For as long as I can remember, I have been beauty obsessed, spa obsessed, anything that feels/smells/looks good obsessed. I have sought out every opportunity to incorporate this passion into my life, both professionally and personally.
As a designer, I always add touches of scents and pretty items for bathrooms, even if solely for their kick ass packaging. I am a packaging whore, I admit it. I will buy something to display in a bathroom simply because it looks chic, stylish or expensive. I also enjoy going to fabulous spas. Even at times when I didn't have the money to shell out for a whole spa day at some crazy luxe place, I'd buy one treatment and linger for hours in the sauna, the shower and the dressing room. It just feels luxurious.
Luckily, in recent years things like Spa Week and Groupon have popped up allowing more and more of us to indulge in the ultimate luxury, the spa. I have had the good fortune of visiting lots of amazing spas around the world. I love seeing how each one is different in it's own unique way. Some are even a little surprising. FYI, in France a massage includes a kind of quick visit to second base which totally freaked out me and my beauty editor friends at the amazing Yves Rocher EcoSpa in Brittany last year. But overall, I think most spas are simply the bomb. Spa Week might be over, but there is no shortage of fabulous places to get a killer body treatment, an incredible facial or just some good old fashioned ass kissing and pampering. And who doesn't like that?
Best Spa and People Watching Combo
I'm NY based, so my faves start here. The fairly new Gansevoort Park Avenue houses the Exhale Spa , which I love for a few reasons. It's downtown cool but uptown chic and they have fab treatments at reasonable price points and great service. You can also take a grueling Core class while you're there. When you're done, hit up Les Halles for steak frites and tarte tatin. Amazing and great people watching in that gorgeous lobby.
Be a Celebrity or Just Look Like One
When I have something big coming up or an important TV appearance, I head over to aesthetician to the stars, Joanna Vargas in midtown for her hands of gold, or electric micro currents, rather. Her studio is soft and romantic and her facials will have you looking significantly better when you leave. She also has an LED light therapy machine which is hailed as one of the hottest trends in natural healing. If you can hack the really bright lights, you are sure to experience amazing results. If you want to look really great for something, go to Joanna. Perfect for those who are seeking a results oriented experience.
I Want to Look Younger Now and I Can't Keep Appointments
When you want even deeper and even more instant results in NYC, the affable Dr. Berdy of SmoothMed is your walk in Botox guru. There is a difference in who does your Botox. Some just have better hands and are more up on the latest techniques. He's one of them. Bonus points for the fact you can purchase units in advance at a better rate. Busy New Yorkers really seem to like the "no appointment necessary" feature, as well.
I Need to Unwind After the Blackjack Tables
Immersion Spa at The Water Club in Atlantic City is perfect for those who want the excitement of The Borgata and roulette, but also want to relax in unabashed luxury. The Immersion Spa is a two story spa on the 32nd floor overlooking the Atlantic. It's breathtaking from the moment you enter. They have surprisingly affordable prices, given the caliber of the spa. I love the selection of Ayurvedic treatments, the Geoffrey Zakarian in room menus at the hotel and the feeling of more South Beach and less Atlantic City Boardwalk. Also, can you say four handed massage?
Fun for the Whole Family
The Chocolate Spa at Hotel Hershey goes down as Biggest Shocker Ever. I was totally expecting a Disneyesque Hershey Kiss vibe. Instead I got one of the most elegant spas ever with amazing treatments, ridiculously good service and chocolate greeting you at every corner. The whole place smells like cocoa. I got a chocolate and rose body treatment that literally put me to sleep it was so relaxing. Additionally, their crazy good facials are accompanied by a lot of body massaging. While my children had the time of their lives in Chocolate World, mamacita was in a whole other chocolate filled world. Best bet for moms who want to do a quick getaway that makes everyone in the family happy!
I'm on Vacation in Miami and Demand the Best Service
The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is by far one of my favorite haunts. There's something about going over that bridge to Key Biscayne that just puts you in a whole different Miami head. Once you arrive, it's all "My pleasure Miss Cachet!" I die! I go here a lot for two reasons. One, I am a loyal Ritz-Carlton fan. Two, it takes you to a whole different vibe than the rest of Miami. Like a true island vacation, something hard to achieve in the rest of the city. As someone who lived there for half her life, I can personally attest to this. 21 treatment rooms, flawless Ritz-Carlton staff and a full service salon keeps the well-heeled coming back again and again. I had my makeup done there one night and it rivaled some of the best makeup artists I know in Manhattan.
I'm on Vacation in Miami and I'm So Freaking Cool
Cowshed at Soho Beach House in Miami Beach is how I want to decorate my country house. It is the coolest looking space I've ever seen in a spa. Located inside the members only Soho Beach House in Miami Beach, it is luxe and hip and exclusive. That said, it's much more hipster chic than uptown snob. Totally my vibe. They have something called the Morning After Facial. In Miami, go figure... I had a hot stone facial there recently by a Venezuelan born sweetheart that had me looking muy linda as I headed out to hit the Bal Harbour Shops. Before you leave, make sure you buy some of the Cowshed products that are hard to find elsewhere. Seriously, even if the spa sucked (which it sooo doesn't!) I'd go there just for the design inspiration.
If you can't make it to the spa, my top five online sources for at home spa like products are:
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