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The Way to Wellness

Mary Bemis June 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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Located on the spa’s upper level, this suite was built with the intention of allowing couples to extend their spa experience to an overnight stay.

It is my concern that, in today’s spa world, this term has been misappropriated and has strayed from its true meaning. “Wellness” has become a buzzword of sorts, and it may be attached to businesses and treatments that offer anything but. The spa industry owes it to today’s spa-goers to keep the definition clear and to help them in their quest for true wellness. Here’s a look at some creative new wellness programs that are popping up throughout the country.

Time for one

“I think wellness is a term that’s misused and overused,” says Brian Cantor, co-owner of Paul LaBrecque Salon & Spa in New York. “One person’s wellness is not another’s. In the spa world, wellness should be about alternative therapists utilizing mind and body concepts. Unfortunately, it’s a term that needs to be refocused.” Cantor’s partner, Paul LaBrecque, adds, “There’s an increase in wellness treatments because people are so rushed and working ridiculous hours. Part of wellness is giving oneself time to relax. You need a remedy that will make you feel better.”

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On the Menu: Wellness

Adding wellness programs can satisfy clients’ desire for a much-needed timeout.


Location: The Spa at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort, Dana Point, CA

Time & Cost: Custom-designed from two to seven days, $389–750

This new program is customized by the client and begins with a lifestyle assessment. It can include time on a schooner with a wellness expert, team builder and psychologist, as well as spa treatments, nutritional counseling, couples counseling, astrology and psychic readings, or personal training sessions.


Location: Bachelor Gulch Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Avon, CO

Time & Cost: Two nights and three days, $869, including a $200 spa credit

This is a weekend of wellness seminars and workshops created to inspire and educate women on how to reduce stress and reclaim their inner peace. Clients choose from mind-body activities, such as yoga, snowshoeing and meditation, as well as rejuvenating spa treatments and self-nurturing services. They leave with realistic strategies to enhance health that they can incorporate into their lives.


Location: White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

Time & Cost: Two days and three nights, $1,400

One of the few programs of its kind in Canada, this three-day experience was designed to unlock the power within to encourage optimal potential performance for CEOs and top executives. The program focuses on stress management and lifestyle coaching. It also includes a comprehensive health, fitness and lifestyle assessment.


Location: Exhale spas, Boston, Chicago, New York and San Francisco

Time & Cost: Initial consultation, $175; 30-minute follow-up session, $65; 60-minute follow-up session, $125; eight weeks of sessions, $1,000

Clients work one-on-one with a wellness coach in an effort to achieve balance in their lives and to realize their goals. A variety of problems can be addressed, including weight, lifestyle, relationships, career and work, and health issues. All of Exhale’s wellness coaches are licensed professionals and registered dietitians.


Location: Castle Hill Resort and Spa, Ludlow, VT

Time & Cost: Three-day packages, $495; weekend packages, $595

This new program incorporates physical activity, the latest nutrition information, meditation and healing through music with the intention of creating lasting change concepts. Spa treatments are available at an additional cost.


Location: Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, Paradise Valley, AZ

Time & Cost: Four days, starting at $2,574

Also designed with women in mind, this spa program includes six coed sessions, and reflects the spa’s Asian-inspired design and philosophy. The programs include four nights in a Spa Casita room, meals, four 60-minute customized spa treatments, a personal trainer session, unlimited use of the movement studio, spa, and fitness and tennis facilities, as well as gratuities on meals and treatments, a Satori T-shirt, a bag, a journal and lectures.


Location: Paul LaBrecque Salon & Spa, New York

Time & Cost: 45 minutes, $225 or $250 with shampoo and blow-out

This unique four-handed massage is geared toward the urban client who doesn’t wish to disrobe in order to enjoy a massage. The service combines the therapeutic benefits of an aromatherapy scalp treatment with reflexology to help release tension from head to toe. Two therapists work together to target key pressure points in the head and feet, and to enhance energy and detoxify the body.

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