Tag: Funky Spa TreatmentsView All Tags
There’s something about the Intercontinental Park Lane that makes a tiny part of us die inside with every visit. Yes, they’ve been renovating the rooms to de-drab them, and yes, the views can be awesome, but it always feels so… sterile.
Having said that, we’ve always given props to the spa for having good therapists and decently priced treatments, considering its surroundings.
And this summer, the treatments have got even more appealing, with the introduction of Ayurvedic-inspired Sundãri treatments.
There are lots available – see the menu here – but they’ve kicked the program off with special offers on two treatments: a “Facial, Massage and Floatation Bed Offer” (a 30 minute massage, 30 minute facial and 20 minutes lying on a floatation bed) for £65 instead of £112.50; and the signature Sama treatment for £90 instead of £135. This takes 90 minutes and packs in loads of stuff: a feet-in-hot-towels thing; a “cleansing back ritual”; an Ayurvedic massage; a hand and food massage to relieve “stress and negativity”; facial cleanse and exfoliation; a Marma massage; and a scalp massage.
Funky Spa Treatments / Hotel Spas / Austria Hotels / Bad Gastein Hotels / Salzburg Hotels / Organic Hotels / → All Tags
Wild roses outside the Grüner Baum: probably thrown into the treatments too
Ah, Austria, country of mountains, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and holistic healthcare. Eco spa treatments here are nothing new, of course – this is the country of salt caves and hay wraps and oil baths – but an organic spa in a soon-to-be organic hotel doing treatments involving mare’s milk? Why, colour us Cleopatra. Yes please!
The Grüner Baum is a family-run, 100-year-old, 80-room, four-star hotel in Bad Gastein (Salzburg province), which is currently transforming into an entirely organic hotel, from the food to the cleaning products. The conversion will finish next year, but they’ve just completed the most important part: the spa.
Forget Clarins or even Amala; at the Grüner Baum, you’ll now be treated with products from Marías Organic Care – not just organic, but local, too, as they’re based in Salzburg. And not just organic and local – organic, local mare’s milk. Yum.
When Hard Rock introduced their Rhythm and Motion spa treatments earlier in the year, we, along with everyone else in possession of common sense, heard the “gimmick” klaxon. “The world’s first fully immersive music-centric spa menu utilizing amplified vibrations, pressures and patterns, as the foundation of its treatments,” heavy-breathed the press release. “Bass vibrations ripple through the massage table as treble beats come from above, sending pulses through the body and leaving guests feeling energized and invigorated.” What rot, we thought. Vibrating, titillating rot.
And then we tried one.
A couple of weeks ago, I stayed at the Hard Rock Palm Springs, one of the first to get “the dome” (the treatments are referred to as taking place “under the dome”). Being a massage fiend, I wanted to see what the pulsating “Synchronicity” massage was like. First impressions weren’t great: the spa is small with just four treatment rooms and a tiny, not very atmospheric, relaxation room. The signature Hard Rock pre-treatment guitar on the bed was fun, but “the dome” looked like one of those hair-setting bowls at old lady salons.
The massage started to a soundtrack of chill-out music, and just a hint of a vibrating bed underneath me. Just as I’d thought: gimmick. Rub, dig, swirl, should have chosen a normal massage, rub, dig, swirl, stop trying to identify the music, rub, dig, swirl OHMYGODWHATISHAPPENINGTOME.
Possibly not the scrub selection
First it was massage with beer. Now it’s with bourbon. Are Four Seasons trying to tell us something?
First comes the scrub: a wicked scrub of brown sugar, ginger, pecan and Kentucky bourbon. Then, once your pores have been suitably boozed up (and back bacteria slaughtered by the bourbon), comes the massage – not just any massage, but one with hot stones.
Does it get any better than a bourbon scrub and a hot stone rub? Indeed it does. The treatment ends at the bar: not the poncy spa bar, but the actual hotel bar, Allium, where you’ll sample its signature single-barrel bourbon. Presumably you’ll be expected to change out of your robe for this part.
Hombres! Try a “Mexican beer and lime facial”, which whisks up Corona and egg yolk to make a hydrating, skin-elasticizing facial. The process takes 75 minutes and costs $185.
Chicas! If you don’t fancy beer on your face, try a Margarita Medley treatment. You’ll get a marg (or, as they say, “spagarita” – it’ll never catch on) to accompany a lime-based massage of the hands, feet, head and neck.
Hombres y chicas! Just try them both.
Getting your five a day is important, of course, but sometimes tricky to fit in. So try this work-around: putting one of your portions on, instead of in, your body?
The Miramonte Resort & Spa at Indian Wells, California, already has a foodie menu for its spa, including treatments with wine extracts, and it’s just added a holier than thou-sounding “Farm-to-Table Body Scrub” to its menu – spa menu, that is. It promises “wholesome natural ingredients of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs”, all picked for their skin buffering abilities.
The spa picks a selection of up to 10 F&V from local sources every day (local sources including the hotel’s own garden), all known for their different properties (lemon brightens skin, for example, and sage busts cellulite). You simply make your selection, and choose either sugar or salt as an exfoliant, and the spa staff mix them up with olive oil, then rub you down. Finally, you get a Vichy shower rinse and a shea butter moisturizer.
