Difference between revisions of "Spas"
Revision as of 05:06, 3 March 2013
This article is a travel topic
A trip to the spa is a common travel activity. It can be a great way to experience local culture and customs, enjoy some serious relaxation and/or remove the grime that accumulates while on the global road.
See also: Hot springs.
A good spa review can be a major deciding factor in helping spa goers decide between different spa properties and learn about the available spa treatments and amenities. There are a number of treatment options available during a spa visit and reading a spa review can give you insight on selecting the most suitable spa location and service type.
Spa Vacation Planning
Finding time to take a spa vacation is a wonderful opportunity for rejuvenating your body and soul. There are a number of treatment options available during a spa visit and reading a spa review can give you insight on selecting the most suitable spa location and service type. There are a variety of spa treatment options including body treatments, skin care treatments, facials, massages, weight loss programs and more. Also, there are some spas that offer unique menu choices, such as fitness classes, meditation and other amenities for you to enjoy. Therefore selecting your spa vacation can appear to be a little intimidating; however it is generally an easy process because of spa reviews on websites specializing in spa treatments and spa experiences.
Before reading a spa review you need to select a destination, as spa treatment services are located in just about all regions of the world. In case you find a beach to be a relaxing vacation for you, you can start reading a spa review to learn about the available treatments and amenities. A good spa review site can be a major deciding factor in helping you decide between a spa property located in the mountains or something even more exotic. If you are looking for fun and excitement, you may look for destinations that offer these adventures. If you are interested in specific treatment options, it is important to note that certain treatments may only be available at select locations.
For example, if you are looking to take a dip in hot waters, you might want to read an informative spa review about destinations that are situated close to a hot spring. Also, a spa near a hot spring may likely have several specialty treatment options focused on warm water therapies.
Internet research on spa destinations and treatment options with which you have an interest can be very time consuming. However, there are certain websites dedicated to finding suitable spa locations for you. Reviews on sites such as Spa Maven (http://spamaven.com) will tell you everything you need to know about the destination and often give you "insider" information to help you maximize your spa visit. Other sites like Spa Finder include basic information on various spas, however, they only include spas that have paid to partner with them.
After reading different spa reviews you can contact the spa where you want to book your vacation to find out if there are any specials. In case you are unable to decide between the different treatment alternatives, you can highlight key information in the review and prepare a list of questions about each location before you contact a spa representative. You should prioritize which questions are most important to you, because this will certainly help you in making a final selection. After your final decision has been reached it is time to go ahead and book your dream spa vacation.
Most Common Spa Treatments
Although most services are ordered a la carte, if you opt for a package treatment you'll most likely begin with a foot bath delivered by your attendant. This usually involves having your feet washed and scrubbed in a basin of warm water with flowers. A pumice stone may be applied to your feet as well as some scented oils and/or soaps. Foot baths, accompanied with a foot massage, are also popular treatments for those wanting some personal care (especially after a long day of sight seeing) but aren't interested in the full body experience.
A body scrub is an exfoliating spa treatment. A therapist rubs a coarse mixture over the body to remove dead skin cells and stimulate circulation. The mixture is rinsed off leaving the skin soft and smooth. A variety of materials are used as the exfoliant - salt, sugar, apricot shells, polyethylene beads, jojoba beads, pumice, ground loofah, sand, crushed grape seed and more. This material is suspended in a liquid that can contain essential oils, oils such as sweet almond, sunflower, and coconut, herbs, and/or vitamin A, C, E. Scrubs are also known as Salt Glow, Sugar Scrub, Full Body Exfoliation. The beauty of body scrubs is that they are one of the spa treatments that you can do yourself at home with great results.
Wraps can be enjoyed on their own or as part of a package, in which it will usually follow the scrub. During a wrap treatment, your attendant will cover you in a warm sticky covering that has the consistency of jam or jelly and comes in lovely smelling mixtures, such as papaya and aloe or more earthy concoctions such as seaweed or volcanic mud. Either way, you'll covered from your neck down in your selection and then you'll be wrapped up in a cocoon made from a variety of natural materials, banana leaves are common. For the next 15 - 30 minutes, you'll be left in isolation and your skin will soak up the ingredients while you drift in and out of a light sleep.
A facial treatment can also be enjoyed on its own or as part of a spa package. When part of a package, it typically follows a wrap or scrub -- after most of your body has been scrubbed and you are relaxed, you'll be stretched out on a table and all of your attendents attention will be focused on your face, neck and head. Usually a facial involves the deep cleansing of the skin on your face and may also include a neck and/or scalp massage. A facial treatment may use scented cleansers and may last between 15 minutes and one hour.
Aromatherapy baths are often part of a spa package and entail relaxing in a large tub filled with warm water. Typically, the tub will decorated with fresh flowers floating on the surface and may also have scented oils, where the aromathereapy comes in, added to the water. The idea is that while relaxing in the water, the scents will deepen your state of relaxation.
The Hamam is a Turkish style bathing system that occurs at a marble setting. Usually the real hamams in Turkey were built on thermal fountains.
Particularly in South-East Asia, you'll find your spa visit to be much less expensive than you would find in North America and Europe without cutting out any of the ambiance or experience (you'll likely have more).
And although not strictly speaking the same as spas, even the smallest provincial town will have massage parlors dishing out bone-crackingly good Thai massages for a few hundred baht per hour.
There are dozens of spas and spa hotels in Finland. Some of these are traditional health spas and others are modern tropically warm indoor water amusement parks with spa treatments. Sauna bathing is very important in Finnish spas because Finland is the country of sauna's origin. Modern spas are family resorts with children's pools, water slides, jacuzzis etc. There are famous spas in these destinations: Hämeenlinna, Imatra, Kuopio, Lappeenranta, Naantali (the largest spa in Finland, the only Scandinavian member in the Royal Spas of Europe affiliation), Nokia (the most popular family spa destination in Finland), Saariselkä (the northermost spa in Europe), Savonlinna, Siuntio, Tampere and Turku.
Somewhat different traditions from South-Eastern Asia, see Budapest#Baths for background and listings.