I chose the One&Only Spa because I had a positive experience there on a previous trip, it was near my hotel, and there was availability on my weekday choice of date. I was pleased with the results.
When on safari spa treatments are a well deserved respite from the bump and grind of the four wheel vehicles and the dust of the rides. However, spa time is always scarce and limited to non game viewing hours when everybody scrambles to book treatments. Frequently spa facilities are limited and often seem like an afterthought. The idea of a customer centered luxury and gourmet oriented safari and spa property appealed to me as soon as I heard about it. I was hesitant because reaching Karkloof Safari Spa required a side trip to KwaZulu-Natal, a province of South Africa I was not planning to go to on that trip and the airfare was not inexpensive. In the end, I could not resist the temptation of an all inclusive luxury spa and safari property. I was glad I went.
Overall Impression I found the Tranquil Vibe Day Spa, tucked away in a suburban neighborhood in Bloomington, Indiana, when I needed it most. Although it was only a 10 minute drive from my central location adjacent to the convention center, the ambiance at the spa was serene and inviting. t was exactly what I needed amid a week of back to back meetings and hectic schedules.
Eric Linder, co-owner with his wife Lori, was the smiling staff person at reception when I arrived frazzled after an unexpected delay locating a taxi. He was personable and friendly, making me feel instantly welcome. He and Taylor, my facialist, were considerate and service oriented. The Thursday morning I had my treatments it was an oasis of quiet and solitude.
I especially liked Lisa’s massage. She kneaded my muscles deeply, rubbing out well cemented kinks and knots. I left the spa feeling newly relaxed and ready to face a busy rest of the day.
At the beginning of our trip to Maine while we were in Portland, I searched high and low for a massage. Some windows announced treatments, but most of the time on close viewing the listing was unrelated to the shop where it was posted. One shop had a single masseuse and she was unavailable for several days. Others were less desirable. Frustrated, I gave up following several unsuccessful attempts at booking a massage.
For someone who loves spas as much as I do, Adler Spa felt like a playground of bliss. With approximately 100 treatment options aimed at pampering guests and ranging from signature Adler massages and facials, thermal water treatments unique to the region, to Ayurvedic and oriental treatments, I was initially overwhelmed by the many tempting choices. The knowledgeable staff helped me book three treatments over the phone a week before my arrival that best met my needs and interests. Based on the friendly service I received, I had high expectations of an outstanding spa experience. I was pleased with the treatments.
After a Monday morning of pampering at the spa at the well known One&Only Hotel within the V & A Waterfront we understood why the spa was popular with locals. About 80 percent of the spa guests were local, we found out following our visit. Patronage from area residents who are knowledgable of choices and able to get around easily, is often an indication of high quality, I find.
My first impression of the Raffles Amrita Spa was early one morning when I went for a workout (I was a guest at the hotel where the spa is located). The spa and fitness center had a common reception area and shared a building fronting the pool area of the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Siem Reap. The attendant was friendly, welcoming and helpful. She made sure I had everything I needed for my work out and checked on me midway to see if there was anything I required. I found that same warm welcome early every morning when I went work out and on the days I went for spa treatments.
The Palm Spa, the spa of the Twinpalms Phuket hotel, was a step away from the hotel entrance and a world away. A see-through glass door led to a brightly lit reception filled with comfortable contemporary furniture. We left our shoes by the door and entered the quiet space. The young woman behind the reception desk had a warm demeanor and offered to show us around the spa.
The first time I visited the Luxsa Spa I noticed the staff ladies were barefoot as was common in many places I visited in Thailand so I began removing my shoes at the door. The young lady at reception intercepted me and explained it was not necessary. Soon she was showing me around the spa and inviting me to return for a massage to help me get my visit to Koh Samui to a relaxing start. I followed her advice and with the spa manager’s help planned several treatment sessions over the course of my stay.
