December 29, 2009

The Aria Resort & Spa - Opens in Las Vegas

Las Vegas newest spa and wellness attraction is the Aria Resort & Spa - an ideal retreat to escape Nevada's wild west show. Designed by the world-renowned firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, the Aria offers a spa spread over an incredible 80,000-square-feet on two-levels. A total of 62 individual spa treatment rooms and 55 salon stations provide you with a vast array of almost every spa treatment imaginable.

Natural healing is at the core of things at the spa at Aria Las Vegas, and when you're not indulging in treatments, you can relax and socialize at the spa's co-ed balcony. The Aria Spa is the first Las Vegas spa to feature a co-ed balcony, which is just one of the things that helps to distinguish it.

In addition to treating yourself to massages and skin care treatments during your visit to the spa at Aria Las Vegas, you can also take some time out to relax in a eucalyptus steam room, stretch out on a heated-stone ganbanyoku bed, or inhale the fresh air in the infused salt room. Should you be up for a brisk workout during your visit, the spa features an advanced fitness center, various fitness rooms, and exercise studios that are designed for small groups. This place has it all, from separate men's and women's spa areas to the unique co-ed balcony, and it's a place that you'll likely linger at for hours on end.

The Aria Resort & Spa

December 21, 2009

Healthy Giving Ideas

Giving gifts to others is a fundamental activity, as old as humanity itself. Yet in the modern, complex world, the particulars of gift-giving can be extraordinarily challenging. In my view, the best gift is one that benefits both the receiver and the planet. So let me propose three categories of gifts for this holiday season that I believe meet this standard.

First, there are specific, person-to-person gifts that I feel would be appreciated by almost anyone:

  • A box of high quality dark chocolate: Good dark chocolate (with at least 70 percent cocoa) really is a healthy treat you could consider, especially for the women on your list (chocolate consistently ranks as the number one craving among women). Chocolate is a source of polyphenols, the same kinds of antioxidants found in red wine and green tea. The fat it contains is mostly stearic acid, which doesn't raise cholesterol levels. And the flavonoids in dark chocolate are good for the heart - they reduce the stickiness of platelets, inhibiting blood clotting and reducing the danger of coronary artery blockages. For those on your holiday gift list who like chocolate, splurge on a box of the best. The review website can help you find the best chocolatiers in your city. You may also choose to give fair trade or organic chocolate; an internet search can provide many sources.
  • Flowers: A beautiful bouquet or a long-lasting flowering plant is a traditional gift for women, but I have recommended that both men and women keep fresh flowers in the home for their beauty, fragrance, and the lift they give our spirits.
  • A massage: A gift certificate for a soothing massage. Some types of massage are more relaxing than others, such as Trager work, a gentle system that uses rocking and bouncing movements to lull you into a dreamy altered state.
  • Music: We're all affected by music. It has the power to inspire, uplift us, change our moods, and even alter consciousness. Almost anyone would welcome a CD or two, and for special people on your list, tickets to a concert would be a memorable treat. If you are unsure of the recipient's musical taste, give a gift certificate for MP3 downloads.
  • A session with a personal trainer: This would be a great gift for someone who wants to get more exercise in the new year.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: A bottle of high quality extra virgin olive oil is sure to please the health-conscious cooks on your list. While my personal favorite is Lucini Italia, a trip to a gourmet market (or a farmers' market in some cities in the southern U.S.) should provide you with many possibilities. Depending on your budget, you could put together a sampling of two or three bottles.
  • Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, pistachios and cashews contain healthy monounsaturated fats that can lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack.

And then there are gifts that you give to the larger world. It would be a generous gesture - and very much in keeping with the true spirit of the holiday season - to donate some or all of the money you normally spend on gifts to environmental protection, disaster relief or other causes close to your heart. You can do this as a gift directly from yourself to the less fortunate, or you can make it a family tradition to divert some of the funds you would normally spend on gifts for each other to worthy humanitarian and/or environmental causes. Talk it over within your family - you may be surprised at how open others are to the idea.If funds are short, as they are for many this year, your charitable gift can be one of time. Soup kitchens, food banks, homeless shelters and other community organizations often need hands-on help. Volunteers of America is one of several clearinghouses that connect people with organizations that need them.

Finally, in this age of far-flung family members and challenging economics, consider telling your loved ones that their presence is a gift in itself. I know that personally, there is nothing I appreciate more than close friends and loved ones who have spent time and effort, and sometimes traveled great distances, to be with me during the holidays. Renewing and strengthening our human connections may be the best gifts we can give others - and ourselves.

Happy holidays!

Andrew Weil, M.D., is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and the editorial director of Become a fan on Facebook, follow Dr. Weil on Twitter, and check out his Daily Health Tips Blog.

November 19, 2009

Canada's Millcroft Inn & Spa Selected as Spas of America's 700th

Spas of America, a healthy living and travel website showcasing the best Spa & Wellness travel experiences, today launched their 700th spa listing and first Historic spa experience: The Millcroft Inn & Spa, Alton-Caledon, Ontario, Canada.

“Spas of America is pleased to welcome the Millcroft Inn & Spa,” says Spas of America president Craig Oliver. “Situated less than an hour from Canada’s largest city and two hours from New York State, the Millcroft is a premier spa destination offering the charm and romance of the past, complemented by four-diamond comfort and first-class service.“

Situated less than an hour from Canada's largest city and two hours from New York State, the Millcroft is a premier spa destination...
A historic gem dating back to the 1880s, the Millcroft was originally built as a textile mill. Today guests can stay and dine in the same building, where they’ll enjoy stunning views of the millpond and nearby Shaw’s Creek Falls. A definitive country retreat, the Millcroft is part of a small community known for its thriving art scene, love for horses and many outdoor activities.

One signature spa treatment at the Millcroft Spa is the Raindrop Therapy with Native Indian Hot Rock Massage. This unique therapy developed by the American Lakota Indians is designed to align energy centers, release blockages and bring the body into balance. Nine essential oils are strategically applied and worked into the back muscles, followed by a full-body massage. More details about the Millcroft Inn & Spa can be viewed at its platinum member listing:

Paul MacIntyre, GM of the Pillar and Post, another fine heritage property, oversees all Vintage Hotels spas, including its newest one at the Millcroft Inn. MacIntyre says, “We’re very proud to have our spa chosen for this milestone. We look forward to the Millcroft Inn & Spa being showcased to Spas of America’s targeted Spa & Wellness consumers from around the world.” Vintage Hotels also operates two other boutique spa properties in Southern Ontario, 100 Fountain Spa at Pillar and Post and the Secret Garden Spa, Prince of Wales Hotel. (Both spas ranked in Spas of America’s Top 30 Spas of 2008 based on consumer traffic to the Spas of America website.)

