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Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Destination Spas, Resort and Hotel Spas, Spa Reviews | 0 comments

Mohonk Maintains Mission of Healing

Mohonk Maintains Mission of Healing

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Gazebo in Gardens at Mohonk Mountain House (Jim Smith Photography)

Gazebo in Gardens at Mohonk Mountain House (Jim Smith Photography)

Top spa resort celebrates nearly a century and a half of environmental pioneering

Ninety miles north of Manhattan, near the town of New Paltz, a most attractive, sprawling complex of wings on a Victorian castle emerges: Mohonk Mountain House named the #1 spa resort in the United States by Conde Nast Traveler.

Owned by generations of the Smiley family, Mohonk is unusual in many ways. The twin Quakers who originally bought 280 acres and a 10-room inn in 1869 created a success story that resulted in 7,500 acres 100 years later–5,000 of which were set aside as a preserve administered by a trust. And founder Albert Smiley was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his annual conference on international arbitration, which paved the way for the Hague Conferences and the United Nations from 1895 to 1916. Environmentally, the family took an equally unusual tack:  a geothermal system provides heating and cooling, tapping the cavelike temperatures beneath the surface with 48, 480-foot wells.

For guests, Mohonk fulfills its mission as a place of healing, and the 30,000 square-foot spa blends cutting edge techniques with traditional stretching practices from the late 1800s in Timeless Traditions treatments. Mohonk Muscle Rescue is intensive massage, and Warm stone, aromatherapy combined with Swedish, Reflexology, Swedish, head and shoulders, massage aimed at stress, maternity massage, cranial sacral, Reiki, Shiatsu, Breathe Deep and Be Well, Attainable Sleep, relief from the effects of high heels, men on the go for calves and feet, special massages incorporated into mani-pedi.

Creative packages include couples and maternity massage with 50-minute maternity massage and 50 minute Deep Tissue, $320 per couple. They combine micro-current technology, ultrasound and infusions for anti-aging, and use local herbs and stones for their treatments.  A 60-minute massage runs in the neighborhood of $170; 80 minutes  around $220; facials usually $155 for an hour.

Most of the staff is part-time, but the intensely collaborative ethic that permeates Mohonk generates team–inspired treatments and programs, like the Muscle Rescue treatment that was instituted years ago when the property began offering triathalons and the spa staff met to discuss complimentary treatments. Although the original offering addressed muscles related to running, biking and swimming, they found the treatment was embraced by many – weekend warriors,  and became one of their most popular. Later they bundled several such treatments in the “Solutions for Modern Living” that address everything from time spent working with today’s pervasive communications electronics to a breathe deep massage for sinus relief, developed in conjunction with Hope Gillerman, their aromatherapy partner.

Many of these treatments are developed by listening to the guests, Spa Director Barbara Stirewalt said, hearing their problems and addressing them with treatments.  “We talk about what the customers are saying, what’s bothering them, and that begets treatments, “ she added.

Another example was their brainstorm discussion on the physical perils of the digital world. The Tension Tamer, designed for texting and the posture often associated with the eyes on a smaller, lap or handheld device, addresses issues for  both for shoulders and forearms. “As a matter of fact, our entire Solutions for Modern Living offering was developed in the very same collaborative manner, with our team focusing together on issues we have identified and are hearing from our guests,” Stirewalt said.

She is delighted to be able to use the resort’s enormous resources. “I’m the luckiest Spa Director ever,” she said. “From product line selections to the teas we serve in the spa, I have been able to have highly educated biologists guide choices that are truly relevant to our surroundings – an indigenous connection for our guests.” For instance, the Indigo Poultice treatment is named for the plant that grows wild on the Mohonk Preserve.

The spa’s 16 treatment rooms are paired with a solarium with a stone fireplace, glass wrapped verandas for men and women, and signature treatments like the Mohonk Red Massage that combines Swedish, Lomi Lomi and Thai stretches named in honor of Mohonk Red witch hazel that grows on the property. At the end, the senses are revived one by one, ending with taste: grapes and an elixir to enjoy on the Women’s veranda, then swim or enjoy a mineral bath. There’s a lift for any guests who might need pool entry assistance and lifts for stairs in some areas, elevators in most.

