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Archive for the ‘Spas’ Category

Fashion Meets Function: Blake Brody In-Studio Footwear

You only need to slip once in barre class to know that proper footwear is a must. That’s what inspired Blake Brody to create shoes that are designed specifically for yoga, pilates and barre. Her chic and eco-friendly collection of In-Studio Footwear is both functional and fashionable. With significant traction to prevent falls, the soft, breathable shoes allow for a full range of natural motion; critical during strenuous in-studio classes. The split soles and padded arches add comfort and stability, letting fitness enthusiasts focus on their form and movement.

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Brody’s line is also environmentally conscious, constructed of vegan materials that are anti-microbial and odor resistant. The ballerina inspired collection features a range of styles in neutral and vibrant colors, with decorative side panels and metallic accents. In fact, celebs like Denise Richards are huge fans of the line for its innovative design and sophisticated look.

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Denise Richards in Blake Brody In-Studio Footwear

I was more than excited to try out my pair of Blake Brody shoes at Exhale Spa in Santa Monica, CA. A barre fanatic myself, I too had experienced an embarrassing slip during the painful but beneficial chair position in a recent class. Upon entering the studio, I immediately received compliments on my shoes. (My Jennifer flats are so cute, I’ve even thought about wearing them as regular shoes!)

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Blake Brody In-Studio Footwear in ‘Jennifer’

Fashion aside, from warm ups to wind down, my Blake Brody shoes provided incredible support during the 60-minute Core Fusion Barre class. I was in complete control during thigh and seat work at the bar, allowing me to concentrate on perfecting my form. Lunges and standing stretches were a breeze. The grips on the soles did provide more resistance than typical barre socks during core exercises (i.e.; flat back), but it forced me to work harder and achieve a more intense workout. And the best part, the performance mesh technology helped to keep my tootsies cool when the instructor picked up the pace. By the end of a demanding class, everything on my body was sweating – except for my feet!

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Exhale Spa in Santa Monica, CA

Prices range from $98-$115. Available online at www.blakebrody.com and select spas/fitness centers.

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Spring Travel Deals 2011 – Unwind on a Dime

Planning a vacation on a budget can be a daunting task, especially when it seems that airfare and hotel prices are continuously on the rise. One of the best parts about getting away is relaxing, whether it’s by the pool, at the spa, or by taking in the natural beauty of the destination. In order to unwind on a dime, sometimes you need to think outside the box. Ever think to travel to Colorado in the off season? Think Sedona is the only place for pure relaxation in Arizona? As your GAL resource, I found the following travel steals that will let you rest easy when it comes to booking your next getaway. Whether you desire a quick trip or a weeklong retreat, these undiscovered gems won’t put a damper on your wallet!

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa (Avon, Colorado)

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Colorado is often thought of as a winter destination, but the spring and summer months offer travelers the same lush accommodations and beautiful surroundings at a more reasonable price. The “Spring Renewal Package” at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa is an ideal way to enjoy an affordable stay at one of the premiere properties in the heart of the Vail Valley. For rates starting at $169/night, visitors will enjoy lodging at the award winning resort, plus your choice of a 50 minute Swedish massage or a 45 minute custom facial at Allegria Spa, named one of Colorado’s Best Spas (a $145 value). Whether travelling solo or with your significant other, there are plenty of outdoor activities to satisfy your adventurous side. From hiking, biking, and river rafting, to dipping in one of the five whirlpools beneath a mountain waterfall, you’ll feel renewed while taking in the natural beauty of your surroundings. For foodies, enjoy small plates and organic local wines at 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill. And for a nostalgic twist, resort guests can enjoy a complimentary s’mores happy hour from 4-5p at the outdoor fire pit, including handmade marshmallows with flavors ranging from M&M to Grand Marnier! With no minimum stay required, the “Spring Renewal Package” is available from April 9 – June 16, 2011. To make a reservation, visit www.parkhyattbeavercreek.com or call 866-471-7658.

