A temple of well-being and contemporary beauty, Le Royal Monceau
, a Raffles Spa
, was a godsend stop on the tail end of my Normandy tour this past September. You’re bathed in all white from the moment you enter its doors. Imagine 1,500 square meters of space under one roof, including a 23-meter infinity pool, the largest ever built in a Paris luxury hotel.
On the same floor are the exclusive treatment rooms, where you can get everything from a pedicure, manicure or body wrap to a facial or more traditional massage. There’s also hammam, laconium room and sauna, a gym and dedicated fitness coaches. What else is cool is that you can access the spa from every floor regardless of where you’re staying in the hotel.
The experience was nothing short of 5 star and for those who travel a lot, you know that a 5 star spa experience in Paris is a notch above what you’d find in New York, Miami or Vegas. My favorite? Beside the fabulous facial that is, I’d have to vote for the incredibly luxurious and…
Whilst in Umbria, Roccafiore is what the locals call da vedere….which means it’s a must see. An even greater compliment to Roccafiore is that you’ll find locals dining at the table next to you and ordering their wine from the cantina.
What often starts as just lunch at Roccafiore turns into hours under the Umbrian sun dining al fresco with sweeping views of Todi, a hilltop medieval town, visiting Roccafiore’s lavender gardens, organic wine tasting in their cantina, sunbathing by their luxurious pool or indulging in a day pass at the Wellness Center. Or just give in and stay the night in one of Roccafiore’s 13 luxurious rooms. Then you can wake up and do it all over again. Even picnic in the surrounding Grechetto vineyards.
My love affair with Roccafiore began with lunch last year. An exceptional white tablecloth fine dining affair at their Fiorfiore Restaurant, I was spoiled with unparalleled farm-to-table dishes on their seasonal menu like the Torretta: eggplant with bufala mozzarella, tomatoes and oregano, Chianino beef: with froth of parmesan cheese, salad and toasted almonds and homemade strangozzi pasta: with sausage, lemon and anchovies.
I randomly discovered Old Stone Farm and Restaurant
in upstate New York’s Staatsburg
, a stone’s throw from Rhinebeck New York
where I visited godparents a few times at their farmhouse in the warmer months as a child. They lived on some rural dirt road in what appeared to be in the middle of nowhere to a 12 year old despite the fact that I was used to the remoteness of the Adirondacks.
My recollection is that they had a jeep and we used it often to get around and even as a child, I couldn’t help but remember its serenity and peacefulness, where bird calls were more prevalent than the sound of cars. It was an easy place to get lost and the trees seemed to keep their colors in the fall for longer than further north where the seasons passed more quickly and it was already chilly by mid-September.
It was late September when we ventured north to Staatsburg, getting lost on a few side streets to marvel at the nearby farms. It had my first return to the area since I was a teenager, so I was mixed with positive and warm emotion as we drove…
Lap up the luxury at The Dolder Grand
in Zurich Switzerland. The 5 star luxury property touts 176 luxurious rooms and suites, exquisite cuisine, a spa covering 4,000 square metres, generous banqueting and seminar facilities and a remarkable art collection. The original “Curhaus” dating from 1899 presents itself as the luxury-class City Resort. The hotel’s elevated location, between the pulsating life of the city and a refreshingly natural green zone, provides a magnificent view of the city of Zurich, the lake and the Alps.
The rooms are oh tres modern
and have stunning views of the rest of the property as well as the city.
For the chic and healthy among you, check out the B2B Boutique Hotel & Spa which is located inside Zurich’s old Hurlimann Brewery. The rooms are quaint but funky and two key reasons to stay include the on-site spa which touts all things wellness and the historical 36 foot ceiling library lounge which has an astonishing number of books, 33,000 last we checked.
If you have an artsy and creative bent to you, try
For the serenity seekers among us, imagine a luxury spa in the middle of the ocean with stunning views on all sides? Imagine that in addition to a luxury spa, you have access to heated pools, hot tubs, a gym with the very same stunning view and lots of lounge chairs for relaxing. Imagine that you can order herbal tea as easily as you can a fabulous margarita.
Sound a little more than just enticing? Then, book a cruise with Princess
, and experience their Lotus Spa
and their Izumi Japanese Bath
which was one of my favorite things on the ship.
What’s lovely about this spa is the vast array of services on offer, from teeth whitening (yes really) to doing a detox, losing up to 8 inches of internal toxins in one session. They also have the classic massages as well as a few fun creative ones as well, such as a Bamboo Massage where they use bamboo shoots to massage your muscles, after they soak them in oil. The Aroma Spa Seaweed Massage was very detoxifying — it includes an aromatherapy body mask and wrap, after which they proceed with a…
I recently had an opportunity to experience the Spa at the New Otani Hotel in Tokyo Japan. The Japanese treat spas a little differently than in the western world. The “Spa” for all that the word represents is something that is an integral part of Japanese life, particularly for women. Not treated so much as a luxury item even though it can be expensive to experience one depending on where you are, life in the sauna or hot tub is an important part of health, relaxation and down time.
Spas are also more formal than they are in the states and even Europe, where I find the service to also be a notch above the U.S. The New Otani Hotel is a luxurious stay (see our write-up
on the property which we loved and would definitely recommend, including having a meal at any of their on-site restaurants – YUM!!). The spa at the New Otani
is an extensive of that luxury — from the offerings, the service and the amenities.
Use of the spa includes rental fee for gym wear, swimsuits, towel, and bathrobe which of course they expect
While we were staying at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis, I had an opportunity to try out the Beach Plum Spa
. While the property touts all the amenities and treasures that a family resort can offer (meaning it caters heavily to families), the sanctuary in the spa makes you feel as if you’re miles away from stress – it’s pure peace and tranquility.
The spa is a full service spa, and is so extensive in its offerings that it provides an extensive menu of services for men, women and yes, even children. They offer day and overnight packages as well and their body products are all natural or 100% certified organic. And, they must be busy since they’re open seven days a week year round.
One thing to note in my particular treatment is that I didn’t feel like just another client — they really listened to what was going on with your skin and your muscles to see how they could best customize something that will best work with you. I also left with a fun array of samples to test out.
The offerings and services include holistic…
Most people think of yoga as a turning inward, a solitary practice aimed at developing self-awareness and reflection. People practice yoga to find peace and improve wellness; but ultimately, to feel truly serene, you need to feel united and at home with your environment. Instead of isolating you from your surroundings, these trips connect you with local people, traditions and cultures to help you feel grounded, even in foreign settings. Seek more meaningful encounters than ordinary yoga retreats of personal discovery, as these trips allow you to try something new, broaden your horizons and connect to people with different perspectives.
Join the Balinese in firework displays and excitement before a day of silence to celebrate their new year. Participate in the sacred Incan fire ceremony. Volunteer at a home for abused women and the homeless in Greece… then celebrate all of your blessings by learning Greek dance! With these cultural immersion trips, you will stretch more than your limbs. In fact, you will emerge as a much more well-rounded person by the time you return home.
Stimulate Your Inner Incan Fire (Cusco, Peru)
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