Solarium with Stone Fireplace at Mohonk Mountain House (Jim Smith Photography)

Solarium with Stone Fireplace at Mohonk Mountain House (Jim Smith Photography)

Body treatments include a hydrating body mask using anti-inflammatory extracts from moss found on the grounds. There are also customized water cures: private hydrotherapy tub treatments with different herbal mixes for rest, renewal and more.

There’s also a whole list of treatments for men, which run from Gentlemen’s Facials to Indigo Herbal Poultice Massage and Deep Tissue to Huguenot hand and foot rescue.

Guests can combine treatments into samplers like the Gotta Getaway Combo where they can choose a 50-minute massage from the menu and a 50-minute facial for $310, and there are special services for older teens.

Overnight guests have complimentary use of pool fitness room, classes from yoga and Pilates to Qi Gong, meditation and stretches. Workouts can make use of the Adaptive Motion Trainer, exercise bikes, free weights, elliptical machines and treadmills, but also the 1,200 acres of hiking, biking, horseback riding and boating facilities.

Judging from the dreamlike state of guests relaxing after their treatments, and their resolution to take the spa’s philosophy home, the spa director is by no means the only lucky one.

 

 

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Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Destination Spas, Spa Reviews | 1 comment

Bio-Vitalhotel Weissenseerhof

Bio-Vitalhotel Weissenseerhof

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Foto Augenblick

It was delightful to stumble upon a jewel of a spa hotel that none of my friends know about. A hotel which nestles high up in the forested hills of southern Austria on the edge of the stunning Lake Weissensee, the highest bathing lake in the Alps,  a hotel which offers not only a heavenly, luxurious, peaceful environment, but also a supremely healthy one. Ideally, I would prefer to keep it a secret, but that would not be fair to the lovely Bio-Vitalhotel Weissenseerhof.

On my plane from London to Salzburg, Austria, I chatted with the TV chef Nigella Lawson. She was off to the renowned VivaMayr clinic for a week, the place where the global elite go and spend a fortune to take the Mayr cure (a brutal regime of gut cleansing and fasting). The following week, Kate Moss was due to be there, too.

Everyone who is – or thinks they are – anyone, seems to head off there at some point, but I felt quite smug, for my destination was not only far more charming, but a great deal less expensive. I, too, have been to the VivaMayr, but I was now on my way to somewhere not so far away, with similar jaw-dropping scenery and level of luxurious accommodation, an option to do the Mayr cure each day if I so desired, or simply to eat wonderful healthy organic food, be pampered in an amazing ‘floating’ spa and indulge in fabulous organic Austrian wine – all at a fraction of the cost.

Everything in this family-run hotel is designed to please. The staff could not be more helpful and friendly overseen by the lovely Sabine Loy, and the chef is superlative. Florian Klinger devotes himself to organic, super-healthy yet gourmet cuisine using fresh produce from the hotel garden and divine cold-pressed oils that he makes himself. A certified dietary chef, he caters for every special nutritional requirement and has 30 years experience in developing the modern Mayr diet. He oversees the medically supervised fasting programs for guests following the modern F.X. Mayr cure and the alkaline fast, as well as producing sensational healthy menus for guests who want to follow a normal diet.

I compromised by devoting one day to the Mayr diet including a session with a Mayr trained doctor, which was no hardship at all, and the rest of the week eating my way through normal, varied, yet extremely healthy, menus. I should add here that serious wine lovers will adore the splendid wine cellar and vinoteca where you can taste and purchase over 600 wines from well-known wine growers around the world.

Days were spent sampling some of the huge number of treatments offered in the fabulous spa which is built right on and over the lake. Here, I had the finest massage I can honestly say I have ever had (thank you Thomas!) and dithered between medical wellness treatments like Lymph Drainage and Fasciae Therapy (for acute and chronic pain), indulgent beauty treatments and body and soul therapies like Reiki.

