July 31, 2008

Experience Rosehip Oil at Hills Health Ranch, Canada

Juanita Corbett could be Canada's answer to the Body Shop's Anita Roddick. Corbett, who owns the unique Hills Health Ranch in 108 Mile Ranch, B.C., has a touch of the eccentric, just like Roddick. She's a former Grand Ole Opry singer from Kentucky who found her calling as a homeopathic esthetician. The ranch is a weight-loss and de-stressing spa that's just like a good old-fashioned fat farm. Corpulent CEOs sometimes stay for months at a time.

It's also the place where Corbett manufactures her Canadian Natural Oils line of curative and beauty products, including her cult rosehip oil. When she and her husband bought the ranch in the B.C. Cariboo that so inspired artist Emily Carr, Corbett didn't know what to do with the 20,000 acres of prickly rosehips growing on the grounds. She thought the prolific plants an unwanted nuisance.

But you know the old saying, if God hands you rosehips, make rosehip oil. Corbett did some research into the weed and found it to be one of the Earth's most powerful healing herbs, with a high concentration of vitamin C. She began making rosehip oil using a cold press.

The rosehip-oil wrap and facial Corbett gave me is not a treatment I will soon forget. It started with a massage with a dry brush that looked a lot like a horse brush. (Very possible. Riding is one of the activities offered here.) Starting with my feet, Corbett dry-brushed her way up my body. She advised me to administer the same treatment to myself daily. (Invest in a natural bristle brush, she said. "It costs about 50¢, takes a few minutes a day and will not only increase blood circulation and remove dead layers of skin, but stimulate glandular hormones as well.") After I was sloughed soft, out came the rosehips. The oil was massaged into my body, then I was wrapped in a plastic sheet and heated blankets to warm me up. While I was slow-cooking, Corbett gave me a facial with more rosehip oil. Then she left the room for 15 relaxation minutes. The sweet aroma of the rose oil filled the small treatment room. I felt like Jeannie inside a perfume bottle.

Corbett and her staff are highly specialized and have a very Old World attitude to health. Beauty treatments are as much rehabilitation as indulgence. The facial included much examining of my skin with a magnifying glass and suggesting internal remedies for what ailed me. Liver and digestive problems, she guessed (correctly, as I do a lot of traveling), were giving me circles under my eyes, so she advised me to drink lots of water and eat yogurt with acidophilus, a friendly intestinal bacteria. After she unwrapped me, my skin was soft and fragrant and I felt so relaxed that I missed that afternoon's workout session.

Hills Health Ranch

Karen Burshtein, Weekend Post

July 27, 2008

Post Hotel and Spa, Banff, Alberta, Canada

Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the majestic wilderness of Banff National Park, Post Hotel & Spa is a model of understated elegance. Canada’s largest ski area is just minutes away and the abundance of snow is just one reason a growing number of skiers visit the area each winter. An award winning wine list and fresh market cuisine are featured in the renowned dining room.

Post Hotel & Spa features guestrooms with mountain views, overlook trees and cabins, and the hotel’s well-manicured lawns.

Post Hotel & Spa offers renowned fine dining and an award winning wine cellar featuring 30,500 bottles and more than 2000 selections. The Post Hotel is a Four Diamond award winner and Distinguished Restaurants of North America receipts. Among a setting of character rich Canadian pine and close to the warm glow of the grand fieldstone fireplace, you will savor the talents of the Post's international cooking team.

Unwind and indulge at Temple Mountain Spa. The spa is inspired by and nestled in nature, and designed to envelop you in comfort. The newly revitalized Roman-inspired pool is perfect for a peaceful float or a few energy reviving laps.

Post Hotel and Spa

July 18, 2008

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Set amid awe-inspiring fairytale gardens, this 250-year old palace is one of the most romantic hotels in the world. As a testimony to courtly love, the palace brims with princely details including marble pillars, ornate glasswork, intricate paintings and much more.

Visitors will feel like honored guests of the Maharana at this exquisite white marble palace that seems to float majestically on the still waters of Lake Pichola. Originally built as a summer palace, Taj Lake Palace has recently been transformed to its former glory whose sole purpose is the pursuit of leisure.

Opulent silks, richly colored murals, and ornate carved wood furniture are just a few of the design details that envelope the guests in royal mystique. Guests experience luxury in the 83 rooms including 17 suites. Most of the rooms offer a view of the lake along with the City Palace, Aravali mountain ranges and/or the Jagmandir Palace, the neighboring island palace. All rooms are equipped with amenities like international direct dial facility, private bars, color television with satellite programs, personal safe, hair dryer and data port facility. Wi-fi wireless internet access is available.

The Royal Spa offers the ultimate in lavish relaxation in richly appointed treatment rooms. Guests can look forward to a selection of relaxation treatments, beauty enhancement, and rejuvenation sessions that suit individual needs. The Royal Spa also offers an irresistible blend of holistic body and beauty treatments, accented with traditional rituals and ancient Indian healing practices. Guests can choose from an array of international beauty products and essential oils. For maximum privacy, guests can arrange for in-suite treatments as well as yoga and meditation classes.

Taj Lake Palace

July 14, 2008

Timeless Beauty – Aspira Spa at the Osthoff Resort

Before arriving at the elegant Osthoff Resort we had already been charmed by the beautiful rolling green hills surrounding the resort’s home village of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. My husband and I were making the journey to visit Aspira, the Osthoff’s new spa addition. From the images we’d seen of the spa we knew we would be impressed, but had not anticipated such a romantic setting.

Once checked in we made our way to Aspira where we were introduced to a new peak experience in luxury relaxation – the Spa SuiteTM. Our exquisitely decorated suite came complete with a whirlpool, fireplace, lounging sofa, large shower and bathroom facilities. From the moment we entered, the stress of a month filled with travel, deadlines and countless obligations gave way to a sense of peace and comfort. Although we’d had couple’s massages in the past, we had never experienced the contentment of enjoying simultaneous treatments in a room that we could call our own after treatments.

Once settled in to the suite we welcomed in our therapists to begin our treatments. As the massage began I looked over and saw my sweetheart beaming, a happy and contented smile on his face; one could practically see the tension leaving his body as his therapist was finishing up the Swedish Tonic Massage (though I only caught a glimpse as I was far too carried away with my own soothing Aromatic Relaxation Massage). As my therapist moved on to a beautifully executed Reflexology treatment, my happy hubby slipped into the suite’s whirlpool tub to begin a long soak in a soothing Element Bath. What a pleasure - to remain in the same tranquil space while moving into different phases of our shared spa experience.

Read the complete Review

July 1, 2008

Spas of Canada - 141 Years Young!

Celebrating 141 years young on July 1st, Canada is one of the world's favorite destinations for fresh air, health and wellness. The planet's 2nd largest nation offers a wide array of experiences for the spa traveler. From Quebec's Nordic spas, Ocean spas on the West Coast of British Columbia, award-winning Destination spas throughout the country, exciting Wine spas of Southern Ontario, or relaxing Mineral Springs, Canada offers something for everyone.

Spas of Canada