Our visit to The Spa at The Breakers during a recent stay at the well known resort was a pleasure. Just before the middle of the day on a Tuesday we set out from our rooms in the main building of the hotel, reaching the spa courtyard in minutes. After showing our electronic room keys to the security personnel in the area just before the spa entrance we were allowed through. Double glass doors led to the spa reception where we saw several busy looking young ladies standing. After greeting us and finding our names in their schedule book one of them requested I follow her. She accompanied me to the ladies’ locker room located to the left of the reception. Another staff person accompanied my travel partner to the men’s lockers to the right of the reception.
Although we were only scheduled to remain on the island of Ischia, known for its beautiful vistas as well as its thermal waters and spa offerings, for three nights we had set aside some time for treatments. The spa was conveniently located between our building and reception at our hotel. Just after breakfast we met with Constanza Popolano, Msc., the very busy spa manager, and Paolo Magrassi, M.D., the spa’s United States trained medical director. A man of subtle charm and a passion for travel to exotic locales he made time to tell us about the spa’s thermal waters and mud and the menu options available to visitors. Although the spa was undergoing renovations while we were there, we were fortunate to find treatment time available.
We arrived at Fordoun, named after a loch in Scotland and built on an old dairy, on a Sunday after two weeks of activity filled days, ready for a little down time. It was overcast and rainy with few outdoor activity temptations. At the same time, the small hotel and spa property was quiet following a big event weekend; just what we needed. In light of the weather and quiet ambiance the spa was the perfect indulgence during our overnight stay.
This small family friendly hotel within a quiet residential Stellenbosch neighborhood had much to offer. In the early morning we heard the sounds of birds, making us feel briefly as if we were waking up at home. As the day progressed we heard suburban sounds and neighborhood dogs barking. It was quiet otherwise.
Sedona Rouge was on our left on the road to into town on Arizona State Route 89A as we arrived by car from the Phoenix Airport following a day of travel from the east coast. Within minutes we were settling into the air conditioned comfort of our third floor hotel room. Right away we liked the easy to reach parking lot, comfortable double queen beds, flat screen television, electric fireplace and complimentary WiFi connectivity.
Sandwiched between a hill and a river the Spa Bollant’s position made Feng Shui enthusiast happy, according to Nicole Prass-Anton, the spa manager. The understated reception belied the spa’s spacious facilities. Once inside, we discovered a variety of rooms, decorated oriental style, that filled the various floors of the modern building. Although it was located in a village at least an hour’s drive from a major city, the spa was sold out during our Monday afternoon visit in late winter.
During a recent visit to South Africa, my husband and I dedicated a couple of afternoons to spa pampering and relaxation in Cape Town. This helped us recover from the jet lag from the long international flights from the United States via Europe, and allowed us to spend quality time together. Our first stop was at Onewellness Dock House, a new facility and part of the Dock House Boutique Hotel, where we found secure parking.
The pundit who declared that “happiness is a journey, not a destination” probably was not thinking of a twenty-four hour trip across two continents in airplanes booked to capacity; and clearly had never experienced the Maisha Spa upon arrival. That is precisely what I did on a recent visit to Kenya: no sooner had I settled into the Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel that I headed for its spa.
Our visit to Angsana Spa was a success. My husband and I arrived there just after a satisfying lunch at Myoga, an Asian fusion restaurant located on the same property. The reception area was quiet and we received a warm welcome from the staff. We spent a few minutes reviewing treatment options before a staff member escorted us to our double treatment room where we had the Duet Treatment Package, three hours of treatments including a scrub, massage and facial each and a shared milk and orange bath at the end.
On my second visit to this quiet property I went with my husband. Our two relaxing nights at the lodge, sandwiched within a three week game viewing trip, were a particular success thanks in part to our half day of couples treatments at the spa. I had been looking forward to my spa treatments since we boarded our overlong international flights from the United States and I was not disappointed.