Millcroft Inn & Spa

October 23, 2009

Spa Back in History ~ The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia

The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia
The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia

Serving guests since 1766, the Homestead, in the beautiful Allegheny Mountains of Virginia, offers guests a historic luxury vacation resort experience combined with sporting pleasures, outdoor activities and relaxation. All year round, endless adventures await at this premier mountain resort steeped in the rich tradition of Southern hospitality.

Built in 1892, the Homestead Spa is one of America’s most historic luxury spas. Still fed by the historic hot springs that have attracted travelers since the 1700s, the spa provides the ultimate in rejuvenation and relaxation. Treatments and amenities include massages, mineral baths, aromatherapies, steam and sauna, and skin, scalp and intensive facial therapies. The Homestead Spa Suite caters to families and groups, and the not-to-miss Jefferson Pools offer a soothing soak in the famous mineral-rich, naturally warm spring waters.

You deserve the Highlands Honeysuckle Experience. This tranquil experience begins with a honeysuckle soak, followed by a full-body exfoliation, a honeysuckle oil application and a warm body wrap of muslins steeped in fresh honeysuckle. Feel as though you have been napping in the meadows of the Allegheny Highlands.

A true retreat in the Virginia countryside, the Homestead offers acres of fun for the entire family. Sports enthusiasts will revel in a host of outdoor activities, including golf on three championship courses, skiing and snowboarding, horseback riding, carriage rides, shooting, tennis, hiking, swimming, fly-fishing, falconry, ice skating and mountain biking. The resort features 10 dining options and a movie theater for evening entertainment. There are 483 guest rooms and 88 suites, most featuring mountain views and all equipped with plush terry towel robes.

The Homestead received Mobil Travel Guide Three Stars 2007 and Spas of America's Top 30 Spas of 2008.

You Are Here: Fly to Roanoke airport (ROA) and drive north along US-220 North. Total driving time is 1½ hours.

The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia

October 17, 2009

California's Golden Door Spa Celebrates 50 Years

The San Marcos, Calif., health club opened its doors 50 years ago this year, and it wasn't long before men-only weeks began luring the rich and famous for some serious pampering.

Aldous Huxley's eyebrows are so caked with mud in the black-and-white photograph they look as though they might snap off. But the novelist hardly appears concerned with the future state of his eyebrows. More pressing, perhaps, is whether actor Jim Backus, encased in a coffin-like steam box nearby, might melt away more than a few extra martinis.??Officially, Huxley was participating in one of the first "men's weeks" at the Golden Door Spa in San Marcos -- 50 years ago this year -- to give a lecture on the "mind-body as one word." But like the 14 additional spa guests, Huxley was really there to experience the benefits of hula-hoop calisthenics, herbal wraps and alcohol-free "cocktails." It was a Brave New World of masculine mud masks.

"Taking in the men just fell into place, really," says Deborah Szekely, the energetic 87-year-old founder of the Golden Door, about five miles north of Escondido. "We had always been about coeducation at the ranch."

Szekely and her late ex-husband, Edmond, founded the Golden Door in January 1959 as an upscale version of Rancho La Puerta, the couple's coed, self-described "health camp" in Tecate, Mexico. In its earliest years, the ranch operated as more of a commune where visitors brought their own tents, tended the vegetable garden and attended Edmond's group health lectures. Clients looking for a little more pampering -- those with deeper pockets, such as Huxley and Backus -- ponied up for the Golden Door.

Within six months of its debut, the San Marcos spa offered its inaugural men-only weeks to guinea pig recruits. It was the first facility to open its doors to men in the United States.

Read the complete article at: The Los Angeles Times

October 1, 2009

Fall into Spa - Six October Escapes

Fall is an ideal time to renew, reconnect and rejuvenate

Autumn is an ideal time to seek out a spa and wellness escape, an island of time between summer holidays and back to school, and Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just in time, Spas of America, the fastest-growing spa travel website, has announced their Best Spa Escapes for October. The list is a cross-section of resorts, hotels and destination spas from across the continent. Four spas are from the United States, one from Canada and one from Costa Rica. 

Eau Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach, Florida
Celebrate Fall at Eau Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach and experience touches of wet, wit and whimsy. Palm Beach, the legendary playground of the rich and famous, invites you for indulgence, decadence and overall fun. A glamorous retreat that allows guests to engage in magical spa experiences with a variety of sensational beauty treatments and surprising touches throughout.

Eau Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach

Aspira Spa, The Osthoff Resort, Wisconsin
Renew your Autumn spirit at a spa created as a place to take one's journey -- a place to move forward in nature and peace. Nestled on the shore of a lake considered sacred by Native Americans, Aspira Spa offers a holistic treatment philosophy that promises balance, peace and harmony.

Aspira Spa, The Osthoff Resort, Wisconsin

The Heartland Spa, Illinois
Nestled in Illinois farm country around a spring-fed lake is an unpretentious 32-acre destination spa focusing on fitness and well-being. True to its name, the Heartland Spa emphasizes 'heart health' through its nutritious cuisine, personalized programs, and full range of fun and challenging fitness activities.

The Heartland Spa, Illinois

Sante Spa, Westin Bear Mountain Victoria Golf Resort & Spa, B.C
Santé Spa Bear Mountain offers nurturing spa treatments and medical esthetics in a tranquil resort spa environment. All medical aesthetics are administered by an experienced medical team of doctors and nurses, committed to the highest standards of safety, quality, and hygiene. Located at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa you are just minutes from Victoria, B.C.'s beautiful downtown inner harbour.

Sante Spa, Westin Bear Mountain Victoria Golf Resort & Spa

Spa InterContinental Costa Rica
Enjoy an experiential oasis for rejuvenation of the mind, body and spirit in San Jose, Costa Rica. This luxurious spa experience will delight your soul and deliver results. Offering spa therapies drawn from ancient wisdom and the cultures of Central America, as well as the latest developments and technologies. This team of caring spa professionals will share with you their secrets of wellness, health and balance.

