See how these spas are localizing their menus
Using local ingredients has long been a staple of the spa industry. But more spas are finding additional ways to tap into what is truly unique about their region to create specialty treatments that best represent their state. It’s not just a great way to support your local vendors, but also a way to capture the essence of the area to give your clients another reason to come back. From using the seacoast roses of Maine to the mist of the Hawaiian Islands, we go coast to coast to find five spas that have crafted treatments that honor and celebrate their regions.
Arguably, one of the best places in the country to experience all four seasons is New England. Because of that, The Spa at Cliff House in Cape Neddick, Maine has created a Seasonal Salt of the Sea (50 min, $170, 80 min, $235) menu using elements specific to Spring, Summer, Late Summer (a.k.a., Indian Summer), Autumn, and Winter. “Different variations of techniques and massage strokes are used to align the body with the specific season and custom blends of essential oils are chosen for treatment depending on the season,” says Director of Spa Dinara Lewis.
For example, the winter experience celebrates the Winter Solstice, which marks the beginning of the season of rest and replenishment and is identified with the element of water. “Water is the circulatory system of the earth and is associated with going inward, cleaning, time to reflect, and detox. So we have thoughtfully created a treatment that supports these essential needs for the body and mind throughout the season,” she says.
The massage starts with an inhouse scrub blend using local sea salt, local seacoast roses, lavender, and coconut oil to invigorate the skin and encourage blood flow, followed by breathing in the seasonal oil (ginger root, clove, cardamom, and sweet orange) to encourage the nasal passages to reopen. “Then, using hand-carved hot salt stones, the massage therapist focuses on kidney and bladder meridians, adding reflexology to kidney and bladder points to stimulate the detoxification process that is so important during the winter season,” she explains.
Going with the water theme, among the key ingredients for the massage oil are Atlantic Ocean marine extracts such as laminaria digitata extract (oarweed), an algae that acts as a natural antioxidant, and ulva denestrata (sea lettuce), which has a detoxifying effect.
The treatment concludes with a Tibetan bowl placed on the guest’s back to balance the upper and lower chakras while letting it reverberate and ground the guest.
Peaches are a true symbol of Georgia, also known as The Peach State. Waldorf Astoria Spa at Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia honors this favored fruit with the Peachtree Indulgence (110 min, $290 on weekdays and $325 on weekends), a serene journey aimed to restore the body’s balance. “We tap into local influences wherever we can. Offering a signature spa treatment that celebrates our state’s prized peach is one way in which we do this,” says General Manager Stephane Mercier.
Peachtree Indulgence kicks off with a dry body brush to soften the skin, followed by a sea salt scrub infused with sweet almond oil for hydration. The massage therapist uses a warm peach oil, crafted in-house, for the customized massage, concluding with a hair and scalp massage to soothe and quiet the mind.
Of course, the sweet peach aroma is both relaxing and uplifting, but the peach has other purposes. “Peaches contain a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, which aid in the health and condition of the skin,” explains Mercier.
It’s hard not to think of Arizona without an image of its famed red clay landscape. The Sedona mud used in the Down to Earth and Sea Body Detox (135 min, $330) at the CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa in Carefree, Arizona is a Southwest (adobe) red clay. It is rich in minerals and trace elements that help draw toxins, neutralize free radicals, and high in magnesium to soothe sore muscles.
The treatment consists of a layered body wrap, full body massage, and nourishing scalp treatment. First up is a full-body exfoliation using a dry brush mitt followed by a rhythmic application of a rosemary and ginger exfoliation. The seaweed application follows. “Seaweed provides a powerhouse of nutrition, helps promote elimination, and oxygenates the tissue,” says Lead Esthetician and Spa Treatment Supervisor Briana Richardson.
Next up is the mud. “Red clay is an effective and natural way to stimulate circulation, and soften, tone, and purify the skin and body. It basically replenishes the good and takes away the bad. The mud is enriched with cardamom, clove, cinnamon, and orange, which aid in increasing circulation, is purifying, toning, rich in antioxidants, antibacterial, and specifically beneficial for digestive concerns and inflammation,” she adds.
THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
Spa Anjali at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon, Colorado, focuses on three healing traditions of various mountain regions – the local Rocky Mountains, as well as the distant Alps and Himalayas. “The Rocky Mountain Journey treatments are inspired by the natural beauty of the Vail Valley and the healing traditions of the Native Americans who gathered indigenous herbs to soothe the mind, body, and spirit,” explains Spa Manager Allison Lomax.
Ponderosa Pine Therapy (75-min, $195) is a body treatment featuring a moist, heated poultice of pine, lavender, and sage, and compression on the body. Light stretching, combined with targeted deep tissue massage, is incorporated throughout the session. “Steaming the poultice allows the natural essential oils of the herbs to be released and absorbed into the body. The healing benefit of pine, lavender, and sage synergistically combined promotes relaxation, increases circulation and cleanses, nourishes and detoxifies the body naturally,” says Lomax.
Pine trees are a symbol of longevity and wisdom to many Native American tribes. “This sacred tree is used in Native American ceremonies to bring harmony together with nature. The stimulating and unique aroma of pine helps alleviate inflammation, soothes pain, boosts the immune system, and clears congestion,” she adds.
CALIFORNIAN WINE COUNTRY
Nestled within the vineyards of a winery, Sense, A Rosewood Spa at Rosewood CordeValle in San Martin, California, combines local wine with roses from their garden to create the anti-aging and hydrating, Wine & Rose Facial (90 min, $240). “This appeals to guests who are seeking a unique spa experience that really immerses them in the destination,” says Spa Director Michelle Christensen.
The facial features red wine, which has anti-aging properties from resveratrol – an antioxidant that fights free radicals coming from pollution and sun exposure. “The antioxidants in wine can restore collagen and skin elasticity, having visible benefits for wrinkles and fine lines. They also help protect your skin’s natural barrier, bolstering protection against UV rays, can improve complexion by evening out skin tone, reduce inflammation, and fight/prevent acne due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties,” she explains.
As for the roses part of the treatment, rosewater is used, providing significant hydration to the skin. “Not only does rosewater provide an unparalleled hydration level, but it also adds a lovely aroma to the treatment,” she adds.
THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
To truly tap into Hawaii’s natural resources, the spa menu was devel oped by Hawaii Rainforest Naturals’ co-founder and Hawaiian cultural practitioner Melia Goodenow. Manoa Mist (80 min, $215) at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, is inspired by the upland forests of Mānoa, where mists blow down onto Waikiki.
The revitalizing experience includes a full-body organic sugar scrub, Lomi Lomi (a Hawaiian massage technique using the forearm to deliver long, soothing strokes), and a gentle mist to awaken the senses. It features the healing Olena, which is Hawaiian’s variety of turmeric and the native lehua blossoms. “Olena encourages vitality and rejuvenation of the body and is believed to contain antioxidants and healing properties. Our sugar scrub is crafted using wild Lehua blossom honey, leaving skin smooth and fullynourished,” says Director of Sales and Marketing Sandy Narvaez.
The combination of oil and massage releases toxins and stress within the body resulting in a feeling of rejuvenation and increased energy. “The connection with our land is sealed through a mist inspired by Manoa Valley. The mist is a specialized blend from Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals that combines wild lehua, azalea, and bamboo orchid flower essences and completes the experience by releasing emotional tension,” adds Narvaez.