Luxe Lavs: Valentine’s Day Spa Treatments Around the World
February is synonymous with love. Instead of chocolate or flowers, give the gift of spa. Luxe Lavs contributors Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno left the hotel bathroom and discovered Valentine’s Day spa treatments inside luxury hotel spas around the globe.
At The Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, Hotel France’s nail guru Bastien Gonzalez and Australia’s Sodashi founder Megan Larsen have created an exclusive and effective beauty treatment. They have combined a pedicure with a non-invasive facial so that two people can work on you simultaneously.
The Bastien pedicure approach is an entirely new experience with a focus on conditioning the nails and skin. This medical pedicure is performed by a podiatry expert and is all about the health of the feet. Your nails are reshaped and polished with tools, and then buffed with a chamois leather nail buffer. The pedicure is finished off with a paste of real diamond dust that leaves your toenails shiny, lasting for weeks—with no polish necessary.
When you book a treatment at The Center For Well-Being at The Phoenician, you also get a complimentary meditation session in the meditation atrium. Here, leaders such as Christina Drozda guide clients through an almost hypnotic experience. The atrium has soft light streaming down from the skylights, comfy leather recliners, and lush plants that bring the feeling of the desert inside. After meditation, there are 24 private rooms where you can enjoy spice scrubs, facials, hot stone rubs, holistic massage, or tarot card readings.
At the Holistic Spa inside Hacienda Encantada in Cabo San Lucas, there is a Mayan Massage treatment that uses ancient Mayan practices to heal the body and mind and restore energy and balance. Starting with burning sage while one is still standing, the smoke is waved over the body. Once lying down, the music gently plays while the relaxing deep massage goes head to toe using native techniques that release blockages and muscular tensions. One of the most unusual maneuvers is a series of movements that “exercise” your limbs with a massage shawl. A scarf is gently placed underneath the body and is then pulled gently back and forth. The linen moves across limbs, stretching the back and legs. Other healing techniques, such as cupping therapy topped with special lotions, are also used.
Sonoma County in California is known for its verdant land that provides farm-to-table cuisine and some of the most renowned wines in the world. After nourishing your gastronomic senses, turn to the Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn to soothe your body. This resort is one of the only spas in the country to have its own source of thermal mineral water—it’s located on top of an ancient thermal spring. Native Americans once honored this spot, as they understood its renewing and healing properties. The spa has mineral baths, a Watsu pool where guests can enjoy a floating massage and stretch experience, plus signature spa treatments. Drinks and healthy fare are served outdoors, and the stone fireplace adds a warming touch. Take advantage of the packages that include hiking, lunch, and a Willow Stream Spa treatment to savor all that Sonoma County has to offer.
Gemstone therapy has been used by ancient desert cultures for centuries. These rare cultures, some of them now lost to civilization, used local gemstones in healing rituals to treat ailments of the mind and body. It has been found that the soothing effects of gemstones can help to ease sore muscles, alleviate stress, and increase the flow of energy. The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain spa accesses raw gemstones from a local mine and uses them in its signature spa experiences. Guests begin their treatment journey by allowing the spirit to choose which gemstone is most personally appealing, then enjoy a calming foot soak while herbal tea is served. The ritual concludes with a mild dry exfoliation, a soothing aromatic bath, and a full body massage using healing gemstone placement. The spa harnesses the healing properties and energy benefits of Amethyst and Citrine, while combining them with the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. Citrine is equated with Prosperity and Joy, whereas Amethyst is equated with Calmness and Clarity, a perfectly blissful combination.
It’s hard to leave the beach in Anguilla, even harder to leave the beach bar with Bankie Banx’s soothing reggae tunes floating into the sunset, but the Venus Spa at CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa is a reason to do so. First, there’s the welcoming circular spa, and then there are the body treatments. You can choose between the Anguilla Warmed Seashell Treatment, classic relaxation, or exotic essence aromatherapy massage. You can also book a private room that includes a massage table, personal hot tub, and a private balcony. After scrubbing with organic oils and a long soak, escape onto the veranda to catch a glimpse of the award-winning golf course and a distant view of the sea.
Keystone Lodge may be a small resort, but its large spa has more than 10,000 square feet of amenities. The Spa’s Two-Gether Massage provides customized massages that take place inside the Massage Suite for Two, a spacious room designed for dual treatments that includes an a enormous soaking tub. Colorado is known for its dry climate, so they added the Full Body Quench and Hands and Feet Quench with the Aromatherapy scent of your choosing. Not only does it regenerate physical, emotional, and spiritual health, it replenishes, moisturizes, and nourishes skin with hydrating warm pure shea butter conditioning balm.
The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina was built over one hundred years ago and catered to the original “glamping” experience. Seated on a hill overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, the view seems to stretch through endless layers of mist. Business tycoons like Ford and Edison would start at the Inn and then drive into the mountains for their extravagant camping excursions. When The Spa was added, care was taken to not disrupt this powerful panorama but also allow for the enjoyment of it. A subterranean spa was designed with an outdoor hot tub that is barely visible from some of the rooms. Twenty water features, including ten mineral-based pools, are found inside the cavernous rock walls, arches, and tunnels. Therapeutic waterfall pools, a lap pool with underwater music, relaxation rooms with fireplaces, saunas, steam rooms, plunge pools, and more await. But you won’t want to miss the mountain view massage in the year-round pagoda. The fresh Appalachian air surrounds guests, and a fire is lit for warmth in the winter.
The Red Mountain Resort’s Sagestone Spa & Salon in Utah combines relaxation services with relief for athlete’s tired muscles after a long day hiking the Red Rocks or Zion National Park. The elements of medicinal and spiritual make for a unique spa menu. Choices like Craniosacral Therapy and Lymphatic Drainage Therapy are listed with the Art of Touch and Tonifying with rosemary, geranium, and wild mint. There are, of course, a plethora of standard options such as agave wraps, facials, and salon services. This resort encourages a return to nature, and the organic products used reflect that, as well as the hiking, Nordic walking, climbing, and astronomy classes offered. A special treat for spa-goers is the relaxation room with an unobstructed view of Red Mountain.
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By Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno for PeterGreenberg.com