Girls’ Weekend Spa Day – Five Tips To Make It Fabulous

Girls talk.

We’re wired that way.

No seriously, we really are. In fact, recent research has shown that women’s brains are wired differently than men’s. This research has confirmed what many of us suspected. In females, wiring in the brain goes between the left and right hemispheres, suggesting that they facilitate communication between the analytical and intuition. (Think great memory, multi-tasking and group solutions.)

In men’s brains, the wiring is front to back suggesting their brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action. (Think singular focus.) (Read more here.)

What this means to us, ladies, is we are meant to be communicators.

We talk. We listen.

So when I was setting up my girls’ weekend spa day, I knew I had to plan for lots of communication time.

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Since my girlfriends carved out precious time away from their families to get together and unwind, I needed to make sure we made the most of our time together. I asked Katie at Zanté Spa, located at the Deer Valley Plaza Building, to help me plan a morning of relaxation and rejuvenation with the girls. As a pro at creating special pampering experiences, she gave me a few tips.

Here are five of them:

1. Take over the place. Since you and your girlfriends don’t get together as often as you like, you want every moment to count. Zanté Spa was able to book our appointments so that we had the place to ourselves the whole morning. We’d welcome any other spa visitors, of course, but having “just us girls” made it feel so welcome and cozy. We were able to employ “no filter” conversations which is what girls’ weekend is all about.

2. Build in transition time. Katie scheduled our treatments with plenty of time for lounging in-between. Instead of feeling rushed and checking our watches, we were able to relax as some of us were getting done with our treatments and others were getting started. As a Type A personality who lives her life by the clock, I appreciated the no-stress attitude. This is one tip many of us can apply to all areas of our lives – I certainly will.

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3. Customize your experience. We brought in some special fruit plates, juices and appetizers to complement the selection of goodies the spa provided. Don’t laugh but we also brought some “lighter” reading – fashion magazines! The spa supplied some wonderful reading material, but be sure to bring in whatever makes you feel comfortable whether it’s a special book or a fashion magazine.

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4. Linger. When your spa day comes to a close, don’t rush out. After a few hours of Zen space and total relaxation, we didn’t want to just bolt out the door. We needed some transition time to step back into the world. The ladies at Zanté Spa, suggested we linger. They also had menus on hand for us to review some choices for our next stop – lunch at Deer Valley Grocery~Café.

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5. Treat yourself to something special – you deserve it. Try something new to enhance your experience. My girlfriends who had massages tried a Japanese energy technique called Reiki integrated into their massages and felt fabulous afterwards. I tried the restructuring and soothing facial called Vital-Elastin which included a facial massage with the exfoliation and dry brushing. This was a new experience for me and my skin appreciated it!

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So remember when planning your event, girls talk.

Just go with it.

Do you or a family member need a retreat or special getaway or do you have questions about our girls’ weekend? Connect with me on Twitter  and @Deer_ValleyClick the links for more information on; lodging at Trail’s End Lodge, spa services at Zanté Spa and menu options at Deer Valley Grocery~Café.

Revitalize Mind, Body and Spirit at the Remède Spa at the St Regis

StRegisLobbyI have a theory as to why you feel so revitalized after a massage.  A massage can be much more than simply relaxing and having a trained massage therapist knead away the tension in your muscles.  Certainly, the body feels great after a massage but the mind and spirit can be rejuvenated, too.

My theory has to do with “what’s behind the knot”; something caused you to tense up and create a knot in the first place.  Granted, sometimes you may have tension in your lower back because of the way you sit at your desk or you may have tightness in your calves because you are a runner.  Most knots, I believe, are due to some tense event that caused you to tighten up, possibly without even realizing it.  There is a reason people call someone or something a “pain in the neck.” The problem you had may be long solved or the person long removed from your life but the knot is still there.

As your massage therapist works on the knot, you often think about that tense event.  When you let it go in your mind as you let it go in your body, the whole thing revives your spirit.  When I booked a couple’s massage for my husband Jay and me at the Remède Spa at the St. Regis, I’d forgotten all about my theory.  We’d never had side-by-side massages before and the anticipation of the experience was all I was thinking about.

RemedeCouplesSpaSuiteOnce the massage started, I remembered.  You see, I told my massage therapist, that I really didn’t have any knots in my back so she didn’t need to spend much time there.  But when she started working between my shoulder blades, she found a couple of knots hiding there.  These knots gently reminded me of some unfinished business, some residual tension that I still needed to let go.  With her help, I did.

Jay OutsideAfter the massage, Jay and I relaxed together on our serene private patio listening to the sounds of the waterfall from the massive rock sculpture in front of us. As we took in the breathtaking views of the mountains, he mentioned a few things he was thinking about during the massage.  Turns out, he’d had the same experience with some knots he didn’t even realize he had and some unfinished business he had a chance to let go of too.

