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Today's Spa: Holiday Spa Treatments

Mary Bemis November 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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When planned properly, holiday-inspired treatments can boost the bottom line and often end up running throughout the entire season, depending upon popular demand. “We like to plan our holiday menu six months out or, if push comes to shove, three months out,” says Jenean LaRoche, spa director at San Francisco’s Nob Hill Spa at The Huntington Hotel.

There’s a lot to take into account when planning holiday treatments: finding and approving the products, completing the protocols, training team members, and publicizing the new service. This year, LaRoche is offering a Cranberry-Pomegranate Body Treatment—a traditional scrub that uses a salt glow infused with cranberry and pomegranate essential oils. (See On the Menu.)

“This is really about the flavor of the season,” she says. “Pomegranate and cranberry are trendy ingredients right now, and also are high in antioxidants.” LaRoche likes to offer scrubs as specialty treatments for one very good reason: The protocol is simple, and the team doesn’t need to be retrained.

All in the ingredients

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Today's Spa: Holiday Spa Treatments: On the Menu

Here is a mélange of holiday treatments spicing up seasonal menus throughout the country.


Location: The Spa at Rowes Wharf at the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf, Boston

Time & Cost: 80 minutes, $140

This facial and hand treatment is a special service that combines the hydrating benefits of maple extract with the stimulating effects of mint extract and menthol to nourish both the face and hands. A natural, nutrient-rich earth mask with a hint of mint is applied to improve circulation and is followed by a soothing facial massage using mint-infused facial gel. The hands benefit from a hand scrub, as well as an application of a mint-enhanced hydrating cream.


Location: Living Spa at El Monte Sagrado Living Resort & Spa, Taos, New Mexico

Time & Cost: 60 minutes, $115, or 90 minutes, $160

This purifying facial capitalizes on the beneficial enzymes found in pumpkin to clear the skin of cellular debris and promote rapid cellular turnover. Fortified with beta-carotene to ward off environmental damage and gently exfoliate dull complexions, this facial product also relies on aloe gel for extra hydration.


Location: WET, The Spa at TI at Treasure Island, Las Vegas

Time & Cost: 75 minutes, $175

“Grandma’s secret recipe is put to good use,” says spa director Courtney McGovern, speaking of this treatment that is offered from September to November. The service includes a spice-enhanced body scrub, a warm apple body wrap and a massage with a vanilla ice-cream body lotion.


Location: Alvadora Spa at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Phoenix

Time & Cost: 105 minutes, $169

This experience begins with a Cran Mary pedicure, which includes a soak, an exfoliation, a mask, a massage, a lotion application, a pedicure and a polish application. The Cran Mary manicure involves a soak, an exfoliation, a massage, a manicure and a polish application. As the finishing touch, a Sparklemintini cocktail is served.


Location: Spa Marquis at the Marquis Los Cabos Beach, Golf, Spa & Casitas Resort, Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Time & Cost: 50 minutes, $115, or 80 minutes, $170

Created specially for the resort’s Thanksgiving Spa Getaway package, available from November 23–26, this massage uses calabasúchitl lotion, which is derived from the Mexican flower of the same name, as well as natural pumpkin. Its benefits include smoothing the skin and reinforcing natural collagen, while providing vitamins A, B complex, C and E.


Location: Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club, Aventura, Florida

Time & Cost: 90 minutes, $245–269

Created to relax spa-goers and help those who have trouble sleeping, this treatment uses the spa’s signature aromatherapy blend of vetiver, cypress, lemongrass, ylang-ylang and spikenard oils to bring balance to the mind, body and spirit. The experience begins with a soothing foot bath and exfoliation, continues with a hydrating oatmeal and honey body scrub, and ends with a full-body massage.


Location: Nob Hill Spa at The Huntington Hotel, San Francisco

Time & Cost: 50 minutes, $125

Cranberry is the star ingredient at this San Francisco spa and was chosen for this seasonal treatment because of its gentle exfoliating qualities. This festive service includes a specially created scrub and lotion. To top it off, it concludes with a cup of cranberry tea and a cranberry-coconut chew—both enjoyed by the poolside fireplace.


Location: Salon Va Bella, Tempe, Arizona

Time & Cost: 60 minutes, $115

Vern Snider and his wife, Gayle, recently added this treatment to the menu in November and plan on offering it until the end of the year. “It’s a nice treatment for holiday shoppers,” says Vern Snider. “Our clients need to de-stress at this time of year.” Beginning with a glass of Pinot Noir and a relaxing foot massage, a red wine body scrub containing green tea, cranberry, grape seed oil and vitamin E ensues. The menthol and peppermint that also are included help to stimulate circulation. After this is rinsed off, a 30-minute massage featuring a cream rich in shea butter, aloe vera gel, and vitamins C and E completes the service.


Location: Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta, Canada

Time & Cost: 60 minutes, $155–169

Designed with weekend warrior skiers and tired holiday shoppers in mind, the goal of this treatment is pure tension relief. It begins with a “seasonings” foot soak of “colds and flu” bath salts containing essential oils of rosemary, black pepper, eucalyptus, cinnamon and cajeput. Along with a foot scrub, a hand and foot massage that focuses on the body’s vital energy points follows. As the hands and feet absorb the essential oils, the client receives a head, neck and shoulder massage.


Location: The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix

Time & Cost: 60 minutes, $75

This holiday treatment begins with a peppermint foot soak, followed by a peppermint salt exfoliation that softens and smoothes the skin. Next, a warm, hydrating chocolate mask is drizzled over the feet, which then are wrapped in steamed towels. During the mask application, a cup of hot chocolate is served. The treatment concludes with a relaxing peppermint oil massage, nail care and choice of polish.

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