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A Time to Renew

Mary Bemis January 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

How are you helping your spa clients to recharge and commit to a better lifestyle in the new year? Here’s a glimpse into some of the more innovative programs offered at a variety of hotel, resort and destination spas. This is the time of year when guests are eager and more open about learning how to live a healthier life—be that through diet, exercise or mind-body lessons. Owners who realize this and know that it is a spa’s responsibility to provide such offerings will succeed in the coming year and beyond.

Creative classes

At the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California, guests can choose from an array of what the facility has deemed Short Courses in Living Better. Among the new offerings: The Artist’s Path, created to help guests discover and develop their inner artist and “ignite the fires within.” The property invites local guest artists to guide spa-goers on their creative quests. There’s also a class called Aromatherapy: Essential Oils from A to Z. Guests who opt for this will learn how the art of aromatherapy has been practiced by numerous cultures, as well as how the essential oils of plants can be used to promote the healing of the mind, body and spirit.

Winning at weight loss

When it comes to staying fit and losing weight, The Allegria Spa at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Beaver Creek, Colorado, has not only its members’ well-being in mind, but its team members’ well-being, too. Beginning in January and running through March, The Club at Allegria Spa is hosting and participating in a nationwide challenge that is sponsored, in part, by the International Health and Racquet Sports Association (IHRSA), PayDay Pro and Life Fitness. In addition to the benefit of a healthier community, explains Katie Coakley, a media spokesperson for the property, The Club at Allegria Spa is donating the corresponding dollar amount for the total number of pounds lost during the eight weeks to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. The Club also invites other community businesses to sponsor the program for their teams, and any business that chooses to participate can benefit from support that Allegria Spa offers, including complimentary weekly seminars, motivational e-mails, resting metabolic rate testing and anaerobic threshold testing.

Lauren Brand, athletic director at Allegria Spa, believes that if you discover a form of exercise that is enjoyable, you’ll make it a part of your life. Spa guests can be as involved to whatever degree they would like, and they also can sign up to participate remotely via e-mail and telephone once they return home. “Spas are a great jumping point for people who want to change their health,” says Coakley. “Our follow-up phone calls and e-mails help spa visitors to incorporate what they have learned with their faster-paced real lives.”

Just how did this unique program originate? A few years ago, the IHRSA asked the spa to participate in a nationwide weight-loss challenge, with the enticement being that the club that lost the most weight would win a Life Fitness Elliptical workout machine. Brand, however, did not find that incentive to be particularly motivating. She believed that if the community were to become involved, the facility would garner more interest and determination, and people would be more likely to lose weight—especially if the participants raised pledges. Once participants realized that losing a pound could earn anywhere from $1–100, “Lose Weight for Charity” was born. It ties together the different facets of the property—spa, club and membership—and unites the community.

Green Mountain at Fox Run, a small destination spa in Ludlow, Vermont, said to have the oldest all-women’s weight and health lifestyle program in the United States, recently developed a special weeklong program titled Mis En Place: Putting Everything In Its Place. Instead of offering this in the new year, they featured it from November through December with the intent of teaching guests how to prepare and plan for a successful holiday. The spa has taken a “nondiet” approach to healthy weight management for the past 35 years, and, in addition to its nutrition and healthy cooking lessons, Mis En Place also provides an exercise plan.

Fitness and beyond

Las Ventanas al Paraiso, the award-winning luxury resort in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, just launched The Ultimate Fitness Program for those who wish to begin the year with a renewed commitment to health and fitness. The primary target is the fitness- and health-conscious baby boomer generation, which is active and interested in self-improvement. The program, which can be booked throughout four, seven, 11 or 14 nights, certainly lives up to its name. A superpersonalized improvement program, it’s booked in one of Las Ventanas’ new two-bedroom Spa Suites that are stocked with organic minibars and all sorts of health and wellness gizmos, as well as spa-inspired bathrooms. There are three suites that feature 4,000 square feet of luxury and come with a spa butler who also just happens to be a spa therapist. Guests partake in a Polar Body Age assessment, which determines the actual age of a person’s body versus its chronological age, as well as its potential age based on fitness and health improvements. Dozens of fitness classes—including yoga and Pilates, eight sports massages, two Visia Complexion Analyses and a Daily Herbal Remedy are offered. “We’ve evaluated the elements that create a total lifestyle—health, fitness, nutrition and beauty—and built our Spa Suite concept around them,” says Damian Viera, spa director. “We’re dedicated to helping guests initiate changes that will make a lasting impact on the quality of their lives.” The Ultimate Fitness Program comes with the ultimate cost: seven nights in low season for $23,875.

The enlightened path

The Spa at the Hotel St.-Barth Isle de France just introduced its new program, Tranquility Weeks, which is a six-night package. Designed for spa travelers who are in search of relaxation and a transformation, this program offers some very unique treatments, such as Coming Home, which seeks to honor the moments in life that distinguish themselves as vital rites of passage; The Tree of Life, a spine-specific treatment combining aromatherapy and massage; and Soul Awakening, a treatment that evolved from Absuchanka, an ancient mystical healing art. Also available are special sessions with Diana Bourel, a trained past life regression therapist, kinesiology facilitator and yoga instructor. Spa cuisine also is included in this new package, as is a Watsu session, among other services.

Renew and reconnect

Guests who book the ReNew Year Package at Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah, are treated to a 50-minute health or spa service, as well as three nutritious meals per day, healthy living classes and events, daily guided morning hikes, unlimited fitness classes, and full use of the spa facilities, walking trails and fitness center. The Sunday-through-Wednesday package is offered until the end of February, with special rates that begin at $229 per night, per person. Those who want a weekend escape can opt for the three-day, two-night Resolution Weekend package at The Sagamore, the private island Lake George resort in the Adirondack Mountains. Offered only once at the end of January, this package includes exercise and nutrition programs; fitness classes, such as aqua aerobics, Pilates and yoga; one detoxifying spa treatment; and a 25% discount on additional spa treatments. The program was designed by Linda Diehl-Perry, an American Council on Exercise (ACE)-certified personal trainer and lifestyle consultant, and Shawnee Abby, a wellness coordinator and intuitive counselor. The Sagamore’s chefs share their secrets on preparing healthy snacks at home. The Bachelor-Gulch Spa at The Ritz-Carlton in Avon, Colorado, is home to the company’s only certified nutritionist, who conducts 30-minute nutrition and fitness consultations for guests who book The Reconnect Package: Nutrition Wellness Experience, offered from October through April.

Ringing in a New Year

Adapting some of these unique spa programs to fit your clients’ needs can help them to recharge and renew for a healthy new year.

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