Luxurious Winter Spa Treatments

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With the colder months upon us, what better way for travelers to warm up and replenish their dry skin than with enriching spa treatments. From a sugar polish in Hawaii to seasonal spa treatments found around the world, here are some of my top recommendations for luxury winter spa treatments:

Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay, Lana’i, HI

The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay recently unwrapped a new look earlier this year with the refurbishment of all treatment rooms and great room featuring a clean, contemporary design incorporating natural wood found throughout the islands materials reflecting the hues and tones found on Lanai, anchored by distinctive Hawaiian artwork. A new menu just launched last month highlights a number of Hawaiian influenced treatments as well as a new range of well-being sessions, including the Macadamia Sugar Polish, a body scrub of ground macadamia nuts, grown abundantly on the Hawaiian islands, blended with pure Hawaiian cane sugar. Dull skin is gently exfoliated, releasing a glow that is felt both inside and out. Then, complete the experience with a virgin coconut oil full-body massage. 80 minutes | $240.

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Chill Spa at Hotel Terra

The elegant, intimate Chill Spa floats six floors off the ground, on the top floor of Hotel Terra Jackson Hole.  Designed with crisp fresh colors and light airy textures, Chill Spa includes six treatment rooms with vaulted ceilings, including a couples treatment room with a picture window, a deep soaking Jacuzzi and gas fireplace. This winter, guests can enjoy these festive treatments to celebrate the holiday season.

Organic Cranberry & Chocolate Hydrating Body Wrap 50 Minutes/$140

Enjoy an a festive cranberry sugar scrub to kick winter skin and indulge with a hydrating chocolate wrap.

Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating Facial 80 Minutes $220

See anti-aging results with an enzymatic exfoliation and a natural peel featuring a powerful blend of arctic berries. Naturally-derived peptides finish the treatment with an illuminating glow!

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Solitude Spa at Teton Mountain Lodge

Named after one of Grand Teton National Park’s most spectacular high alpine lakes, Lake Solitude, Solitude Spa offers a great selection of experiential spa services to delight the mind, sooth the soul and enliven the spirit. With its tranquility lounge, steam showers, hot tubs and state-of-the-art fitness center, Solitude is a great place to indulge in their two winter exclusive spa treatments.

Solitude Spa is hosting a holiday celebration filled with champagne, complimentary skincare solutions featuring Naturopathica, giveaways, retail discounts, complimentary facility use, and Farm House Fresh Foot Massages on December 13 from 3:00pm – 6:00pm.

Gingerbread Body Scrub 45 Minutes $145

Your body will be treated to an intoxicating brown sugar polish to exfoliate and revive winter skin leaving the scent of gingersnap-bourbon behind.  The treatment is concluded with a thorough skin quenching house made product.

Vanilla Peppermint Mani Pedi Service

Enjoy a dreamy dip into a whole milk soak infused with chicory root and sweet almond oil followed by an invigorating vanilla peppermint salt scrub to buff away winter woes.  Once polished and smooth, enjoy a velvety buttercream shea butter massage finished with a color of your choice.

Manicure 45 Minutes $60

Pedicure 60 Minutes $8

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L’Auberge de Sedona – Sedona, AZ

Guests and spa lovers alike can warm up and ward off the winter blues with the Winter Blessings Body Scrub at L’Apothecary Spa, a newly designed space for hotel guests and Arizona visitors to blend their own custom body care products and experience spa treatments that draw upon the destination’s rich bounty of healing botanicals, fragrant herbs and flowers. With Orange Peel, Cedar Leaf, Cinnamon, Cloves and a choice of either Clove or Tangerine Essential Oil, the Winter Blessings Body Scrub will keep colds away with antiseptic properties as well as many antioxidants to help boost the immune system.

