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Carlsbad May Wellness Weeks

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Bargains, Destination Spas, News, Resort and Hotel Spas | 0 comments

“Carlsbad, California May Wellness Weeks

The Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is participating in “Carlsbad, California May Wellness Weeks.’

Visit Carlsbad Launches “Carlsbad, California May Wellness Weeks”

Carlsbad, California is celebrating more than 130 years of wellness heritage by expanding its annual May women’s wellness promotion beyond weekends to take in the entire month.

“Carlsbad, California May Wellness Weeks” will offer four complete weeks of savings on a variety of spa treatments, fitness activities and wellness-themed hotel accommodation packages.

Refresh, rejuvenate and relax at leading spa properties such as The Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort and Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa.

Spot rare birds around the shores of Batiquitos Lagoon, paddle Agua Hedionda Lagoon , hike the Hosp Grove Trail, or participate in free yoga, held each Friday in Carlsbad Village.

Promotion packages are now available online.


 Beach Terrace Inn’s Beach Wellness Package

Promo Code: WELLNESS

This beach wellness package offers 10% off hotel rates plus complimentary use of the Beach Fitness Kit. Stay for a weekend and attend the inn’s complimentary Sunday morning beach yoga class for a gentle hour of centering, stretching and renewal on the sand. Rates from $207 per night for travel May 1 – May 21, 2015.

Hilton Oceanfront Cape Rey’s Wellness Package

This limited time package includes 10% off an overnight stay in an ocean view deluxe room, two 50-minute spa treatments, a refreshing lunch for two, a free beach pack rental and bike rentals. Call now to take advantage of this offer. 760-602-0800

 Omni La Costa Resort & Spa’s Spa & Splendor Package

Escape the everyday with a getaway to the nation’s #1 wellness spa. Package includes luxurious accommodations, two 50-minute spa treatments, lunch for two at the Spa Café, and complimentary resort fee. Rates from $575. Subject to availability.

 Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa’s Aviara Golf & Spa Package

Find an oasis amidst the peace and natural beauty of Aviara Spa, master that golf swing on the resort’s championship Arnold Palmer designed golf course and play among the botanical gardens at Aviara Tennis Center. The Aviara Golf & Spa Package includes:

  • One 50 minute spa treatment or One round of golf per person for up to 2 ppl
  • 25% off retail purchases at Aviara Golf Pro Shop and Aviara Spa
  • 25% off Golf and Tennis instruction
  • Complimentary overnight golf club storage

Rates from $399. Reservations are subject to availability and must be made in advance.

Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa’s Playcation Package

Want to do it all? With this exclusive package mix and match daily activities – with each day’s itinerary yielding a new adventure. This special offer includes:

Choice of One (1) per stay

  • One Round of golf with golf cart and unlimited use of practice facility and engraved bag tag OR
  • One-50 minute massage or facial treatment at Ocean Pearl Spa per person (up to 2 people per day per stay) OR
  • Resort Hopper Ticket for LEGOLAND® California Resort (may be exchanged for San Diego Safari Park tickets) OR
  • One hour jet ski rental at Carlsbad Lagoon (California Watersports)

This package also includes Daily American Breakfast at TWENTY/20 for up to two people, access to Fitness Center and heated 24-hour Pool. Playcation package rates from $347. Book online or call 866-716-8134 and mention rate plan LVPKG1.

Skinsational Spa’s Wellness Weekend Special

Exclusive for May’s Wellness Weekend, experience the natural health benefits of a super detox therapeutic mud soak & body wrap for $165. Plus, receive a free 30-minute massage and take home Mud Bath to help continue the detox.



Magical Oils Take Their Place in Skincare

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Bargains, Product Reviews, Tips | 0 comments

CapriClear Both Sizes-Bottle in Carton


With at least a dozen uses, oils are taking their place in skincare

There was a time when you couldn’t persuade women to use oils, except in the bathtub, but all that has changed radically.

The most important development is the recognition that the animal and mineral oils of yesterday really did clog pores and irritate some delicate skin. However, today’s broad range of plant-based oils is another kettle of fish.