Austria/Österreich, Weissensee, Bio Vitalhotel Weissenseerhof, Neusach 18, A-9762 Weissensee, Österreich; www.weissenseerhof.at

Austria/Österreich, Weissensee, Bio Vitalhotel Weissenseerhof

There is also a yoga studio, as well as several saunas and lovely sundeck areas from which you can slip into the clear lake on sunny days. Frankly, I never wanted to go off-site, but couldn’t resist a trip by gondola up the mountain one day to sample more traditional Austrian food (delicious) and a restorative walk down the mountain on easy trails.

Those with more energy can spend days hiking or mountain biking in the Weissensee Nature Park; in the winter the lake obligingly freezes over creating the largest natural ice surface in Europe and hours of fun for those who like skating – or falling over.

For me, the unique selling point of the Weissenseerhof is that you can have the most relaxing, pampering holiday there, eating like a king or following a proper, medically and nutritionally designed diet – or do a bit of both. If you want to self-cater, there are also delightful apartments for families. You really can’t go wrong.

Weissenseerhof Hotel, Neusach, Austria

Tel: +43 (0)4713 2219 402

www.weissenseerhof.at

 

 

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Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Destination Spas, Health and Wellness, News | 0 comments

Roosevelt Baths & Spa to Celebrate 80th Anniversary

Roosevelt Baths & Spa to Celebrate 80th Anniversary

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Relaxation room at the Roosevelt Baths and Spa

Relaxation room at the Roosevelt Baths & Spa

Roosevelt Baths & Spa to Celebrate 80th Anniversary with Know Your Spa Event

The Gideon Putnam’s iconic Saratoga Springs Spa, owned and operated by Delaware North parks and resorts, invites guests to commemorate eight decades of service to the local community and beyond

Roosevelt Baths & Spa at The Gideon Putnam will host the Know Your Spa 80th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, on property in Saratoga Springs, New York. Delaware North parks and resorts, along with The Gideon Putnam and Roosevelt Baths & Spa, invite guests to enjoy an evening of relaxing and celebration, in honor of their 80th year as one of the most authentic spa experiences in the country.

Roosevelt Baths & Spa was established in 1935 thanks to President Franklin Roosevelt’s visionary act to preserve Saratoga Springs. Today, the Roosevelt Baths & Spa offers a transforming hydrotherapy spa experience with naturally healing treatments, performed by an experienced staff known for caring and quality of service.

“We are delighted to be celebrating this major milestone,” says Kim Rossi, Spa Director. “The Roosevelt Baths & Spa have and continue to promote a getting back to basics, natural approach to health and wellbeing. We continue to be proud to share this significant and special natural wonder with our local community as well as visitors from around the world,”

The event will kick off at 4:45pm on Wednesday, July 22, with a Walk, Talk and Taste tour featuring Roosevelt’s new Water Wellness Expert, Trent Millet, an authority on the history and benefits of mineral water, especially the waters of Saratoga Springs. A garden soiree will take place at 5:30pm in the spa courtyard under a tent of twinkling lights with delicious passed hors d’oeuvres, desserts and 1930’s inspired cocktails.

The soirée will transport guests back to the era in which the property was established, with original images of the spa projected onto a giant movie screen, while a Jazz band delights listeners with 1930’s favorite tunes. A speech will be made by New York Parks Commissioner and local historian, Robert Barry, educating guests on the geology of Saratoga Springs as well as presenting an exact replica of the properties’ original layout. The evening will conclude with a magnificent fireworks display people will not want to miss.

Know Your Spa 80th Anniversary Celebration is open to the public and will take place at The Gideon Putnam Resort – 24 Gideon Putnam Road, Saratoga Springs, New York, 12866. RSVP’s can be sent to Krossi@delawarenorth.com

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

Carlsbad May Wellness Weeks

Carlsbad May Wellness Weeks

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“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.

WELLNESS WEEKS PACKAGES INCLUDE:

 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.

