No matter what your job is, it causes some type of stress; therefore, everyone can benefit from some spa treatments. There are some of us (me, me, me) who enjoy them more than others…
No matter what your job is, it causes some type of stress; therefore, everyone can benefit from some spa treatments. There are some of us (me, me, me) who enjoy them more than others, and that’s why the “Spa Edition” is one of my favorites of the year. It’s my pleasure to go and visit as many of these beautiful spas as I can. As you can see, I will do anything for Hotspots Magazine! I hope you enjoy the feature on these spas as much as the Hotspots staff and I enjoyed going to them!
Cabanas Men’s Day Spa
It was a beautiful Tuesday afternoon when Brian (Hotspots’ Business and Operations Manager) and I entered the Spa Cabanas and was greeted by spa owner Norman Lachance, general manager Fabio and massage therapist Joe. After providing us with bottled water we began our procedures.
My two treatments were performed by Fabio and they were an anti-aging facial and a pedicure. The anti-aging facial (60 minutes = $129) is a deep cleansing and relaxing facial and is perfectly customized to re-balance and re-energize your skin for a youthful appearance. It actively increases skin moisture, calms irritations and minimizes expression lines and wrinkles. This facial includes exfoliation, extraction (my favorite because, although it’s a bit painful, it does wonders for your appearance), and microdermabrasion in which Fabio uses DiamondTome, the latest and most advanced facial and body rejuvenation system. This procedure reduces age spots, blotchy skin, acne, scarring, black/white heads, oily skin and is painless with no down time. It just feels like a suction cup going over your skin. Afterwards he used a high-frequency machine to take away any redness. This was followed by a relaxing anti-aging eye treatment (makes you feel young again) which reduces puffiness and fine lines and is left on your eyes (which are then covered) for about five minutes. He then moisturizes your skin and poof you look five years younger!
Most pedicures are given in massage chairs while your feet are in bubbly water. At the Spa Cabanas you are lying down in an inclined chair. This is so relaxing, I found myself almost falling asleep a few times. The Pedicure ($35.00) started with a thermal spray followed by a callus liquidator, and then my feet were wrapped in plastic bags which helps make your feet soft. At this point Fabio then cuts the top off the plastic bag just to expose the toes and he cut my cuticles. Afterwards he cut, filed and buffed the nails. This was followed by a filing of the bottom of my feet by a brush that felt soooo good! The next step is exfoliating the legs which and the scrub is removed by hot towels (yummy). Fabio then applied cuticle oil and massaged my feet. I cannot even describe to you how pretty my feet look and feel!
Brian received a deep tissue massage ($95.00), but prior to that he received a taste of cataplasm therapy (normally 60 minutes is $105 or 90 minutes is $145), which has been relieving pain and reducing inflammation for over a century. The cataplasm is a soft moist mass which is heated and medicated and is spread on cloth over the skin to treat soreness, sprains, tendinitis, and bruises and is effective for painful swellings. Brian had it done his back. After the cataplasm was spread over his back, they wrapped a thermal blanket over the entire area for about 10 minutes to seal in treatment. He felt warmth and tingling and it was extremely relaxing. Afterwards the substance is removed with hot towels and he was ready for his massage.
Brian’s deep tissue massage focused on stretching, pressure points and relaxing the muscles. Brian said Joe was extremely attentive to all his needs and although he was being twisted around like a pretzel during the massage he felt wonderful afterwards. He could barely get up.
Another brand new service that Spa Cabanas is about to offer is an herbal Thai massage (60 minutes, $105; 90 minutes, $145), which combines traditional Thai massage with heated herbal compresses which are filled with 10 traditional aromatic Thai herbs. I personally received a Thai massage when I was on the Ruby Princess 2 ½ years ago and I can’t wait to get one at the Cabanas because it was AMAZING!
Norman is offering some great specials in honor of his 5th anniversary; they are: the back wax, regularly $45, now $35; any other area take 20% off; 5 sessions of a 60 minute massage, $235 (regularly $425); and pedicures (including a manicure), only $35 (regularly $65).
Lavish Manors Nail Spa
When I arrived at Lavish Manors I was greeted by owner Tommy Lee who was very welcoming and sat me down at the station. For those of you who have not been to Lavish Manors, it is beautifully decorated and has an extremely soothing atmosphere.
