Next time you’re off to your favorite spa, schedule a few extra minutes to take advantage of the amenities offered by many facilities.
cold plunge – We know it sounds horrible! You’re all warm and cushy from the sauna, but take the plunge! The cold water will cause the rapid contraction of your capillaries, stimulating overall circulation.
complimentary refreshments – Many facilities offer fresh fruit, tea, lemon-spiked water and other healthy munchables. Go for it but no pocket stuffing!
dry sauna – Sometimes it just feels good to sweat especially in a dry heat, where sweat practically evaporates once it gets to the surface of your skin. A wet sauna takes this principle to the extreme by placing you in a wood-lined room and raising the temperatures to 160 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit (hot potato!). While you sit and sweat, your body cleanses itself of impurities. Afterward, shower in cool water to close your pores, lower your body temperature and stimulate circulation.
fitness classes – Club, resort and destination spas often offer fitness classes as a part of your spa experience, proving you with a chance to work out before your treatment and set the day off on the right foot (no pun intended). But SpaGirls listen up: although a shower is merely recommended before a treatment, it becomes a requirement after a workout!
gift/spa boutique – There’s no price on taking a little bit of heaven home. So be sure to stop by the gift or spa shop and claim your rightly piece.
grooming tools – Much to our liking, many thoughtful facilities have grooming tools such as deodorant, lotion, shave gel and razors for our convenience. lockers – Lockers are places to stick your stuff.
meditation room – How inviting … a quiet room where you can read a magazine, or close your eyes, and best of all be quiet! When you’re done, you’ll feel refreshed and reinvigorated so you can continue with the rest of your day.
pool – One of life’s finest luxuries is sitting by a pool and veggin’ out. And in the right setting, it can also be a great chance to people-watch, catch up on reading and sipping on something cold and frozen.
robe – What SpaGirl does’nt absolutely love a fresh, cushy robe to lounge around in? Thankfully, most resort, destination (and even some day) spas offer this sweet little perk. But ladies, don’t pull a grandma — it will not fit in your purse! And who wants a robe that has touched someone else’s tushie? Luckily, most facilities are ready and equipped to sell your a brand-spankin’ new specimen to call your very own.
slippers – There’s something about slipping on flimsy sandals with a spa logo that makes a person automatically relax. Ah … the miracles of plastics continue.
spa cusine – While you’re waking up your senses, don’t forget an important one — taste. And many spas can’t wait to serve up a made to order breakfast, lunch or dinner, designed with both your health and satisfaction in mind.
styling tools – Many facilities understand that getting all gussied up after a relaxing treatment is like icing on the cake. If a facility in our directory indicates they offer styling tools, then they offer stuff like hairdryers, curlers, combs, brushes and hair gel. Be sure to only use a comb or brush that has been dipped in that funky blue liquid you always see at the salons.
swiss shower – Remember when Kramer installed the illegal showerhead on Seinfeld? That’s kinda the effect of the Swiss shower. This invigorating shower tones circulation by contracting then dilating capillaries. Water from sixteen needle-spray shower heads and two high-pressure hoses (operated by an attendant), ranging in temperature from 45 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, is turned quickly from hot to cold to hot for several seconds at a time. This massage aids circulation and helps relieve the pain of arthritis and rheumatism. Also known as Douche au Jet or Vichy shower.
towels – We don’t know about you, but we really appreciate facilities that include towel service. Especially when they have that puffy, fluffy, straight-out-of-the-dryer feel!
washing tools – As a convenience to us SpaGirls, many facilities offer the tools you need to get squeaky clean. It is not limited to, but often includes stuff like soap, shampoo and conditioner.
wet sauna – Much like a dry sauna, a wet sauna is all about turning’ up the heat and making you sweat. The similarities end there, though because a wet sauna uses steam instead of coals for its heat source, making it ideal for our desert environment. Typically lined with tile, sitting in a wet sauna not only makes you sweat, but it is a great way to relieve stuffy nasal passages and rehydrate the skin so that it is nice and supple before you head in for a skin treatment. Here’s a quick tip: shave your legs in the sauna — moisture is a perfect assistant to nick-free shaving. But don’t let us catch you in there without a extra towel to catch you little hair stubs – yucko!
whirlpool/spa/jacuzzi – All of these terms refer to a heated pool with high-pressured jets that circulate the water. By targeting certain pressure point in your body, a whirlpool aids in reducing stiff joints and aching muscles and feel very relaxing.
Photo courtesy: Spa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch