Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Escape to Snow Country

For a few quiet days during a New Year's trip to Japan not long ago, we escaped the sensory overload of Tokyo and retreated into a small mountain resort in Japan's snow country. Nasu is a quick ride by bullet train north of the capital and is famous for its onsen (hot springs). This mountain resort is also where the Japanese royal family has one of their summer retreats. Our small family run hotel was located high up in the mountains buried beneath two feet of freshly fallen snow. Every morning we donned cotton yukata (cotton kimono) and geta (wooden sandals) and slipped and stumbled outside across the snow to the hot springs. After dutifully scrubbing our bodies until they squeaked, we would then soak ourselves in a steaming hot springs overlooking the valley below. Thirty minutes of bliss later, we would shuffle back to the hotel to the dining room where we were then served a healthy and very traditional Japanese breakfast. (Jyukkokusou-Onsen, Nasu, Japan)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina, Pender Harbour, British Columbia

The lovely natural setting of Pender Harbour on the Sunshine Coast plays a key role in the relaxation guests experience at Painted Boat Spa. The ocean, the sea breezes, the whispering fir trees, and the effervescent birdsong soothe and calm your spirit. The spa's botanical treatments take you beyond this natural healing. Seaweed facials, clay body wraps, hot and cold stone therapy, shiatsu massage, and other traditional spa services all help you to detoxify, relax, and re-connect.The Spa Garden, consisting of a dry/wet sauna, salt water float pool, waterfall massage, and glacier shower, is included with any treatment. I pampered myself to the Sea of Life Signature Facial while my husband unwound with a Shiatsu Massage after a stressful day at the golf course. Needless to say, our calming afternoon at the spa refreshed us and helped us enjoy the rest of our west coast experience at Painted Boat.

Other amenities include:
-world class restaurant at Painted Boat Resort
-entertaining Harbour Tours with Captain Paul
-9 or 18 holes at the Pender Harbour Golf Course,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Palm Desert

Relax.... Refresh.... Rejuvenate....

The state-of-the-art Spa at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort offers exceptional service, elegant surroundings, and luxurious treatments. I was fortunate to spend my Christmas holiday at this fabulous resort. The highlight of my one week stay was my daily trip to the spa. After a brisk walk from my villa along the golf course, past the tennis courts, past a pond ringed with palm trees and aflutter with flamingo families, through the gorgeous hotel lobby with its majestic Christmas tree, out to the starbucks for a green tea latte, past the glittering boutiques, I happily ended up at the spa located beyond the pro shop and the 18 hole putting green. Before indulging myself in my daily spa experience, I would conscientiously work out in their pristine fitness centre. After 90 minutes of cardio, weights, and stretches, I would soothe my tired and aching muscles - I had played golf at both the Palm and Valley golfcourses on site - in the sauna and steamrooms, alternating between the lavendar steam and the hotter eucalyptus steam. The sauna was always at an ideal temperature, and the whirlpool had just the right amount of power. Afterwards, I would soak up some much needed vitamin D beside their spa's serene swimming pool which had lovely views of the lake and golf course; or I would head to the ladies' lounge with a handful of magazines and a delicious blueberry smoothie from their snack menu. The climax of this wonderful holiday was my Christmas present from my husband: "A Day of Beauty" which included a European Body Scrub, a Relaxing Massage, an Oil Wrap, and a Custom Facial. I don't think I've ever felt so pampered and relaxed!!