Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Steep in relaxation in more ways than one at Qua Baths & Spa inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Spa goers will truly appreciate and indulge in the tea lounge that offers a unique international loose-leaf tea menu developed by the spa’s in-house tea sommelier Melissa Fielding. “Qua has paved the way with a new trend of social spa-ing, and there is no beverage more appropriate to share with others than tea,” says Fielding. In collaboration with Steve Schwartz, owner of Beverly Hills-based Art of Tea, Fielding developed a signature blend that evokes flavors of black tea, passion fruit, jasmine and vanilla, as well as tea menus specifically created for men and women.
On the women’s tea menu, Fielding blended teas with flavors that appeal to the tastes and needs of women. Fruit and flowers capture the taste buds in selections such as the Summer Rain, a cantaloupe and lychee-blended white tea, as well as the White Peach, where a combination of the osmanthus flower and peach essences create a refreshingly crisp taste.
The tea menu on the men’s side include the Gunpowder tea, a wok-fired Chinese green tea, which is rolled into small spheres that resemble actual gunpowder tablets and derives a smoky flavor.
So, while at Qua Baths & Spa, take in all the goodness from its therapeutic Roman Baths to world-class body therapies, and sip the benefits of tea for a whole-body experience that promotes wellness through and through.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
We’ve all been hearing for years about the benefits of consuming wine. So, it’s not at all surprising that the grape has found its way into the most exclusive spas in the world. “Vinotherapy” got its start from Bordeaux, France, where the latitude and longitude provides the perfect climate for grape growing. The Cabernet grape is king in that valley, and the French knew early on that drinking it was just as good as lavishly painting and kneading our bodies with all the fruity goodness that’s left in the wine press.
Though it may sound like a passing esthetics fad, vinotherapy is strongly rooted in scientific research. Mathilde Cathiard-Thomas and her husband, Bertrand Thomas, credited for creating the world’s first trademarked Vinotherapie "wine spa" -- Les Sources de Caudalie – in the Bordeaux region of France in 1999, base their philosophy on scientific findings.
Through research, they discovered that grape seeds discarded at the end of the grape harvest contained powerful anti-aging properties. Grape seed polyphenols have an incredible capacity to fight free radicals, and therefore fight aging. No offense to Vitamins C and E, but this antioxidant is more impressive. Grapeseed oil is also high in ologonomeric promanthoscyanidins (PCOs), another strong antioxidant which can greatly strengthen and repair connective tissue and promote healthy, vibrant skin.
VINOTHERAPY WORLDWIDE (Many of these are within or near vineyards - a true exotic journey for wine connoisseurs!)
Spa Agio – Redmond, WA
Offers sumptuous wine baths and a variety of vinotherapy treatments for the face and body.
Aquae Sulis – Las Vegas, NV
The “Wine Down” vichy therapy uses finely crushed grape and champagne grape seeds.
Vinothérapie Spa - New York, NY
A Caudalié spa inside the Plaza Hotel that offers a wide range of grape therapies, inlcuding the Grand Facial.
The Spa at Chateau Elan - Braselton, GA
The Vine Mud Body Mask combines crushed grape seeds and rich, French clay.
Delluva - New York, NY
A “full-bodied” grape exfoliation and wrap uses grapes from South Africa.
Ritz Carlton, Lake Las Vegas - Henderson, Nevada
A couple’s ceremony commences with a Chardonnay sugar exfoliation followed by an intimate soak in our jetted tub and finishes with a A full-body massage with body butter made with grape seed, lavender, rosemary, chamomile and jojoba.
OUTSIDE OF U.S.
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa – Yarra Valley, Australia
Indulge in a Pinot Noir Bath, or grape see exfoliation.
Santé Winelands Wellness Center - Stellenbosch, South Africa
Revitalize after a shiraz scrub or a chardonnay cocoon wrap.
Hotel Marques De Riscal – Basque, Spain
The four-hand grape seed oil massage is another Caudalié Vinothérapie signature treatment.
Les Sources de Caudalie – Bordeaux, France
This is where it all started. The 100% Grape Ritual offers three exclusive treatments : Red Vine Bath and Honey and Wine Wrap, in combination with a Crushed Cabernet Scrub, Vinosource Riche facial treatment and Pulp Friction massage.
