The World of Healing Spas:
Luxury Spas, Hot Spring Resorts and Day Spas
of us, when we
go on vacation, have as our primary goal rest and relaxation. We want
to pamper ourselves, and we shouldn't have to be embarrassed about it.
After all, we work hard all year and we deserve it! We may want to
pursue a spiritual retreat at certain times, but vacations definitely
have their place. Yet a lot of us Cultural Creative types are not happy
with the standard American vacation options such as Disneyland, Las
Vegas or Miami Beach. The thought of these loud and over-crowded
locations with the unhealthy accoutrements involved such as
greasy food, alcohol, smoking, cheap souvenirs, etc make
many of us want to run screaming the other way. However, it may be that
we are not up for the typical eco-tour of Central America either (at
least not every time). We don't want to sleep in a grass hut, sip yak
butter tea or swat mosquitos all day. We want room service.
Luckily, there is an excellent healthy alternative available in the spa or hot springs vacation. This is a booming industry, with options available for every taste and health concern. The services offered are as diverse as the locations, from outdoor therapeutic massage by the pool to volcanic ash mud baths to reflexology to herbal facials to arthritis water therapy. You can choose a coastal location, mountains, desert or anything in between. Here we will spotlight a few spas and hot spring resorts available to Californians looking to treat themselves to a healthy (and extremely enjoyable) time out.
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Baja California, Mexico
www.sanoviv.com 1-800- SANOVIV (726-6848)
Gracing a bluff
at the edge of Bahia del Descanso on the Pacific Ocean in Baja
California, Sanoviv Health Retreat offers an ideal environment for
total body cleansing and detoxification, regeneration and renewal.
Sanoviv is an architecturally-elegant, holistic, licensed medical
facility, offering specific preventive programs to assist people in
maintaining whole body wellness, and providing integrative therapies to
aid in the process of recovery for individuals who are suffering from
chronic degenerative diseases. Sanoviv is comprehensive in its
approach, providing advanced conventional and alternative healing
therapies in a toxin-free environment with state-of-the-art health and
wellness facilities, world-class spa amenities, luxurious guest suites
and a professional medical and dental staff. Following a thorough
medical, dental and fitness assessment, the entire staff (medical,
dental, nutritional, therapeutic and psychospiritual professionals)
meets to develop a personalized treatment plan for each guest,
including an individual physical fitness regimen. There is also a
European-style spa, offering a range of medically-based hydrotherapies
and massage techniques, as well as salon amenities using natural
products.Seven residential health programs are offered, which focus on
cleansing & detoxification, diagnostics, medical, oral healthcare
and spa treatments. Services include Lymphatic massage, reflexology,
shiatsu, watsu, craniosacral and Swedish massages, Herbal wraps,
seaweed therapy, colon hydrotherapy, infra-red Sauna, facials, salon,
Thalasso thermal therapy, Kneippe hydrotherapy, meditation classes,
health and nutrition education classes.
1050 Caribbean Way, Miami FL 33132
www.celebritycruises.com 1-800-Celebrity ext. 215
Celebrity Cruises has been a pioneer in the development of the spa vacation within a cruise experience. They have literally changed the nature of the cruise industry by dedicating generous onboard space and investing in breakthrough spa technology to expand guests' vacations to include a luxury spa experience onboard Celebrity vessels.
Created in response to increased consumer interest in a more holistic approach toward physical fitness and psychological relaxation, Celebrity's AquaSpasm was the first at sea to offer a Thalassotherapy pool providing water jet stations, along with sophisticated sea and fresh water treatments, and unique mud and steam treatments. Many of the spa treatments are drawn from Middle Eastern, Asian, and European spa practices that use sea and fresh mineral water to detoxify and refresh both mind and body. Complementing the water treatments and spa programs is a complete program of fitness activities, ranging from individual exercise using virtual reality cycles, to training under the guidance of a personal fitness instructor.
Celebrity offers cruises to many locations, including Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe and South America. (Every ship offers the AquaSpasm program.) For those of us on the West Coast, the Alaska and Hawaii cruises may be most appealing. On board the brand new ship Infinity, you can cruise to Alaska directly from San Franciso (or from Vancouver). This is the season to explore this incredibly vast frontier; cruises are scheduled from May through September 2001. When you travel with Celebrity, they offer the expertise of native Alaskans and The Nature Conservancy, naturalists and guides, to give you the adventure of a lifetime.