Spa InterContinental Costa Rica

Bacara Resort & Spa, California
Hugging the Southern California shore at Santa Barbara lies the Bacara Resort & Spa, an expansive destination dedicated to refreshing and reviving you. The spa offers 36 individual treatment rooms, private sunbathing with breathtaking ocean views, and open air or indoor massages. Afterward, relax in the heated zero-edge pool, enjoy the swiss showers and dine at the all-organic Spa Café.

Bacara Resort & Spa, California

September 29, 2009

T&L's Top Destination Spas 2009

Sedona, Arizona's Enchantment Resort, Mii amo Spa

Travel + Leisure magazine has named their top 10 list of the world's best destination spas - including eight spas in the U.S. Arizona has the most spas on the list, Canyon Ranch Tucson, Miraval, and T&L's highest ranked property Mii Amo, a Destination Spa at Enchantment. California claimed second spot with two spas - Golden Door Escondido and the Oaks at Ojai. Mexico was the only other country to make the list: Maya Tulum Wellness Retreat & Spa on the Yucatan Peninsula, and Rancho La Puerta, in Tecate.

Travel & Lesiure's Top Destination Spas for 2009:

1. Mii Amo, a Destination Spa at Enchantment Sedona, Arizona

2. Maya Tulum Wellness Retreat & Spa, Mexico

3. Miraval, Arizona Resort & Spa

4. Canyon Ranch in Lenox Massachusetts

5. Lake Austin Spa Resort Austin, Texas

6. Rancho La Puerta Tecate, Mexico

7. Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona

8. Golden Door Escondido, California

9. The Oaks at Ojai California

10.The Lodge at Woodloch Hawley, Pennsylvania

About the list:

Travel & Leisure's "World's Best" lists are based on results of a questionnaire made available online to Travel + Leisure readers. Respondents are permitted to complete the survey only once, and are screened in an effort to remove responses from travel industry professionals. More than 15,000 readers participated in the 2009 World's Best Awards survey.

September 18, 2009

Spa Industry to recognize Lance Armstrong as Humanitarian

Lance Armstrong at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland

He is known for his amazing determination, athletic prowess, and ability to motivate people around the world to 'dare to change your life' through his Live Strong campaign. Now Lance Armstrong will speak to thousands of spa professionals who live wellness everyday at the 2009 International SPA Association's Conference & Expo, Oct. 5-8 in Austin, Texas. Armstrong will be honored with the 2009 ISPA Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award.

"Lance Armstrong is an inspiration to millions. His tireless humanitarian efforts have raised awareness and education towards a disease that has affected so many," said ISPA Chairman Jean Kolb. "As this year's closing keynote speaker, he will share his story of survival and how he incorporates wellness into his everyday routine, which has helped him overcome so many obstacles."

Armstrong, a native of Texas, will speak about how he beat cancer by simply focusing on one thing - recovery. This message will resonate with spa industry professionals as they are simplifying their businesses and getting back to the basics of spa by focusing on wellness. In taking a step back and allowing himself time to work on his health, Armstrong was able to achieve incredible success. Connecting your mind, body and spirit will get you on the road to wellness.

The ISPA Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award is given to ensure that the late Alex Szekely's vision for ISPA and humanity continue to resonate for years to come. Past recipients include Deborah Szekely, founder of Rancho La Puerta; Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the Cooper Institute and Aerobics Center; Ruth Stricker, founder of The Marsh, a Center for Balance and Fitness; Dr. Michael Jacobson, co-founder of CSPI; Dr. Maya Angelou, author, actress and civil-rights activist; and Sir Sidney Poitier, Oscar-winning actor, writer, director and diplomat.

Armstrong will accept the 2009 ISPA Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award during the closing General Session on Thursday, Oct. 8.

For more information, visit:

September 10, 2009

YYOGA launches sixth location in Vancouver

YYOGA Flow Wellness opens in Vancouver

Just minutes from the serenity of Stanley Park, and the crash of waves on English Bay, YYOGA has launched their sixth location - Flow Wellness. The new center is situated in downtown Vancouver steps from the popular West End and Yaletown neighborhoods and a stone's throw off world-famous Robson Street.

The new location provides a modern and healthy environment that supports a strong sense of community, where everyone can move, breathe and have fun together. The center features: three yoga rooms; four wellness rooms for massage, acupuncture and other wellness services; an infrared Sauna; shower and change room facilities; mat and towel service; a relaxation lounge; and eco-boutique.

The new location offers over 150 classes per week designed to invigorate, strengthen and relax the body. YYOGA places an emphasis on a mindful and safe practice, believing yoga should be accessible to everyone - including those new to yoga. Classes include: Flow, Power, Hot, Hatha, Yin, Anusara Inspired, Core, Pilates, and YRide.

The idea behind YYOGA is co-founder Terry McBride who also co-found Nettwerk Music Group, which represents Sarah McLaughlin. Since taking his first yoga class four years ago, McBride has been sold on the health and wellness benefits of the practice. With six locations in British Columbia, McBride plans to expand YYOGA across North America.

YYOGA Flow Wellness

August 21, 2009

Achtung Baby! Discover the Spas of Germany

Germany’s appreciation of the healing benefits of spas dates back to the 19th century when towns such as Baden Baden in the country’s southwestern region of Baden-Württemberg became hotspots on the well-heeled travelers map and were visited by aristocrats and their entourages from across Europe. In fact, this was just a scene from history repeating itself, since it was the Roman emperors who first discovered and enjoyed the hot mineral springs of Germany.

Today, you can choose from mud baths and mineral-rich hot springs, sophisticated anti-aging and de-stressing treatments by the Northern or Baltic sea shore, at ski resorts and of course at urban centres such as Berlin.

Discover the Spas of Germany

August 8, 2009

Prince of Wales Named Best Hotel in Ontario

A historic landmark hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake has been recognized by one of the foremost authorities on world travel. Travel + Leisure Magazine has placed Prince of Wales on its noted list of 500 World’s Best Hotels, with a score that has earned the renowned Vintage Hotel top spot above all other hotels in Ontario, and ninth throughout Canada.

Prince of Wales has been decorated with numerous accolades over the last decade in recognition of its consistent ability to deliver exceptional guest experiences in accommodations, dining and spa. Travel + Leisure Magazine has included Prince of Wales on its trusted lists of superior travel experiences for three consecutive years. In addition to being named one of the 500 World’s Best Hotels since 2007, Prince of Wales achieved a spot on the prestigious list of 100 Best Hotels in North America in 2008.

Michelle Miller, General Manager of Prince of Wales, could not be more proud of her hotel’s recent appointment as Ontario’s #1 hotel, and #9 in Canada. “The credit really goes to the staff at Prince of Wales. We have an outstanding team of professionals who consistently go out of their way to make every guest feel they’re having the experience of a lifetime.”

