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Today's Spa: Holiday Spa Treatments

By: Mary Bemis
Posted: June 10, 2008, from the November 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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

Cranberry is a popular holiday ingredient. Carol Ford, spa director at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, offers clients a soothing Cranberry Scrub & Pumpkin Wrap from November through mid-January. “The seasonal foods and ingredients used in the treatments have healing, moisturizing and restorative properties,” she says. “This treatment cocoons you in a nourishing and hydrating embrace with the mouthwatering scent of pumpkin pie.” The 80-minute, $175 treatment begins with an exfoliating cranberry body scrub that is removed with moist, hot towels and is followed by a hydrating pumpkin body mask rich in vitamins and minerals. As the client is wrapped, they receive a relaxing face, scalp and foot massage. Once the wrap is showered off, a luxurious pumpkin body butter rich in shea and cocoa butters is applied. Also featured on the holiday spa menu is a Chocolate-Peppermint Pedicure.

Enjoying the season

So just who goes for these holiday treatments? “Sometimes it’s really experienced spa-goers who say, ‘Oh, this is fun—let’s try something different,’ and sometimes it’s the newcomers who also find holiday treatments fun and interesting,” says Courtney McGovern, spa director at the recently revamped WET, The Spa at TI at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. She and her spa manager enjoyed creating menu items such as the Warm Apple Pie Body Treatment and the Spiked Eggnog Body Wrap. “We use a product line with a great array of scents and products,” says McGovern. “We combined different fragrances to come up with our holiday services.” She also notes that the Cookies and Milk Manicure and Pedicure, first offered last year, was a huge success. Could the addition of chocolate chip cookies served with this treatment have had anything to do with its popularity, I wonder?