In July, I had a unique opportunity to stay the incredible 5 star New Otani Hotel
in Tokyo Japan
, which is part of the Otani chain of hotels headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. New Otani Hotels operates 18 hotels in Japan and two hotels outside of Japan. The flagship hotel in Tokyo has been around since 1964 and their management is nothing short of top notch.
The service is beyond exceptional….but it doesn’t stop there. Upon arrival, I was escorted to my room by the hotel manager since my flight was so late and I managed to catch the last limo bus of the night which put me into the center of Tokyo well after 11.
One of the first things I fell in love with beside the ability to manage every light from a series of controls next to the bed, was the heated toilet seats. I soon learned that heated toilet seats were a big part of Japanese culture, at the very least Tokyo culture. I ran into heated toilet seats throughout the city in various establishments and each one had a number of controls which were far too complex for the…
If you haven’t been to the Plaza Athenee Hotel
on New York City’s Upper East Side, you’re in for a real treat. While we didn’t stay at the hotel during our most recent trip in late June, we did test out the hotel’s spa – Spa Valmont
. For those of you who know anything about the Valmont spa philosophy and high quality products, you know that the quality is top notch.
for Plaza Athenee is the only luxury hotel spa in New York City to exclusively carry Valmont Cosmetics skin care lines. Skin enthusiasts likely know about Valmont, a line which was created in Switzerland as far back as 1985. Valmont is known for its scientifically advanced skincare products, incorporating cutting-edge Swiss technological research and Glacial Spring Water into all of their luxurious products.
In line with its commitment to luxury products and a luxurious experience, all the rooms are private. The spa features four Asian themed private treatment suites sumptuously designed with natural elements. Each treatment area is for you alone and in addition to the room itself with the spa “bed,”
you have a suite to yourself, which contains a
If there’s anything more delightful than a spa treatment, it’s a flavorful one. Hilton Worldwide hotels in the Caribbean and Latin America are joining the trend with these specials:
Chocolate Spa at Hilton Buenos Aires, Argentina – After a bath salt whirlpool session and a few minutes in an oxygen cabin, guests enjoy a 50-minute cocoa massage or facial followed by a hair treatment with chocolate products. This four-hour aromatic experience is available for US$99.
Mezcal Herb Spa Retreat at Hilton Mexico City Reforma’s Spa Alameda – A Mexican spa tradition, this 60-minute treatment features a massage using medicinal native herbs for US$115.
Ice Cream Pedicure at Mexico’s Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort’s Spa Oasis – A 50-minute “sweet experience” with zero carbs and calories offers deliciously-scented foot scrubs and masks, followed by a candy-colored array of shades for toes, for US$60.
(Photo courtesy of Hilton Los Cabos)
Not all spas are created equal. For those looking to truly indulge, there are certain spas around the world that offer decadent offerings. And for those with a sweet tooth, a luxurious chocolate treatment may be just what you need.
To help you have a delicious spa experience, here are six of the world’s top chocolate spas.
The Spa At The Hotel Hershey, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Aptly nicknamed the “Chocolate Spa,” The Spa At The Hotel Hershey is a three-story, European-style spa renowned for its wide range of sweet treatments, with everything from chocolate massages to cocoa body wraps, facials, manicures, pedicures, scrubs, polishes and hydrotherapy, all with a chocolate twist.
While it’s difficult to choose with so many decadent options, I recommend the “Chocolate Fondue Wrap.” The treatment is like being packaged like a Hershey Bar, as rich fondue is applied to the skin and then you’re wrapped in a warm blanket. The experience ends with a cleansing Vichy Shower. Other notable menu items include the “Whipped Cocoa Bath,” which is like steeping yourself in an indulgent cup of hot chocolate, and the “Cocoa Facial Experience” where an edible dark chocolate mask is…
Over the next month all eyes are on Brazil as we ooo, ahh, eek, cheer, sigh, cry and leap at screens playing the World Cup. Naturally my daydreams of stunning Brazil beach holidays have kicked in, so I’ve been researching the most luxurious, dream resorts the country has on offer.
PONTA DOS GANCHOS
This hugely romantic and secluded resort on a private peninsular is situated in Santa Catarina in Brazil. With both rainforest and sea on your doorstep, one of their 25 incredible bungalows comes with your own pool or Jacuzzi and views that will knock your socks off.
RANCHO DE PEIXE
With a focus on local culture and sustainability, a stay at Rancho De Peixe in Prea, Brazil is sure to leave you feeling inspired. Take a massage on the beach in one of their relaxation huts or swing lazily in a hammock on your veranda. This rugged and playful hotel also has trained teachers on hand providing kitesurfing lessons.
Photo credit: egroup.net.br
NANNAI RESORT & SPA
Touching down at Nannai Resort & Spa in your own helicopter is no problem – they…
Want to take in a little rest and relaxation next time you’re in the Big Apple? Here are some fun off the beaten path places to visit in New York for a little pampering.
The $40 Spa Day Pass
For $40 during the week or $50 on the weekend, you get complete access to what can only be described as a water park of relaxation for grownups (although let it be noted that children are allowed, and it can get pretty crazy on the weekends…if at all possible, take a day and go when they’re all at school!)
Located in Queens, this 100,000 square foot complex offers just about everything your mind, body, and soul could possibly desire: a gold sauna, jade sauna, salt sauna, color therapy sauna…not to mention the amazing rooftop pool and hot tub. Oh, and gender specific sauna, hot tub, pool, and steam room facilities where you are encouraged to relax in the nude…(I feel like it’s important to mention those things ahead of time, right?!)
WHERE: Spa Castle
131 10 11th Avenue
College Point, New York
The Manicure + Pedicure
Soon, I’m off to Morocco for my second time. I’ve been once before and spent a wonderful three weeks traveling down the length of the country from Chefchaouen to Marrakech and out into the Sahara Desert. I remember being so thrilled by the colours and rich culture around me so I can’t wait to get back.
Whilst I was in Marrakech on my last visit I tried a Moroccan hammam. I didn’t exactly know what was involved, but I heard the word ‘spa’ bandied about and a nice relaxing afternoon after hours in the hot souks was just what the doctor ordered. Little did I know. Here’s a story of my hammam hell.
I checked into a traditional hammam and on arrival was greeted by a rather scary-looking woman with an angry face who guided me lazily to the changing rooms. She handed me a bag containing a towel the size of my palm and the most enormous pair of paper knickers I have ever witnessed; the kind that even Bridget Jones would not be seen dead in. Pointedly, she insisted that I remove all my clothes and put them on.…
Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel
is the first 5-star surf destination in Portugal
. I just learned about it as we are expanding our coverage of family travel destinations and resorts. Located on the Western Algarve, it is a year round resort, filled with 100-acres on the beach, a sweet blend of luxury for couples and families.
They offer childcare, a spa, sports clubs and lots of great food at their restaurants as well as bar options for after hour activities. The resort is surrounded by the Costa Vicentina National Park and was recently awarded a “Europe’s Leading Villa Resort” and “Portugal’s Leading family Resort” at the World Travel Awards 2013.
The resort features a 37 bedroom 5-star hotel and a selection of more than 150 spacious 1 to 5 bedroom Villages, 4 heated pools, gym, Spa with Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, tennis courts, kids clubs, 3 restaurants and a family surf bar. It also offers plenty of open space for jogging, cycling or a morning walk along the ocean.
Terrace Rooms at Hotel Martinhal are situated within the main building and surrounded by private garden and the architecture draws on
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