 

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Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in Bargains, Destination Spas, News | 0 comments

Aqualina Spa By ESPA Rolls Out Specials For Miami Spa Month

Aqualina Spa By ESPA Rolls Out Specials For Miami Spa Month

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Award-winning retreat launches limited-time body and skin care offers for July and August

 

Acqualina Spa by ESPA introduces a collection of limited-time body and skin care offers exclusively for Miami Spa Month this July and August. Tucked away inside the five star, five diamond Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach in Miami’s Sunny Isles Beach neighborhood, this ultra-luxury spa destination will offer guests a fully immersive experience beginning at just $99.

A sanctuary for relaxation and revitalization set just off the sandy Atlantic shore, the two story, 20,000 square-foot Acqualina Spa by ESPA is a localized expression of the global ESPA brand philosophy centered on Ayurvedic principles. Guests find a wealth of amenities and private facilities that include crystal steam rooms, refreshing ice fountains, and experience showers that feature cool arctic or warm Caribbean mists, encouraging a supreme state of relaxation even before entering one of the 11 multi-functional treatment rooms, four spa suites, or the private spa suite for two. The spa’s oceanfront swimming pool provides an additional hideaway for lounging and dining.

 Acqualina Spa by ESPA offers for Miami Spa Month include:

50-Minute Swedish Massage: a traditional full body massage using firm pressure to promote relaxation and ease muscle tension. Priced at $99.

50-Minute Skin Radiance Facial – a revitalizing facial treatment that helps refresh tired skin, giving a noticeable brighter and naturally radiant appearance. Priced at $99.

50-Minute Refining Enzyme Facial – a powerful and highly effective facial that boosts cell regeneration and gives an instantly smooth, radiant complexion, while also provide an intensive cleansing and skin brightening treatment to dramatically improve the appearance and texture of the skin.  A fruit enzyme containing pumpkin and botanical extracts is applied to deeply exfoliate and remove dead skin cells revealing an ultra-smooth, glowing complexion. Priced at $129.

Spa-goers looking for an extended getaway may enjoy Acqualina Resort & Spa’s plush accommodations that include 98 spacious guest rooms and suites. Additionally, multiple on-site dining destinations, such as the signature AQ by Acqualina, spearheaded by local superstar chef Dewey LoSasso, fine Italian fare at Il Mulino New York, and causal beachside dining at the private Costa Grill, as well as four swimming pools, an award-winning marine biology based children’s program, and unmatched service provide ample options for a most personalized experience.

Acqualina Spa by ESPA is located at 17875 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday from 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM and Sunday 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM.

To book a spa appointment, please call 844-602-4941 or visit www.acqualinaresort.com. Treatments are subject to a 20% service charge and are not combinable with any other offers or discounts.

 

About Acqualina Resort & Spa

Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach is a place where the charm of a Mediterranean villa meets elegance on the beach. A seaside luxury haven located on 4.5 beachfront acres in pristine Sunny Isles Beach, Acqualina Resort & Spa features 98 impeccably appointed guest rooms and suites and 188 residencies with breathtaking views of Atlantic Ocean. Step into a world of luxury with unprecedented accommodations and service, world-class dining destinations, including Il Mulino New York, three oceanfront swimming pools, spacious meeting rooms, and an innovative marine biology-based children’s program. A variety of lavish interior and exterior venues provide an ideal background for opulent weddings and memorable events on the lush property grounds boasting 400 feet of stunning Atlantic coastline. Acqualina Spa by ESPA, the first ESPA-branded spa in the United States, provides guests with an exquisite 20,000-square-foot, two-story tranquil sanctuary of excellence and relaxation set in a class of its own offering eleven multi-functional treatment rooms, four spa treatment rooms, and an extravagant private spa suite for two, along with the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoor terrace complete with a spa pool, heated jet pool, and Roman waterfall – all set against the gorgeous backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.

For more information on Acqualina, please visit the website. For reservations, please call 305.918.6777 or 888.804.4338.