I then met my pedicurist, Tom, who explained to me that I would be receiving the lavish paraffin spa pedicure ($45), which just hearing the name itself made me feel good. The pedicure started with my feet being soaked into bubbly warm water while I was relaxing in a massage chair. Tom was then meticulous about trimming and shaping my nails and cutting my cuticles. Afterwards he applied an intensive callus treatment and then a leg salt scrub. This was followed by a lovely herbal wrap that softens and plumps the skin and was followed by a moisturizing gel scrub that was massaged on my legs and feet. The final step was a refreshing and soothing paraffin treatment which was then wrapped with aromatic hot towels. The final touch was another nail shaping followed by a buffing. I felt like a ballerina as I was leaving Lavish Manors.
L’Esprit Day Spa at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld
Slightly off the beaten path, at the original entrance to the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld lies a wonderful, little-known, oasis of peace. Walking through the entrance door to the L’Esprit Day Spa you are greeted by soothing music and the noise from the outside world melts away. I was immediately welcomed by Jessica at the front desk, told who would be performing by facial and offered a seat in the luxurious overstuffed seating by the windows.
Before I had time to settle in with something to read, Luz came to collect me and escorted me to the upstairs treatment area for the signature facial ($100). Luz stepped out so that I could undress and make myself comfortable on the table. I was already in heaven with the soft sounds of spa music, dim lighting, and quiet. In soft tones, each step to my treatment was explained as it was started. Other than that, I was left to the relaxation of soft hands and the opportunity to tune out of the world for a while.
Soothing skin cleansing was followed by exfoliation and, my favorite part of any facial, those blissful minutes of steaming. These steps were followed by a serum and moisturizer. By this time, it was a surprise that I was still awake. The signature facial finishes with the most relaxing neck, shoulders and arm massage. Luz departed the room and left me to bring myself back to reality at my own pace. Upon leaving the room, Luz escorted me back downstairs to the lobby and offered me a drink and suggested I take my time relaxing before I left.
L’Espirit Day Spa has a full line of services including massages, nail care, and delicious body renewal options. Whether you are a local looking to indulge or visiting the DoubleTree for business or leisure, be sure to stop by. You won’t regret it.
Nestled one block west off Federal Highway and 45th (bet Oakland and Commercial) is a spa that can only be described by its name and that is Urban Retreat. The moment I stepped foot into the spa I felt like I had been transported to a zen place and my worries and problems started to immediately shrink away. The large waiting area is decorated so peacefully and beautifully that I wanted to take the furniture home to redecorate my living room. Seeing the waiting area alone, it is no wonder that this hidden retreat has won WPLG’s Local 10 Best Spa Award and the New Times’ Best Massage. I was greeted by massage therapist Jason and then owner Frank who explained to me that his motto is “Massage is Therapy at Urban Retreat.”
I was lucky enough to be receiving my treatment, the therapeutic massage ($75, includes free hot stones and free aromatherapy….now that’s reasonable!), from owner Frank. This was a deep tissue massage that really took a lot of my stress away (and you all know I have a lot of stress running this magazine…LOL) and relaxed me completely. Frank also wanted me to experience the ancient Chinese treatment (no, not secret…who of you is old enough to remember that commercial?) of cupping, which felt really wonderful on my back. When the massage was over I was so relaxed I had a hard time putting my clothes on. After leaving, I was at such peace that I drove a block and forgot where I was going…Now that is the essence of what a great massage is supposed to do….relax your body and soul!
At Urban Retreat, everything they do is natural and they offer other services such as collagen induction therapy, sports massage, injury rehab, facials, the latest in CIT skin care, and much more. Trust me; you will not be disappointed with a service from Urban Retreat!
The Grand Resort and Spa
I think by now, or at least I hope, that everyone knows that the Spa at The Grand Resort offers many wonderful packages to take your stress away and look more beautiful. Therefore, I was excited when spa owner J.D. told me he wanted me to experience the Rejuvenation Package ($259 – 3 hours). The rejuvenation package includes three services; the first is a body scrub and is done in their wet room on a wet table. They started by cleansing, followed by an exfoliation of glacier salt and hydrophilic oil in a Japanese citrus fragrance. The scrub is done to remove dry and dead skin cells to reveal a polished finish. Both sides are done in this order and then I was dried and a hydrating moisturizer was applied. I was then sent to meet Tod (yes its only one “d”) who would be administering my massage.
