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It's been scientifically proven that your sense of smell can trigger old memories which is why for us, the smell of Aussie Sprunch Spray will forever take us back to a sweltering New Jersey summer in the early 90s when we religiously relied on the spray to keep our 'do intact. Seriously, one spray will have practically have us turning up Wilson Phillips on the stereo while we search for our crispest Vuarnet t-shirt and our rolled up jean shorts.
But this powerful link between smell and memory is also why hotels love pumping their own special scents into their hotels and subsequently, packaging that smell for you to buy. After all, what better way to remember your hotel stay by taking home the smell of it?
Now, while most hotels offer a candle made with their special lobby scent, the Ritz-Carlton South Beach is taking a different tact by making a Mango Guava scented candle that specifically reminds you of the hotel spa's new Taste of the Tropics treatment. Of course, you have to book the treatment to get the candle.
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.
Hotel Cocktails / London Hotels / Bar Boulud / Hotel Drinks / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Hotel Spas / → All Tags
Cosmopolitans. During the Sex & the City era, it felt like they had been popularized past the point of no return. A once-great cocktail was nearly turned into a parody of itself, like your friend who stumbles out of a bachelorette party with her once-classy designer dress now covered in martini stains and pink feather boa feathers. (And she’s wearing a hat. And it’s shaped like a – oh god, can someone take Melissa home?)
Carrie Bradshaw & Co. would approve of the cocktail’s centerpiece, a massive orb of ice filled with frozen flower petals (pansies, in our visit). The ice melts slowly to maintain the appropriate booze-to-water ratio of the drink — a mini-carafe of extra cocktail is used to occasionally re-up the well-balanced combination of Imperial Silver vodka, St. German Elderflower Liqueur, and white cranberry. (“Pour it on often enough so that the ice is always glistening,” advised Bar Boulud’s barkeep.)
But don’t be fooled by the flowery veneer, this is a serious drink that packs a serious (and seriously deceptive) punch. Monitor your stool-to-stiletto transition carefully. (You can also find the drink at Bar Boulud in NYC - and we hope it'll make an appearance this Fall when Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Boston opens its highly anticipated Bar Boulud location.)
Who doesn't love a speakeasy with its secret entrances, guarded passwords and carefully crafted libations? Now, what about a speakeasy that comes with a spa butler, a private spa pool and couples treatments inspired by the Moroccan deserts and Andalusia region of Southern Spain? Um, YES PLEASE.
The Puerta Privada at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia in Scottsdale, Ariz. is combining the speakeasy and spa experiences for loved-up guests who want to escape for little longer than 50 minutes. The Puerta Privada starts at 7:30pm when guests enter a set of Castilian-style doors to the Joya Spa. They are then guided by a spa butler to the Spa Suites which are situated along a terrace and lit up by candles and decorated with Moroccan antiques. These spa suites also come with their own private spa pool.
The total wellness experience includes a one-hour couples massage, a private unique astrology experience overlooking Camelback Mountain; and a custom dinner for two created by Executive Chef Michael Cairns, based on guest preferences. An acoustic guitarist will be playing through the evening.
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Remember hearing of the days when people traveled to European hotels and spas to “take the cure?” Well Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden (part of the Oetker Collection and Leading Hotels of the World) has set up three seven-day detox programs that harken back to those days of yore.
Brenners Vitality Detox – This is considered to be the starter package for detox virgins. As with all of the detox programs you get an interview with the Detox Specialist, a personalized menu plan and full board prepared in the Detox Vitalizing Kitchen, daily detoxifying tea and a green smoothie, daily yoga, and a five-course Gourmet Detox Dinner in the Michelin-starred restaurant.
The Vitality Detox package also includes spa goodies such as a De-acidifying Alkaline Bath to “support corporeal removal” and a body scrub with bio-virgin coconut oil and fleur de sel.
The Vitality Detox program starts at $3,430 Euros ($4,773) for seven days including accommodation in a Classic Single Room.
Brenners Organic Detox – This package combines spa treatments with a fitness program, and here’s where things start to get a wee bit funky. Along with innocuous sounding treatments like the sea mud compress with alkaline Epsom salts, we have the Flush-out Body Scrub with supporting Belly Button Massage. This makes us a little squirmy. You?
The Organic Detox program starts at $4,095 Euros ($5,698) for seven days including accommodation in a Classic Single Room.
And then we have their big gun: the Brenners Medical Detox. This ain’t for no sissy-baby spa goer (see below for more!)
After a long winter in NYC, it may seem like the warm weather will never come. But ladies visiting The Trump Soho can at least pretend it's summer vacation, by purchasing the hotel's new spa bag, filled with poolside accessories.
Called the ViX Valise, the canvas tote designed by the swimsuit brand, ViX Paula Hermanny, includes a caftan, flip-flops, a towel and a Bia bikini which is adorned 24k gold-plated hardware. The valise costs a pretty penny at $468 but it does save you from the hassle of hunting for a bathing suit during your stay. Most importantly, it has a cover-up too so you don't have to re-purpose your sweaty gym shirt and shorts when visiting the Trump's outdoor pool on the 7th floor.
Room rates at The Trump start around around $560 a night on the weekends. But can go much higher when the warm weather (hopefully) arrives.