Funky Spa Treatments / Spas for Men / Hotel Spas / Hotel Beer / Vail Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / → All Tags
It's a beer bath, bro
Gentlemen, are you quick to conform to stereotype? Do you think spa treatments are unmanly? Have you ever said, “Dude, the only way I’m ever getting a massage is if it’s a massage with beer, done by a hawt chick, lol”?
Consider your bluff called by Four Seasons Vail. The hotel famous for its “Haut Chocolate” has a Brew and Renew spa menu designed “especially for men” (although it generously adds in parentheses that “women can enjoy them too”). And it involves beer.
Designed in conjunction with Vail’s Crazy Mountain Brewing Company, the menu offers a “Brewsage” – that’s a massage with hop oil, bro, for $150 – a “Beer Brew Bath” (presumably what it sounds like, $55), an “Amber Ale Foot Soak” filled with fresh beer, as you drink a brewski ($75), and a “Stout Scalp Treatment” using beer froth and honey to primp one’s barnet ($45).
Funky Spa Treatments / Hotel Spas / Hotel Chocolate / Hershey Hotels / Pennsylvania Hotels / → All Tags
Last week we told you about the chocolate-making classes at Jade Mountain and the chocolate massages at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna. Could the hotel chocolate theme get any better? Yes: at the Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania.
The hotel is, of course, part of the chocolate extravaganza that is Hershey PA, The Sweetest Place On Earth™, and the spa has chocolate all over the place, from cocoa massages to a chocolate-dipped coconut immersion wrap.
But it’s the edible chocolate facial that’s really sparked our imagination. Yes, edible. Chocolate. Facial.
The hotel is, as the name suggests, where the Sacher Torte cake was invented, and as such there’s a subtle-yet-classy chocolate theme in the hotel, from the inroom toiletries to the spa and its signature Time to Chocolate treatments, using the Sacher’s own line of chocolate beauty products, made from the same cocoa beans as the chocolate icing for their Sacher Torte. And yes, they smell divine.
There are four treatments to choose from, starting from A Symphony in Chocolate, which lays on a steam bath, cacao bean peeling massage, chocolate body mask and a final chocolate massage over a 110-minute period. The other three - A Dream of Chocolate, A Taste of Chocolate, and A Sensation of Chocolate - are 60-minute combinations of two of the Symphony’s elements: so scrub and body mask, scrub and a chocolate rub down, and body mask, scrub and chocolate body care.
We've heard of funky spa treatments before but never one involving golf balls. That's right. There's a new massage technique out there that uses golf balls to rub you down. Uh-oh, don't show these to Tiger Woods!
SPAball Massage, a Thousand Oaks, Calif. company, has been using golf balls wrapped in their SPAball Kaddy for therapeutic massages for several years. But now, they're licensing the "SPAball Massage" package to resorts and spas worldwide. But first, let's answer the question that's on everyone's mind--how. the. heck. does. this. work?
It's quite simple. A golf ball is encased in this "ergonomically balanced, cup-like device" called the SPAball Kaddy which lets the therapist push more deeply into the muscles all the while still remaining "in-touch" with the guest. Now, allow us to show you using some photos:
Step 1. Put the ball in this glass box...callled a SPAball Kaddy.
Hotel Spa Treatments / Funky Spa Treatments / Hotel Spas / Weird Spa Treatments / Charleston Hotels / Londen Hotels / Tibet Hotels / → All Tags
Sometimes, hotel spas can get carried away with their descriptions of what they offer, romanticizing the service to death and making it seem like it belongs in land far, far away. Public relations and sales marketing in general is ridiculous, beckoning us to be “whisked away” and all that good stuff.
And that’s fine, because no one really pays much attention to it anyway. While a good sales pitch can certainly draw interest to a service, what we get for our money is what ultimately matters.
But just as we’ve seen examples of this fairy-tale marketing, we’ve also come across some properties that are going with the opposite strategy, offering massages and other treatments that make your eyes widen, your brows raise and for you to suddenly shout out, "You want me to pay for what?!"Below, we've collected a few of the stranger treatments currently being offered around the globe. We wonder: Do these turn you off, or does their extreme/wacky nature only make them more appealing? Geez, between the fire cupping and the snakes, the shrimp and grits facial is sounding better and better.
Spa News / Funky Spa Treatments / Auberge Resorts / Napa Hotels / Los Cabos Resorts / South Carolina Hotels / → All Tags
The idea is simple: have a cocktail while enjoying your treatment. Now this may go against the holistic idea behind getting spa service in the first place, but, eh, we don’t mind. At Napa's Auberge du Soleil guests signing up for the Summer Thyme Bliss Treatment ($350/2hrs) soak in a warm chamomile milk bath infused with fresh thyme, lemon verbena and orange zest.
Afterwards, they'll receive a full body massage bwith special scalp and foot attention. This is followed by a glass of "Free Thyme" a fragrant cocktail made with Pinot Gris, camomile grappa, mandarin napoleon, fresh thyme and lemon juice.
The Tequila Soother ($335/2 hours) at Esperanza in Cabo San Lucas starts with a salt and lime body exfoliation, follows with a aloe vera and honey mask, a tequila agave body wrap, then another facial with yogurt and oats, and ends with a massage. The reward for all that work? A Paloma, made with white tequila, grapefruit and lime juice--aka the original "skinny margarita".