Tod (who has been a massage therapist for 13 years) administered a massage that was a combination of Swedish (light and grinding for relaxation) and deep tissue (which focuses on the muscles). After Tod massaged my entire body, focusing on my problem area (I carry all my stress in my neck), he then surprised me by rubbing me with hot stones (love them), which helps your muscles relax and soften. Afterwards Tod applied Dermalogica stress relief oil and massaged it on my face, and then he removed this with a hot towel. The final step was a larger hot towel which wiped down my entire body. My body felt wonderful and I was all excited to get my exfoliating pedicure with Paula. I look forward to getting any service with Paula as she is one of the nicest people in Fort Lauderdale and is fantastic at her job.
I call Paula my Colombian bombshell, and she tells me her husband is cool with this as he knows that I love Paula for her expertise and sparkling personality and not for her beautiful face! There is just something about receiving a pedicure at a spa when you are in a robe that makes it much better. I sat in the massage chair, which was super comfy, and you know Tod did a great job on my massage because I did not even turn the massage chair on. I put my feet in the water and Paula added peppermint rocks which are used to relax and sanitize your feet. She then proceeded to cut my nails, file them, and remove the cuticles. I must say Paula paid extra careful attention to making sure there was not one bit of cuticle left on my twinkling toes. She then exfoliated the dead skin off my feet, which was followed by a scrub that was made up of glacier salt combined with citrus oils. After removing the scrub with a hot towel, she then applied a eucalyptus mask to my legs and then wrapped my legs and feet in a hot towel that made the mask tingle even more, and it felt AMAZING! She then buffed my nails to a shine (polish is available if you want) and then applied a moisturizing cream and then massaged my feet followed by using hot stones on them (seriously, this is better than sex) and I think my mind got lost in ecstasy. The final step was when she applied normalizing seaweed oil to my feet and legs. When I got up my feet looked so pretty, I didn’t want to put my shoes on. Did I mention how much I love Paula?
Mojo’s Barbershop and Spa
As you know, it’s hard for me to go to all of the spas, so I enlist the help of some of the Hotspots staff. Jim Albright went to Mojo’s for a manicure, pedicure, facial and ear and nose hair removal. All of the procedures were done by Victor. Now for those of you who know Jim, you know it wasn’t easy for me to get him to go and get pampered, but I was persistent.
The procedure started with a manicure ($15), where they soaked Jim’s hands (I wish I had a picture of this), followed by the removal of cuticles, and then they cut, filed and buffed his nails. Afterwards his hands were dipped in paraffin, and plastic gloves were put over his hands, and when this was removed, they massaged his hands with moisturizer.
The next procedure was the pedicure ($35) where I sat in a massage chair and Jim’s feet were soaked in a whirlpool of water. They then cut his cuticles, cut and filed and then buffed his toenails. They then filed down his feet and removed all the dead skin which was followed by a foot scrub. The next step was an apple moisturizer, and then the final step which was a hot stone massage on his feet. Even Jim’s feet looked lovely after this.
Jim’s favorite was next and that was the removal of hair from his ears and nose ($10 ech) . For those of you who know Jim, you know he is a hairy beast, so I kind of feel bad for Victor for having to do this. This procedure is done by putting wax on and removing the hair. Afterwards Victor plucked a few stubborn hairs that wouldn’t come off with the wax.
The final procedure was the facial ($50) which started with a cleanser, followed by a scrub, which were both removed by hot towels. They then steamed Jim’s skin which was followed by extractions and a high-frequency machine to take away the redness. The final step was a mask, which was removed by a cold towel which seals in the moisture.
Jim (who is a true man’s man) was a spa virgin and he even admitted that he enjoyed all the procedures and will be going back.
Vida Spa and Wellness Skin Care
Anthony Verrico received the sublative procedure ($499) and said the staff was friendly and offered him a glass of wine prior to and during the procedure. He was treated by Melinda Coswell, R.N., Fr. Frank Coswell, hyperbaric oxygen tech, and Sophie Rodriguez, certified laser tech and aesthetician.