If you are looking for a more tropical vacation, you can try a Celebrity cruise on Mercury to the Hawaiian Islands. Ships leave from Honolulu or Vancouver this Fall, starting September 2001. The Hawaiian Islands offer landscapes in splendid contrast. From high rugged mountains to deeply cut gorges, from jet black beaches to tropical rainforests, and from fiery volcanoes to macadamia nut plantations, all are there for exploring. Celebrity visits Honolulu, Hilo, Kailua Kona, Lahaina, Nawiliwili and the Na Pali Coast in Hawaii. For more information on this and many other cruises, visit their website at www.celebritycruises.com.
P.O. Box 2400 Mendocino, CA 95460
www.holisticu.org (707) 937-0602
Located on the beautiful Mendocino Coast, the Aletheia Mind/Body Health Spa provides instruction for experiencing self-discovery, self-awareness and self-health. The four-day Mind/Body Health Spa Program, developed by Jack and Lois Schwarz, has been called Western Inner Yoga. Discover and know your mission in life, experience Autogenic Training (brainwaves), learn tools for self-regulation and the human energy systems. The program is intense and limited to 8 participants per session. You can stay at the beautiful Stanford Inn while participating, with massage and facials available beside the pool.
Southern Yucatan, Mexico
(800) 505-MAYA www.encantado.com
Experience the magic of the ancient Maya at Rancho Encantado Eco-Resort and Retreat Center in Mexico. Visit them on the shore of the magnificent Laguna Bacalar, the "Lake of Seven Colors." Exquisite private cottages, soaring palapa dining room, spa and separate workshop facility. They specialize in exclusive tours to little-known Mayan ruins. For individuals, families and groups.
(800) 400-3333 www.solsierra.com
Solsierra Destinations specializes in spa and retreat vacations in Mexico. A variety of treatments and packages are available at many locations, including:
Premiere Hotel & Spa - Puerto Vallarta
This 5-star beachfront property offers ocean view rooms, a swimming pool, dining at their gourmet Spanish restaurant and scuba lessons for nearby diving. Treatments include relaxation massage, reflexology, algae body wrap, hydrating bath and more.
Punta Serena Holistic Retreat - Manzanillo, Mexico
This beautiful resort has two jacuzzis perched on a cliff above the sea, a private beach and swimming pool. Treatments include therapeutic massage, facials, reflexology, yoga and meditation, native sweatlodge, spiritual awareness program and fitness program. Vegetarian meals available.
Eldorado Royale - Playa del Carmen
This resort is nestled in a coconut plantation on a secluded beach 30 minutes south of Cancun. Treatments include basic medical assessment, nutritional evaluation, fitness program, yoga, tai chi, body scrubs, mud wraps and massage therapy.
1215 Avila Beach Dr., San Luis Obispo (800) 234-5831 sycamoresprings.com
Tucked away in the wooded hillsides of the Avila Valley, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort is a great place for a romantic getaway or relaxing spa retreat. Each one of their guest accommodations has its own private balcony mineral spa. There are also 20 outdoor redwood hot tubs canopied by oak and sycamore trees, a variety of therapeutic massages and facials, plus a heated swimming pool, gardens and on-site restaurant.
2605 Vichy Springs Rd., Ukiah
vichysprings.com (707) 462-9515
Vichy Springs is a unique historic hot springs resort offering the only naturally warm and carbonated mineral baths in North America. Other amenities include a communal 104 degree soaking pool, Olympic size pool, therapeutic massage, herbal facials and 700 private acres with trails and roads for walking and hiking. Lodging includes 18 rooms and 4 beautiful private cottages, with full buffet breakfast included.
More Hot Springs & Retreat Centers:
P.O. Box 782, Middletown, CA 95461
www.harbin.org (707) 987-2477
Harbin Hot Springs is located in Middletown in the wine region north of Calisotga. Enjoy natural hot spring pools, professional massage, Watsu®, yoga, daily classes, clothing-optional sun bathing and 1700 acres to hike.
