THE AMERICAS – SPAS WITH A ZEST
By Julie Earle-Levine
Julie is a contributor to publications both sides of the Atlantic. She writes principally for The New York Times and Travel & Leisure.
American spa goers are sophisticated travelers, and it is no wonder. The choice of spas to at luxury hotels is enormous and growing. In North America alone, there are 12,000 spas and more people are visiting spas than ever before.
Many of the best spa treatments originate from other countries, but they can be found on spa menus across the US, Mexico and the Caribbean.
In America. indigenous treatments are becoming increasingly popular, with new treatments to compliment Ayurveda, Thai, Balinese and Swedish massages. Today’s spas are about body wraps, energizing facials, salt scrubs and hot stone massages. Treatments are individually tailored for the spa goer and many are at least two hours of bliss in luxurious surrounds.
In California, there are citrus and avocado body wraps using organically-grown fruits and vegetables to be found there.
In Mexico, a hot ginger body scrub is a real treat. Then there is the soothing, spicy aroma of allspice that scents the room in candles and in lotions. Spa treatments blend local culture and history. Therapists will rub your body with pungent spices, including cinnamon and clove which warm the body and then heat up on your skin. There are other treatments like Watsu, involving gentle stretches in warm water but enhanced with fresh rose petals and island flowers.
Some of the Caribbean spa treatments sound good enough to eat. The sugarcane body scrub; guests wash off in a bath, surrounded by hibiscus flowers and candles. A massage comes next, with a rich cream made with local papaya, mangoes, wild yams and oils.
How best to enjoy these spa treatments? Choose your treatment, book your accommodation, reserve a treatment ahead of your arrival and call the airline. Spa treatments are better than ever.