Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Spas on the Go

One of the best parts about traveling and staying at a swank hotel, is that you’ll find a decadent spa a stone’s throw away from your room (Unless of course you’re in Vegas and that kick ass spa that’s in your hotel could still be a half a mile walk away from your room). And as much as we love spa-ing, we never do seem to book an appointment while we’re at home, aside from the basic mani and pedi, which is essentially maintenance.
Throughout our travels, we have been fortunate to have many a spa treatment from the truly pampering, like a 2-person massage at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel to the completely unnecessary, like the chakra balancing at the Phoenician in Phoenix.
Here’s a few things we’ve learned:
1. Seek out the energizing treatments. Scrubs that get your circulation going with scents like lemon, menthol and eucalyptus are immediately uplifting and energizing, says our friend Denise Vitello, Spa Director at NYC’s Mandarin Oriental.
2. Got a hangover? Detoxifying treatments like a mud wrap can help, says Dzeneta Arslanovic, Director of the Spa Avania at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch in Arizona (shown above). They drain your body of toxins (hello third margarita). BUT—major word of caution here—both Denise and Dzeneta agree, and we can tell you from experience, you won’t feel good after a detoxifying treatment. In fact, you may feel a little more queasy and tired than when you started. Add to it that you want to drink lots of water and do not want to add alcohol back in to your newly detoxified body, it’s best to save these treatments for the last day or when you get back home.
3. Ditto any treatment involving heat. They feel great while you’re having them, but they can wear you out. True story—we passed out at Ole Henriksen after a massage in a steam room from being over-heated. That put a serious damper on our night out in Los Angeles.
4. It’s virtually impossible to get out of a massage without getting oil in your hair, so if that's an issue, don't even bother. While at the Montage in Laguna Beach, our very nice therapist put a shower cap over our head and did her best to keep the oil out of our hair, but to no avail. But showing what a five-star property they are, she set us up with a free blowout. If you really must get a massage, seek out a Thai massage (lots of stretching) or reflexology—two relaxing treatments sans oil.

Happy spa-ing!

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