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Allegria Spa at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek

Scottsdale Resort & Athletic Club (Scottsdale, Arizona)

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If you’ve never thought of visiting Arizona for an invigorating wellness retreat, the “Spring Escape Deal” at the Scottsdale Resort Club will definitely change your mind. The Scottsdale Resort & Athletic Club is a family owned and operated establishment offering breathtaking views and unsurpassed recreational facilities. The “Spring Escape Deal” starts at just $89/night, and includes accommodations for two in one of the resorts comfortable guestrooms, complimentary continental breakfast, a $25 restaurant/bar credit, 10% off at the award winning Eurasia Spa, plus free access to the private athletic club. With 11 tennis courts, 2 levels of fitness studios and unlimited access to all the fitness classes you can imagine, guests will feel rejuvenated after experiencing all the resort has to offer. Start your day with a pilates or spinning class, and then enjoy an afternoon in the sun with a game of tennis on the championship hard courts (Top 50 Tennis Resorts in Tennis Magazine). To unwind after a day of exercise, take a refreshing plunge in to one of the resort’s 3 swimming pools, or enjoy a calming aromatherapy massage at the Eurasia Spa. The possibilities are endless at this renowned Scottsdale resort! The “Spring Escape Deal” is available from April 5 – June 1, 2011. For more information, visit www.scottsdaleresortandathleticclub.com or call 866-733-9564.

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Center Court at Scottsdale Resort & Athletic Club

Las Villas Hotel & Spa at Estrella Del Mar (Mazatlan, Mexico)

Estrella Del Mar

Located on a 3.5 mile pristine white sand beach, Las Villas Hotel & Spa at Estrella Del Mar is truly an undiscovered gem on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Opened in June 2010, Las Villas offers luxurious accommodations and world class amenities in a beach town rich with Mexican history and tradition. Their Garden View Room “Vacation Package” is just $212/person, and includes lodging for 4 days/3nights, free transportation to/from the airport, welcome margaritas and daily breakfast for two. Garden view rooms are spacious, featuring oversized bathrooms, marble flooring, rain shower heads, wet/mini bars and a private balcony. Upon arrival to the resort, guests will receive a personally guided tour of the 816 acre estate, vibrant floral gardens, private beach, spa, and the most unique attraction of the property, the Turtle Preserve & Sanctuary. The Turtle Preserve is the largest of its type in Mexico, giving visitors the opportunity to view and interact with the incredible sea creatures. The Preserve hatches, nurtures, and releases more than 30,000 baby sea turtles each year! In addition to this wonderment, Estrella Del Mar boasts a gorgeous seaside golf course that is fully accessible to guests of Las Villas. And if you’re looking for more beachfront fun, try horseback riding in the sand followed by a swim in the stunning invisible edge pool. Need another reason to visit Las Villas? The extremely affordable full service spa, with massages and facials starting at just $35. If that’s not unwinding on a dime, I don’t know what is! For more information, visit http://www.mazatlanhotellasvillas.com/.

Estrella Del Mar Golf Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Golf Course at Estrella Del Mar

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GAL Travel – Hacienda Tres Rios (Riviera Maya, Mexico)

When you dream of a Mexican vacation, you might imagine beautiful beaches, Mariachi bands and tropical cocktails.  At Hacienda Tres Rios in the heart of the Riviera Maya, you will experience all that and more.  Opened in November 2008, Hacienda Tres Rios is an exclusive eco-friendly resort located forty five minutes south of Cancun, amongst a 326 acre nature park.  Enjoy the natural beauty of the lush jungle, mangrove forest, and coastal dunes.  The three freshwater rivers, or tres rios, that run throughout the property and the ten cenotes (cave like sinkholes with natural wells), end where the immaculate white sand beach meets the Caribbean Sea.  Hacienda Tres Rios offers travelers the best of worlds old and new – a luxuriously modern vacation destination set within the pristine beauty and historic landscape of the Mayan Riviera.

Rest

The 273 suites at Hacienda Tres Rios are immaculate.  From the local Mexican mahogany furniture, marble floors and bathrooms, luxurious bedding, and flat screen televisions, to the in room jacuzzi (available in most) and spectacular ocean views, you may never want to leave the room.  And with the unlimited, 24 hour room service available, you might never have to.  From junior suites to spacious one and two bedroom suites, Hacienda Tres Rios can accommodate everyone from couples on a romantic getaway to families on summer vacation.                    

GAL Travel Tip ~ Request an upper level suite away from the main lobby for the best overall experience.   