The light, easily penetrating moisturizing products are offered through a variety of companies, and one product usually serves a number of needs. There are oils that have proven successful in minimizing the appearance of stretch marks and scars, and the same oils can be used as a scalp treatment, a serum for fly-away hair, massage oil, lip moisturizer, brow grooming, even makeup remover, simplifying the number of bottles on the skincare shelf and benefitting the pocketbook. Well-known names from Kiehls to L’Oreal are promoting oils, as well as medical and natural care companies. Many offer a full size container and travel-size bottles of the product.


Bio-Oil, with vitamins A & E, Calendula, Lavender, Rosemary and Chamomile extracts, is one that offers some very strong claims: in a clinical study 50% of people who used it for eight weeks recorded an improvement on stretch marks, and uneven skin tone was reduced by 93% in six weeks’ use. The product ahs received a long list of awards, from Most Easily Absorbed Body Moisturiser by Harper’s Bazaar Beauty Awards to Best product for pregnant women in Poland, both in 2014. I tried it on my hands, face, neck, and on body scars from surgery years ago, and within three weeks saw improvement in skin tone and texture – definitely anti-aging effective – and the scarring was less visible. A two-oz. bottle runs from $11.99, and can be found at GNC, Target and other outlets.


After a series of long plane rides, I used CapriClear Spray-on Moisturizer made from 100% fractionated coconut oil, which is thought to be more effective than virgin oil in penetrating the skin, and it doesn’t have to be warmed or stirred before using it. The all-natural, paraben-free product turned out to be one of the fastest absorbed oils I have ever tried; I could use it just before getting dressed without worrying about it staining my clothing, and it feels incredibly gentle and skin becomes very silky, even after dehydration from time in the air. And being able to spray it on makes it so easy, good for hard to reach spots like the middle of the back.

The company reports that it was proven in testing to relieve symptoms of eczema and atopic dermatitis including flaking, cracks, itching, scaling and redness, and reduces the appearance of scars and stretch marks.

The full-size 5.2 fl. oz. bottle at $19.99 and TSA-friendly travel size 1.9 oz. $10.99 bottles are available at Bed Bath & Beyond and other retail stores as well as and

Australian Jojoba

Natural Australian Jojoba from The Jojoba Company Australia is made exclusively with 100% natural Australian jojoba grown and harvested on the company’s own farm. Jojoba is really not an oil, but a wax ester, matching a component of healthy human skin, which allows the body to accept it for deep hydration. This is incredibly gentle and effective, and the company also makes a baby oil. The 1 fluid oz. bottle is $19.95 online and in health food stores.


People who have had problems with other oils rave about Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil, a blend of pure oils—seaberry, cranberry seed, camellia seed, grapeseed, and sweet almond— that reportedly increases the skin’s smoothness and elasticity and works against free radicals as an anti-aging product. Used traditionally in Siberia, the product was discovered by co-founder Lev Glazman when used by a doctor to heal her arm after it was burned by boiling water.  It certainly has a positive effect on skin tone; fortunately, I didn’t have to try it as an agent for healing burns.

At $50 for 1.6 fluid oz., it is available at Sephora and Amazon.


A completely different application of oil is pulling, This is an Ayurvedic technique to remove toxins from the mouth, a key to heart health. Devotees say it provides benefits from whiter teeth and fresher breath to joint pain relief, energy boosts, weight loss, relief from gum disease and tooth decay.

Although most of these rely on single oils, GuruNanda Pulling Oil contains a proprietary blend of sesame oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil and peppermint oil, which have different properties. The process of pulling involves putting a tablespoon of oil in the mouth and swishing it around without swallowing it, building up to 20 minutes. The oils attract bacteria, which then are removed when the user spits out the oil (in the trash, as it can clog drains). I found it difficult to get up to the 20 minute mark, but even using it for 10 minutes made my teeth whiter and, together with flossing and brushing, my mouth feel much fresher.