[Photo via Trump Hotels]
Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Hotel is known for its killer views and for honoring hometown favorite Grace Kelly with a cocktail in its new lobby bar, opened in the midst of a $10-million, 12-month refurbishment in anticipation of the hotel's upcoming 25th anniversary.
More upgrades aren't far behind, as the hotel announced that its new 15,000 square-foot spa facility, The Rittenhouse Spa & Club – Hair by Paul Labrecque, will open in late summer and contain a spa, health club, and salon.
As long as the list of London hotels is, there aren’t that many that come with a proper pool, and between space restrictions and historic buildings, it’s not that easy to just add one in. The solution? Dig down, which is what Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park did to accommodate a new 17-meter (56 foot) twin-lane, stainless-steel pool, fitness centre and changing areas.
Like we’ve seen at Piccadilly, the busy streets of Knightsbridge give little away of what lies underneath. As you step into the marble-filled lobby of the hotel, take the stairs on the left towards the spa, where down the long corridor, the elevator can now take you a level further into the ground, provided you have a guest key to activate it (or have one of the limited and rather expensive memberships). Rather than having the hotel above you, it’s the palatial apartments of One Hyde Park, the Candy & Candy development that arrived a few years ago amid much publicity and more than a little bit of controversy as the symbol of what real estate in the city has come to.
Keeping up with a fitness plan is hard enough when we're at home in our normal day-to-day routine, but it becomes a real challenge to fit in some training while jaunting all over the world. But thanks (we think?) to One & Only's newest initiative to bring high-end health to their guests, there should be no excuse for skipping the sweat session.
One & Only have planned to open their first European property tucked away in the Montenegro resort town of Kumbor and while most guests will be breathless by the beauty of the surrounding mountains and water of Tivat Bay, the hotel is hoping that visitors will also breathing hard in their luxury fitness center. That's because One & Only Portonovi has partnered with world-renowned wellness brand, Chenot, to bring the pinnacle in fitness to the posh resort digs.
Once the 110-room resort opens in 2016, guests will be able to retreat to a wellness and vitality center that will blend the spa with the gym and give guests the illusion that are relaxing when they are actually huffing and puffing. The center will feature treatments from Espace Vitalité Chenot to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.
Between the fresh sea air and the nearly 54,000 square foot wellness spa, we might find it easy to stick to our own program while traveling, but we might need to fit our sessions in around some boating from the private marina, Mediterranean culture and any one of the restaurants in the sea-side resort.
[Photo: One & Only Portonovi Facebook]
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At this point, Chicagoans are so over winter (and we still have 40 days to go.) Local spas are rising to the occasion with new treatments that do more than just pamper. If you're not down for swimming laps, check out these three services that combine plush bathrobes and tranquil settings with serums, gels, and rituals meant to clear bad energy. Let the healing begin.
CHUAN SPA AT LANGHAM CHICAGO can give you a fresh start to the year, if you have three hours—and $525—to spare. Available through February 28, The Chinese New Year Rejuvenation Package includes a bamboo-and-seasame body buff, a ginger-wasabi detox body wrap, and a massage that incorporates an orchid-and-pearl cream. Afterwards, try fresh fruits pair fresh fruits paried with soothing teas during the Chuan Signature Elemental Tea Service. Guests leave with a personalized Chinese New Year Fortune.
Already slacking on your New Year's resolutions? You could see a nutritionist, a trainer, or—heck—even an acupuncturist. But if you really want to show your mind and body who's boss, you're going to need a personal Wellness Warrior. Or, so goes the logic at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa.
The Lake Geneva, Wisconsin property recently launched three-night Wellness Retreats designed for private groups of four to eight; single travelers can join one of the preset programs (the next one's March 20 to 23.) The program is designed to help guests: "eat well, move well, and be well," said the spa's director of operations John A. Morris. Let's break that down, shall we? "be well" means spa treatments such as lava stone massages and facials; while "eat well" means noshing on items such as golden gazpacho and baked chicken with slow-roasted strawberries from chef Earl Anthony Morse.
As for the "move well," that's when those Wellness Warriors step in. Between the two of them, Sindy Leibbrand and Laura Timmers (pictured, left to right) have about 40 different fitness certifications. If your group wants to do a little stand-up paddle boarding, these ladies can lead the way; ditto for yoga and frisky "divalicious" dance moves (no, really. The class is called Divalicious.) The warriors can also offer personal training and devise a workout for you to keep up with at home.
Who says you have to travel to far-flung exotic islands just to get a killer view from your hotel room? Ok, maybe we did last year. But thanks to Ben Bethel, the hotelier behind The Clarendon Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz., we only need to head to the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa for a zen mountain view. More specifically, we need to check into room 33 at the hotel.
The Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa describes itself as a luxury hotel with a distinctive Mediterranean design and plenty of simple yet luxe touches like pillow top mattresses, rain showers in the bathrooms, lambs-wool throw blankets and private balconies. Not to be missed is the Sedona Rouge Spa which has extensive menu of relaxing treatments and wellness programs.
But we really like how this resort's rates are truly affordable, starting at around $142 during the week and about $188 on the weekends.
[Photo: Ben Bethel]