Indulge

All-Inclusive at Hacienda Tres Rios means Endless Luxury, the ultimate indulgence for all your food, beverage, and entertainment needs.  On the Endless Luxury plan, guests are allowed unlimited meals, snacks, and alcoholic beverages during their stay.  With six restaurants on site, multiple bars, a fully stocked in room minibar, plus 24 hour room service, one can wine and dine to their heart’s content.  The Mexican cuisine at El Alebrije is deliciously inventive, with cricket empanadas and ostrich tamales as popular dishes.  The pizza at il Forno, the poolside pizzeria, is tasty and a perfect complement to a frosty piña colada.  The Hacienda Grill has savory grilled fare, from jumbo shrimp to juicy carne asada. And the International buffet at Casa La Islas, features alternating menu items each day that will leave you craving more.  All tips are included in the All-Inclusive plan, but once you experience the warmth and generosity of the property’s servers, you’ll want to take care of them too. 

GAL Travel Tip ~ Befriend the general manager of each restaurant to enjoy unique dishes off the main menu.

Enjoy

Also included in the Endless Luxury plan is exclusive access to the activities in the Tres Rios Nature Park.  Tours are available daily for all levels, from beginners to advanced.   Guests of all ages can enjoy biking through the jungle, kayaking on the pristine rivers, and snorkeling (gear included) in the amazing cenotes.  Guests can also discover the reforestation process in the botanical garden and nursery.  With additional daily activities for kids, teens and adults ranging from mask making, yoga, and tequila tasting, there is definitely something for everyone. An incredible experience for the entire family is the SenseAdventure Tour, which leads guests on a journey of the five senses.  Led by a Mayan native in the jungle of the nature park, this tour exposes you to the elements of the universe and awakens your senses inside and out.  The resort also offers fine evening entertainment, from a spectacular fire presentation to a traditional Mayan show.  However, if all you desire is a little quiet time, unwind on the comfortable beach beds overlooking the Caribbean Sea.   

GAL Travel Tip ~ Experience both the beginner and advanced cenote tours – snorkeling down the river is easier and more relaxing than kayaking.  When kayaking, prep your skin with insect repellent as you will encounter pesky critters amongst the mangroves.

Relax

Become one with the Mayan gods at the Ya’ax Che Spa, the temporary spa retreat at Hacienda Tres Rios.  Although the permanent site for the spa will not open until later this year, Ya’ax Che will not disappoint.  Signature treatments such as the Mayan Gods Ritual will leave your skin soft and supple from the cocoa bead scrub and body wrap.  The Yaa’ Kun Ritual is a romantic option for couples, combining a relaxing massage with an aromatherapy bath, topped off with two glasses of champagne and fresh fruit.  Other treatments are also available, from a la carte massages, nourishing facials, nail services and waxing.  The spa also has a full service fitness center, as well as a co-ed hydrotherapy room with a whirlpool, steam room and sauna, which guests can use at their leisure.  (Spa treatments are not included in the Endless Luxury plan.)

GAL Travel Tip ~ Inquire about the Ancient Mayan Ritual, the Temazcal Bath.  This unique, native experience is very rare and includes a steam bath performed in an authentic Mesoamerican hut.  This relaxing, purification ritual is meant to have many therapeutic benefits.

Fall 2010 Promotion

This Fall, Hacienda Tres Rios is enticing visitors to enjoy the splendor of the Riviera Maya with a special limited time promotion.  A party of 2 can enjoy a mangrove or ocean view junior suite and experience all the benefits of Endless Luxury.  When guests purchase three nights at the discounted rate of $429 per couple/per day, they will receive the fourth night free!  This promotional price is valid until October 31, 2010 and includes the suite, the All-Inclusive Endless Luxury plan, exclusive access to the nature park, and all the above mentioned tours and activities.  For more information, click here.

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GAL Spas – Best Spa Deals

With the constant stresses of everyday life, it’s refreshing to know that some of the best spas in the country are offering incredible deals so you can rest and relax without the added anxiety of breaking the bank.  From an elegant, Zen infused spa at a renowned family resort to the old world appeal of a Korean bath house, the following GAL Spas are enticing visitors with their unique concepts, warm hospitality, and can’t pass up spa packages for summer and beyond!

nèu lotus spa (Orlando, FL)

After an action packed day at SeaWorld, unwind at the nèu lotus spa at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld.  For a limited time, the property is offering a Zen infused package starting at $132 per night, which includes one night’s accommodations plus a choice of a 50 minute spa treatment at the nèu lotus spa.  Indulge with a soothing Full Lotus Massage designed to work out all the kinks, followed by a nourishing Mini-Facial that will leave you feeling fresh and revitalized.  Or if you prefer, opt for a full 50 minute massage or facial.  After your treatment, chill out poolside with a fresh fruit smoothie at the Palms Pool Bar & Grill.  To book the Escape! Spa package, call 1-800-228-9290 or use rate code SPA when making reservations online.