The generous 8.45 fluid oz. bottle is $14.99; you can buy it on their own site or on




Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul Offers Gluten Free Menu

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Bargains | 0 comments

ciragan palace kempinski

Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul

The five star Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul now offers guests a new Gluten Free Menu 

One of my favorite hotels in all the world is the magnificent Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul. One of my favorite luxuries at this hotel, which was once an Ottoman palace, was the breakfast buffet, which consisted of more than 200 international dishes. For American tastes, there were pancakes and eggs prepared every which way; for Asian dinners, there were curried dishes, sushi and more. Cheeses and salamis, fruits, nuts, jams, breads and the finest pastries I’d ever tasted. So many choices and such temptations to overeat.

You’ll find many elements of the traditional Turkish breakfast such as several varieties of cheese and salami, dried fruits, nuts, jams, honey, breads and pastries. However, I opted for more the “exotic” items such as smoked salmon, fresh mozzarella with basil, risotto, freshly carved roast beef, curried chicken and the sushi bar. I was in sushi heaven!

n Restaurant serves open buffet breakfast with over 250 items with 80% organic ingredients, as well as Arabic and Asian corners. It offers all-day dining with a rich menu of comfort food and regional specialties. Tuğra Restaurant and Lounge offers the ultimate Ottoman dining experience every night along with live traditional music

and nowMagnificently situated in the heart of Istanbul on the European shores of the Bosphorus overlooking the ancient city, the Çırağan Palace Kempinski İstanbul, once an Ottoman Palace, is the only hotel in Istanbul that can be reached by yacht, helicopter and limousine.  Offering the highest standards in amenities and service, this five-star property has 282 rooms and 31 suites, including the Sultan Suite, one of the largest in Europe. Dining and entertainment at the Çırağan Palace is offered in six distinctive venues, led by Executive Chef Sezai Erdogan who takes pride to be the first Turkish executive chef of the hotel with tremendous experience preparing Turkish and world cuisines.


Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul offers travelers not only the utmost in luxe accommodations and a true five-star experience, but offers an opportunity to continue their lifestyle while indulging in another.


Bernardus Lodge & Spa Opens

Posted by on Apr 24, 2015 in News, Resort and Hotel Spas | 0 comments

Bernardus Lodge & Spa

Bernardus Lodge & Spa

The Bernardus Lodge & Spa opens in Carmel Valley, CA, with multi-million dollar transformation

California’s newest entry into the luxury hospitality arena welcomes guests April, 2015 with the long-awaited debut of the repositioned Bernardus Lodge & Spa.  Following a four-month, multi-million dollar transformation, the Forbes Four Star 57-guestroom property set on 28 fragrant acres of lavender, orchards and vineyards showcases a dramatic shift in style and interior design.  Curated for epicureans and romantics, highlights include the new Lucia Restaurant & Bar under renowned Chef Cal Stamenov, redesign of all luxury guestrooms, reconfigured public spaces with an indoor/outdoor aesthetic, expanded wedding and event spaces and re-envisioned Spa at Bernardus with a deep-rooted wellness and fitness slant.

Under new ownership and management, Bernardus Lodge steps up with an intimate and stylish experience deserving of its surroundings.   Shouldered by the rugged Santa Lucia Mountains, the Pacific Ocean to the west and Big Sur just 25 miles south, the Lodge’s ethos redefines luxury and revitalizes the senses.  From its sensually-designed suites and new standard of high-touch service, the bar on wine country retreats has officially been raised.  Rates start at $515.00/dbl. .


Los Angeles-based architectural/design firm ARYA Group, Inc., renowned for its high-concept celebrity residential portfolio, is credited with bringing the vision to reality with a rustic-chic ranch estate concept.   Clean contemporary lines and warm tones reflect the property’s new aesthetic with rich Italian stonework, mosaic tiles, grass cloth, French oak floors and chandeliers gracing public spaces.   With an eye to maximizing its natural surroundings, walls have been replaced with invigorating vineyard views, new outdoor fireplaces have been created and an alfresco dining terrace is now featured.  Guestrooms reveal a residential feel with custom furnishings and dream baths for two.

