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Now that the Virgin Hotel Chicago has unveiled Miss Ricky's Diner and it's Two Zero Three coffee shop and wine bar, there are only a few more things left to take off--the hotel's killer rooftop spaces and the downstairs spa. Both of these should be unveiled next month at the Virgin's official grand opening party on April 16.
We were able to peek at the rooftop spaces during our first time with a Virgin in January and they will seriously impress you with their cool yet fun decor and their incredible city views. Remember, one of the rooftop spaces will be incredibly exclusive so fingers crossed your on the list.
As for the spa, it promises to be a "wellness lounge designed with beauty, comfort and mingling in mind."
While the rooftops and the spa will be unveiled on opening night, we hear they won't officially open to the public until the week after. Room rates for that next weekend, April 24-26, start at $249 a night for a chamber king before taxes. If you're a AAA member, rates start at just $224 a night. Whoopee!
[Photo: Virgin Hotels/Facebook
A design competition in Switzerland has seen a little drama recently, but will likely result in one amazing new hotel.
The competition involved several international "starchitects" who were challenged to design a luxury hotel adjacent to the Therme Vals spa in the Swiss Alps, pictured above. It all went downhill from there, so to speak.
Funky Spa Treatments / Hotel Spas / Hard Rock Hotels / Punta Cana Hotels / Dominican Republic Hotels / Casino Hotels / → All Tags
A while back, we wrote about the Hard Rock Hotels' Rhythm and Motion Massage. Continuing the rigorous research, our newest contributor, Linda Marcisano, put herself on the table to experience something called "Synchronicity."
I walked into the treatment room at the Hard Rock Punta Cana for the “Synchronicity” massage ($210 for 50 minutes) only knowing that music was involved. Upon spotting a guitar lying on the massage table, I started to panic. Would I be serenaded during the treatment? Would an aging rock star (preferably Bon Jovi) appear to perform a solo? Would my masseuse, who didn’t appear musically inclined, use one hand to knead and another to strum?
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The Rock Spa has quite the prelude to the actual treatment, so let’s start there.
I arrived 30 minutes before the massage (it was recommended to check in an hour before but we were in knee deep at the casino’s craps table) and led to the locker room where I was introduced to a guide. Whereas other spas show you where the amenities are and let you have at it, the Rock Spa actually accompanies you, kind of like a circuit, recommending how long to use each and in what order.
Hotel Packages / Hotel Spas / Puglia Hotels / Italy Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Valentine's Day Hotels / → All Tags
Sadly we do not believe this man is included in your package
It’s the second week of January, and you know what that means. It means New Year’s resolutions are so over; now it’s all about Valentine’s Day. And while we’ll be seeing plenty of loved up packages with late check-outs and vomitable intimacy kits in the next coming weeks, we rather like this first one: the Broken Hearts Spa at Borgo Egnazia in Puglia (previously known for breaking your heart when Justin Timberlake held his wedding reception there).
This is no yeahhhh-single-gals-4eva patronizing spa retreat; it’s a full-on, totally nuts “renewal program” as only the Italians can do. Are you struggling with a break-up? They will knit you back together, not with fancy massages or sweet-smelling candles, but with an entire team of “soul therapists”:
But aside from lounging by the pool, grabbing drinks at the bar at State Fair or napping in your guest room, there's something else you must do during your stay--hit up the spa.
We realize that for serious jet-setters and luxury hotel enthusiasts, this was already on your agenda for Palm Springs as desert retreats and massages go hand in hand. However, the Ritz-Carlton is serious about not just relaxation but tranquility and inner peace.
Edition Hotels / Hotel Pools / Hotel Spas / Miami Beach Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel News / Yabu Pushelberg / Ian Schrager / → All Tags
Art Basel is in full swing in Miami Beach, but we're still admiring the hotel work of art that is the Miami Beach Edition. Today, we're looking at the spa, fitness center and the pool area at the oceanfront resort.
The spa is located in the basement of the hotel, but on the opposite side from Basement, the Edition's recreational area. You have to take a separate staircase from the lobby, just before the Matador restaurant, to access the spa as well as the fitness center. It's not a far walk, but you can't take the elevator directly to the spa, so make sure towel off before you head back upstairs. When returning to your room after a massage, you will just have to be comfortable with your post-treatment face and hair. Or else, shower off in the locker rooms.
There are nine treatment rooms offering massages, body treatments, and facials, along with a Beauty Lounge where you can indulge in a manicure or pedicure, as well as a blow-out. (Not sure that's worth it though because, hello, this is Miami. Humidity will always win.)
However, the co-ed Relaxation Lounge is a large and stylishly serene place to relax, pre and post-treatment, since the spa actually offers mini-treatments here, like the Power Nap, which uses electro-stimulation to give you the benefits of a four-hour nap in 20 minutes. There's also an oxygen treatment where you essentially put on an oxygen mask while lounging on a daybed and flipping through Vanity Fair in the back of the room. It sounds ridiculous and decadent and we want to try it.
Hotel Spas / Hotel Shops / Hotel Fragrances / London Hotels / Firmdale Hotels / Hotel Fitness / Kit Kemp / → All Tags
If you thought London’s new Ham Yard Hotel was all about the pretty looks, you’d be wrong. Or rather, it’s now there to make you pretty as well as itself, with the opening of the Soholistic Nail Bar in Ham Yard Village, the shop-filled courtyard inside the hotel.
As well as manis and pedis, Soholistic will also sell Kit Kemp’s own bath and body line, Rik Rak, which was created to celebrate the opening of the hotel. From shampoo to body lotion and linen mist to candles, here’s where to stock up for Christmas.
And if you want to shape up as well as stock up, the gym is now open to non-guests, including the hypoxic chamber, which trains you at altitude. Personal training sessions cost £60 for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you could spend that on a Kit Kemp candle and just take it easy over Christmas. That’s what’s lovely about Ham Yard – the choice is yours.
Hotel Spas / Funky Spa Treatments / Ila Spas / Jodhpur Hotels / India Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Cornwall Hotels / → All Tags
We are, of course, spa fanatics at HotelChatter, but if we had to pick just one skincare brand that we would chase to the ends of the earth, it'd almost certainly be Ila, a supremely decadent UK brand that calls itself "beyond organic" because it really is something more than a box-ticking exercise - it uses "wild-harvested" biodynamic ingredients from artisan sources around the globe, and Ila products are genuinely unlike any you've used before.
Ila has been hovering around hotel spa land for a couple of years now, but it has just opened its first standalone spa - or Ila Only, as it calls it - at Raas in Jodhpur, India. Treatments are pretty affordable, starting from 2800INR, or $46. Oh, and the treatment rooms look divine.
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?
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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.