signature spa specializes in a relaxing mind/body spa experience, pairing a glass of wine with every treatment not only for its antioxidants, but also for its ability to bring about feelings of youthfulness and relaxation.

Beer and Pretzels


Photo Credit: Calistoga Ranch

Not-to-be-missed is the Ale Immersion Bath for men at the Auberge Spa at Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley. While waiting to soak in a hop-infused bath that calms the body and relieves muscle tension, guests can indulge in a local craft beer, pretzels and selection of artisan nuts.

The JW Marriott Grand Rapids is now offering beer-infused Brew and Renew spa specials for guests to pamper themselves and experience the beer culture of the city. Treatments include tastings of local craft beers and the use of local hops and barley to exfoliate the skin.

Chiles and Chocolates

The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa , situated at the base of the Sandia Mountains, reflects the rich history of the Tamayame. The entire resort is known for their authentic approach to the people of the Santa Ana pueblo land in which it is located. There is programming around adobe brick-making lessons, Tamaya Bread Baking Demonstrations, and more. Guests are greeted with red-chile chocolate and a dried green chile trail mix (chiles are the iconic regional food in New Mexico).


Photo Credit: Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa

Signature Teas

At Mayan-themed Wayak Spa at Viceroy Riviera Maya in Mexico, they offer an herbal tea made from fresh mint and lemongrass grown at the spa. But here’s what makes it really special: Next to the tea sits a little honey jar filled with the special honey harvested on property from the indigenous, stingless melipones bees! These bees were considered the goddess of all bees by the Mayans because their honey has natural healing properties. The hive at the Viceroy Riviera Maya spa, which is in the hollow of a branch of an oak tree, is 70 years old and came from a Mayan village in the region called Tizimin. The honey is harvested for several services and treatments at the spa, but any visitor to the spa can enjoy a taste of honey in the magical herbal tea!

At Chuan Spa at The Langham Huntington Pasadena guests are offered a special seasonal tea before their treatment, at which time they’ll also be given a fun little to survey to determine their “element” before their treatment. Guests receive a tea post-treatment that is specific to their element, which could be earth, wind, water, fire, metal, or wood.


Photo Credit: Chuan Spa at The Langham Huntington

The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg has created a Signature Apple Mint Tea guests rave about. The special blend is available both warm and cold depending on the season, and is made with a blend of 20th Century Purifying Tea, unsweetened apple juice, and cinnamon. The 20th Century Purifying Tea is a blend of organic mint leaves, gunpowder tea, and peppermint leaves, created exclusively for guests of The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg.

Ice Cream

Ease tense muscles, alleviate stress, and enjoy seasonal treats while drinking in the beautiful scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains at The Spa at Oak Haven in Sevierville, Tenn. The spa has tailored their treatments to reflect the seasons. For example, guests can get a sweet ice cream manicure and pedicure made with natural and organic products from Farmhouse Fresh. Enjoy a sinfully delicious ice cream sundae with the pedicure. “Pint-sized” versions of the treatment are also available so little kids can have some pampering with their parents.

Homemade Baked Treats

When we think of luscious spa baked goods, first and foremost is W Fort Lauderdale’s legendary Brownie Buffet at Bliss Spa. The retro spa welcomes guests to the fun yet relaxing atmosphere with unlimited complimentary brownies, and an assortment of snacks like olives, fruit, cheese, and crackers.


Photo Credit: W Fort Lauderdale Bliss Spa

But there are other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth at the spa. Trellis Spa at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa in Houston offers fresh-made cantaloupe water and shortbread tea cookies. In the Northeast, delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies, as well as wine, cheese, crackers, can be found in the spa at the Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa in Lake Placid, NY.

Laniwai, the Spa at Aulani, a luxurious family wellness retreat, offers spa, relaxation, and spectacular Hawaiian experiences for all ages. Guests of Laniwai can enjoy a variety of great snacks, including herbal Mamaki tea paired with a mini zucchini carrot muffins, as well as organic, antioxidant gummy bears that aid digestion and chocolate-covered blueberries and yogurt pretzels!


