Category Archives: Spas

Travel Tips: Las Vegas

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Ravenous for a romantic getaway?

Longing to luxuriate in Las Vegas?

Eager for engaging entertainment?

In search of a veg-friendly vacation venue?

What you COULD do is cut the Craps, hit the Strip, and go for the Wynn!

The majority of my trips to Vegas have been for business purposes.  Recently, I returned for a romantic weekend getaway with my husband.  This was my Mother’s Day gift, and I had a FABULOUS time!  Here is a rundown of recommendations, based on my visit:

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We thoroughly enjoyed our accommodations at the Wynn Hotel.  Spacious suite + vegetarian/vegan menus + spectacular spa = WYNN-ING!

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One of my favorite meals was on the patio at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway.  Here, I ordered the vegan Mushroom Tortellini with Arugula and Cashew Cream Sauce.  Sooooo good!

Other noteworthy vegan meals included:  Le Cirque at Bellagio (we splurged on their Vegan Menu, with wine pairing); Botero at Encore (we ended one of our evenings here with a vegan dessert); Terrace Pointe Cafe (Wynn) for breakfast; and Tableau (Wynn) for brunch.  It was nice to not have to stress-out over where to eat, or agonize over the menus.

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Ooooo YES I DID!!!  I finally got to see “O” by Cirque du Soleil, and I loved it!  This was the second part of an amazing date night with my husband, after dinner at Le Cirque.

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During our romantic getaway, we treated ourselves to 80-minute Custom Massages, and marinated for more than half of the day at the Wynn Spa.  The facilities were beautiful, and the amenities were plentiful.  As someone who worked in the spa industry, with a passion for all things spa-related, I appreciate that.

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The primary focus of our trip was experiences, versus stuff.  However, I had the opportunity to pick up a couple of items while exploring The Shoppes at The Palazzo and The Shops at Crystals.  I received excellent customer service in both places.

During this romantic getaway, we were inspired to plan a kid-friendly Vegas summer vacation.  Stay tuned for more details in another post.

It’s great to be back on the blog.

Thanks for reading!

XOXO

 

 

 

 

My Moroccan-Themed Birthday

So, what does a world traveler with a baaaaad case of wanderlust do to celebrate her birthday?  She picks a destination that’s high on her bucket list, and lives it up locally until her desire manifests.

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A day trip to Tangier, years ago, has me longing to return to Morocco; and I have yet to do so.  My birthday theme was driven by my desire to check out Joya Spa at the Omni International Hotel Montelucia Resort in Paradise Valley, AZ.  Joya Spa is the only Arizona spa to offer a hammam-inspired treatment.  So, I booked their “Hammam Experience,” and added 50-minutes of massage to it.  BAM!!!

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Before entering the spa, I had fun setting my intentions by placing three stones in the blessing bowl.  Unable to settle on just one, I chose rhodonite (work), rose quartz (love), and hematite (health).  What can I say?  I have a lot going on…

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Then, I placed my hand on the crystal just outside of the spa entrance and said, “Buh-bye” to any and all negative energy, as I made my way closer to bliss…

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Here, I was slathered with a soap that felt like melted butter, then scrubbed with a Kassa glove and black soap.  Afterwards, I was doused with 3 buckets of warm water.  My skin felt sooooo smoooooth…

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After doing a circuit from the steam room, to the cold deluge, then the sauna, I entered this room.  Here, my massage therapist worked her magic with a flower essence-infused oil that helped me to put things into perspective.  Zzzzz…

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Shhhhhh…this is the Whisper Room, where I luxuriated on one of these beds, underneath a cozy throw.  I need some of these linens in my life…

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“Cheers!”  The staff at Joya Spa offered me a complimentary glass of champagne, in honor of my special day.  How could I refuse?!?!  I graciously accepted, retreated to the spa terrace in my swimsuit, and “marinated” poolside.  I was able to soak up some much-needed vitamin D, while chatting with other patrons, and enjoying this view.  Ahhhhh…

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There…that’s MUCH better!  If you are in the Phoenix area, and looking for an exotic spa experience, with lots of amenities, then jump for Joya!

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After an awesome experience at Joya Spa, I drove over to this Phoenix gem for lunch. Don’t let the humble exterior fool you!  Owner, Zhor Saad, of Alzohour Market & Restaurant offers authentic Moroccan fare that will transport you to Marrakesh in a matter of minutes.

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For my birthday lunch, I ordered the Kashkbadem (roasted eggplant sauteed with garlic and mint), Harira (traditional hearty soup with tomatoes, lentils, garbanzos, and cilantro), homemade Moroccan bread, and pita.  LOVED IT!

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Of course, I had to order dessert, riiiiight?!?!  I splurged and chose the Kunafa, which was rich, sweet, and creamy, with tons of texture.  Mmmmm…

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And here I am with my lovely hostess, Zhor.  She works hard (often by herself) to serve home-style cooking that is fit for a king.  Just like my day trip to Morocco, I enjoyed my visit to her restaurant, and I look forward to returning.

