Saturday, September 5, 2009

Spa Girl has some favourite Spas to recommend

Over the past 30+ years work and pleasure have taken me to over 364 cities in 15 countries and whenever possible I look for a spa experience to wash away the jet lag, rejuvenate my spirit and ready myself for whatever the day ahead may bring. On a few occasions my day is the Spa. Here are a just a handful of the Spas I have visited and would recommend-in no particular order of preference.

Hotel del Coronado, Coronada, California

Also known as the ‘The Del’ to local residents, Hotel del Coronada is a beachfront luxury hotel in the city of Coronado, just across the San Diego Bay from San Diego, California. It is one of the few surviving examples of an American architectural genre: the wooden Victorian beach resort. It is one of the oldest and largest all-wooden buildings in California and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

When it opened in 1888, it was the largest resort hotel in the world and the first to use electrical lighting. It has hosted presidents, royalty, and celebrities throughout the years. The hotel has been featured in numerous movies and books.
This classic beachfront respite has long been heralded as one of America’s most beautiful beach resorts. A pronouncement underscored by its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Today, The Del offers guests a unique combination of modern luxury touched with the charm and grace of this fairytale castle. When it first opened in 1888, the Hotel del Coronado was considered the premier vacation and health destination, where the sea-swept air was both preservative and restorative.

Although early visitors certainly appreciated the therapeutic effects of saltwater bathing and fresh ocean air, these weren't the seashore's only allure. Victorians were also drawn to the soul-satisfying aesthetics the seascape provided. The Del's unparalleled oceanfront location gave early visitors the chance to enjoy one of nature's most inherently beautiful landscapes: sand, sun and sea.

More than a century later, the timeless Pacific tides and breezes of this San Diego spa resort still have the power to restore the mind, body and spirit. The new state-of-the-art facilities feature 21 massage and treatment rooms, hydrotherapy tubs, a relaxation area for both men and women, steam rooms and California spa treatments. Guests are able to unwind at the Spa's expansive private terrace with a fire pit and vanishing edge pool overlooking the magnificent Windsor Lawn and the Pacific Ocean.

The Spa at The Del was recently named one of the Top 20 Hotel Spas in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine.

Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa, Naramata, British Columbia, Canada

Opening the doors of the Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa, you’ll be swept into a world where time stands still. Nestled in the midst of Okanagan wine country, 19 km north of Penticton, BC, lays the luxurious Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa. Originally built in 1908, the once "Hotel" has been lovingly restored to provide guests an exceptional experience during their visit.

Wrap yourself in the pampering care of the Aveda Concept Heirloom Spa. The Heirloom Spa approach combines pure aromatic products with services that produce results. Your holistic spa experience is enhanced with touch and breathing techniques, selected specifically for you that relax your body & mind and naturally activates the body’s repair & recovery mechanisms. Your spa therapist will design a treatment for you based on the Aveda Elemental Nature philosophy.

Willow Stream Spa, The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta, Canada

A precious moment on top of the world where the purity of oxygen fills the spirit to the very core, intoxicating with its strength. Sweeping vistas of mountains, sculpted by time and ice, rise to embrace a clear blue sky. Rolling green valleys cradle glaciers, rivers and emerald lakes. And the land, with its power to heal, bubbles to the surface.

Reminiscent of the hot springs that beckoned travelers over 100 years ago, the pulsating waterfalls and the mineral pool in the heart of the spa rejuvenate tired muscles and soothe troubled spirits. The intensity of oxygen inspires clarity of thought and renews strength of purpose.

Willow Stream brings to life the unique healing powers of the alpine air, the sacred waters and mountain magic. Drawing energy from the mountains, the quiet sanctuary helps balance the rhythms of your body to reawaken your senses. It's nature at peak performance.

InterContinental Seoul, South Korea

With excellent access to the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center and the Korean World Trade Center, InterContinental Seoul is an ideal destination for business customers. Travelers have easy access and leisure time options such as Bongeunsa Temple, Gyeongbokgung Palace and the National Folk Museum of Korea only a short distances away.

The Cosmopolitan Fitness Club offers weight training equipment, aerobic classes, an indoor pool, outdoor whirlpool, sauna, a relaxation area with large screen video screen and golf practice room. The health club offers a variety of spa services and has a great spa tub, sauna, and a steam room with adjacent bathing area with both warm and cold pools. Guests have access to the adjacent Grand InterContinental with additional spa facilities.

Casanova Wellness Centre at the Hotel Cipriani & Palazzo Vendramin
Giudecca 10, Venice, Italy

Venice’s most famous hotel is neither a landmark palace, nor several hundred years old, and it stands not in the city proper, but across the lagoon on Giudecca Island. Nonetheless, the Hotel Cipriani is as synonymous with Venice as the Piazza San Marco. We suppose it has to do with the founder Giuseppe Cipriani, whose 1931 Harry’s Bar sated Hemingway’s legendary thirst, as well as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, Noel Coward’s and Gertrude Stein’s.