Guests from over 25 countries visit Prince of Wales each year, whether seeking adventures in Niagara wine country, live theatre at neighbouring Shaw Festival, a romantic spa getaway or a four-diamond dining experience.

Prince of Wales, Secret Garden Spa

August 2, 2009

Hot yoga gets wringing wet endorsement

Inhale. Hold the pose. Pay no attention to the fact that the room is sweltering, that the air seems to cling to your nose and mouth like a mask of sodden mesh. Exhale.
Ignore the sweat pouring from your body and pooling on the hardwood floor, soaking your yoga mat to the consistency of a lily pad.

The heat is on at Yoga Flow in Aspinwall, where a dozen men and women bend, balance and drip through a vinyasa flow class taught by owner Dominique Ponko. Not only is the furnace running, but two humidifiers are pumping moisture into the air.

"Sweep your arms to the sky," she says. "Exhale, swan dive, inhale halfway, lift. Exhale, Chatturanga."

This practice is known generically as hot yoga. In a new twist on the ancient Eastern discipline, hot yoga practitioners perform traditional poses in a room heated to 90 degrees or more.

Hot yoga has been getting a wringing wet endorsement from enthusiasts who say that it relieves stress, drops pounds and increases flexibility, balance and strength. Having the room temperature approximate the body's own temperature warms muscles and helps prevent injury, advocates say.

Ponko, who owns the studio with husband Mark, says her regulars include football players and an auto mechanic. Today's class comprises both men and women, from a woman in her 70s to a 12-year-old boy.

It's not always easy. An attempt by a sweat-drenched reporter to assume the "crow" position falls flat, as does the reporter. But it's OK -- everyone goes at their own pace.

"You're not a sissy if you take a rest," Ponko says. "It's like learning to let go. Yoga is a totally different mindset. It's like letting go of that competitiveness."

Most say the heat is the toughest hurdle to conquer.

Julie Podgorski, 33, of Lawenceville says she felt intimidated at first but soon relaxed when she realized that nobody was judging her. She's been attending classes for eight months. She says hot yoga has helped her to lose weight and firm her triceps.

"I've noticed the difference," she says. "You use a lot of arms. You're lifting your own body weight."

Steve Swantner, 55, of Plum has run 14 marathons. He runs less these days but divides his time between weight lifting and hot yoga three times a week. He started at Yoga Flow's Murrysville studio.

"I heard so much about it," he says. "I had no idea what it was like, exercise or meditation. You kind of learn to breathe your way through the discomfort. I like how it opens up my body. ... When you're running a marathon you hit those rough parts. You learn to breathe through it, just let the discomfort be there."

He says the yoga regimen has him at his lowest weight as an adult.

One form of hot yoga is Birkram Yoga, which was devised and trademarked by Indian yoga master Bikram Choudhury. It entails performing 26 traditional yoga poses in a room heated to over 100 degrees.

Today there are more than 300 certified Bikram studios across the country.

Unlike some other studios, bailing early from a class is frowned upon in Bikram yoga.

But Genalle Passanante, owner of Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh in the Strip District, says the rule is often misinterpreted.

"We don't necessarily lock the door," she says. "We do try to encourage everyone to stay through the whole class. Every student who comes on the first day, we tell them 'Your only goal for that first day is just to stay in the room.' It's a mental challenge. A lot of times you might think you need to leave the room. Usually, when you stay through the class you're pretty thankful."

Studio owners say they've never had anyone pass out in a Birkram or other hot yoga class, although some have gotten woozy because they haven't eaten enough.

"We've had students who have gone off of blood pressure medication, who have gone off thyroid medication, reversed their diabetes," Passanante says. "Regular practice can really help."

One oft-stated claim that the profuse perspiration of hot yoga helps to sweat toxins from the body is untrue, says Tanya Hagen, assistant professor of orthopedics in sports medicine at UPMC Sports.

"The purpose of sweating is not to get rid of toxins," she says. "That's the job of the kidneys and the liver."

A person engaged in strenuous activity can sweat out as much as one liter of fluid an hour, she says. Staying hydrated during hot yoga is important.

"For anyone who has any cardiovascular or kidney problems, any history of heat illness, it may not be the preferred choice for exercise," Hagen says.

Amazing Yoga teaches hot yoga in their Shadyside, South Side and Franklin Park studios. Sean Conley, who owns the studios with his wife, Karen, says that Pittsburgh is late for the hot yoga trend, but that it's making up for lost time. He says they teach a total of 26 hot yoga classes a week at their three studios.

"This summer here was, without a doubt, our busiest summer," he says. "Even with the economy, our classes at all three studios have been at the highest attendance ever."

Yoga etiquette

The first rule of yoga: don't be afraid. That goes for hot yoga, where poses are performed in a heated room.

If you're thinking of trying hot yoga, consider taking a beginner's class. Most studios offer them.

Julie Podgorski of Lawrenceville wasn't sure she could strike complicated poses like the "airplane" or "the wheel." But she overcame her fears and is now a regular at Yoga Flow in Aspinwall.

"It's not about getting it right," she says. "It's about being present."

Many novices might also be afraid of doing the wrong thing. Some yoga etiquette tips:

• Be on time. Some yoga studios are strict about punctuality. Others don't mind if someone comes late. They also may not mind someone leaving class early because they can't stand the heat. However, some studios, such as those that teach Bikram yoga, usually require students to stay for the duration, so ask beforehand.

• Bring plenty of water. Stay hydrated.

• Bring an extra change of clothes. You will be drenched.

• Don't use your cell phone. And no texting.

• Don't slam doors or chat with your neighbor during class. Leave the iPod at home.

• Practice good hygiene. Taking a shower before you come to class doesn't hurt. Avoid heavy perfumes or cologne.

• Remember that it's not a competition. If you can't hold a pose or you stumble, laugh it off.

William Loeffler, Tribune-Review

July 22, 2009

Enter to win Sothys Paris Sun Care

For many years, sun exposure has been seen in a conflicting light – overexposure can cause serious problems, while complete avoidance is nearly impossible. Skin that has become tan or darkened due to exposure from the sun has been seen both positively and negatively in society for hundreds of years. Finding the perfect happy medium, popular culture today depicts a “healthy glow” as the best way to show off your skin.