Photo

A huge hit at AWAY Spa located at the W Hotel in Austin are the chocolate-coconut bars that are made in-house by W Austin executive pastry chef Angel Begaye. They are bite-sized coconut bars made with a graham cracker crust, shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips, and sweetened condensed milk.

Raw bar

Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Krabi, Thailand, has a completely raw food bar with a light and healthy menu of specially prepared treats with the emphasis on organic, freshly grown and prepared raw produce. Freshly made juices, mocktails, and herbal teas are served with information about their therapeutic and nutritional properties. They have also recently introduced a new tea program where they pair herbal teas with spa treatments to receive the ultimate health benefits, inside and out.

Aly Walansky is a special contributor to The Daily Meal.


10 beautiful spas around the world


Girlfriend Spa Getaways

Why Getaway?

Interesting facts about girlfriend getaways

Spas – Spas Everywhere …where should we go?

  • Day Spa Getaways
  • Boutique Resort Spas
  • Spa Resorts
  • Luxury Spas
  • Destination Spa
  • Medical Spas
  • Golf Spa Getaways
  • Nature Spa Getaways

Time spent with friends is more than just a fun time. It’s good for you, too. Scientists are discovering what women have always known. Time spent with the girls soothes stress. “Hanging out with women friends increases prolactin levels. Prolactin is a bonding hormone that also decreases stress,” says Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. “Going to movies together, meeting for cappuccino, or simply having a date for taking walks together — all of these are great ways to decrease stress.”

Getting together with female friends provides you with a chance to talk, listen, laugh, and feel completely understood. “The older you get, the harder it is to make time for girlfriends because you have husbands and kids and jobs,” says Laura Maffeo, author of Girls’ Night In Fabulous Ideas for Evenings with Friends. “So just being able to catch up and giggle and not deal with daily life stuff is great.”

Nurturing yourself and your friends at a local day spa can be done easily at home, or pack up everyone and escape to a destination spa. Get together with your friends for a collective brainstorming session and plan your soothing retreat.

A landmark travel survey on women travelers shows that girlfriend getaways are very popular, in part because American women feel the need to escape their personal and professional responsibilities. The report also shows that vacations including just girlfriends and female family members ease stress and have become an important part of the lives of American women.

The survey, conducted by AAA and Aspire Marketing, is the most comprehensive study of the girlfriend getaways travel market. The report found that 24 percent of American women have taken a girlfriend getaway in the past three years, and 39 percent of American women plan on taking one in the next three years.

“The experience of a girlfriend getaway has a deep effect on the lives and friendships of women who take these types of trips, and many believe that going away with their girlfriends is important, regardless of the destination,” said Betsy Sell, managing director of AAA Travel. ”In fact, 62 percent of women who plan on going on a girlfriend getaway in the next three years said that taking a future trip is as important today as it was when they took their last trip with girlfriends.”

This comprehensive report included an online survey of 1,500 women, a telephone survey of 513 women and telephone focus groups of 16 women. Women participating in the survey said that while the most common destinations include the beach (66 percent), going to the spa (63 percent), taking a shopping trip (55 percent) or taking a cruise (51 percent), they were very clear that the destination and the accommodations are incidental to the primary purpose of a girlfriend getaway, spending time bonding with their female friends and family. The women in the focus groups talked about how important these trips are for them, saying they feel more self-confident, adventurous and relaxed as a result of their girlfriend getaway. It is a time for women to share common experiences, and get validation and acceptance from their female friends and family.

Husbands, significant others, and children of these women have no fear. The AAA / Aspire study shows that women are not going on girlfriend getaways just to get away from you. Only thirty-four percent of women gave “break from significant other” as the reason for a getaway, but they do talk about you when they’re away. The vast majority (79 percent) admitted that men or their significant others are the most frequently talked about topics. So while we are gone, you can be sure that you are not forgotten.


