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A Time for Tea

August 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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“Tea fits into the spa setting because people associate the drink with cleansing,” says Karen Sprung, group spa and fitness director for Sandals Resorts International, home to Red Lane Spas, based in Montego Bay, Jamaica. “I think clients want something that feels like they’re doing something good, inside and out.” Before each service at Red Lane Spas, clients are encouraged to enjoy a cup of tea and relax. Tea is so popular at these resort spas that the corporation recently added the scents of tea to its new line of fragrances.

Sip and soak

Many spas have incorporated tea into rituals and journeys, offering a cup at either the beginning or the end of spa treatments. At the Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona, clients sip a special blend of Desert Restorative Tea while enjoying a eucalyptus foot bath included in the Havasupai Body Oasis Experience (120 minutes, $309). A body exfoliation with a chamomile salt scrub and a eucalyptus bath follow. This elaborate treatment also includes an aromatherapy wrap, as well as a face and scalp treatment that uses acupressure to release tension and promote relaxation. “The tea partnered with the foot bath is very relaxing,” says Jill Eisenhut, spa director. She adds that the spa’s signature teas sell very well in the gift shop.

Tea is a top seller at Spa of Eden at Eden Roc Renaissance Resort and Spa in Miami Beach, Florida, where spa director Timothy Williams retails a brand of green tea for $40. He also serves it to spa clients as a post-treatment. “Our green tea has no caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives or alcohol,” he says. He sampled the beverage at a tradeshow and was so impressed that he purchased two cases on the spot: “I felt this would offer a great end to a massage, and also provide a healthy and tasty alternative to water.” Williams began selling the tea only after he received a number of compliments and requests from guests. “We began retailing the 2-ounce bottles at $40 each last spring and have sold an average of three bottles a week,” he notes.

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Tea: On the Menu

The following treatments include the healthful benefits of tea.

AFRICAN RED TEA BODY COCKTAIL

Location: Ole Henriksen Face/Body, West Hollywood, California

Time & Cost: 90 minutes, $155

This purifying treatment begins with an organic brown sugar body scrub and a tropical rain rinse. Next, an energizing cocktail is mixed right onto the body, starting with the tangy juice of fresh oranges. Then a natural antioxidant exfoliating and toning mask made from yogurt and African red tea is applied to the body to clarify and detoxify. Finally, the client is anointed with layers of fresh orange slices and enveloped in a warm wrap to release the active ingredients from the African red tea.

GENTLEMEN’S ORGANIC RETREAT

Location: Spa of Eden at Eden Roc Renaissance Resort and Spa, Miami Beach, Florida

Time & Cost: 50 minutes, $105, or 75 minutes, $140

This men’s treatment begins with an invigorating Swedish massage, followed by a pore-refining natural honey and oatmeal scrub. An application of cucumber and green tea body balm ends the treatment that was added to the menu in 2005. Spa director Timothy Williams notes, “I like the combination of the organic ingredients, and I felt that this would be a nice, simple service for men.”

LADY PRIMROSE’S GREEN TEA RITUAL

Location: The Spa at the Crescent, Dallas

Time & Cost: 110 minutes, $200

This service is a combination of four treatments—a sugar scrub, a Moor mud mask, a green tea bath and a green tea massage, each lasting 25 minutes. During the bath, the client is served a cup of green tea. This is one of the most popular treatments at the spa, having been featured on the menu for the past six years.

AROMATHERAPY TEA WRAP

Location: The Spa at Camelback Inn, Scottsdale, Arizona

Time & Cost: 60 minutes, $135

Developed by Debbie Carter, skin care supervisor at the spa, this treatment is perfect for hydrating. A green tea serum is applied to the body, followed by the client being wrapped in linen sheets that have been steamed with a blend of lavender and chamomile. While wrapped, a scalp massage with a mint conditioner is performed. Afterward, an application of a cucumber and green tea body balm ensues.

TRANQUILITY HANDS AND FEET

Location: Banyan CitiSPA, New York

Time & Cost: 60 minutes, $75

The treatment begins with a gentle exfoliation of the hands and feet, followed by a moisturizing green tea mud wrap. “The green tea mud wrap works to hydrate the hands and feet, leaving them soft and smooth,” says Trista Huang, spa manager. After the wrap has been rinsed off, the hands and feet are treated to a massage, and the nails are painted at the client’s request.

GREEN TEA AND GINGER WRAP

Location: Hualalai Sports Club and Spa, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Time & Cost: 50 minutes, $150

“Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, this wrap nourishes the skin and is excellent for dull and tired skin, leaving a younger and tighter-looking appearance,” describes the spa menu. To begin, the client receives a light exfoliating massage, followed by a rich mask of green tea and wheat flour that is then worked into the skin. After the mask is removed with a Vichy shower and a ginger shower gel, a ginger spritz and body lotion are applied. Ginger warms the skin, increases circulation and works synergistically to enhance and balance the benefits of green tea.

GREEN TEA SPECIAL

Location: The Members Spa Club at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida

Time & Cost: 120 minutes, $250

The spa offers this treatment as a summer special. It includes a body scrub, a body wrap and a massage using products that contain green tea extract, white and brown algae, vitamins C and E, and essential oils.

YAMAGUCHI TEA MANICURE

Location: Yamaguchi Salon at Spa Mystique at the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa, Los Angeles

Time & Cost: 60 minutes, $80

In this popular treatment, the client first is served a cup of green tea, then a green tea candle is lighted as the client is guided through the Yamaguchi Feng Shui Consultation. The manicure includes a nail filing and cuticle conditioning before the hands are soaked in Soy Enzyme Milk. Next, a green tea clay that is high in moisturizing essential oils is applied to the hands and arms, which then are wrapped in hot towels. The clay is removed with loofah gloves, and Tea Splash—a refreshing product—is sprayed onto the hands and arms to remove any residue. A massage with Green Tea Lotion is followed by a stress-relieving Green Tea Oil spray, and the manicure ends with a nail polishing or buffing.

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