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The best things in life, of course, are always free. Free breakfast? Thanking you. Free WiFi? As it should be. Free fitness classes? That might actually persuade us to sign up for them.
Spa-with-rooms The Oaks At Ojai (in Ojai, CA, of course) has just announced 20 themed weeks and weekends for the next six months, with up to four classes on said theme per day. The best thing? Like the standard Oaks classes, these will be free. Why go to a place like this to relax?
Photo Gallery / Hotel Renovations / Hotel News / Saba Hotels / Caribbean Hotels / Hotel Spas / → All Tags
The new Frangipane Spa at the Queen's Garden Resort on Saba
If you remember the killer views we showed you last winter that make the Queen's Garden Resort on Saba, the Caribbean island's most luxurious property, you might recall the unfinished building in some of the photos. The work-in-progress was a spa, which was finished earlier this month, just in time for the upcoming Caribbean season.
Called the Frangipani Spa, it features two open air treatment rooms, Finnish sauna, Turkish steam bath, herbal facial aroma pots, waterfall shower, and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Like the hotel, it overlooks Saba's capital, "The Bottom," as well as the mountainside and ocean.
The photos below show a simplistic charm and a hut-like environment, the beige of the wood dominating as a background and allowing the bright Caribbean-colored accents to burst out. So as not to lose sight of the views, the hotel decided to completely leave out one side of the building - a decision we think will turn out to be a really good one. The treatments will use products from SXM Nectar on nearby St. Maarten.
Hotel Spas / Funky Spa Treatments / Hotel Salons / Hotel Nail Bars / Paris Hotels / Park Hyatt Hotels / → All Tags
If you thought the ladies of Manhattan have the best kept nails around, you need to see the women of Paris – all those monochrome outfits wouldn’t half look boring if they weren’t accompanied by a flash of color in the talons area.
In fact, nails are so crucial to the French look that Park Hyatt Place Vendôme has just opened a nail suite, run by beauty brand Kure Bazaar. Suite 601 has been completely retooled as a salon, with a tongue-twister of a name: The Nail Suite By Kure Bazaar in Suite 601.
French manicures, normal manicures, pedicures and “luxurious nail rituals are on the menu”, at this, Kure Bazaar’s first nail salon. And if you’re into all things eco, you’ll love that Kure Bazaar nail varnish is 85% natural ingredients. No, not naturally occurring paint and oils – ingredients like wood pulp, cotton, wheat, corn and, um, potatoes.
In the spirit of the Halloween time, we're keeping up with the terrible, horrible, no good side of hotels with this latest feature on hotel spa treatments.
Although you will rarely find us shying away from pushing the boundaries, these extremely bizarre spa treatments being administered all over the world aren’t for the faint hearted.
You’ve probably heard of strange treatments like beer baths, milk baths, cactus massages and caviar facials, but what we’ve got lined up here goes so far beyond that, that you’ll have to pinch yourself to check you’re not having a bad dream.
While we would quite readily try a gold leaf facial in Dubai we’d happily leave out the bird poop, human placenta facial (yes, you read right), having snails slithering all over our faces or being wrapped up in...hay. And before you ask, no we’re not pulling your leg. This is the Halloween season folks, not April Fool's.
Many of the creepy treatments originated in regular spas but it's only a matter of time before they start to appear on hotel spa menus. In fact, some already have and we've listed those below. Look away now if the thought of animal fluids on your face gross you out.
Nowadays, it's rare for a hotel to open up without some sort of spa component--whether it be its own state-of-the-art spa facility or simply, a partnership with a local spa. But while it's convenient to have a massage therapist who's just a button on the house phone away, guests in need of a deeper physical work, and emotional healing, should head to a real spa, one that just happens to have hotel rooms attached.
Like the new incarnation of Golden Door near San Diego which has reopened for week-long, spa intensive stays.
Golden Door first opened in 1958 and was a favorite for screen stars like Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, and Elizabeth Taylor. It remained a fave of the A-list, through an expansion in the 1970s, up until the late 90s when the retreat was acquired by a larger corporation and lost a little bit of of its soul. But in 2012, the spa was given back to private ownership (Joanne Conway to be exact, a frequent guest and wife of billionaire philanthropist, Bill Conway) and has since undergone its own dramatic transformation.
Couples' massages. Romantic or creepy?
There are plenty of hotels which offer exclusive rental of the spa, of course, but none quite like this experience at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.
The Puerta Privada deal not only nets you out of hours access to the Joya Spa (along with two other couples), but makes an evening out of it.
Step one: Knock on the (closed) door of the Moroccan-inspired spa, and whisper the night’s password, speakeasy-style.
