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The hot spring pool at The Spring
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.
“Hey, let’s head down to that sexy Sheraton Boston Hotel for a luxurious massage and decadent dinner,” said Nobody Ever, Not Once.
With all due respect to the Back Bay property, it hasn’t generally boasted a lot of appeal outside the convention set. But today the Sheraton caps a multi-million dollar renovation by rolling out a brand spanking-new spa: Green Tangerine Spa & Salon, the only Sheraton outpost of the locally-based brand, which has just three other locations in Massachusetts and two in Connecticut. The 5,500-square foot facility offers haircuts, manicures, massages and skincare treatments at prices that are quite competitive when compared to the spas on nearby Newbury Street. So it may actually lure locals, besides the inevitable conventioneers getting their talons polished before marathon handshake sessions.
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.
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.
Hotel Spas / Hotel Packages / Germany Hotels / Leading Hotels of the World / Europe Hotels / → All Tags
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!)