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Twin Farms – Barnard, Vermont

As the cold winter months approach,Twin Farms, the only five-star resort in Vermont, offers guests the perfect escape and spa treatment with a new Winter Wellness Package. Set amidst 300 acres of meadows and woodlands, the all-inclusive Relais & Chateaux property will provide guests who purchase this specialty package daily yoga classes, group hike/snowshoe trips, cooking demonstrations with award-winning Executive Chef Nathan Rich, breakfast juice bar and healthy in-room amenities. Twin Farms will be providing each guest who books the Winter Wellness package with a pair of “winter wellies,” complimentary Hunter Boots in their requested color (red, black, navy or green) and size in-room upon arrival to explore around the expansive property. Guests who reserve one of Twin Farms whimsical cottages tucked away in the property’s secluded woodlands can choose from a private yoga session or a Tata Harper facial in addition to the other wellness offerings. The Winter Wellness Package is offered during the following selected dates: (1/4-1/13, 2/1-2/10, 3/1-3/17). All-inclusive package rates start at $1,450/night.

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Paresa Resort – Phuket, Thailand

Paresa Resort, the hideaway-style luxury pool villa and pool suite resort perched on the cliffs of Kamala amongst a lush tropical forest in Phuket Thailand, is the perfect destination to reset the mind and body. Paresa boasts breathtaking views of the dramatic indigo Andaman sea, embracing the exclusivity of its natural surroundings. A world-class sanctuary inspired spa provides the ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation with unique and regionally-inspired experiences for ultimate restoration and purification of the senses. Paresa Resort offers a winter spa treatment, Dead Sea Salt Scrub, to remove the dead skin cells from the harsh winter climate to reveal younger looking, smooth skin and improve skin hydration by nourishing the skin with the essential minerals. The treatment lasts 45 minutes and is 2,300++THB.

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Half Moon– Montego Bay, Jamaica 

Half Moon is a 400-acre luxury resort located on Jamaica’s North Coast, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The resort features two miles of private, white-sand beach with 197 spacious rooms and suites. The AAA Four-Diamond resort has the only overwater bungalows in Jamaica; here, guests can get a couples massage looking out in to the ocean. It’s an incredible view and the sounds of the waves is really special.

The multi-award winning Fern Tree Spa, offers the perfect winter spa treatment, to hydrate and rejuvenate dry skin. The Coconut Milk and Honey Wrap uses intense hydrating coconut rich in vitamin E combined with the healing power of honey to nourish dry and chapped winter skin to leave skin with a healthy glow.

Individual Apple Crisp Recipe

Individual Apple Crisp

It is the holiday season and time for entertaining! I love sharing healthier holiday recipes that my guests and I won’t feel guilty indulging in this season. This Individual Apple Crisp recipe is one of those dessert recipes made with only a few ingredients and aspartame instead of regular sugar. It is great for kids, family and friends (everyone loves getting their own individual dessert) and is also so easy to make. I receive a lot of questions about aspartame and reduced calorie sweeteners. I started using it a few years when my father was diagnosed with diabetes. Aspartame and other no-, and low- and reduced calorie sweeteners are great for people trying to reduce their sugar intake and lose weight.

If you are curious about aspartame, it is a low-calorie sweetener used to sweeten a wide variety of low calorie foods and reduced calorie foods and beverages, including low-calorie tabletop sweeteners. Aspartame is composed of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, as the methyl ester. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine are also found naturally in protein containing foods, including meats, grains and dairy products. Methyl esters are also found naturally in many foods such as fruits and vegetable and their juices. Aspartame works well in cooking, but in recipes with lengthy heating or baking, a loss of sweetness can occur. It is still healthy, but it may come out less sweet. Aspartame works great in this recipe, and I used one packet of Equal sweetener for each individual serving. This post is sponsored by the Calorie Control Council, but all opinions are my own.

Here is a great chart that will help you substitute sweeteners in your cooking from About.com

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See below for a few more reasons why I like to use aspartame in cooking.

5 Benefits of Aspartame

1. Aspartame tastes like sugar and enhances and extends fruit flavors in foods and beverages.

2. Aspartame does not promote tooth decay.

3. Aspartame is an FDA-approved sweetening agent and is used in more than 100 countries and is the sweetener in over 6,000 food and beverage products.

4. Aspartame is helpful for those with diabetes and does does not affect short or long term blood sugar levels in diabetics.

5. Aspartame works well with weight control and can be part of a healthy diet. Researchers at Harvard Medical School concluded that aspartame “is a valuable adjunct to a comprehensive program of balanced diet, exercise and behavior modifications for losing weight.”

For more information see aspartame.org