Nirvana is often defined as a state of bliss and delight. Absolute Nirvana, an intimate luxury Indonesian spa in Santa Fe, New Mexico, lived up to the promise of its name! I had been especially attracted by Absolute Nirvana’s reputation for unwavering environment-friendly practices. The opportunity to experience a traditional Lulur, the sumptuous treatment once reserved for Javanese princesses on the eve of their wedding may have had something to do with my interest as well.
Located in the well known Sabi Sabi Reserve and managed by Camelot, part of a chain of South African spas, the Sabi Sabi Earth Nature Spa at Earth Lodge was a quiet haven from the world. After settling in comfortably at the lodge on our first day, we dedicated most of our second day, excluding game drives, of a three day stay at Earth Lodge to spa activities. It was a smart decision. The half day of spa treatments helped us relax and enriched our game viewing oriented stay at Earth Lodge.
Guests at the Lion Sands Reserve had lots of ways to spend their time. In addition to dawn and dusk game viewing, it was also possible to work out at the property’s fitness center, visit the curio shop and enjoy a spa treatment. The spa was especially popular when we visited Ivory Lodge in the summer of 2007. Four staff members divided their time between the Reserve’s three luxury properties: Ivory Lodge, Lion Sand’s top level facility; 1933, the newly opened rental villa; and the River Lodge, where the Lalamuka Spa was housed.
It was marvelous to be in the Grumeti Reserves in the famous Serengeti, miles from anywhere, and enjoy a new and handsome, well appointed world class spa offering on site and in suite treatment options at the Sasakwa Lodge and nearby Sabora Plains Tented Camp. We enjoyed excellent deep tissue massages, a facial and a couple’s treatment that left us walking on air.
When I found out I had an eight hour layover in Johannesburg before boarding my international flight to Europe I booked spa treatments at Octavia’s, which is located in a luxury hotel a stone’s throw away from the Johannesburg airport. That was a fabulous way to kill time before my long evening flight.
Millions and millions of chocolate bubbles swirled at my feet; foaming in a chocolate lover’s fantasy. In the dimly lit room, rose petals and candles transported me to an imaginary cloud of soothing silence; while chocolate morsels and chocolate liquor tempted my sweet tooth during the Cybele Spa 45-minute Chocolate Balneotherapy. Prior to that, I enjoyed a back and massage with hot stones and 15-minute stopover in the spa’s oriental style steam room with a garden view. My final treatment was a scalp massage right before the spa closed for the day.
What could be better after 48-hours of travel than an afternoon of spa pampering? Massages, body wraps and scrubs, facials, manicures, and pedicures all sounded appealing. The Renaissance Spa in the Michelangelo Towers next to the famous Nelson Mandela Square shopping arcade was a short cab drive from my Melrose boutique hotel. It offered a myriad treatment options and spa packages, as well as tanning and hair removal so I was sure I would find something I liked.
We first encountered the Four Seasons Spa while looking for a late lunch spot. The following afternoon we found ourselves heading back, one hour each way, for spa treatments. It was worth the drive. The Four Seasons spa facilities were impressive; especially considering that the hotel is on a small out island in The Bahamas. Although outside the sign for the spa was so discreet we missed it, the interior of the large building was cheerful and bright.
After a few days of game viewing and a long drive into town nothing feels better than a massage and beauty treatments. It was especially nice to change into on a bathrobe and oversize slippers in our Cape Grace hotel room and walk down the hall to the hotel spa for a much needed respite. A large and colorful mosaic greeted me behind the glass doors of the spa. Beyond it a young lady welcomed me politely and showed me to a waiting area nestled between therapy rooms. The common room had a marvelous view of Cape Town and its famous Table Mountain. Being the only one in the room, I sat down in a cushy lounge chair, sipping herbal tea and enjoying the million dollar private view.
What could be better than a top of the line game viewing boutique lodge filled with healthy animals in a malaria free reserve? One with a charming holistic on-site spa. The Eagles Crag Spa was just what the doctor ordered. After two days of international travel with so many connections I lost count, the thought of a spa treatment was inspirational.
