April 21, 2002 |
Joan Plowright was in my aqua aerobics class. I tried not to stare, to pretend the acclaimed actress was just another plump woman in a bathing suit doing leg lifts. After class, I followed her into the jacuzzi and, searching for an unobtrusive opening, remarked how good the warm water felt. "Lovely," she responded. Later, back on dry land, wearing a black terry-cloth robe, she offered a cheery hello. All of which was some consolation for the fact that I'd just missed Vanessa Redgrave, who checked out the day I checked in. Monica Lewinsky had even stopped in to rest up after her British book tour, said general manager Ian Brewis.
January 13, 2002 |
Call it coincidence, or call it karma. Just when Americans need a kinder, gentler vacation that soothes psyches frayed by the traumatic events of 2001, resorts, adventure-tour operators, and even those bastions of sybaritic excess - cruise ships - are introducing programs devoted to nurturing emotions as well as bodies. In 2002, healing activities and treatments once found mainly at New Age-y centers of quirky repute have become standard offerings at mainstream places, both pricey and budget-oriented.
August 5, 2001 |
That summer vacation may scarcely be over, but it's not too early to start thinking about the holidays. And this may be the year to get off the holiday-go-round and head for a spa resort. Offering fitness centers, outdoor recreation, low-fat cuisine, health guidance, weight-loss counseling and pampering, spa resorts can see you through the season renewed instead of worn out. Spas are not just the purview of women or the wealthy anymore. "Today, men account for a quarter of all spa clients, and the average household income of 70 percent of spa-goers is less than $75,000," says Lisa Midwood, spokeswoman for Spa Finders, a New York-based travel agency specializing in spa vacations.
February 9, 2001 |
A visit to a spa makes a lovely Valentine's Day gift, but why should the object of your affection get all the enjoyment? Create a spa experience you can share - at home. "Turning a bathroom into a home spa or elegant bathing space gives you the opportunity to create a soothing, relaxing and sometimes romantic hideaway from your busy, hectic life," says interior designer Linda Daly of Ivyland, Bucks County. There isn't time to reconstruct your bathroom for Valentine's Day, so take a few simple steps to transform it. Here's how: First, make the bath more of a sanctuary by draping gauzy fabric around the tub.Chiffon, georgette or gauze will work fine.
May 9, 2000 |
Antoinette Albus, aesthetician, dipped a tongue depressor into a bowl of hot wax and spread it across the back of an average man. "It's going to feel a little warm," she said, "and then like you're having a Band-Aid ripped off. " No problem, the shirtless gentleman reasoned, a small price to pay to bring him one step closer - as close as this particular man would get, anyway - to resembling a model in a Calvin Klein underwear ad. ...
April 2, 2000 |
Once we dreamed of falling in love, getting hitched, having babies, taking wonderful trips en masse. Now we know better. We know that nothing would be more wonderful than to run away for a few days from the husband, the kids, the laundry, the groceries and all that lovely driving, and bunk again with that very sister with whom we once shared those adolescent fantasies that have since dried up like so many Huggies wipes. And so we have. "I'm calling to say nothing more than this is your official two-week Skylonda countdown clock," Laura announced on the voice mail, her voice giddy, narcotic, semi-salacious, the buildup being half the trip.
February 20, 2000 |
This may be the world's only alligator farm with hot springs, ancient Roman ruins, a water slide, and, oh, yes, a Thai restaurant and massage parlor. A kitschy theme park that looks like a slice of southern Florida plunked into the Middle East, Hamat Gader features ancient mineral baths where Russian Israeli blondes in bikinis defy the winter chill and Arab teenagers sit under orange plastic umbrellas smoking narghiles (water pipes), the fragrant smoke mingling with the stench of sulfur.
August 18, 1999 |
What do food writers like me do when they aren't actually eating? Try to drop the weight we gain as a side effect of our work. In the past, I had always confined these efforts to fat farms in Cheapside, N.J., but I'd always been dying to go to Canyon Ranch, the upscale spa in Tucson, Ariz. Thanks to the nest egg I'd saved because I never buy overpriced T-shirts with anyone else's initials on them and enough frequent flyer miles to get me cross-country for free, I spent a week at Canyon Ranch, even though spending a few hundred bucks a day to eat next to nothing struck even an extravagant wastrel like me as slightly insane.
February 21, 1999 |
The afternoon I arrived at Lake Austin Spa Resort, I knew I would have to return someday. I had flown to Austin in late March to escape winter-battered Chicago, where the skies had been gray and the winds freezing since November. After so many months of cold and snow, my longing for Nature at her most benign was visceral. The drive to the spa, only 20 miles from downtown Austin, took longer than it should have because I got lost. By the time I made the turn up the hill that led to the lake, I was annoyed at myself, the directions, and just about anything else I could think of. Within minutes of check-in, my anxieties abated.
February 21, 1999 |
You're in the mood for a crushed-pearl body rub, a Dead Sea mud pack, or a polarity massage at a relaxing spa resort - but what do you do with the kids? Take 'em along. The newest wrinkle in the healthy getaway is the family spa resort where adults can be pampered while their offspring are kept busy and happy in children's programs. The health and fitness craze of the '80s has emerged into the spa trend of the '90s, and savvy managers of spa resorts are offering children daily activities.