Sublative rejuvenation is something none of us heard of but is breaking new ground in the field of cosmetics by offering patients of all skin types a safe and effective solution in reversing multiple signs of aging. Unlike other treatments that work from outside-in, sublative rejuvenation works from the inside-out – targeting collagen production required for treating fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, and textural irregularities caused by excessive sun exposure and aging. Sublative rejuvenation refreshes the appearance of areas around your cheeks and eyes; reduces the appearance of wrinkles and texture irregularities; smoothes lines around your nose and mouth and treats brown, red and pink spots.
Sublative rejuvenation was developed with patients of all skin types in mind. Sublative rejuvenation is fractionated bi-polar radio frequency energy, making it an entirely unique way of treating skin. Exclusively with this energy, Sublative rejuvenation keeps the majority of the top layer of the skin intact, delivering bulk dermal heating beneath the skin to maximize collagen production.
Before Anthony left, they gave him three after-treatment products to take home: Skin Institute Fade Derm, DermGlo V-C collagen serum and Sun Block SPF 30.
Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa
I saved the best for last. I obviously don’t mean to offend any of the other spa owners, but I think they would even admit that Canyon Ranch is the benchmark when it comes to luxury spas in the United States.
From the moment you drive up to Canyon Ranch, you feel transported to another level of luxury. Once I entered the building, I was greeted by the concierge who then escorted me to the elevator (which you need a key to operate) and sent me up to the 4th floor. Waiting for me was Katie Riguzzi, who is the Communications and Marketing Manager, and who was so attentive to my questions during the extensive tour of the property. It was extremely obvious that Katie loves her job and is very proud of the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach. The tour included the Health and Wellness Center, the full service salon, juice bar, fully-equipped gym (which faces the ocean and is a spectacular view), the adults-only pool and hot tub, the healthy living restaurant, the cabanas by the pool, the bar which serves organic wines and spirits (also has top shelf), the gift shop, the lobby (which has maintained its historic touch), and the pièce de resistance, the Aquavana Experience, which is a thermal suite, the most luxurious collection of European-style healing aquatic environments in North America (which includes Atlantic spa, crystal steam room, experiential rains, Finnish sauna, foot spa, herbal laconium, hydrospa, thermal heated loungers and the igloo). Aquavana extends your healing or rejuvenating experience and maximizes the benefits of spa services before or after your service.
While much of the pleasure and efficacy of aquathermal therapy lies in the comfortable temperature of the various pools and treatments, exposing the body to a contrast of hot and cold temperatures is at the heart of these therapeutic offerings. We have learned from holistic wellness researchers in Europe that the contrast of temperatures moves blood and lymph from one part of the body to another, facilitating the drainage of toxins from the body. For this reason, aquathermal circuits should always be followed with a cooling shower or the use of the Igloo.
I was already amazed and my service hadn’t even started yet. Katie then escorted me to the front desk of the spa and I was given my locker key and taken to the men’s dressing room, which has two attendants for your every need. I cannot continue without telling you about the locker room which is about the size of my house. It comes equipped with everything you need to feel pampered. I changed into the robe (which made my body feel wonderful) and was escorted to my aesthetician Fedora, who was going to give me the Canyon Ranch Signature Facial ($155). By the way, her hands fit on my face much better than any hat ever fit on my head! While escorting me to the room we stopped by a basin filled with stones and she explained that this is a Canyon Ranch exclusive and you get to pick a stone of your choice and keep it as a memento of your experience.
Once in the room, I laid on the table, which was heated. Combine that with the dim lights and the spa music, and my body already felt like it was floating on air. Fedora started with a cleanser followed by an exfoliating scrub which was reinforced into the skin by the Clarisonic brush and each step was removed by a hot towel and then a toner misted over my face. Fedora then put the steamer on and massaged my face. The next step was an intensive anti-aging eye treatment which was covered by wet pads. Then, the extractions began. Once this was over, she applied a cooling mask, and while that was drying, Fedora massaged my neck, hands, and feet, and then gave me a paraffin hand treatment. She then removed the mask with a hot towel, and applied another toner mist. This was followed by transforming serum, a moisturizer, and the removal of the paraffin. Fedora then told me to take my time and dress, and she would meet me outside with a glass of water. She then walked me to the door where the attendant was waiting for me to escort me back to the locker room. After showering and using all the wonderful products they have in the locker room, I had to force myself to leave. In actuality, I wanted to move in!
I can’t wait to go back!