Stillwater Spa (Newport, RI)

The Stillwater Spa at the Hyatt Regency Newport is the ultimate treat for the senses.  This spa by the sea uses only marine based products, combined with a complete palette of services that will not disappoint.  For spa lovers and busy guests on the go, the Spa Tapas menu is the ideal way to sample the spas signature treatments.  Guests can enjoy affordable bite size treatments (20 minutes per Spa Tapa), from a relaxing Calf & Foot Massage and Mini Facial to the Hand Tension Reliever.  Order one Spa Tapa for $65, two for $75, three for $95, or four for $115.  Between 2pm-5pm, guests will also receive a complimentary spa cocktail, such as the minty Stillwater Mo-Tea-To (cocktails can be made with or without alcohol).  For more information on the Stillwater Spa Tapas, click here.

Hiatus Spa & Retreat (Dallas, TX)

Hiatus Spa & Retreat was created specifically for spa goers who love a great deal!  As the first Aveda Lifestyle Spa Club in the U.S. founded on the principal that frequent massage, facials and body treatments are a prescription for good health and a positive state of mind, Hiatus offers guests an opportunity to indulge without overindulging.  The Platinum H-Circle membership entitles guests to enjoy one of five core spa services per month.  For $59 per month (and a onetime initiation fee of $39), members can choose from a Hiatus Massage, Hiatus Facial, a Hiatus Body Polish in the rainfall Vichy shower room, an invigorating Hiatus Rosemary Mint Wrap, or the all-new Hiatus Mani-Pedi Retreat.  Additional monthly treatments are available for just $59.  As if all this wasn’t already enough, each Hiatus treatments begins with a luxurious foot soak – warm water, a sea salt scrub, and a personalized aromatherapy oil blend are the highlights of this soul grounding experience.  As the perfect cure for spa addicts in Dallas, Hiatus plans to expand to 65 locations over the next five years.  For more information, click here

Olympic Spa (Los Angeles, CA)

The Olympic Spa in Los Angeles’ Koreatown is a must visit GAL find for those who crave a seriously relaxing and detoxifying day at the spa.  Not for the modest or faint of heart, the Olympic Spa is a traditional Korean bath house, stripped down to the purest and most natural of services and amenities.  Don’t expect flickering candles or soft music playing here – the Olympic Spa is simply a retreat to cleanse the body and soul.  Prepare yourself for an invigorating and empowering experience, as this spa is clothing free – that’s right ladies, bathing suits are not permitted.  The only ‘clothes’ allowed in the communal pool/sauna room are towels, and the simple black undergarments worn by the female Korean therapists.  All services are performed in a communal treatment room where guests must be au natural, sans clothing, or in other words, in your birthday suit.

Once settled, experience the most affordable spa deal in Los Angeles, the Simple Soak.  For just $15, one has unlimited use of all the saunas, steam rooms, and pools at the Olympic Spa.  Relax in the extremely Warm Mineral Pool, followed by a refreshing dip in the Cool Waters Pool.  Then, stimulate your senses in the Hot Mugwort Tea Pool which promotes circulation and boosts immunity.  Replenish in one of the uniquely Korean saunas, from the Oxygen Therapy Room to the Oriental Dry Clay Sauna.  Finally, take a nap on the warm Jade floor and feel the herbal steam flood your mind, body and soul.  The Simple Soak is also included with the treatments at the Olympic Spa, including the signature ritual, the Goddess.  This almost two hour treatment begins with the famously aggressive Akasuri Body Scrub, followed by a body shampoo and Aromatherapy Massage. Next, your spirits are literally lifted as you receive an essential oil scalp massage.  While the tingling oils set in, your face is massaged with toxin releasing strokes and a purifying mask is applied to tighten your pores.  After all this, your hair is washed and rinsed, and a luxurious body emulsion oil is generously applied to your entire body to complete the incredible ritual.  For just $130, the Goddess is a must experience, affordable spa treatment that will leave you feeling renewed inside and out.

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