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Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bali, Indonesia

Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, which opened in Bali in 2015, is one of only three of Ritz-Carlton&rsquos ultra-exclusive Reserve properties currently open worldwide. The resort, whose name means &ldquotemple in Sanskrit,&rdquo has just 60 suites and villas running down the slopes the verdant Ayung River valley near Ubud, complete with a lush rice paddy in which guests can picnic and a beautifully maintained century-old temple. Book a River Front Pool Villa so you can enjoy the rush of its torrent (and the delighted exclamation of whitewater rafters passing by) from the privacy of your own walled garden, complete with a frangipani-fringed plunge pool. Also be sure to ask your patih, or personal butler, to set up excursions for you like a half-day tour to waterfalls and temples in a vintage Volkswagen 181 convertible, a hike along the hillside tracks of Campuhan, or a lesson on preparing floral temple offerings.

After a complimentary yoga class in the spa&rsquos riverside studio, try the Sleep Support Therapy. It begins with a refreshing foot bath with Himalayan pink salt and kefir lime, a guided meditation and the chanting of yogic pranayamas. The Marma body and facial massage is performed according to ancient Ayurvedic practices of manipulating and aligning the body&rsquos energy points. Finally, aromatic oil is applied to the nose to induce a sense of calm that will aid with sleep.

The standout spa experience, however, has to be the Traditional Balinese Healing Touch with a locally renowned blind healer named Ketut Mursi. During the 90-minute experience, she vigorously kneads and scrubs body points from the soles to the scalp using her own family&rsquos secret blend of herbal oils. She attunes your energy to the cosmic prana, wicks away negativity from your aura and realigns your chakras, then consults with you on how to maintain your aura&rsquos new shininess back home.


My Top 4 Most Amazing Spas In The World

In aid of National Spa Week, I just wanted to share my top 4 of the most amazing spas in the world (according to my experience). I have been to a few spas around the UK and some abroad and have found these to be my all-time favourites.

I simply adore this spa. It’s not only the first Eco-friendly spa but it’s also an excellent option if you’re looking for a total detox and full mind/body rejuvenation. The spa lunch menu is superbly healthy and cleansing on the body. The indoor pool looks stunning but not as amazing as the chemical-free pool outside which is cleaned by reeds. Also the clifftop hot tubs offer the most breath-taking views.

Recap: It’s amazing because… it’s the first eco UK spa and bathing in the clifftop hot tub is an experience not to be missed.

This Moroccan hotel spa had everything I wanted in a spa it was small, intimate and calming. I opted for the ‘Marhaba session’ which consists of a traditional hammam (steam room) session followed with a black soap cleanse, face and body exfoliation, clay (ghassoul) body mask, followed by a body massage. It was heavenly and the taste of a traditional Moroccan experience gave it that WOW factor. Be aware that due to the Islamic laws, there are only single-sex sessions so couples won’t be able to spa together or even be in the spa area together at the same time.

Recap: It’s amazing because… you get an authentic taste of a traditional hammam experience.

The Zuiver Spa was discovered by chance when I decided to go Amsterdam with Daddy P one day. I wanted to go to a spa that had a lot to offer in terms of variety and Zuiver Spa certainly has many facilities to impress you with. Starting with the beautiful lengthy indoor pool that extends to outside, to the numerous types of steam rooms and saunas available. If you’re not a big fan of heat, this spa is perfect for you as there are more tepid rooms such as the colour therapy room and the infrared sauna which is very mild. Due to Dutch culture, most of the days the spa operates on a no-swimwear policy. If you’re not brave enough to bare the flesh then check for the day that swimwear is permitted.

Recap: It’s amazing because… it’s got more facilities than you can count with both hands and the option to bathe like the Dutch locals (nude, if you dare to!)

Have you ever wanted to bath in natural mineral waters but never knew where you could go? The Thermae Bath Spa should be your first-stop destination. The spa uses the mineral waters that comes out directly from the springs underneath so the waters are amazingly warm all year round. The water is treated with around 1% chlorine which is more than sufficient to maintain pool hygiene and cleanliness. The indoor pool which is located at basement level or get a good look of the old spa town whilst bathing in the rooftop pool. The middle floor is dedicated to four massive steam pods each pod has a different aroma from mint and eucalyptus to lavender and myrrh.