Legendary French skin care company Sothys has recognized the sun’s importance in daily life and as a result has created a new range of sun care products designed to allow you to enjoy the sun without fear of skin damage or destruction. This summer Sothys introduces eight new sun care products under the Cellu-Guard® line, including products for sun protection, self tanning, and after sun care.

Sothys’ mission in creating their new range of sun care products was to increase your confidence when enjoying yourself on a sunny day. Sothys believes the benefits of sun exposure, including mood enhancement and Vitamin D production, can be capitalized on safely if you choose the correct product to protect your skin.

Enter to win your very own Sothys Paris Age Defying Tinted Care with SPF 10. Send an email with your name, address and email to Sothys Summer Contest 2009

Contest closes August 31, 2009.

July 15, 2009

New Kapuala Spa opens in Maui, Hawaii

Spanning over five acres in the heart of Maui’s Kapalua Resort, the brand new Kapalua Spa pays respect to Kapalua’s unique sense of place and incorporates the healing benefits of the ocean in everything from its signature treatments to tranquil seaside décor.

“Kapalua Spa embraces the healing properties of the ocean and our beautiful natural surroundings. Walking into the spa is like entering an elegant, open air beach house – everything from the tropical wood and sea glass interiors to the expansive views and personalized amenities -- the beauty of the ocean and its calming properties are seen in details big and small,” said Spa Director, Crystal Poe-Cabatbat.

Overlooking serene Kapalua Bay, Kapalua Spa’s 30,000-square-foot facility mirrors its environment with 19 treatment rooms, including 10 outdoor hale (bungalows), three private stone soaking tubs and dual treatment space for couples. At Kapalua Spa guests can take advantage of sauna, steam room, whirlpool and a cold rain shower in each of the men’s and women’s relaxation lounges. In addition, guests enjoy the services of a beauty salon, spacious movement studio, the island’s only spa-dedicated saline lap pool and sunning deck as well as fitness facilities with state-of-the-art cardio, strength and full-range-of-motion Kinesis Circuit System. A juice bar – which will feature natural and organic beverage and snack selections – as well as a spa boutique with skin care lines and gifts, will also be available for visitors.

July 7, 2009

Are Boot Camps the Next New Spa Vacation?

Think boot camp and what comes up? An image from the military or makeover reality show with trainers barking orders at their clients come to mind. Whatever the image, boot camps are becoming the new/old way to get in shape.

Boot camp like programs are appearing at the local gym offered for the after work group with limited time or they can be as comprehensive as the boot camp program offered at Mountain Trek, a health and fitness retreat located in the wilderness of beautiful British Columbia. For one or two weeks, guests transform their bodies through a high intensity fitness program focused around daily high intensity hiking fueled by gourmet cuisine. The boot camp part is delivered by structure of the program: 6:30 am yoga, hiking for 4 hours, and nightly fitness classes. “Our guests range from high pressured executives to mothers, basically those with a lot of responsibility on their shoulders,” explains Kirkland Shave, Mountain Trek’s GM. “What they appreciate is the opportunity to have someone else be in charge guiding and motivating them. They can completely give themselves to the program and focus on themselves,” continues Shave.

The benefits of the boot camp are multiple, weight loss being one of them. The average in 2008 weight loss for women was 5.7 lbs per week and 9.0 lbs for men. Continues Shave,” “Weight loss in the main reason why our guests come here. However, they leave with dramatic increases in their fitness levels such as endurance and strength as well experiencing a reduction in their stress levels. But most importantly they leave with an increase in self-esteem and vitality. “You won’t find our guides barking orders while on the trail, “says Shave, “but encouraging and motivating guests when the going gets tough. They think that they can’t do make it to the top of a mountain and when they do, well, there’s no words to express the sense of accomplishment,” finishes Shave.

Mountain Trek offers its boot camps in Canada, United States and Costa Rica.

FitPath at Mountain Trek

Compliments of

June 23, 2009

Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa Launches Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, British Columbia

At Vancouver Island's Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa, enjoy a New Summer Attractions package, Marine - Themed Spa Treatments and a 100 per cent Ocean Wise culinary commitment. The much anticipated Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, adjacent to the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa, has opened its doors to the public offering a state-of-the-art aquarium and marine education centre focusing on the ecosystem of the Salish Sea.

To celebrate the exciting new venture The Sidney Pier Hotel is demonstrating its commitment to local waters and local businesses. The property has joined forces with the new marine development as well as other Saanich Peninsula favourites to offer a Summer Attractions Package . For $299 per couple spend the night in a Classic Room, visit the world-famous Butchart Gardens and Butterfly Gardens, enjoy a tasting at Sea Cider Farm & Cider House, and be amongst the first to experience the wonders of the Salish Sea at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. Reservations can be made by calling 1.866.659.9445.

The Haven Spa is offering guests the opportunity to experience the relaxing and healing powers
of our oceans with one of three marine-inspired treatments. Each uses a combination of Ancient Secrets products including Green Tea Seaweed Salt Glow, Seaweed Body Butter, Sea Water Mineral Mist or the Seaweed Firming Mask. Choose from the Marine Manicure, 60-minutes for $75; Pacific Coast Pedicure, 70-minutes for $95; or the Pacific Seaweed Body Firming Wrap, 60-minutes for $125. Your spa treatment at Haven their 3,250 square-foot-spa, salon and fitness centre - includes an optional workout in our ocean view Fitness Centre as well as access to the Eucalyptus steam room and peaceful Spa Sanctuary. Call 250.655.9797 to book your treatments today.

Partnering with the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, Haro's Restaurant + Bar demonstrates their
100 per cent Ocean Wise commitment with a dinner featuring the wines of Gray Monk Estate Winery on Thursday, June 25. Guests will enjoy bubbles and canapés in the new Ocean Discovery Center followed by a multi-course oceanfront dinner in Haro's. Local and sustainable is the focal point of the evening, and guests will enjoy mingling with Julia and Susan Grace of Moonstruck Cheese; Mike McDermid, Ocean Wise program manager from the Vancouver Aquarium; and Angus Matthews, executive director of the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. Tickets are $95 per person (excluding tax & gratuity). Call 250.655.9700 to make reservations.

The Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa

June 6, 2009

Cool to be Healthy Again ~ Tara Stiles

Remember when it was cool to complain how crazy hung over you are and how wasted you got last night? Do you have fuzzy memories of waking up with McDonald's wrappers scattered around your bed and you can't quite remember what all happened? Remember a time when you would call your BFF and see if the two of you could piece together last night's debaucherous events? That was probably around high school or college for most of us.