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Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in Destination Spas, Health and Wellness, News, Resort and Hotel Spas | 0 comments

5-Star Spas Debut in Canada

5-Star Spas Debut in Canada

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When it’s time for some “me time,” a spa visit can be one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Or a best friend.   It could be a blissful hour under the hands of a superb massage therapist, a refreshing weekend getaway with your best bud or a week-long retreat to jump-start a healthy lifestyle. What’s called for is a place where you can relax and experience a sense of well-being and where the treatments are, not only marvelous, but memorable.

The logo for 5-Star Spas

The logo for 5-Star Spas

Hydrotherapy bath at Healthwinds Spa, Toronto

Hydrotherapy bath at Healthwinds Spa, Toronto

“Sadly, not all spas offer services or products that deliver results,” says Liz Conway, registrar for 5-Star Spas of Canada. “And by the time you’ve checked in, donned what hopefully is a soft, fluffy robe, waiting for nirvana, you’re committed.”

It was precisely the lack of national standards and numerous won’t-go-there-again spa experiences that spurred Conway in 2013 to incorporate 5-Star Spas, a mandatory third-party inspection and quality-assurance criteria that would set new standards for excellence in the industry. With a marketing background and extensive experience in the spa sector, Conway was well positioned to develop the concept.

5-Star Spas accreditation is reserved for an exclusive group of top-notch properties that represent the ultimate combination of health and pleasure. These facilities are all about delivery of exceptional services, starting with highly trained and skilled professionals and including a comprehensive spa menu, first-rate facilities and amenities, unsurpassed sanitation and technologically-advanced skin care products. All this within serene surroundings. “Everything else flows from that,” says Liz Conway.

To qualify for certification, a spa must have been in business for at least two years and must be referred by an existing 5-Star Spa member or a key industry supplier

Accredited spas must meet or exceed exceptional sanitation policies regulated by the Provincial Ministry of Health and/or Health Canada; that service/treatment providers respect clients’ privacy, confidentiality, and health conditions; and that clients understand payment policies prior to starting treatment.

When you visit a 5-Star Spa, you are guaranteed that all services and treatments are provided exclusively by registered, certified, licensed or aesthetic-diploma personnel. Clients complete a comprehensive health assessment form relative to their treatment needs which is reviewed by the therapist or aesthetician, then discussed with the client. All of this insures that you are in professional hands, capable of dealing with any specific problems or health issues.

Prior to accreditation, mandatory spa inspections are conducted by an independent three-person inspection team. Two inspectors experience two treatments each and score over 300 components from the quality of the furnishings, right down to the fluffiness of the towels. They’re tough judges who don’t bat an eye at reporting on any missing or substandard detail. While they are undergoing treatments, the lead inspector conducts a technical audit that verifies staff credentials, training and sanitation protocols, business policies and practices and overall guest services.

Ten individual spa innovators, nine in Ontario and one in the province of Quebec, endorsed the criteria against which they and all future accredited spas would be measured.  Within three months, the number had risen to 12. Going forward, Liz Conway plans to expand across Canada before looking to move into the U.S.

“It’s really gutsy for spa operators to invite such scrutiny,” says Conway, “especially when the majority of inspectors are reputable travel journalists who have experienced the best spas around the world. For spa-goers, these inspections provide the ultimate in quality assurance.”

 

5-Star Spas comes to Canada.

Thai Massage

 For a list of accredited members, visit www.5-StarSpas.ca

 

What members have to say:

Despite the fact that Fayez Spa in London Ontario has been the go-to  for more than 30 years, owner Fayez Tamba was one of the first to endorse the 5-Star concept and philosophy.  “I want to be unique in my market,” he says. “This is the way I can be ahead of the crowd.”

Elizabeth Milan, owner of the Toronto spa at the Fairmont Royal York hotel that bears her name was concerned about the proliferation of spas with no standards and deep discounts. “Integrity and credibility are essential to me,” she says. “Adopting these standards provides consumer confidence that brings new customers and keeps existing ones.

 

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