Want to harvest the benefits of grapes with products you can use at home? Visit the following sites to browse their products:
Leroux Creek Spa Vine Therapy (www.lerouxcreekspa.com)
Napa Valley Spa Products (www.napavalleyspaproducts.com)
Sunday, November 9, 2008
We think that the “spa” concept originated during the Roman Empire when battle-weary legionnaires healed their aching bodies in hot, mineral wells. Not much has changed today. We, too, seek refuge from our daily crusades. Leaving our weapons of cell phones and PDAs in private lockers, we escape to our own hot wells that are tiled with African jade or other exotic stones and surrounded by delicate rose petals and flickering candles.
Spas have evolved since the ancient times, and looking at just the last decade, resort spas in Las Vegas witnessed a revolutionary change. Once they were nothing more than amenities, which included a sauna, steam room, whirlpool, conventional Swedish massages and a few whining excercycles. Today, the menu of offerings is modern and eclectic, from Watsu pool massages to seaweed body cocoons and equipment fit for NASA’s training program.
Before Mandalay Bay, THEhotel, Four Seasons, Bellagio, Paris, and The Venetian joined the strip, resort spas were sparse. Las Vegas now has the highest spa density in the country, and these mega properties boast the largest spas in the nation. When Canyon Ranch SpaClub completes its expansion, it’s poised to be the world’s largest spa - maxing out at 143,000 square feet – bigger than most gaming floors on the strip.
Originally, luxury clientele like Casino VIPs made up most of the spa-going crowd. But, today’s clientele has virtually no profile, as spa culture has developed into an activity of the masses. Men are also joining the “feel-good” club, which may explain why Canyon Ranch SpaClub is adding the conservatory, a grand 2,700 square foot co-ed gathering space. “In Las Vegas we create an experience that they (patrons) cannot get at home,” says Blake Feeney, Spa Director for the SpaClub.
So what makes Las Vegas spas so unique, and how have our expectations evolved as intelligent spa enthusiasts? We want to be invited into a tranquil setting that has indoor streams and stone bridges, accompanied by the sounds of a fluttering bamboo flute in the background to reconnect us with nature. We desire to be taken far away from society to experience an exotic massage where the therapist kneads our backs with her feet. We want to paint our partners with colorful mud before taking our Swiss showers. We eagerly partake in a questionnaire to discover our aromotherapeutic needs and create a customized concoction of oils to be used during our massage. We expect classes in power yoga, meditation and Pilates. And, since we’ve been known to spend an entire day at the spa, we order in a delicious meal to our relaxation room that surrounds us with soothing color therapy lights and trickling waterfalls. And, when we’re all rejuvenated, we dare to get an application of body art made up of tiny Swarovski crystals to show off when we go out on the town.
Our contemporary hot wells have significantly evolved over time, but the fundamental concept of cleansing and rejuvenation is still the core elements of the present-day spa. Despite how spas have grown in the last 10 years, in Vegas, we may be still be closer the Roman ages when drinking, merry-making and feasting preceded the healing therapies they found in nearby springs. Perhaps that’s why some of the best restorative sanctuaries for the mind, body and soul, are found in Las Vegas.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
We all know that Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is a magnet for top celebrities. But, after all the partying, where do they go for a relaxing spa treatment? The spa manager wouldn’t disclose names, but was proud to say that The Rock Spa is frequented by top names that come to town. Lucky for the rest of us, The Rock Spa is open to all hotel and non-hotel guests, so anyone can enjoy the exclusivity of this facility. When you enter the modestly appointed spa, you’re greeted with friendly service amidst a soothing atmosphere. The bi-level spa has a gym on the main level that offers an on-site trainer to help you get the most out of a work-out. Also on the main level is the men’s and women’s wet area, complete with invigorating whirlpools, steam rooms, vanities, changing rooms and lockers. The second level is where the therapy treatments take place and where guests will find Brannon Hair, a salon for men and women.
The Rock Spa’s organic veggie wrap, The Medley, is a signature treatment that’s not to be missed. Guests will indulge in a nourishing mask of botanical extracts including tomato, artichoke and pumpkin, which provide complete hydration. For those that are looking for the magic panacea to achieve younger-looking skin, go for the Fountain of Youth. This regenerating facial pampers the skin, leaving it refreshed and armed to tackle the environmental ravages of the day. Of the variety of massages that are offered at The Rock Spa, “The Rock Star” Swedish massage will work to increase circulation, promote total relaxation, and put you in the limelight.