Recap: It’s amazing because… it’s one of the only UK spas that uses mineral spring waters and the steam pods are seriously impressive.

I hope you enjoyed my little list of spas with the WOW factor – if you’ve gone to one of these places, let me know what you thought about them


4. The world’s most luxurious spa experience, Talise Ottoman Spa, Dubai, UAE

This spa at the five-star Jumeirah Zabeel Saray hotel overlooking Palm Jumeirah boasts a bevy of awards for its pampering skills, from Hotel Spa of the Year 2018 to World’s Best Resort Spa. There’s no scrimping here, and “the world’s most luxurious spa experience” is true to its name. Meant to be enjoyed by two, the experience takes place in a private spa suite and features an Arabian gold hammam, 24-karat gold mask, a skin-softening rose bath, and a “Diamond and Rose” body ritual consisting of an exfoliating massage followed by oils and skin conditioners for velvety soft, younger-looking skin. Because this level of pampering can’t be rushed, it includes a complimentary one-night stay, a caviar and champagne lunch, and spa gifts to go.


Time Traveler: History of the Spa

For as far back as the Bronze Age man has been revitalizing himself with spa treatments in one way, shape, form or another. As Valentine&rsquos Day approaches I am anxiously awaiting a day spa gift card, although I will probably have to settle for a box of chocolates. I did however, get to wondering just when such a revitalizing concept as visiting a spa was born.

Circa 3000 B.C
Archeological findings have unearthed pre-historic artifacts near various hot and cold water springs in Europe dating back to 3000 B.C., or so. Back then, man had to seek out and find hot or cold spring waters, but he was intelligent enough to know that soaking in fresh water to renew oneself was quite an experience.

Originally these treatments were alleged to be used for physical and spiritual purification. Perhaps combined with a ritual or ceremony, and the event took place right on sight, mother-nature style, near the water source.

Circa 2000 B.C to 400 A.D.
Sometime around mid 2000 B.C. the Grecians took the spa concept further by building bathing houses of stone. Often these bathing facilities were carved into the stone on a mountain side where hot spring waters were found.

Grecian bath houses were built in conjunction with athletic-type arenas and bathing became a communal activity used for self cleansing, healing and purification.

The Romans took the spa experience further, building larger and more ornate bath houses often utilizing their aqueduct system.

In far reaches of the Roman Empire, spas such as those found in Bath England were constructed during the Empire&rsquos reign all for the intention of rest, relaxation, healing and socializing.

The concept of healing through mineral and thermal bath spa treatments had been almost constant throughout the history of spas up through the 6th century.

Circa 500 A.D. to 1500 A.D.
Bathing and spa usage ebbed and swayed during medieval times, succeeding the fall of the Roman Empire. Many of these extravagant bath houses were abandoned and some eventually destroyed. Vagrant types took refuge in these buildings and illicit behavior became frequent within these settings. Disease spread, thus causing the general population to hold the belief that bathing too often could cause illness, rather than deter it.

Circa: 1600 A.D.
By the seventeenth century, the upper class popularly believed that bathing was low class. Cleaning oneself was done on a minimal and infrequent basis.

Circa: 1700 A.D.
As the eighteenth century approached, the upper class fell in love, once again with the concept of bathing and since that time spas around the world have been associated and frequented by the upper class and used for healing, relaxation, pampering and wellness.

Circa: 1800 A.D.
By the nineteenth century public and private bath houses were constructed, refurbished or rebuilt and it was a normal practice to visit one primarily for the purpose of cleansing and refreshing, yet all the lavishness of the earlier days was replaced with practicality and purpose.

Circa: 1900 A.D. to today
As methods for indoor plumbing became available, public bath houses and spas began to take a back seat to at-home bathing rituals.

Although the bath house and spa ideals of old are mostly gone with history, there are some from the past still in existence around the world. Buckstaff Baths in Hot Springs, Arkansas, has been in service since 1912 and offers therapeutic mineral water treatments for healing and relaxation.

