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The Journey

Mary Bemis February 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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“A journey is a great description of what a spa experience is,” says Loma Alexander, a spa consultant based in Napa Valley, California. “If we can surrender in the spa and take time out, it’s a journey away from our everyday stresses.”

Alexander, who has worked on spa projects that include a number of Auberge Resorts properties, believes it takes more than an hour to disconnect; to truly experience a journey, one must commit between three and five hours. Alexander notes that spa-goers typically don’t hang out at the spa or take advantage of amenities such as pools, steam rooms and whirlpools. “That’s where the journey occurs,” she notes, “by using the circuits and really using the space.”

Beginning the voyage

For spa director Robin Jones, the journey begins whenever a spa team member soaks the client’s feet. “This takes the client to a new place, a journey to somewhere magical,” she says. Jones, a massage therapist, is the spa director at The Spa at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, where the Sanctuary Journey is offered. “I believe our business is very participatory in that when the client allows the therapist to gently coax them to someplace new, either within or beyond, it truly is a journey.” The Sanctuary Journey has been on the menu since the spa opened in 2004, and was developed for the experienced spa-goer who schedules two or more services in one day.

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On the Menu: Journies

Glance at these journeys at a number of successful spas that are creating this experience for their clients.

Elemental Journey

Location: Elements Spa at Minerals Resort at Crystal Springs, Vernon, NJ

Time & Cost: 90 minutes, $375

This signature spa treatment is designed for two and begins in the spa’s unique couple’s suite, which offers a state-of-the-art water experience. The couple first enjoys a side-by-side body exfoliation, followed by a dip in a sunken tub filled with circulating mineral water. This is followed by a self-application of a trio of muds, a steam session and a downpour of “rain” from the ceiling in the Rainforest Room. A shower in a separate room concludes the service.

Journey to Your Inner Self

Location: Agora Spa at the Stamford Marriott, Stamford, CT

Time & Cost: 300 minutes, $465

This journey begins with an aromatherapy body polish, followed by a body wrap and a hot stone massage. An Agora signature facial also is included, and the experience ends with a manicure and pedicure.

Sanctuary Journey

Location: The Spa at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, Kiawah Island, SC

Time & Cost: 120 minutes, $320

This treatment begins with a foot soak and reflexology session, followed by the client’s choice of a body treatment, such as the Ocean Fossil Mineral Therapy, Island Infusion, Gracious Glow and Steam, or a Signature Massage.

Life’s Journey Foot Ritual

Location: Sundara Inn & Spa,Wisconsin Dells, WI

Time & Cost: 30 minutes, $65

Based on an ancient Indian custom, this ritual begins with a traditional foot wash and an application of an herbal oil to energize the marma points. The menu describes the treatment as such: “No matter the journey that has brought you to Sundara, we honor your presence in the same way.”

Ayurvedic Journey

Location: Mii amo, a destination spaat Enchantment, Sedona, AZ

Time & Cost: Three- to seven-night program, $1,590–5,740

Meant to introduce clients to the principles of ayurveda and instruct them on how to live a balanced life in harmony with nature, this program offers everything from cooking and nutrition to spa treatments, yoga and meditation.

The Heavenly Journey

Location: SpaHalekulani, Honolulu

Time & Cost: Four or more hours, $640

This spa takes its inspiration from the healing cultures of Asia, Hawaii and the South Pacific. In this four-hour package, spa clients enjoy a deluxe body treatment, a choice of massage and a facial. Light refreshments on the spa terrace also are included.

Water Journey

Location: Maximus Spa Salon, New York

Time & Cost: 30 minutes, $85

or 90 minutes, $150 with massage

The signature treatment at this Soho spa includes a Salt Glow body treatment and Vichy shower, followed by a therapeutic soak in a hydrotherapy tub. A steam session and a cascading waterfall experience set this journey apart.

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