But, habits begun as some fun and a way of getting around a little social awkwardness (ok maybe a Lot of social awkwardness) have a way of continuing. It's easy to slip into a late 20s to 40-something who still finds lots of disposable income ending up in bars and junk food. Sometimes it's fun, maybe. But mostly unhealthy habits just create additional hurdles. We're required to work doubly hard just to undo whatever happened during those fuzzy hours. Really it's not that cool. What's cool is having fun without creating a heap of difficulties that we have to carry around and work hard to undo. What's cool is being healthy! It definitely makes getting older and moving beyond those college years a lot more fun.

A shift happens when you decide to be healthy. You start to feel really good. You go from wanting not to deal, to actually wanting to deal with life, future, goals, your past, and your relationships. Maybe having a great body motivates you. The good news is a great body goes along with living healthy. Our bodies are all great! We just sometimes need to remember that taking care of ourselves is actually more fun than some of those other habits.

Take alcohol as an example. It attacks the liver first when broken down. Your body can't use it for energy right away, so it ends up stored as fat in the cellular lymph. Alcohol is considered a threefold factor in creating cellulite because it attacks three basic defenses of our bodies all at once: digestive, nervous and kidney. And how about those "beer bellies" - just a matter of a few extra alcohol calories stored as fat? Not exactly. Calories in-calories out isn't the whole story here. Rather, the main effect of alcohol is to reduce the amount of fat your body burns for energy. Alcohol gets converted into acetate, which stops fat loss.

A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition gave eight men 2 drinks of vodka and sugar-free lemonade separated by 30 minutes. Each drink contained just under 90 calories. Fat metabolism was measured before and after consumption of the drink. For several hours after drinking the vodka, whole body lipid oxidation (a measure of how much fat your body is burning) dropped by a massive 73%.

Your body uses whatever you feed it. If you feed it alcohol, your body will burn the acetate before the fat. That means a lot more hours in the gym or on the yoga mat before you are even chipping away at anything. If you've ever been at the gym beside someone who was drinking the night before you can smell the alcohol sweating out of them. Pretty nasty, isn't it?

You may be thinking, "I work hard and have my life together. I like to unwind on the weekends and get a little wasted. So what's wrong with that?" Nothing's wrong with that. Do what you want and what makes you happy. But also spend a little time looking at habits that add a big weight you get stuck carrying around. Why are we so wound up in the first place that make us need to drink so much? It's a good place to start. It can help sometimes with letting go of the old habits.

Thankfully it's cool now to be healthy. Organic shopping, cooking at home and with friends, yoga, hiking, walking, biking are all activities that awesomely cool people do. It's not cool to complain too much about life, job, weight and overall happiness. We all know there is plenty available to do about it. Get to a yoga class, go for a run, ride your bike, eat healthy foods. When you live healthy you feel great - both while you're doing it and the next morning too. You stop fighting against yourself. You have all the tools you need to shape your life how you want it to be.

~ By Tara Stiles.
Tara Stiles is the founder of Strala Yoga. She's also a model and yoga activist.

June 3, 2009

Willow's Bid on the Boys ~ Toronto, Ontario

Donovan Bailey, Craig Oliver

Congratulations to the guests, volunteers, organizers, sponsors, and bachelors of the 2009 Bid on the Boys Breast Cancer Charity event. The event was held in Toronto Friday May 29th in sponsorship of The glamorous night was attended by close to 1,000 people in support of Willow - a Canadian-based breast cancer charity providing immediate resources and support to women diagnosed with breast cancer.

The event included entertainment throughout the evening, dinner, a raffle and silent auction. The evening’s highlight was a bachelor auction, with a tailor-made prize package behind each man.

Bachelors included: actor Carlo Rota, Olympian Donovan Bailey, Chef David Adjey, Dr. Mark Cohen, Dr. Harmeet Gill, Dr. Jason Noble, kilt-wearing Brendan Fitzpatrick, pilot Jeff Lewis, forensic investigator Greg Olson, Police Detective Chris Slywchuk, Police Officer Brian Chambers, Spas of America-president Craig Oliver, and Firefighters of the York Region.

Kudos to co-hosts Maureen Holloway and Sheila Clark who did an amazing job bringing the evening together, and maximizing monies raised. Maureen is heard across Canada as host of The Last Word, a commentary on the foibles of the famous, featured live every morning across the country. Sheila is event host for and, the community website of the York Region Media Group.

Greg Olson, Chris Slywchuk, Craig Oliver, Dr. Harmeet Gill, David Adjey, Dr. Jason Noble

Spas of America was a proud participant in the event. Special thanks to our friends at: Deserving Thyme; Ilike Organic Skin Care; Elizabeth Grant; GloSodin Skin Nutrients; and Roots Canada who provided prizes. Your participation was greatly appreciated.

For more information on Willow, please visit their website.

June 1, 2009

Better Running Through Walking

I am more couch potato than runner. But not long ago, I decided to get myself into shape to run in the New York City Marathon, on Nov. 1, just 152 days from now. (Not that I’m counting.)

To train for my first marathon, I’m using the “run-walk” method, popularized by the distance coach Jeff Galloway, a member of the 1972 Olympic team. When I mentioned this to a colleague who runs, she snickered — a common reaction among purists.

But after interviewing several people who have used the method, I’m convinced that those of us run-walking the marathon will have the last laugh.

Contrary to what you might think, the technique doesn’t mean walking when you’re tired; it means taking brief walk breaks when you’re not.

Depending on one’s fitness level, a walk-break runner might run for a minute and walk for a minute, whether on a 5-mile training run or the 26.2-mile course on race day. A more experienced runner might incorporate a one-minute walk break for every mile of running.

Taking these breaks makes marathon training less grueling and reduces the risk of injury, Mr. Galloway says, because it gives the muscles regular recovery time during a long run. Walk breaks are a way for older, less fit and overweight people to take part in a sport that would otherwise be off limits. But most surprising are the stories from veteran runners who say run-walk training has helped them post faster race times than ever.

One of them is Tim Deegan of Jacksonville, Fla., who had run 25 marathons when his wife, Donna Deegan, a popular local newscaster and cancer survivor, began organizing a marathon to raise money for breast cancer research. When Mr. Galloway volunteered to help with the race, Ms. Deegan asked her husband to take part in run-walk training to show support.

“The only reason I did this is because I love my wife,” said Mr. Deegan, 49. “To say I was a skeptic is to put it very nicely.”

