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Island Spa Escape

By: Mary Bemis
Posted: June 17, 2008, from the July 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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A new range of spa-inspired food is offered with a twist. The Power Breakfast menu is for those seeking energy, and includes a bowl of yogurt with oatmeal and fresh fruit, as well as green tea. In addition, guests receive a Power Breakfast face pack that contains the same ingredients included in the breakfast, as well as Wakeup Call spa products, all of which are delivered to the guest’s room. Another feature on the menu is a half-day treatment for $305, designed specifically for guests who are ending their vacations. In preparation for their flight home, this package—called Prepare for Take Off—offers a “ritual to soothe the sinuses,” including a hydrating facial and a relaxing massage.

The spa is nicely designed and is definitely an important and major component to the property. There are six single-treatment suites, two couples suites, a wet room with a Vichy shower, a hydrotherapy room, six white-tented cabanas, and a Pilates and yoga studio and fitness center. The most popular spa treatment is the new Matins Fully Restored (60 minutes, $135 or 90 minutes, $185), an energizing massage that concludes with a Wakeup Call face mask and scalp massage.

“The Spa at The Palms sets itself apart from others on the island for many reasons—the first being the square footage and architecture that have been devoted to the spa,” says Felimond. “We see the spa as one of our prime hotel facilities and not just an add-on service. We are very particular in choosing our therapists who are of the highest caliber, ensuring the most effective treatments and client satisfaction.” The facility employs 30 professionals, including a spa director and an assistant manager, a retail manager and a retail coordinator, five front-desk staff, 13 therapists and a team of spa attendants. “We have many spa expansion plans on the horizon,” she adds. “We are on a journey of development, listening to our clients and accommodating their needs in every way we can.”

Como Shambhala at Parrot Cay

Overlooking the ocean and located among lush vegetation, Parrot Cay is an exclusive private island resort that is a favorite among celebrities, including actors Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, as well as fashion designer Donna Karan. The resort opened in 1998, followed by the spa in 2000. This is one of seven Como Shambhala Spas worldwide, with sister properties in Bali, the Maldives and Bhutan, as well as in the cities of Bangkok, Thailand, and London. Como Shambhala bills itself as a holistic retreat and focuses on well-being through ayurvedic and alternative treatments, nutrition and yoga. Shambhala is a Sanskrit word meaning “center of peace and harmony.” The property is renowned for its weeklong yoga retreats that draw top talent, such as yoga instructors Rodney Yee and Baron Baptiste.

The 6,600-square-foot spa overlooks the tranquil protected wetlands. In 2004, it underwent a major expansion, adding a second yoga studio, a Pilates studio, four new massage rooms and two couples rooms with Japanese baths. There also are two secluded pavilions that may be rented for a half-day or full day.