I have another theory.  The reason it was so easy to let go of the tension and revitalize the mind, body and spirit was the sanctuary at the Remède Spa.  The treatment room was more like a retreat than a room so we felt peaceful.  We had our own private space to relax before the massage with a Jacuzzi tub, private shower and our own outdoor patio so we felt at home.

StRegisFireGarden_SummerThe therapists spoiled us.  We were treated to a warm oil foot massage and paraffin wax treatment for starters.  During the massage, there were no distractions by feeling too warm or too cold or the pressure being too strong or too soft. The state- of-the-art massage tables bent gently at our knees and raised our heads slightly adding to our comfort. Our needs were met before we had to ask so we were able to relax.

Since our massages were side-by-side and we happened to choose the same type, we had a shared experience like none other.  Some people might come to the Remède Spa to let their mind and body escape reality, but in our case, I think the peacefulness of the experience helped us each to let go of an old reality and embrace a new one together.

 

 

The Prescription for Happiness- The Montage Day Pass

What do you do when you are completely frazzled or just plain worn out?  I was in that state myself a few weeks ago because in the span of a three week period, I had two separate weeks of grueling meetings in LA and a total of seven days of company here at home in between.  Visitors warm the soul but can wear you out at the same time. The prescription to clear up my condition was a “be good to Nancy day.”

A “be good to yourself day” is just as it sounds.  Here are the parameters:

Do whatever you want when you want to.
Eat whatever you want.
Rules are suspended for the day.
No clocks or watches – be in ‘real’ time.
No checking email.
No appointments unless it falls under “do whatever you want.”
Nurture yourself in whatever form that takes.
Let everything else simply wait because it will all be there later.

The first thing that came to my mind for my “be good” day was the Montage Spa.  My girlfriends were out of town or working so I was on my own. When I inquired about a day pass, there came a welcome surprise.  Guess what? Two crisp twenty dollar bills opened the door to the wellness center for classes, the gym, both indoors and outdoors pools and the “Art of Spa” in the ladies lounge area -this had to be best value in Park City.  I was in.

My prescription for happiness was:

The indoor pool. The mosaic tiles reminded me of the beautiful pool at Hearst Castle, and I had been dying to swim at Montage since I first laid eyes on it. I ended up swimming for half an hour when the plan was just to take a dip.

Nap on the lounge chair.  The outdoor deck with the amazing view was another option but this was an indoor day.

The Art of Spa: Steam room, followed by a cold Vichy shower, then the sauna, whirlpool, and relaxation on comfy lounge chair.

Ladies lounge and meditation room:  Wrapped in the soft silky robe, I was greeted with a glowing fire in the fireplace.  I chose an overstuffed chair in the corner, made a cup of earl grey tea and while it steeped, I grabbed a bite of dried fruit and a fig bar to nibble on.  Pulling a cozy fuzzy blanket over me, I sunk into the chair, read and simply enjoyed the quiet.

What is not to like about this day?  I think I will have to change the name to “be great to Nancy day.”  My prescription for happiness has been filled.

Has yours?

Three Stages of Relaxation at the Montage Spa at Deer Valley

Kissing Monty wasn’t one of the skin care tips I picked up when I had a facial at the Montage Spa but it probably should be.  When I arrived at the Montage, I was introduced to their friendly furry mascot, a Bernese Mountain dog named Monty.  When I crouched down to greet him, I was rewarded by sloppy licks to the face. As I plopped right down on the floor, he tickled my neck as I totally lost myself in laughter.  What a wonderful way to start my afternoon of relaxation – smart too – because research shows petting a dog actually lowers blood pressure. Monty helped me easily shake off my work day and enter my first stage of relaxation.

The next stage of relaxation was the “art of spa” which I nicknamed “the pre-treatment treatment.”   Before my facial, I wanted to let go of the world, so I went early.  Secluded in the women’s lounge area, I followed their suggested “hot-cold-rest-repeat” regime.  I started with the dry sauna for ten minutes, followed by a cold deluge, then a cozy lounge chair for five minutes.

Since I am a little on the claustrophobic side, I normally can’t stay in the stream room very long. The steam room at the Montage Spa was different, however; one entire wall was glass. After the steam started filling the room, I didn’t have the usual urge to bolt.  I felt completely comfortable through the whole steam cycle for the first time in my life.  After my second cold deluge, I entered a deeper state of relaxation as I lounged on the chair.

By then, I felt like a human being again but there was more – the actual facial treatment!  I was greeted by Janelle, my esthetician who walked me to the treatment room and made me comfortable.  We started with the “art of breath” as she led through a relaxation meditation to calm my mind for stage three relaxation.  After cleansing and exfoliating my skin, she applied a whole host of healing treatments and vitamins including a local mountain honey bee populous (like super charged royal jelly) unique to Wasatch Mountains. My skin responded by lapping it up.

While my moisturizing mask did its work, and when I thought life couldn’t get any better, she treated me to a scalp massage and then surprisingly a gentle foot massage. With this, I completely relaxed and then I found myself again.  I could hear an inner voice that had been attempting to talk to me for a long time but I had so busy with life, I hadn’t been listening.