Spa Lifestyle

  • HT_Casa_Grande_Canyon_Ranch__2_20101109_00_4x3_1600Canyon Ranch
  • experanzaEsperanza
  • experanzaEsperanza
  • greenhouseDallasThe Greenhouse, Dallas
  • beach-house-at-parrot-cay-1Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos
  • lakeAustinLake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas
  • lakeAustinLake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas
  • lakeAustinLake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas
  • miraval-spa-resort-arizona_01_bigMiraval

Imagine combining a foot bath ritual, aromatherapy steam bath, lime and ginger salt glow and massage and facial for three-hours of pure bliss — and all of this with spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea.

Or how about indulging in an alpine-inspired treatment like a sacred hot stone massage or a lime blossom scalp massage after a vigorous day of skiing in the Rocky Mountains?

The possibilities for seducing all of the senses are endless! And none of us is averse to a little pampering.
One of the most significant trends that I have seen over the past several years of being in the travel industry is the emergence of spa destinations. Finding the perfect spa can be an overwhelming task, but the invaluable advice of a spa expert can lead you to the perfect spa vacation.

Whether you are taking a week or just escaping for a day or two, luxury resort spa destinations let you leave the stress of daily life behind.

Whether it is an adventure and spa, culture and spa or absolutely nothing but pure high-end, indulgent pampering, a spa destination can be like no other vacation you have experienced.

A destination spa’s environment is geared towards fitness, healthy eating, relaxation and renewal. They come in a wide range of prices and personalities. For instance, you have top-of-the-line spas like Canyon Ranch. It has been the gold standard in healthy living and wellness for more than 30 years and has locations that are varied, from the desert of Tucson to the BerkshireMountains. You can even visit one of their spas in The Venetian in Las Vegas or aboard the Queen Mary 2.

One of my favorite memories is visiting Canyon Ranch with my late mother and sister.What a bonding experience! As this spa has a no-alcohol policy I was amused that my mom “smuggled” in a miniature bottle of wine purchased on her flight. And I have to confess that after three days of “no sweets” I did break down and secretly purchase a bar of chocolate on one of my bike outings. It was a matter of survival.

Spa vacations can be as active or as relaxed as you would like. Depending on what spa you go to, there are diverse treatments and facilities available for both the active and for those wanting to relax.

Whether you want to lose weight, increase fitness, relax or experience something new, there is an abundance of spas to choose from.

Do you have a special interest or goal like losing weight, detoxing, or revving up your fitness routine? Do you want to go on yoga retreat, learn how to meditate, spend lots of time hiking, or just hang out with a friend and get some relaxing spa treatments? Thinking about what you want will help you narrow down the right spa for you.

At most destination spas, pricing includes room, meals, classes, lectures and usually some spa treatments. The minimum stay can range from two nights to a week. Prices range from approximately $200 a day up to $5,000 a week.

We are always on the lookout for “specials,” whether it is off-season or perhaps a grand opening discounted rate. For example, the spas in fashionable South Beach in Miami, Fla., designate a Miami Spa Month promotion in July where you can indulge in discounted $99 signature treatments at more than 20 upscale spas.

Women are the most enthusiastic spa customers. A destination spa is a great place for mothers and daughters, sisters, girlfriends to go together.

In the last couple of years, the increase in men visiting spas has increased substantially. Destination spas with medical facilities attract them in higher numbers. And if he isn’t as enthusiastic about the spa experience, he can head for the golf course.

Some of the essentials that our clients are looking for in a spa vacation are:

Location — A beautiful destination with a comprehensive spa menu.There are a variety of choices depending on whether you want the beach, mountains, domestic or international or someplace relatively inexpensive to fly to with direct flights.

Relaxation — De-stressing classes from yoga to Pilates.

Fitness — Personal trainers, variety of exercise classes, hiking and biking.

Food — Nutritional courses and diet options to meet individual needs; delicious gourmet cuisine or perhaps an interesting cooking class.

Spa Treatments — From an “anti-oxidant glow” to a “deep forest

Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona

Experience a symphony for the senses with the “Soul to Soul” package in this world-class facility with incomparable professional staff.

Spa at Esperanza – Cabo San Lucas

The seaside grotto houses the spa’s signature Mexican-inspired spa treatments with local elements such as tropical fruit, minerals and desert plants. Daily classes for all skill levels are held in the spa’s tranquil yoga studio.

The Greeenhouse in Dallas

Famous for its “Fat Flush Program” that uncovers the five hidden factors that sabotage weight loss and then customizes individual programs for each guest.

The Shambhala Spa—Parrot Cay—Turks & Caicos

The spa is famous for nurturing guests’ minds, bodies and spirits holistically in a serene Caribbean setting.

The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera — Vail, Colo.

Whether you have a summer wedding and you want to escape the heat to the cooler mountains, or you have a winter wedding and the idea of an active ski honeymoon destination is appealing, this place is magnificent. The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera is one of the most luxurious retreats in the world. Perched on a mountaintop overlooking the magnificent Vail Valley, the Lodge was inspired by a chateau in Belgium and offers views like no other. This secluded romantic getaway is ideal for a honeymoon! Their honeymoon package includes a bottle of wine upon arrival, breakfast for two in their famous restaurant, Mirado and a massage for two.

Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas

The casually elegant atmosphere at this Texas Hill Country destination spa has more than 100 different skin, body and massage therapies.

Paraiso de la Bonita Resort & Thalasso Spa — Riviera Maya, Mexico

The fabulous thalassotherapy spa, the only one in North America, offers soothing treatments that uses water drawn from 80 feet below the ocean surface.

The Spa at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, S.C.

The spa is located on a private island and offers treatments that incorporate native ingredients such cornmeal, peaches, cotton and red river clay. Nearby an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course is available to guests.

The Spa at Arrabelle —Vail, Co.

Designed to reflect the natural surroundings of the mountains, this is the perfect start or end to an invigorating day on the mountains.

Palazzo Aminta Beauty & Spa—Lake Maggiore, Italy

Spa offers individualized body, mind and spirit programs, a Zen meditation room, seaweed therapies and thermal mud baths.

Miraval Spa & Resort — Tucson, Ariz.

Gather around a bonfire in the high desert of southern Arizona for Drumming Under the Stars. Or, the Equine Experience is the resort’s most popular program on a list of 25 or more activities offered on any given day.

Destination spa-goers are fitter, happier, healthier, more alert and more agile, have greater cardiovascular health and understand themselves better than non spa-goers and regular vacationers.These are just a few of the findings of a comprehensive study at Cornell University. People who vacation at destination spas return home with a much greater sense of self understanding and feeling more connected to family, friends and work associates than do people who take other kinds of vacations.

The only thing better than a fresh mango-infused massage in an open air, thatched hut overlooking the Caribbean Ocean is the look on people’s faces when you tell them about it!