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Spas/Retreats

Serenity, Wellness & Charm in Spades at Upstate New York’s Old Stone Farm

October 17, 2014 by  

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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…

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6 Places to Lap Up Luxury, Culture & Spa Treatments in Zurich

October 16, 2014 by  

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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. Details: www.thedoldergrand.com.  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. Details: www.b2boutiquehotels.com If you have an artsy and creative bent to you, try

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Pamper Yourself at the Princess Cruise Lotus Spa & Izumi Japanese Bath

October 10, 2014 by  

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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…

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Private Gym, Soaking Baths & Steam Room Galore at Tokyo’s New Otani Spa

September 27, 2014 by  

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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

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Beach Plum Spa in Cape Cod for a L’il Pampering

September 16, 2014 by  

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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…

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Some of the Most Serene Yoga Travel Destinations For Your Bucket List

September 10, 2014 by  

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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)

Do yoga in Peru's Sacred Valley. Photo courtesy of Yajra Sol Yoga Adventures.

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The Very Personalized Spa at the Ritz Carlton Westchester

September 8, 2014 by  

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The Ritz Carlton Spa Westchester is worth making the effort to visit from New York City for the service alone. The Ritz Carlton is located in White Plains NY which means that it’s an easy and seamless train ride from Manhattan on the Metro North Line, or…if you’re exploring Westchester County which I recommend you do, especially in the fall, consider it for a luxury stay-over and take in a spa treatment while you’re there. The property features a 10,000 square-foot luxury spa, fitness center and rooftop indoor swimming pool along with a full service salon and spa boutique. In other words, they go far beyond the traditional spa offerings. They carry the Claudio Riaz’ line of cosmetics, which includes patented brushes, make-up and luxury beauty products. I had an opportunity to play a bit with the make-up artist while she did a bit more than just brighten up my face. Apparently each brush is hand-crafted from top notch materials and his make-up line includes an array of concealers, complexion highlighters, eye shades and lip and cheek colors. I had a lot of fun watching her work! Services include pedicures, manicures, nail enhancements, personal…

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Caldea Centre in Escaldes Engordany, Southern Europes Largest Spa

September 5, 2014 by  

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I arrived back in Europa – to Andorra and was inspired once again. I headed to the incredible Caldea Centre in Escaldes Engordany to relax. It was an incredible night of pure relaxation and my body felt so good for the first time in months and months. The magnificent Caldea in Andorra by night. The magnificent Caldea in Andorra by night. Caldea is as good as it looks. The building pierces the Escaldes Engordany skyline and gives the town a futuristic visual appeal. Put simply – Caldea is the largest spa and leisure centre in the south of Europe: 20,000 square metres of facilities for you to enjoy water in all of its states! The natural thermal waters of Caldea sprout at 70 degrees and are special for their properties. The waters here are rich in sulphur, sodium and minerals and are greasy as thermal plankton. When you bathe in them, they produce an anti-algic, healing, decongestant and anti-allergic action naturally in your body . The centre is so massive that it would take a week here to truly feel the relaxation and get full use of the facilities. Alas, I had one night to experience it,…

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