The serene, quiet and cozy ambiance of the Royal Spa was a good match for the Royal Plantation where the spa was housed. Although we noticed by the number of guests calling and having treatments that the spa was popular, once inside it was tranquil. The staff were friendly and helpful, never chatty. The treatments we tried were good, the facilities were spotless, and the ambiance was elegant and welcoming.
We arrived in Cape Town rushed and tired. Our flight had arrived late. By the time we collected our rental car and found our way to our hotel, a short drive from Angsana Spa, the afternoon was nearly over. When we called the Spa to ask for a slight delay, the reception staff invited us to reschedule for the next day at our convenience. The following afternoon found us sipping honey sweetened hibiscus tea and wearing plastic slippers while we waited for our therapists to collect us from the reception area. We liked the open design of the new looking lobby. Sunshine and light slid through the glass ceiling to brighten the room which faced a small garden area with water features. By the time we left we had found our smiles and were looking forward to the next stage of our trip.
It was a rainy and overcast St. Barth’s day when my husband and I drove across the island to visit the Spa at Hotel Saint Barth Isle de France. After a delightful lunch at a nearby beachside restaurant recommended by Fiona, the spa manager, it was time for a relaxing treatment. We found the busy hotel and spa tucked away in a quiet corner of Flamands Bay . Right away, I liked the look and style of the small spa which boasted of its “customer centered holistic approach.” After leaving our car in a diminutive parking lot, we walked to the spa entrance. Inside, I was greeted warmly and given a short questionnaire to complete. Soon after, a lively British therapist with a bright smile walked me over to the Garden Pavilion for the fully clothed Thai massage. I applied a liberal second dose (we had sprayed ourselves before leaving) of mosquito repellant, lay on the floor mat and she began. An hour and a half later, found me sitting in a cushy chair at the spa reception eating fruit sorbet and feeling “noodly” though awake.
: We arrived after a plentiful lunch; rushed and tired from running errands and buying souvenirs. Inside the George V spa we entered a world of pampered luxury, escaping for a few hours from our cares. Small touches abounded to enchant the guest. The new looking facilities were immaculate. Subdued lighting, quiet ambiance, elegant and understated décor, comfortable furniture, delicious and refreshing complimentary beverages and plump and juicy dried fruit, guest centered staff, and a plethora of treatment options provided an irresistible combination.
: Behind the discreet façade a few steps away from the main entrance of the Hotel Le Bristol we discovered a world of beauty and relaxation. This facility’s friendly and guest oriented staff, services available in two treatment rooms on the premises or at the adjacent hotel , restful ambiance, and reputable line of products centered on natural ingredients presented a winning formula for the beauty treatment enthusiast.
: Tru lived up to its name. The ambiance, treatments and service we received were as described and better. Our treatments and overall experience were rewarding and memorable. The facilities were aesthetically pleasing and spotless, the treatments excellent and a good value, and the staff competent, polite, and client oriented. The decorative style, centered on crisp, clean contemporary lines, enhanced our confidence. Every room, including the bathroom, we were in was immaculately clean and there was a pleasant scent throughout.
: Trellis, Houston ’s large and luxurious entry into the burgeoning spa market was every bit as soothing and relaxing as we had hoped. The Mediterranean style Trellis building was stylish and tranquil inside and out. After a brief wait at the reception desk, we passed beyond the arrival area and were enchanted with the quiet and bright feel inside the building. As we made our way to prepare for our half day’s worth of treatments, the ambiance, enhanced by a floating pool and Japanese style stream, wooed us. We encountered spotless and well appointed ladies locker rooms including a steam room and a Jacuzzi.
: A grand dame of Houston hotels and preferred accommodation of many a distinguished and famous visitor, The Houstonian Hotel Club & Spa offered classic upscale Texas style accommodations in an 18-acre compound. Guest centered staff attended to visitor needs and distinctive décor added charm to the 280-room hotel. Thanks to the location, the property’s green features and wooded views, we felt secluded though we were within easy reach of Houston ’s main business and shopping districts.