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Destination Spas Offer Unique Services

It seems like everywhere you look lately there are day spas popping up to offer the busy and over-worked masses a chance to unwind and regroup. Day spas are becoming a regular sight at malls, airports and beauty salons and many are offering a unique array of services to attract locals and visitors alike.

No longer are women the target audience either. The trend today is to attract couples, teens, men and pregnant women. More spas also are offering group discounts as one of the marketing tools to attract these specific clients.

The latest trend for teens is to have a spa party. The Sea Spa at Loews Coronado Bay resort in San Diego, Calif., created a spa room specifically for teens. Designed by Pottery Barn teen, the room has surf boards, flowers and shaggy rugs instead of the more serene, plain walls found in the other rooms.

Pregnant women are discovering spa services just for them as well. Pregnancy packages include options like gentle yoga, massage, facials and pedicures. The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa offers a "Mommy-to-be" package that also offers a belly casts - a plaster gauze mask applied to the woman's belly - for expectant moms to display and decorate.

Many spas also are introducing local cultural influences to improve their services. These options include yoga, tai chi, shiatsu, Thai massage as well as other Asian and Indian practices involving relaxation, breathing and meditation. Examples include the "Manaka tapping treatment" at the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas, where guests enjoy this acupuncture-type treatment where pressure points are gently tapped with a wooden hammer and peg. The Wyndham Hotels and Resorts recently introduced a boutique spa called Sasura where clients enjoy a "sasura ritual, a Japanese-inspired process of renewal."

Natural local influences also can be found in spa offerings these days. Locally grown fruit is used in body wraps and facial masks. Spas located by the ocean can utilize sea water, seashells, sand, seaweed, sea salt and algae. Flowers and stones found in close proximity also can be ground up and used in masks and oils.


"Destination spas carving new niches." CNN.com, August 18, 2005.





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