The Palazzo Vendramin, formerly a 15th-century aristocratic residence, now forms a part of the Hotel Cipriani, and consists of seven luxury suites and three double bedrooms with private butler service, and of course the incredible views of St. Mark’s Square from over the lagoon. However, other than the addition of the Palazzo, not much has changed since the Cipriani opened in 1958. There’s Walter, the barman, a permanent fixture who makes the best Bellinis in town (invented by Cipriani, by the way).

The romantic Casanova Wellness Centre is named after the legendary lover who once held clandestine trysts in the fragrant and colourful gardens of the Hotel Cipriani. Imagine a welcoming, relaxing and rejuvenating atmosphere especially designed for your well-being and skin care by Maria Galland and Aromatherapy Associates.

Specifically devoted to Couple Massage, there is a brand new cabin for those wishing to share a massage together with a partner, best friend, mom, or daughter. You can choose between a side by side spa pedicure or a special ritual which includes a bath with essential oils and a foot bath. One of the treatment rooms is equipped with Dolby surround system and aquatic coloured fiber optics on the ceiling.

The Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos, Mexico

Healing properties of the desert meet the cleansing nature of the sea at The Spa, where guests may sample any one of our varied therapeutic treatments designed to relax the mind, lighten the heart and soothe the body.

A member of the prestigious Starwood Spa Collection, The Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos, promises a divine retreat from the outside world. Whether you seek quiet repose on an overstuffed settee, a skin-rejuvenating Heavenly Body Wrap or an endorphin-rich workout, The Spa is your destination. Opt for cutting-edge spa treatments or time-tested traditional therapies, but do take time to care for yourself.

Culloden Estate and Spa, Holywood, Co Down, Northern Ireland

Built for a Bishop.....Fit for a King

The Hotel Culloden is a stunning five star hotel and stands on the wooded slopes of the Holywood Hills, overlooking Belfast Lough. It is only 7 km from the city center of Belfast and a ten minute drive from the Belfast International Airport. This beautiful hotel is a member of the exclusive Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Originally built as an official palace for the Bishops of Down, the Culloden stands in 12 acres of beautiful secluded gardens and woodland. Palatial surroundings, fine antiques and the highest levels of personal service combine to give the Culloden a unique air of sophistication.

The exclusive Spa offers a full range of health and leisure facilities and a full range of ESPA spa therapies and is one of Northern Ireland’s premier Health Clubs, and is a place where you can achieve inner peace and outer perfection.
With its fitness suite, heat and water experiences and modern treatments, it’s a place where you can improve the body, and indulge the senses.

Ten Spa, Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

A luxury health spa encompassing the entire tenth floor of the prestigious Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Ten Spa offers a full complement of therapeutic and rejuvenating facial and body care treatments. Spa visitors are treated and pampered in elegant surroundings beginning at reception, where you are given Italian spa slippers, and a plush Turkish robe.

All treatments have been developed from years of research at several of the world’s foremost spas, as well as at hard-to-find ethnic parlors. Please explore our treatment options customized from folk, scientific and old-school European traditions, then come to Ten Spa and escape for an hour, two hours or the whole day.

Ten Spa’s luxurious men's and women's change rooms feature state-of-the-art steam rooms from a leading German manufacturer, complete with aroma and light therapy. Experiential showers provide cold fog and tropical mist sprays. French L'Occitane body care products, hair dryers and the appropriate sundries are available for your use.

The Hamam at 10 Spa is a modern reinterpretation of this ancient hot air bathing ritual. The facility is co-ed and can be enjoyed either as a party room or booked individually. The Hamam is maintained at temperatures between 45 and 50 degrees with mild ambient steam. Ten Spa offers a selection of hamam treatments that will leave your skin scrubbed clean and rejuvenated. As in ancient times, regular visits to the hamam will not only cleanse your skin but will detoxify your body, strengthen your immune system and deliver a healthy feeling of well-being.

The Magnolia Hotel & Spa, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

The Magnolia Spa is conveniently located near Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Stroll to a magnificent waterfront and discover boutiques, restaurants, attractions and galleries. Everywhere you look in this hotel is an unexpected touch. Fresh flowers and fruit in the lobby, Aveda products in your bathroom, gourmet coffee, tea and bottled water in your room. Complimentary Continental Breakfast each morning.

The new Spa Magnolia is now open. Nearly doubled in size, boasting an elegant street entrance, seven treatment rooms, and a spacious lounge. Guests discover an oasis of tranquility upon entering the spa, leaving behind the stress of deadlines and hectic schedules. The power of touch is the cornerstone of Aveda spa philosophy. Synergy between ancient wisdoms with modern science creates an integrated path toward health and well being. Every treatment is customized to each person’s specific needs recognizing the body’s instinct to choose aromas required to restore balance within the body.

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