Nowadays, people attempt to create the magnificence of the bath spa, whether on a large or small scale in hotels, motels and their own homes.

I hope you enjoyed the travel back in time to what I dare to call &ldquothe roots of bathroom design&rdquo.

If you would like to see a bunch of bath house and spa inspired photos, follow or check out my Bath House and Spa board on Pinterest.

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you are having a SPActacular day


Carrara Marble

When Michelangelo was searching for the perfect piece of marble to carve the colossal statue of David, or to chisel out the soft folds of robes and flesh in the Pieta, he chose a very particular type of stone. His material of choice was Carrara marble, a clean white-grey stone, patterned with crisp blue-grey veining, characteristically thin and often linear in nature. This marble has been used in statuary and monuments for centuries – Marble Arch in London is made predominantly of this material. Its versatility and appearance have also made it a timelessly popular choice in classic English interiors.

Carrara is quarried from the eponymous city near the coast of northern Tuscany. Marble is formed when limestone is compacted under thick layers of rock. The heat and pressure change the limestone to marble. The distinctive colour of Carrara marble occurs because of a lack of other impurities in the soil. These can taint the limestone as it turns to marble and create coloured marble or leave streaks of rust.

Somewhat confusingly, this is not the only type of marble to be found in Carrara. Calacatta is another type of white marble found in this area, which has thicker, more dramatic veining ranging in colour from grey to gold. Even marble found outside Italy may be referred to as Carrara. Turkish marble, for example, may be described as Carrara, as it is similar in appearance to the real thing.

“There are many white marbles passed off as Carrara but they often have a crystalline look and are very white,” explains Stephen Critchley, Carrara master stonemason with St Luke’s Heritage stonemasons and architectural sculptors. “Carrara is a white blue-grey marble, which, even when newly worked, has a classic antique finish.”

Carrara marble is sold by regional suppliers from huge warehouses near the quarries of the town. The marble is graded according to the whiteness of the background and the amount of veining. Generally, the whiter and purer the pattern, the more expensive the stone. “Different suppliers have different names for the various beds and faces of Carrara available,” explains Critchley. “I use Basic for plain work and hearths, Superior for carved work and higher range pieces, and Statuary when carving, which has very little colour variation and gives the crispest edge.”

The marble is supplied in scants or sheets, as well as blocks and tiles. When sourcing marble, craftsmen look for different traits depending on their project. Sculptors may seek out pure white marble with little veining. Architects and interior designers may prefer a veined slab of marble because of the decorative finish the patterns provide. Some may choose to source a block which can be easily book matched, whereby a block can be sliced into sheets and the repeated veining running through each sheet can be used to create a mirror-image effect.

Whatever the requirements, buyers look to avoid flaws such as dinks or dips in the surface of the marble, blurred veins or stains in the stone. Interior designer Katharine Pooley, explains: “It is important to avoid marble which has been filled in with resin or other artificial composites. The use of resin indicates both manhandling and a poor quality slab. The quality of the marble will directly affect the overall quality, appearance and durability of the project for which it is being used.”

Carrara marble has been used in English interior design for centuries. Thanks to its more subtle veining compared to other marble varieties, Carrara gives a sense of luxury and opulence without being ostentatious. These characteristics make it “difficult to over use, even in a small room where a more dramatic marble might overwhelm the space,” comments Caroline Gow, tile category manager for Fired Earth. “It won’t date – making it a fantastic investment – and it will add an undeniably luxurious feel to any room, without being ostentatious,” she adds.

Suppliers of marble have seen an increasing demand for this stone in English interiors in recent years. Inspired, perhaps, by its floor-to-ceiling use in hotels and spas around the world, designers and clients are keen to add this opulence to their home. To avoid looking too European, though, subtlety is the key.

Historically, in English interiors, Carrara has been used in architectural features such as grand staircases and ornately carved fire surrounds, as well as in statuary. Chatsworth in Derbyshire has some fine examples, so too does Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, particularly The Fountain of Love, a magnificent sculpture by Thomas Waldo Story, which incorporates a large Carrara marble shell.