Step two: Follow your butler (butler!) to your spa suite (suite!) which comes with a terrace, private pool (pool!) and view of Camelback Mountain.
Funky Spa Treatments / Hotel Spas / Lagos Hotels / Algarve Hotels / Portugal Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Gay-Friendly Hotels / Organic Hotels / → All Tags
You may or may not know Neal’s Yard Remedies, the original organic, slightly hippy UK skincare brand. If you have, you don’t need us to sell it to you. If you haven’t, get hold of some, now –it produces some of the most wonderfully scented, naturally made products you’ll ever find, as well as herbal teas, supplements and all that hippy jazz.
Although a few of the Neal’s Yard branches in London do spa treatments, it’s more of a buy-to-use-at-home range, which is why this news is so important: The first non-UK Neal’s Yard spa has just opened at Vivenda Miranda on the Algarve in Portugal.
The hotel is on a bit of an eco crusade, focusing its food on local and seasonal produce, introducing vegan, gluten free and raw food dishes, and revamping the spa, which opened June 1. They’re also introducing “lifestyle retreats” focusing on meditation and raw food, in conjunction with Neal’s Yard – from £1395 for a week, see here for further details.
Funky Spa Treatments / Hotel Spas / Marrakech Hotels / Beachcomber Hotels / Marrakesh Hotels / → All Tags
Clarins is kind of the Ryan Reynolds of the beauty world: a solid little worker that’ll do a good job, but looking a bit dated amongst the
Benedict Cumberbatches and Channing Tatums Ilas and Amalas. But anyway, you know it’s good, and it’s probably time you gave them another whirl.
And here’s somewhere nice to do it: the Royal Palm Marrakech, which lies eight miles out of town, has just opened a Clarins spa, or Spa by Clarins, as they call it.
The spa has been “designed to resemble a Moroccan palace” – you’ll have to take their word for it, as they haven’t photographed it yet – and the menu is a beautiful array of Moroccan-inspired treatments, such as the perfumed “Supreme Rose” massage, the ghassoul body wrap, and, of course, a traditional Moroccan hammam ritual.
Hotels have been very keen on hotel spas in recent years--whether opening their own full-blown facilities with a dozen treatment rooms and exotic therapies or simply having one or two treatment rooms available with the basic rub-downs all travelers need. But just because a hotel might be five-star, doesn't mean its spa is. We told you what to look for in a very good spa as well as signs of a very bad spa. Now, here's are some ways to ensure your next massage is the absolute best it can be.
Besides emerging from your hotel spa feeling like a brand new human being, there are a few things you can watch out for in order to detect whether or not the spa you are visiting is really as good as it should be. We’ve already given you our insider’s top spa knowledge points, but now we turn to the nitty-gritty...to the moment you get naked...the actual massage.
A lot can happen when lying back on the massage table and a lot can go amiss too. One thing’s for sure though, the benefits of a massage are underestimated. When done right and regularly massage, plays an important role in keeping the body healthy. Massage techniques are hard to judge because they vary so widely in type (Californian, Swedish, Thai, Balinese, Ayurvedic, etc) and depend on the training institute.
For that reason, we won’t be going into the actual techniques that may descend upon your body. Rather, we'll focus on 6 little touches (heh) that can make a good massage even better.
You may have realized by now that the Parker Palm Springs is one of our favorite hotels on earth. You may even have noted that one of the best ways to stay is through the Spa Junkie package, which gives you credit to PSYC (Palm Springs Yacht Club, the spa) with your room rate.
The package used to cost $199 plus tax, and give you $200 spa credit. This year, they changed it to a $250 room rate and $250 credit – not so cool, since the taxes and fees take it up to $324.
However, the Parker just announced it’s dialing back the prices for September - $199 for your stay, $200 spa credit. The deal is bookable until midnight tomorrow by clicking here.
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.
Hotel Detox / Hotel Spas / Hotel Packages / France Hotels / Vence Hotels / Cote d'Azur Hotels / Oetker Collection / Ananda / → All Tags
It’s the delicious pairing of two brands at the top of their game that’s exciting us this week – no, not Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Martin, but Ananda (amazing spa brand) and Château Saint-Martin, the uberlux hotel in uberlux Côte d’Azur village Vence.
From 21-29 September, Ananda will be running a pop-up spa au Château. The focus? A detox program devised especially for the hotel by yogi Sushant Pandley, and tailored to your precise needs.
You can streamline your detox with the quick five day program, take a week over it or even string it out for nine days (any excuse to stay in the chateau). Activities include meditation and yoga, “theoretical aspects of yogic tradition” (us neither) and “stimulating and purifying ayurvedic therapies” like massage and reflexology – definitely the most fun part.