Jet-lag packages may include a facial. // © 2015 iStock
Feature image (above): Hot stone massages are now enhanced with the use of sticks. // © 2015 iStock
Vacation is the perfect excuse to indulge in a long-overdue spa day. And while the standard facial or massage can be a great go-to, there’s a whole range of unique options popping up on spa menus across the globe.
Here, we’ve highlighted four of these trendy treatments and a few of the upscale hotels and resorts offering them. Designed to reboot your body and relax your mind, these unique services are worth a try.
Adios, Jet Lag
At hotel spas, where visitors arrive from around the world, jet-lag packages help relax and rebalance the body while adjusting a guest’s internal clock. Many involve several components: a dry-brush-style body scrub, which helps shed dead skin cells; a sensory massage that uses essential oils to relax and rejuvenate; and/or a deeply penetrating facial to moisturize the complexion after air travel.
The 90-minute “Forget Jet Lag” experience from Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at The Bosphorus incorporates a body brushing, mask and wrap, followed by foot and scalp massages. The spa’s unique touch is the application of a jet-lag recovery tonic, formulated to invigorate.
Covered in Clay
There’s nothing as soothing as Mother Nature’s nutrients. Mud and clay are ideal for purifying and smoothing skin, unclogging pores and treating signs of aging. The vitamin- and mineral-rich substances are also popular for their ability to detoxify the body. Plus, they can easily be infused with beneficial boosters such as essential oils.
Clients at JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa are coated in indigenous Southwestern ingredients during the hourlong “Adobe Clay Purification Wrap.” The Native American-inspired ritual also includes a conditioning hair massage and the application of a juniper and sage oil moisturizer — all concluded with a relaxing sauna session.
Heavenly Head Space
Scalp treatments give tresses a treat and also put the recipient into deep relaxation. The muscles in our scalps are affected by everything from headaches to stress — even facial expressions can tighten them. Massaging the head releases that tension and helps oils and tonics penetrate hair follicles.
Head-massage options at Dheva Spa and Wellness Centre at Thailand’s Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai resort include the 80-minute “Shironasya,” geared toward those with sinus congestion, and the 50-minute “Shirobhyanga,” for help with concentration, circulation, insomnia and even vision problems.
Sticks and Stones
Hot stone massages have appeared on spa menus for ages, but the use of wooden sticks to penetrate muscles is a unique twist on tool-enhanced massages. Perfect for those seeking a deep-tissue treatment, bamboo and birch stalks can be used solo or in conjunction with heated stones (often basalt) to loosen sore, knotted muscles.
For guests craving deep relaxation, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., features a bamboo massage, during which warmed sticks are worked into the muscles for 50 minutes to increase circulation and soothe aching limbs.