Subdue the stresses of a modern world by including spa and wellness options in your family vacation. Here are five ideas to consider:
1. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Bali
For the most peaceful snooze of your life, opt for the Sacred Nap, offered in an open-air setting within this jungle resort’s Sacred River Spa. Designed by on-site wellness mentor Ibu Fera, the experience was inspired by rocking her own baby to sleep. Simulating the batik sling used by Balinese mothers, guests relax into aerial silk hammocks, most commonly used for anti-gravity yoga. Fera visits each participant, gently nudging the hammocks into a rocking motion, before quietly telling the life story of Buddha, chanting mantras and adding the soothing sound of the singing bowl for more sacred energy. Most fall asleep within their cozy cocoon before her story ends. Fera also works with guests to create individual wellness programs, sharing techniques for living mindfully and with a loving heart, some of which she learned during seven years as a Buddhist nun.
2. Pronghorn Resort, Bend, Oregon
Set amid ancient juniper groves in Central Oregon’s high desert, this resort, near Bend, a mecca for outdoor lovers, offers multiple ways to pursue your wellness goals. Spend a day at the full-service spa, sampling restorative services. Take a meditative approach to a round of golf on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, or ponder the meaning of darkness during a tour of the on-property cave. Visit the wellness teepee for yoga classes; music-enhanced, guided meditations; crystal guidance workshops and herbal tastings. Stay in vacation rentals or the newly opened 104-room Huntington Lodge where panoramic views of the Cascade Range will take your breath away.
3. The Lodge at Vail, Vail, Colorado
For a unique, whole body experience, climb into the Dream Pod Float Tank at the Rock Resort spa tucked within this slopeside hideaway. Designed as an alternative or complement to a massage, you’ll step into the womblike environment where the water is heated to skin temperature. Thanks to a hefty amount of Epsom salt, you’ll easily float and quickly relax, without the usual sound, light and other distractions that keep us focused outwardly. Floaters report a deep sense of relaxation after the zenlike treatment. Committed to an ecoconscious approach, the spa also offers indigenous massages and wraps, facials and other treatments using organic ingredients.
4. Acqualina Resort, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
A one-of-kind wellness experience, the Acqualina Spa by ESPA’s Sound Care Ritual treatment blends the therapeutic powers of music and massage. The relaxing journey begins with a foot massage during which guests review music choices via an iPad and custom, sound-blocking headphones. Options include original music compositions from classical and New Age to Latin and reggae as well as the natural sounds of the ocean or rainforests. The French-based music application is reported to provide natural calm and aid with sleep disorders, stress and anxiety. Later, build sand castles on the beach or relax aside one of three oceanfront swimming pools.
5. Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, Arizona
Choose from the Jet Set Crowd menu to sample treatments that will transcend your location and provide an international flavor to the spa experience. Envelop yourself in the Helsinki Nature treatment during which guests benefit from a mist of cloud milk, white peat exfoliant and a wild-harvested Arctic berry wrap reported to replenish the skin. Try out a Turkish Hammam experience sure to cleanse, exfoliate, mist and massage, or go for a soothing Hawaiian-style Lomi Lomi massage. Make time to visit the hotel’s hip OH pool, surrounded by colorful chaise lounges. Consider an on-site walking tour to learn about the hotel’s Hollywood history and its iconic midcentury modern design.
Lynn O’Rourke Hayes (www.LOHayes.com) is an author and family travel expert. Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook or via FamilyTravel.com.
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