spa 4 you

Saturday, May 06, 2006

SPA HINTS ON BEHAVIOR

SPA HINTS ON BEHAVIOR

- Arrive early for you class or treatment.
- Arrive in the right frame of mind.
- Leave your mobile/cellphone behind.
- Keep your voice down.
- Don’t be a distraction to others.

A WORD OF CAUTION

A WORD OF CAUTION

If you have an open cut or wound, under no circumstances should you use communal baths, pools or stream rooms.

PREPARING FOR A SPA PROGRAMME

PREPARING FOR A SPA PROGRAMME

Before you leave home, make a note of your weight and have a recent record of your blood pressure. If you have a medical condition, ask your doctor to give you a note.

DRESS CODES

DRESS CODES

Since every spa has its own convention, it is a good thing to ask questions before you arrive. Are there changing rooms/areas? Do they separate male from female facilities? What facilities are there for couples? Are there separate areas for bathing or showering?

Take your swimwear with you. Whether you cover up in the spa or not, the pool area and the beach may be public areas.

The spas in this book will provide you with a robe so you can change in your room. Some are very relaxed about the way you dress. For example, at a destination spa people will be wandering around for most of the day in a robe – even for lunch. At hotels, however, where some guests may not be spa goers, you may be encouraged to dress for lunch unless there is a dedicated restaurant, café or rest area to the spa.

SPA ETIQUETTE

SPA ETIQUETTE

Experienced spa goers probably know the form in the spas they attend. However, conventions vary from one Small Luxury Hotels spa to another and from part of the world to another. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and at ease, after all, that is what spas are all about.


MAKING AN APPOINTMENT

In nearly every case, it is essential to make an appointment for treatment(s) before you arrive. Do not leave it until the last minute. After you have booked your accommodation, telephone or e-mail the spa directly to discuss your needs and book a treatment. On every spa page in this book you will find the telephone, fax and e-mail address of the spa. Do not try to make a spa appointment with the Small Luxury Hotels reservation service, it will not be able to help you.


MODESTY

In general, spas in France and Europe do not have a problem with nudity; whereas in Britain, America and Australia, modesty matters. In Asia, the therapist will probably be the same sex as yourself so the question matters less. Most body treatments require you to disrobe but it is usual for the therapist to provide a modesty towel which he or she will move around as necessary. If you are shy about such things, wear underwear, bathing trunks or a disposable.

If you therapist is the opposite sex to yourself and it makes you uncomfortable, ask for a change. It will not be a problem for the spa or the therapist. Better still, if you have such concerns, say so when you make you appointment.

ASIA – RICH IN SPA CULTURE

ASIA – RICH IN SPA CULTURE

By Kate O’Brien

Kate has 15 years experience in the health, beauty and the spa industry. She is a regular lifestyle contributor to newspapers and magazines in Asia and Australia.



With probably the richest spa culture on the planet, it comes as no surprise that Asian spas continue to dominate global spa awards and there’s every reason why. What is natural and instinctive to Asia, other countries try to copy.

When experiencing a spa in Asia – do what Asia does best: In India and Sri Lanka experience the inherent strength of traditional Ayurvedic therapies like Abhyanga (synchronized massage), Shirodhara (slow pouring oil over the third eye) and Indian Head massage. Although some of the oils can be quite aromatic, they work.

China and Hong Kong are home to traditional Chinese therapies like Tui Na massage (using hands-on deep, digital pressure to relieve pain and restore balance) and the increasingly popular ancient art of ‘cupping’ where cups are placed on various points in the body to improve circulation and boost the body’s energy. Japan’s centuries-old and trusted water-based therapies ease away stress and tension; Thai massage loosens and stretches the body like no other, while Indonesia’s scented natural herbal scrubs leave the body energized and completely clean.

Wherever you are in Asia you’ll find an exotic blend of truly unmatched natural therapies to soothe and enrich body, mind and spirit.

EUROPE – MORE PRACTICAL THAN RITUALISTIC

EUROPE – MORE PRACTICAL THAN RITUALISTIC

By Suzanne Duckett

Suzanne is a spa, beauty & lifestyle journalist who writes for The Sunday Telegraph and is an advisor to GMTV. She is also an author and broadcaster.



Hotel spas in Europe have a down-to-earth, straightforward and refreshingly unisex approach to beauty and well-being. Highly trained, local therapists have a confident, assertive approach to their guests and treatments creating a practical, rather than ritualistic, atmosphere and spa menu. This is not to say they aren’t pampering, they are, but there’s a more clinical, medical vibe compared to other destinations (probably due to the fact that Europe is home to thousands of thermal springs making it the world leader in medicinal waters – hence the excellent therapeutic treatments on offer).

There are more male spa therapists here, so bashful females and reticent males should stipulate their preference when booking treatments. Be aware that in some parts of Europe, spa goers prefer to go ‘au naturel’ even in communal areas, saunas and steams. Many have been taking their heat treatments seriously for decades and are opposed to damp, bacteria-inducing swim wear in the ‘hot rooms’ (saunas and steam rooms). However, no one is forced to walk around in their birthday suit against their will. The boom in international spa travelers and all their cultural differences has introduced a more ‘do as you feel comfortable’ dress, or should that be ‘un-dress’, code.

THE AMERICAS – SPAS WITH A ZEST

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.

1st post in the blog

This is my first part of 23-part series about spa. For more information pls, visit again in a next 5 days.