But to his surprise, he began to enjoy running more, and he found that his body recovered more quickly from long runs. His times had been slowing — to about 3 hours 45 minutes, 15 minutes shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon — but as he ran-walked his way through the Jacksonville Marathon, “I started thinking I might have a chance to qualify for Boston again.”

He did, posting a time of 3:28.

Nadine Rihani of Nashville ran her first marathon at age 61, taking walk breaks. Her running friends urged her to adopt more traditional training, and she was eventually sidelined by back and hip pain. So she resumed run-walk training, and in April, at age 70, she finished first in her age group in the Country Music Marathon, coming in at 6:05.

“My friends who were ‘serious’ runners said, ‘You don’t need to do those walk breaks,’ ” she said. “I found out the hard way I really did.”

Dave Desposato, a 46-year-old financial analyst, began run-walk training several years ago after excessive running resulted in an overuse injury. He finished this year’s Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City, Mich., in 3:31:42, cutting 12 minutes off his previous best.

“I run enough marathons now to see everybody totally collapsing at the end is very, very common,” he said. “You wish you could share your experience with them, but they have to be willing to listen first.”

Another unconventional element of walk-break training is the frequency — typically just three days a week, with two easy runs of 20 to 60 minutes each and a long run on the weekend. The walk breaks allow runners to build up their mileage without subjecting their bodies to the stress of daily running, Mr. Galloway said.

Many runners take their own version of walk breaks without thinking about it, he says: they slow down at water stations or reduce their pace when they tire. Scheduling walk breaks earlier in a run gives the athlete control over the race and a chance to finish stronger.

While I’m planning to use run-walk training to complete my first marathon, I’ve heard from many runners who adhere to a variety of training methods. So later this week, the Well blog will have a new feature: the Run Well marathon training tool, with which you can choose any of several coaches’ training plans and then track your progress.

Besides Mr. Galloway, plans are being offered by the marathoner Greg McMillan, who is renowned for his detailed training plans that help runners reach their time goals; the New York Flyers, the city’s largest running club, which incorporates local road races into its training; and Team for Kids, a New York Road Runners Foundation charity program that trains 5,000 adult runners around the world.

The Run Well series also gives you access to top running experts, advice from elite runners, reviews of running gadgets and regular doses of inspiration to get you race-ready.

So please join me, the coaches and other running enthusiasts every day at the Well blog,, during the next five months of training. For me, this is finally the year I’ll run a marathon. I hope it will be your year too.

Tara Parker - Pope, New York Times

May 22, 2009

Canada's Top Spa Experiences

In 2009, Canada's national tourism organization, the Canadian Tourism Commission, under took the task of identifying Canadian spa experiences that were best aligned to the national tourism brand: Canada.Keep Exploring. The Commission sought to develop a number of spa marketing assets for integration into its domestic and global marketing efforts. A total of 57 spas from across the country were identified, including spas in eight of Canada's 10 provinces. These spas offer spa treatments that incorporate ingredients indigenous to Canada including, rosehip oil from British Columbia, maple syrup from Ontario and Quebec, sea salts mined in Saskatchewan, glacial clay, seaweed wraps, and lavender from the Pacific west coast, vinotherapy using grape products from Niagara or the Okanagan wine regions, and Golden Moor Mud sourced in eastern Ontario, just to name a few. Each spa offers a uniquely Canadian wellness experience for spa enthusiasts and international travelers alike.

Discover all 57 of Canada's Top Spa Experiences

May 20, 2009

A Recipe For Longevity: 33 Of The Healthiest Foods On Earth

Is it possible to live to 125 or maybe 150? It's certainly a possibility, as discussed on Oprah Winfrey's recent show on longevity. She visited me at my farm to learn how, at 86, I am enjoying the robust health, energy, and mental creativity of someone many decades younger. My secret: large quantities of fruit and vegetables, plus an hour of daily exercise.

No pills, not even aspirin, and certainly no supplements ever enter my mouth -- everything I need comes from my fish-vegetarian diet, which incorporates 30-40 different kinds of fruit and vegetables every week. Even though I am Chairman and Owner of Dole Food Company, I do most of my own grocery shopping, and even took Oprah on an impromptu trip to Costco, in a day that included bike riding, exercise in the gym, and juicing vegetables in the kitchen. Oprah marveled at how much I eat, and yet never gain a pound. In fact, I expend a lot of energy in my 50-60 minutes of cardio and strength training every day. Plus there's the fact that fruit and vegetables tend to be lower in calories, but higher in filling fiber and other nutrients that help you feel satisfied.

By eating many fruits and vegetables in place of fast food and junk food, people could avoid obesity. Obesity accelerates aging even faster than smoking, according to scientific research.

We created the North Carolina Research Campus to study the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. It is the only campus in the world encompassing eight universities all working together for the benefit of health and longevity. These include Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State University, UNC Charlotte, North Carolina Central University, NC A&T State University, UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State University. We've gathered a comprehensive array of famous scientists and scientific equipment under one roof, including a two-story, 950 megahertz, 8-ton superconducting magnet. It is the largest and most powerful magnet in the world and will help us look at both plant and human cells at the most minute level. We are constantly doing research on all fruit and vegetables, including the ones listed below, which are the mainstay of my diet.