Reflecting Bernardus’ inherent epicurean spirit and soothing soul, interiors are set in neutral tones of olive leaf, charcoal and oyster.  Oxidized copper and seagrass accents are matched with punches of aqua and green lichen.  Pattern and texture play large roles in the guestrooms with rich hand-knotted rugs, oversized Strathmore chairs, mercury glass chandeliers and antique hand-hewn reclaimed wood accents.  Plush silver headboards and contemporary art combined with wrought-iron mirrors, limestone fireplaces and dining room tables deliver a ranch-style feel with an understated casual elegance.   Oversized private garden patios, feather beds, Frette linens, complimentary Bernardus wine bar and pantry and twice-daily housekeeping service round out the amenities.


Named after the majestic Santa Lucia Range which provides the dramatic backdrop to the outdoor dining terrace, Lucia Restaurant & Bar debuts with renowned Chef Cal Stamenov and team driving the stoves.  The restaurant showcases a vibrant, stylish and decidedly relaxed setting well suited to Stamenov’s style of cuisine.  Key highlights include a new 2,300 sq., ft., alfresco heated terrace and reconfigured footprint with expansive new gardens, mountain views and chandeliers.  A large fireplace designed from Bagattini Oregon stone marks the focal point of the main dining room with open vineyard views and a mixed-use table layout in rich marble and reclaimed wood.   Italian leather chairs, silver wall sconces and oxidized copper accents round out the seductive, earthy design.

The spring menu showcases “California country” cuisine reflecting the chef’s enviable cache of farmers, foragers and fisherman, spiked with sophisticated undertones.  Key starters include a Fava-Pecorino-Artichoke Salad with black truffle vinaigrette and local Dungeness Crab offset with sweet pea tendril and Cara Cara orange.  Entrees include Stamenov’s signature brick-oven pizzas, Diver Scallop Wellington with a decadent black truffle emulsion, Chicken Fried Quail with pickled vegetables and saffron-horseradish crème fraiche and a seasonal Smoked Sonoma Duck Stew paired with green olives, purple artichokes and rich goat cheese polenta.  Prized Wagyu beef and prime rib as well as a daily fresh fish selection round out the menu.  A five-course tasting menu is available nightly with wine pairing ($95.00/exclusive).  Starters: $10.00 – $21.00; entrees: $20.00 – $52.00.

In addition, Lucia Bar & Patio offers casual fare and a craft cocktail program focused on seasonal, artisanal drinks with 29 signature collections culled from small batch producers.  A variety of coveted private dining venues, from the expanded 12-seat Wine Cellar to the exclusive Chef’s Table inside the kitchen and Magnum Room, offer extensive tasting menus backed by an enviable 25,000-bottle wine cellar.  Seating is available from 5:00 p.m., to 9:00 p.m., nightly.


The award-winning Spa at Bernardus, a sun-drenched sanctuary flanked by two pools and a new hot tub, now features a curated wellness component with a garden-to-treatment philosophy rich in rewards.  From couples to corporate retreats, the new road to wellness includes yoga, hypnotherapy, guided meditation, sunrise stretch classes, reinvigorated tennis program, escorted hikes at nearby Garland Ranch Regional Park and programming centered on longevity.  Summer plans include workshops in culinary cultivation, boot camps, moonlight yoga and classes centered on the property’s annual lavender harvest.

Boasting two additional state-of-the art treatment rooms for a total of nine, the full-service spa, salon and 24-hour fitness facility’s new design mirrors the Lodge’s, with an earthen color palette and fresh spin on wellness and fitness.   The spa boasts dual eucalyptus steam and dry sauna rooms, a Vichy shower, private couple’s soaking tub and warming pool.  A re-imagined pool experience features a dramatic new entry, private luxury cabanas, custom pool furnishings and a dedicated food and beverage program.