Coast Route 1, Box 69 Jenner 95459 www.jennerinn.com
(800) 732-2377/(707) 865-2377
Jenner Inn &
Retreat Center offers ocean view and river front rooms and cottages
with fireplaces, spas, sundecks and sauna--surrounded by a
wildlife sanctuary, deserted beaches and several thousand acres of
state parks. Yoga and meditation classes, hiking, vegetarian breakfast
included. Affordable rates.
1651 Warm Springs Rd., Kenwood, CA 95452
(800) 551-2177/(707) 833-5511 www.sonomasprings.com
has thoroughly restored the historic Morton's Sonoma Springs Resort to
offer an incomparable setting for seminars, retreats, meetings and
picnics. Surrounded by oak woodlands, Morton's 20+ acres feature
geothermal mineral pools, sports fields and courts, picnic and meeting
sites, health and fitness classes and a cafe.
Saratoga Springs Rd. Upper Lake 95485
specializes in exclusive use for groups or classes. Amenities include
an 8 x 17 foot hot pool plus a larger swimming pool, hiking trails,
fire pit area and sweat lodges.
P.O. Box 366, Sierraville, CA 96126
www.sierrahotsprings.org (530) 994-3773
Located in a beautiful alpine valley at the edge of the Tahoe National Forest, Sierra Hot Springs offers natural hot spring pools (clothing-optional), professional massage, Watsu®, hiking, yoga and workshops.
432 Orchard St., Santa Rosa, CA 95404
www.allesdayspa.com (707) 573-3068
Located in the heart of downtown Santa Rosa in a beautiful Victorian house, Alles European Day Spa offers therapeutic massage including Swedish, Breema, CranioSacral, Reflexology, Manual Lymph Drainage (Dr. Vodder method), LaStone™ thermotherapy treatment and LomiLomi. Other services include facials, Salt Glow, body bronzing, waxing, natural manicure and pedicure, and a full line of natural European skin care products by Decleor and Babor.
Asante Day Spa
18B Mary St., San Rafael, CA 94901 (415) 460-6506
Asante Day Spa
and Holistic Health Centers offer many types of therapeutic massage
including Swedish, Vibrational Healing Massage Therapy®,
CranioSacral, Pregnancy massage, Reflexology, Acupressure, Watsu®
Shiatsu and more. They also offer facials and skin care treatments, Jin
Shin Jyutsu, Reiki, Pedicare® Foot Rehabilitation. A pleasant,
non-rushed complimentary tea service and aromatherapy foot bath are
available as a prelude to all of their services.
Sebastopol, CA (707) 823-1304 email@example.com
Healing Oasis is a new day spa in Sebastopol that offers a wide variety of spa services including body scrubs, wraps, facials, Raindrop therapy and essential oil foot baths with reflexology. They also offer therapeutic massage, watsu®, energy healing, intuitive readings, yoga, dance, workshops and a sweat lodge. A lap pool, warm pool and natural sunbathing round out the list of services.
F. Joseph Smith's Massage Therapy Center
158 Almonte Blvd., Mill Valley 94941 (415) 383-8260
Explore the healing of a therapeutic hot tub, sauna and/or massage in a quaint, rustic setting among the redwoods in Marin. We offer all styles of massage and our massage therapists come from the heart.
209 Bohemian Hwy., Freestone
www.osmosis.com (707) 823-8231
warm, fragrant Enzyme Baths in the Japanese tradition at their 5-acre
refuge. They also offer therapeutic massages (either indoors or outside
in the garden sanctuary) and aromatherapy facials.
21001 Broadway, Sonoma 95476
www.bellaluna-sanctuary.com (707) 935-1583
The Wellness Sanctuary features a private and peaceful atmosphere in the heart of Bella Luna Organic Farm. They offer a variety of therapeutic massages, reflexology with scalp treatment, plus other body treatments such as sage purification wrap, total body detox masque, aromatherapy stress relief, papaya enzyme body glow, and total body remineralizing masque. There is also yoga, meditation, energy healing, and classes.New! Natural Quit Smoking Program recommended by The Share Guide: learn more