The Healthiest Foods on Earth

PineappleSpeeds post-surgery Promotes joint healthReduces asthma inflammation
BlueberriesRestore antioxidant levels Reverse age-related brain decline Prevent urinary tract infection
SpinachHelps maintain mental sharpness Reduces the risk of cancers of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostate Top nutrient density
Red Bell PepperReduces risk of lung, prostate, ovarian and cervical cancerProtects against sunburnPromotes heart health
BroccoliReduces diabetic damage Lowers risk of prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric and breast cancer Protects the brain in event of injury
TomatoReduces inflammation Lowers risk of developing esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancerReduces cardiovascular disease risk
AppleSupports immunityFights lung and prostate cancerLowers Alzheimer’s risk
ArtichokeHelps blood clotting Antioxidant Superfood Lowers “bad” cholesterol
ArugulaLowers birth defect riskReduces fracture risk Protects eye health
AsparagusNourishes good gut bacteriaProtects against birth defects Promotes heart health
AvocadoLimits liver damage Reduces oral cancer risk Lowers cholesterol levels
BlackberriesBuild bone density Suppress appetiteEnhance fat burning
Butternut SquashSupports night vision Combats wrinkles Promotes heart health
CantaloupeBolsters immunity Protects skin against sunburnReduces inflammation
CarrotAntioxidants defend DNA Fights cataracts Protects against some cancers
CauliflowerStimulates detoxification Suppresses breast cancer cell growthDefends against prostate cancer
CherriesAlleviate arthritic pain and gout Lower “bad” cholesterolReduce inflammation
CranberriesAlleviate prostate pain Fight lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells Prevent urinary tract infection
Green CabbagePromotes healthy blood clotting Reduces risk of prostate, colon, breast and ovarian cancers Activates the body’s natural detoxification systems
KaleCounters harmful estrogens that can feed cancer Protects eyes against sun damage and cataracts Increases bone density
KiwiCombats wrinkles Lowers blood clot risk and reduces blood lipids Counters constipation
MangoSupports immunity Lowers “bad” cholesterol Regulates homocysteine to protect arteries
MushroomsPromote natural detoxification Reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer Lower blood pressure
OrangeReduces levels of “bad” cholesterol Lowers risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, breast and stomach, and childhood leukemia Pectin suppresses appetite
PapayaEnzymes aid digestion Reduces risk of lung cancerEnhances fat burning
Plums & PrunesCounter constipation Antioxidants defend against DNA damage Protects against post-menopausal bone loss
PomegranateEnhances sunscreen protectionLowers “bad” cholesterol Fights prostate cancer
PumpkinProtects joints against polyarthritis Lowers lung and prostate cancer riskReduces inflammation
RaspberriesInhibit growth of oral, breast, colon and prostate cancers Antioxidant DNA defense Lower “bad” cholesterol levels
StrawberriesProtect against Alzheimer’s Reduce “bad” cholesterol Suppress growth of colon, prostate and oral cancer
Sweet PotatoReduces stroke risk Lowers cancer riskProtect against blindness
WatermelonSupports male fertility Reduces risk of several cancers: prostate, ovarian, cervical, oral and pharyngeal Protects skin against sunburn
BananaIncreases Fat BurningLowers risk of colorectal and kidney cancer, leukemiaReduces asthmas symptoms in children

One of my missions in life is to share this kind of knowledge with others, so they can live more vital, active, satisfying lives. Since acquiring major interests in Dole 26 years ago, educating the public on proper diet has constituted the agenda of my Dole Nutrition Institute. We publish the Dole Nutrition News -- enjoyed by 2.5 million subscribers (sign up at We create cooking and nutrition videos, cookbooks, brochures, and other educational collateral, like the chart above. We also provide educational support to teachers, parents and kids through

David H. Murdock is Chairman and owner of Dole Food Company.

May 12, 2009

A toast to Sinatra - W opens in Hokoken

Hoboken, New Jersey's famous son would have been proud of the glamor that has fallen on his birthplace. The 225-room W Hoboken has debuted as the city's first hotel, owned by Applied Development Company. Architecture firm Gwathmey Siegel & Associates designed the riverfront tower to enhance views of Manhattan; expressed balconies and a figural crown define its shape. Covered with natural wood paneling, the four-story-tall entryway leads to the Welcome Desk. Luminous braided stainless steel mesh curtains that change color usher guests from check-in into W Hoboken's stylish living room. Bright colors, animal prints, and textural finishes punctuate the hotel's interior design.

Designed to capture views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline, guestrooms feature floor-to-ceiling bay windows and plush round swivel sofas. Conceptualized and executed by EMM Group, the iCRAVE-designed Chandelier Room boasts more than 4,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. Hanging crystals suspended from branch-like fixtures in the ceiling surround an ornate, inhabitable chandelier that serves as the centerpiece of the room. Rich materials populate the space, including honed marble, copper tiles, glazed cognac leathers, and chocolate velvets.

Bentel & Bentel Architects designed Zylo, the hotel's Tuscan steakhouse. The dining room pays homage to Hoboken's vibrant history of shipbuilding and shop culture while superimposing modern elements. Blackened steel, nautical bronze and basalt planks recall the shipbuilding heritage of the city while a soaring wall of bristled broom heads stacked like bricks hints at the city's former shop culture. The property also offers, Bliss Spa, 5,700 square feet of meeting and event space, and 40 branded residences.

W Hoboken, Bliss Spa

May 9, 2009

Dog Friendly & Clothing Optional? Yes!

Desert Hot Springs' Living Waters Spa announces the 1st ever Dog friendly condo at a clothing optional spa for vacationers who don't want to leave their "best friend" at home

At Living Waters, owners Jeff and Judy understand the importance of not leaving behind an important member of your family. That’s why they are the only European-style, clothing-optional mineral-water spa that invites you to bring your best friend with you and make yourself at home in our pet-friendly luxury condos.

All you need to bring are groceries and your dog’s favorite treats and toys. Their condos have two bedrooms with custom king-size beds dressed in fine linens; cable TV, a DVD player, Wi-Fi; granite countertops, a professional-style gas range; microwave, toaster and coffee maker; cooking utensils and flatware. Best of all, you’ll have a private patio dog run.

If you’ve never had a clothing-optional experience but have always wanted to, now is your time. At Living Waters Spa, you can feel the desert sun and mountain air on your whole body. You can swim in pure mineral water without a bathing suit. And, you can have that experience in an environment devoted to body acceptance and self-discovery.

Spend your days here days relaxing, rejuvenating and restoring, taking in our therapeutic, odor-free water, receiving soul-touching, award-winning massage and body treatments, and exploring nearby Joshua Tree National Park or sight-seeing in Palm Springs. You can take your dog for a hike in the mountains or for an outing at one of our many local dog parks.

The price is lower than ever to visit at one of the top 10 clothing-optional spas in the world. TripAdvisor ranks Living Waters Spa third around the globe, and Spas of America ranks us first in California.

Conde Nast Traveler, American Spa, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Ellen DeGeneres, AOL and other media outlets have featured stories about the Living Waters Spa experience. With their special condo rates, now is the perfect opportunity to discover them for yourself.

Their rates for the season, May through September: $499 for the week, $99 per night Monday through Thursday and $139 Friday through Sunday.

About the spa: Completely refurbished five years ago, the nine guest rooms and massage studios retain their Mid-Century Modern spa-tel character. The two pools are fed directly from a hot-water aquifer; they pump 20 gallons a minute, 18 hours a day, from their own well. The water in the small pool stays about 100 degrees, which is perfect for long, therapeutic soaking. They offer massage and spa treatments; a dry sauna; breakfast and afternoon hors ‘d oeuvres. The six condos are directly across the street from the spa.

Living Waters Spa