First eforea Spa in Caribbean Opens

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Health and Wellness, News, Resort and Hotel Spas | 0 comments

hilton barbados

Hilton Barbados

The first eforea spa in the Caribbean opens at the Hilton Barbados; Spa Features Exclusive Treatment Journeys and Innovative Design Elements

Hilton Barbados Resort announces the opening of the first eforea spa in the Caribbean.  The 2,400 square foot spa offers an exclusive treatment menu, innovative design features and carefully selected product partners that appeal to today’s global travelers. As the spa experience becomes more important to business and leisure guests, the new eforea spa located at Hilton Barbados Resort enhances the travel experience.

“This is an exciting time for Hilton Barbados Resort as we continue to enrich the guest experience with the launch of the first eforea spa in the Caribbean,” said George Stanfield, general manager, Hilton Barbados Resort.  “With a trained team of therapists, we will offer some of the most unique spa treatments in Barbados and look forward to welcoming guests to an unforgettable pampering experience.”

eforea spa is an innovative global spa concept featuring a menu of treatments designed to help guests ‘emerge brighter’ from their  spa experience, feeling renewed, uplifted and refreshed. At Hilton Barbados Resort, guests can indulge in The Essentials Journey, composed of powerful, technologically advanced treatments, and The Escape Journey, incorporating local ingredients and products to inspire a truly indigenous spa experience.  Both Journeys at Hilton Barbados Resort feature results-oriented therapies that leave guests feeling rejuvenated and reinvigorated.

The new eforea spa at Hilton Barbados Resort provides a warm and relaxing environment with four treatment rooms, including one for couples, each offering individual controls for music selection; a transition lounge for a peaceful rest; manicure and pedicure room; and male and female washrooms with saunas.  The spa will also feature the first quartz sand bed in the Caribbean, where guests are embraced with heated sand, as well as a custom Caribbean Massage using a variety of rhythmic Caribbean techniques and pressures that support the body’s healing process and brighter emergence.

eforea spas boast some of the world’s top spa product brands throughout its treatment menu and retail area.  The spa at Hilton Barbados Resort features the Hylunia range of facial, body and cleansing products.

Room rates start at US$179 per night.  For reservations at Hilton Barbados Resort or further information, visit the website.




Spa Lunch Debuts at The Umstead

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Health and Wellness, News, Resort and Hotel Spas | 0 comments

Umstead Hotel and Spa

Umstead Hotel and Spa

Herons Debuts Spa Inspired Lunch at The Umstead

Herons, the signature restaurant at The Umstead Hotel and Spa has a new spa inspired prix fixe lunch, available daily. The Restore menu takes a whole foods approach to the freshest produce each season has to offer, in creative presentations designed to nourish all the senses.

Restore’s debut menu is full of hyper-local, wholesome spring delights, much of it fresh-picked from the nearby Culinary Farm at SAS Campus, where the focus is on organic and sustainable methods. Whether spa-goers prefer to dine pre- or post- spa treatment, Restore is the perfect complement to a complete day of wellness at The Umstead Spa.

 The menu is available daily at lunch for $35 per person.

In addition to Restore, Executive Chef Steven Greene has given all of Herons’ menus a spring refresh. Among the highlights:

·         Champagne-poached Kusshi oysters with lemon verbena ice and pancetta crumble

·         Asparagus salad with coddled egg, parmesan, radish and petite lettuce

·         Potato dumplings with lobster, fava beans, Honshimeji mushrooms, basil and garlic

·         Carolina quail with apricot-lavender lacquer, Hakurei turnip, ramps and smoked bacon

·         Lamb with polenta, pistachio, mint, coconut, granola, bergamot, and lamb jus

·         Strawberries with elderflower blooms, blue corn cake, tarragon, and St. Germain sorbet

·         Warm doughnuts with seasonal jam

For Herons reservations, call 919-447-4000.

About The Umstead Hotel and Spa

The Umstead Hotel and Spa is a singular property in North Carolina’s northeastern Piedmont region, an area rich in beauty and rooted in innovation. The state’s most highly rated hotel, it boasts stunning interiors punctuated with privately curated fine art, 150 spacious guest rooms and suites, world-class cuisine, a stimulating spa, gracious staff, and a serene woodland setting. The Umstead is a recipient of both the AAA Five Diamond award and Forbes Five Star rating. For more information, visit the website.