“Depending on how you use it, this beautiful stone is able to take centre-stage or simply to add a discreet element of glamour to a scheme,” explains Gow. “It looks particularly striking used with other natural materials such as wood and contrasting and complementary marble. It also works really well with antique pieces and softly muted finishes such as polished nickel and brushed chrome.” A number of companies offer flooring which combines Carrara marble with other types of marble and stone to create an interesting mosaic effect. This can add luxury and opulence to a scheme without the marble being overpowering.

For a more dramatic impact use book-matched slabs or tiles with repeated or mirrored veining. Book-matched marble is more expensive, but the overall effect can be striking. Used as a shower splashback or as flooring for a large hallway, book-matched marble can be a work of art in itself.

Sometimes too much marble in a scheme can make a room feel austere. Carrara’s blue-grey veining gives warmth to the whiteness claims Gow. “It’s perfect for adding visual interest to a predominantly white scheme, such as a spa-style bathroom where it can be ‘layered’ with other whites and with different finishes to create a subtly decorative effect.”

Carrara is naturally durable but can be chipped. Thankfully, though, it has to be hit hard and in particular places to break. “The veins are the weak points,” explains Pooley, “but it doesn’t chip easily,” she reassures. The marble is also porous so needs to be protected if used in a kitchen. Hansen recommends sealing the surface before installing a marble worktop. Acidic substances such as lemon or tomato juice, or coloured liquids such as wine or balsamic vinegar, can etch and stain the stone. The surfaces can be resealed periodically to prolong their protection.

This marble can be supplied in a number of finishes. Polishing enhances the veining, gives a beautiful reflective finish and is more resistant to staining, but it is not suitable for every application. For flooring and shower bases, honed marble provides more grip for wet feet.

When using marble in architectural features, such as fireplaces and staircases, the maintenance is less labour-intensive. Critchley, who uses Carrara marble to craft such features, recommends: “A light dusting or for more intricate work, a vacuum with a soft brush head will lift the dust from delicate folds.”

Cararra marble is suitable for all rooms. In a period property, Pooley suggests using it in accents such as dado rails or architraves for a more subtle effect, or if there is simply not the space for larger applications. However it is used, this luxurious natural stone will add timeless elegance to enhance any home.


Supporting Our Spas

Like most great ideas, The SOS Spa Project came about unexpectedly. Spa leader Maggy Dunphy was hiking in the woods with Lisa Jacobs, a spa consultant and founder of The Collective Well. A bit glum, the friends found themselves sharing thoughts on the future of spas.

When COVID broke out, the spa industry was hit especially hard, and spas were shutting down. Dunphy was furloughed from her position as director of spa and wellness, Hyatt Americas, along with many friends and colleagues in spas around the country who also found themselves out of work. “I had time to think, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how spas were going to reopen,” Dunphy said. “And when they do, will they have what they need? I wanted to create a grassroots resource for spas, to help them open safely—from a small independent to a grand corporate spa.”

Dunphy shared her thoughts with another spa veteran, Diane Trieste. Trieste wanted to help. The last piece fell into place when Liz Verbruggen, another top industry professional, signed on, too. In two days, they had decided on a name, The SOS Spa Project (Supporting Our Spas), and created a website, sos-spaproject.com. Their first email came from far away: A woman who owned a small mobile massage company in Nigeria was looking for guidance.

With Verbruggen’s expertise in retail and training, Trieste’s background in education and operations, and Dunphy’s operational, organizational and financial skills, The SOS Spa Project is well-poised to offer whatever is needed. The website features guidelines and resources from ISPA, the Day Spa Association, Global Wellness Institute, CDC, the American Massage Therapy Association and more. And, of course, the collective wisdom and experience of the SOS team, offered on a one-on-one basis, is priceless, though it is offered at no charge. “We’ll look at your restart plan, to make sure you didn’t miss anything,” Dunphy says. “We’ll look at your spa menu and help you pare it down. We’ll help you resource PPE.” There are resource partners listed, with some affiliate links, on the site. But the SOS team has no business plan. “Right now, it’s about how can we help you, how can we be a phone call or a text away?” Dunphy says. “We want to be resources of caring, connection and support.”