Shokran to Joya Spa and Alzohour Market & Restaurant for making my birthday special!

 

 

 

 

 

Healing Hands

As a massage therapy student, I was taught that energy follows intention.  I have found this to be true during my time as a practicing massage therapist, and in my daily life.

During my last trip to St. Louis, I visited The Center For Mind, Body & Spirit, to explore different healing modalities.  The owner, Deborah Zorensky, booked it up; and Massage Therapist, Marty Wolins, hooked it up…

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There are sooooo many cool things here:  jewelry, candles, books, aromatherapy products, clothing items, and more!  I had to refrain from indulging in retail therapy, despite my love for aromatherapy, bath products, and candles…*sigh*

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My Energy Therapy session with Marty began with a detailed intake.   During this time, we discussed the areas of my body where I hold the most tension, which is customary before a massage session.  In addition, I informed her of every injury, illness, and ailment that I’ve ever had in my life.  Then things got interesting, when I revealed ALL of my thoughts (real time, as they popped into my mind), conflicts, fears, disappointments, hopes, and dreams, before and during my session.  Oh, yes I did!!!

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At this point, I felt totally exposed, even though I was fully clothed on the table.  Marty performed a series of “holds” and light massage, based on the information that I gave her; and the results were P-O-W-E-R-F-U-L.  I had several big releases: I felt the tension leave various areas of my body, I cried, fell asleep, and shared even more of my innermost thoughts, during  the time that I was with her.  What a cathartic experience!  I felt amazing afterwards, ready to take on my daily tasks and the challenges in my life.

If you’re in St. Louis, and are looking for an alternative to a regular massage or spa treatment, check out The Center For Mind, Body & Spirit.

Open your heart and mind, and let the healing begin!

 

 

 

 

Salt

Growing up, I suffered from seasonal allergies.  For years, I was MISERABLE.  By the time I graduated from college, my symptoms had mysteriously subsided.  What?!?  I have no idea how I managed that, but who am I to question a modern-day miracle?  These days, I am mildly irritated during allergy season.  However, my family’s allergies are much worse than mine.  So, what do we do?

The Salt Chalet Arizona is located in this building in Scottsdale.

The Salt Chalet Arizona is located in this building in Scottsdale.

For an alternative treatment that will have you (literally) breathing a sigh of relief, what you COULD do is try salt therapy.  Salt therapy (a.k.a. speleotherapy or halotherapy) helps to relieve allergies, respiratory issues, and skin conditions.  My husband shared his experience at Salt Chalet Arizona, where he went through a series of treatments to deal with an extreme case of eczema and allergy symptoms.  I’ve wanted to try this, and recently took the plunge.

Kickin' back in my zero gravity chair, ready to do some deep breathing...

Kickin’ back in my zero gravity chair, ready to do some deep breathing…

As with many natural therapies, it takes time to heal.  The more you do it, the more benefits you receive.  And who doesn’t want good benefits these days?  I have also found that it can take a couple of sessions to understand how to make the most of alternative treatments.  For example, during my first Salt Chalet experience, an elderly gentleman with COPD pointed out to me that I should breathe in the fine salt particles through my mouth (no filter), and breathe out through my nose.  I had been doing the opposite!  So, when I went to my second appointment, I applied this intel accordingly.  As a result, I had a more productive session.

The view from my zero gravity chair.

Nothing fancy to see here.  It’s all about the therapeutic benefits of the Dead Sea salt.  The comfortable chairs, light therapy, and relaxation music help to create a spa-like experience though.  And I’m always down with that!  For information about other salt room locations, check here and here.

Looking to “spice up” your allergy, respiratory, and skin protocol?  Just add salt.

 

 

 

Float On…

I love getting 90-minute therapeutic massages to relieve stress and muscle tension, and usually won’t settle for anything less in duration.  In fact, I already have a session scheduled during an upcoming trip to Sedona, and I can’t wait!  However, I also enjoy trying alternative therapies that promote health and well-being.

For a euphoric experience in a unique environment, what you COULD do is try flotation therapy.  Flotation therapy (or Restricted Environmental Stimulus Therapy) relieves pain, stress, and aids relaxation.  Earlier this year, when I was searching for an unconventional spa treatment for my birthday, my husband shared that one of his clients raved about True REST Float Spa.  So, I scheduled an appointment on my special day.  At first, I struggled to quiet my mind.  But once I settled into a comfortable position and focused exclusively on my breathing, I went into a deeper state of relaxation until I was out.  On my way out, I could feel my body release a LOT of tension in my lower back.  Hallelujah!  At the end of my 1-hour session, I emerged from my pod relaxed, refreshed, and HOOKED.  I can best summarize my first float as follows:

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1 REST pod + 1200lbs of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) + 200 gallons of skin temperature water + relaxation music + LED lights = a womb-like experience that helped me find my happy place.

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I returned a couple of weeks later, and brought a friend.  ‘Nuff said.

You can find more information about flotation and float center locations near you here.

If you don’t float, now you know.

 

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