“At a time when the nation is upside down and the world is upside down, we ultimately want to create a community of support for one another,” she continues. “We’re coming from the opposite of an ego space—and we’re good with that. This really came from wanting to give back to an industry that’s given the world to us.”


The Language of Flowers

Many people know the famous 12th-century German abbess, Hildegard von Bingen, for her passionate musical compositions. But the sainted mystic, writer and polyglot also had a groundbreaking reputation as a healer.

Following a creed that health began in her garden, the abbess experimented with flowers and herbs, documenting her finds in numerous volumes on botany, many of which still have relevance today. Her theories embodied a mind, body and spirit approach to wellness, using plants, especially flowers, to restore balance in her patients. In particular, von Bingham believed, as many cultures have, from the ancient Egyptians to the Aborigines to the Maya, that morning dew on plants distilled their curative powers.

Legendarily, von Bingham practiced wrapping muslim around flowering plants overnight to collect the dew, using the drenched cloth to wrap patients at the abbey. Centuries later, homeopathic companies, such as The Bach Center, and their flower remedy collection, available today in most natural food stores, similarly derive their tinctures from allowing sun to warm flowers which have been immersed in spring water. The idea, also part of Aura-Soma (an energy therapy based on color) is that flower essences raise our energy vibrations, nourishing us on a holistic level, and provide nutrients we lack, imparting a medicinal effect. According to various theories on healing, flowers can calm nerves, eradicate disease, energize or disinfect—among other beneficial outcomes.

While many agree that flowers (herbs and plants) constitute a wealth of vitamins and salutary possibilities, some experts won’t go as far to embrace them as “curative.” Nevertheless, nearly everyone enjoys flower gardens and fresh-picked bouquets for their beauty and perfume. Though less known today as a form of discourse, flowers have been enjoyed historically beyond healing as a secret form of communication.

The language of flowers took root (no pun intended) in ancient times. Floriography, as it’s known, can be found from Asia to Africa. Regionally, specific flowers have meaning, and may be used for rituals, to spread goodwill or as symbols. In Victorian times in Europe, flowers became a confidential language of love, often imparting messages that could not be shared aloud. For example, pansies meant “think of me,” yellow tulips indicated “hopeless love” and a daisy declared: “I share your sentiments.”

Today, spas around the world offer therapies based on the healing and otherwise evocative aspects of flowers. Here are some recommendations.

The Flower: Chrysanthemum. In China, this flower stands for cheerfulness in adversity. Popular as a rejuvenating tea, it’s touted for its all-purpose benefits.

The Treatment: Chrysanthemum Enhancer. Dried chrysanthemums, honey and lemon are slathered on and massaged into the skin for moisturizing results.

The Flowers: A blend, which includes Jasmine (to uplift), Neroli (to relieve anxiety), Ylang Ylang (fights insomnia), rosewood (eases jet lag), bergamont (soothes skin), amrys (calming scent), and clementine (relieves tension).

The Treatment: The treetop spa offers seasonal flower treatments. This spring, Eternal Blossom Body Essence slathers uses shea body butter and flower tincture for a restorative rub down and wrap.

The Flowers: Lavender (for tranquility), rosemary (antioxidant and mood enhancer), cypress (detox and antifungal), and myrtle flowers (symbol of love, with anti-inflammatory effects).

The Treatment: The Pablo uses flowers grown on property. Put into poultice packets, the herbs and flowers are pressed on the muscles to prepare them for an intensive massage.

The Flowers: Hibiscus Flower (antioxidant and cell renewing) Calendula Petals (skin softening, wound healer) or Arnica Flowers (fight pain and inflammation, sprain healer).

The Treatment: Choose from three floral-laden formulas to customize your ideal experience with the Sonoran Body Scrub at the Spa’s Desert Scrub Bar. Mesquite Buffing Grains uses powdered herbs, hibiscus and rose flowers, Agave Nectar & Mesquite Sugar hydrates sun-damaged skin with calendula, and Desert Mineral Salt assists with bruises and injuries, thanks to Arnica flowers.

The Flowers: Plumeria (relieves headache, moisturizes), Ylang Ylang (anti-depressant, anti-spasmodic), water lily (relaxation), magnolia (reduces anxiety) and rose (signifies love and passion, is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory).

The Treatment: Developed for two to enjoy in the Mandapa Spa Suite, the Royal Spice Ceremony’s floral infusion bath “cleanses the physical and spiritual body with its high energy frequency,” according to Spa Director Dwi Santini. A four-handed massage follows the soak.

The Flower: Lavender for restoration and balance.

The Treatment: At this iconic spa known for its water therapy area, enjoy the Couples’ Sonoma Organic Lavender Kur. A lavender infused bath for two softens the skin and relieves muscle aches, while a botanical wrap improves circulation. A lavender oil infused massage seals the deal.

The Flower: Orchid for beauty helps with toning and brightening.

The Treatment: This hotel’s Orchid Bliss Treatment uses the calming effects of orchid extract for a toning and skin conditioning.

The Flower: Rose stands for an open heart it hydrates and promotes cell renewal.

The Treatment: Aromatherapy Associates Rose Facial takes advantage of rose’s curative properties to hydrate, soften and nourish the face.

The Flowers: Various blends, locally made from sixty different flowers, including tuberose (attracts love and peace, gives energy), lilac (stands for love, is antiseptic and mood relaxer) and hydrangea (diuretic and anti-inflammatory).

The Treatment: The Colorado Wildflower Scrub uses chia seeds, brown sugar and jojoba, infused with rainbow fluorite crystals and Phia flower essences to soften skin and create balance.


Chill Out: How to Host the Ultimate Spa Staycation

Lindsey Calla was living in New York City at the time, overworked and with little time to exercise. She would often wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety attacks.

"I started coming down to New Orleans for fun—it was my escape," says Calla, the 31-year-old founder of the fitness, health and style site, Calla in Motion. Calla's 50,000-plus followers are accustomed to seeing her travel the world in search of the next big thing in wellness. But it's not every place Calla chooses to call home. "When I moved here, I became calm," she says, "I found this peacefulness."

Although the Big Easy is famed for its hard-partying, bead-throwing lifestyle, Calla quickly connected with the city's mindful side, and the local yoga scene. "People are really interested in the simplicity of life, and with that you get well-being," she says. "The pace of life goes so much slower here."

This summer, Calla carved out a break in her busy travel schedule to reconnect with the home and community she fell in love with, transforming her 19th century French Quarter apartment into a spa staycation for her tight-knit yoga friend group.

Calla likes to bring elements inspired by spa vacations to Mexico, Hawaii, and Japan into her home through design details. She filled her apartment with botanicals—inspired by a favorite spot in Puerto Rico—and set out mason jar aroma candles alongside lots of greenery. "It was really about making people feel like they were being treated to something, and being pampered in their city," she says.

A fan of home yoga, Calla and her friends (along with their favorite yoga teacher) moved the furniture, rolled out their mats, and worked on their poses in the living room. Afterwards, she handed out homemade eucalyptus cold towels and glasses of sweet and green iced tea—another tip picked up from her trips to spas around the world.

She set up a low table with floor cushions, and arranged an inviting selection of Gold Peak® Tea and avocado toast. Chilled out, the friends headed to the balcony, got comfortable, and listened to the sounds of jazz musicians performing on the French Quarter streets below.

Planning your own spa staycation? Learn how to make cold eucalyptus towel, plus five more easy at-home spa treatments. And get the recipe for tea-poached apricots—the perfect conclusion to a day of chilling out.


Watch the video: Best Spas in the World. LET GO AND SOOTHE YOUR SOUL in these Amazing Spas Around the World (November 2021).