4 Spectacular Spas and Holiday Specials

Spa anyone? Spa and wellness is on my mind any time of the year. If you’re in to travel and spa, check out these top spas and their wish lists with spa holiday specials and treatments featuring Amala natural and organic skin care. Which one looks best to you?

 The Spa at Four Seasons Toronto, home to the largest luxury day spa in Toronto, is offering guests the ideal opportunity to start the New Year off on the right foot with a spa retreat to its luxurious urban oasis. Guests can embrace 2014 with a package deal including a 60-minute aromatherapy massage with an exclusive hemp seed back scrub; a 60-minute Advanced Firming Facial featuring Amala; and a glass of Champagne. In addition guests will receive a complimentary gift from Amala featuring its Rejuvenating Cleansing Milk and Rejuvenating Face Polish, and access to the Spa’s amenities, including steam rooms, a sunlit indoor relaxation pool, and co-ed whirlpool. See www.fourseasons.com/toronto or call (416) 964-0411 for more information

 The Dolder Grand, in Zurich, Switzerland, invites guests to escape to a European winter wonderland for a Spa Retreat featuring the best in luxury world-class service. Starting at just $3,843 and available for travel through Dec. 30, 2013, the Spa Retreat at the Dolder Grand includes three nights’ accommodations for two; Garden Breakfast daily; a three- course dinner in the Garden Restaurant (excluding beverages); one after-dinner drink in the Bar; a 60-minute Nature’s Organic Firming Facial featuring Amala; a 90-minute Body Ritual of guest’s choice; a 90-minute Classic Pedicure by Kerstin Florian including nail polish for her; 90-minute Bamboo Shiatsu; and use of the Dolder Grand Spa facilities. For more information visit www.thedoldergrand.com or call +41 44 456 60 00.

 The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental New York welcomes hotel guests and busy New Yorkers to escape the holiday hustle and bustle to detoxify the body, replenish the skin, and clear the mind with an 80-minute Warmth & Wellnesstreatment. This three-part holistic body treatment begins with a sea-salt-and-crushed-olive-stone body polish, followed by a detoxifying clay body mask and chakra energy work. It ends with a full-body massage and application of Amala’s organic Mediterranean Myrtle, fig, and olive body butter. For more information contact The Spa at (212) 805-8880.

  The Spa at Four Seasons Whistler, nestled at the foot of the Blackcomb side of Whistler’s twin giants, marries rustic mountain charm with modern European elegance. Guests and local residents alike are invited to step out of the cold and into the Spa’s cozy sanctuary for a Holly & Spice Warming Massage featuring Amala. Available Dec. 20 – Jan. 3, 2014, this 50-minute relaxing massage incorporates Amala’s organic warming essential oils for a treatment that will leave the skin hydrated and nourished. For more information on the Spa at Four Seasons Whistler’s Holly & Spice Warming Massage or its other Winter Wonderland Specials visit www.fourseasons.com/whister or call (604) 935-3400.

Largest Macaron Christmas Tree in the World

Who wants to go to Paris? Now is a better time than ever!  InterContinental Paris – Le Grand has partnered with one of the world’s most renowned names in pastries to create the largest macaron Christmas tree in the world for a holiday season experience like never before. In collaboration with Ladurée, InterContinental Paris – Le Grand is hosting a record-breaking creation made up of 8,000 brightly-colored macarons piled nearly 14 feet high. 27 other Ladurée macaron trees of various sizes will echo the joyous strains throughout the hotel through January 6, 2014. OMG, right?

 

The spectacular creation takes its cue from the Paris Carnival which, after crossing the capital, concludes at the Place de l’Opéra. The tree is particularly reminiscent of carnival time with its bold Harlequin’s colors of green, yellow, black, blue and red with a touch of silver, along with a stately Elizabethan ruffle collar. The smaller, monochrome trees deck the hotel in tones of rose, lavender, orange and melon. Ladurée’s team of 50 spent two weeks on the creation plus one night of set-up at the hotel. This Christmas tree display marks 150 years of shared history between the hotel and Ladurée as both began in 1862. AMAZING!

With floodlit views of the Opera House, this superbly renovated InterContinental Paris – Le Grand is at the heart of Parisian society. The hotel defines historical grandeur, with elegantly appointed boutique-style suites overlooking the city’s stunning landmarks. Located in the ninth arrondissement, close to the Louvre Museum, shopping, theatre and banking districts, the hotel is ideally situated to enjoy all that the City of Light has to offer. Paris is on my bucket list, and I have never been to France. Is this completely fabulous??

 

Where to go for Christmas Vacation

It’s December 11th. I know. Almost Christmas…BUT, people are still asking me where to go for Christmas vacation. I can’t believe it!  I have a wonderful idea. How about Aspen? I have recently stumbled upon this: The St. Regis Aspen Resort is celebrating the season with commemorative feasts, family-friendly fun, and a new menu of seasonal Family Traditions experiences.

Check out these Holiday Events:

The week of Thanksgiving, The St. Regis Aspen unveiled a gingerbread replica of the hotel. This stunning piece, made 100 lbs. of gingerbread dough, and 50 lbs. of flour, over the course of 250 hours, is on display in the lobby during the festive season. Super cool!

Christmas Day brunch is offered at Trecento Quindici Decano, featuring chef attended carving and culinary stations. Children enjoy a special appearance by Santa from 12pm-5pm.

 

Holiday Activities Include: 

December 15, 2013—March 31, 2014: S’mores cookouts in the courtyard, available nightly from 7pm to 8pm exclusively for children; adults can enjoy s’mores from 9pm to 12am in Shadow Mountain Lounge.

 December 20: Carriage ride with Santa Claus will depart from The St. Regis from 2:40-5pm.

December 21: Holiday ornament decorating 3pm to 5pm in the Aspen Room.

December 22: Holiday stocking decorating from 3pm to 5pm in the Aspen Room.

December 23: Gingerbread House decorating with The St. Regis Pastry Chef in the Aspen Room from 3pm-5pm.

December 24: A special reading of the classic “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Santa Claus, followed by holiday photographs with Santa in the library from 3pm to 5pm.

December 26: Gingerbread cookie decorating in the Aspen Room from 4pm to 6pm.

December 27: Join Elk Mountain Rescue Dogs and Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteers and learn how these talented individuals are saving lives through backcountry rescue in the library from 5:30-7:30.

Reservations are highly recommended for all activities 970.429.7373

Family Traditions:

The St. Regis Aspen’s new winter Family Traditions program features a variety of interactive holiday activities to engage children and parents alike, and three seasonal family-friendly “experience” packages, comprised of captivating outdoor adventures in the breathtaking beauty of the Colorado wilderness. Activities include:

Snowmobile Tour: Enjoy an exhilarating two-hour snowmobile adventure led by expert guides to the base of the renowned Maroon Bells, some of North America’s most photographed mountains. Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or cider at the picturesque Maroon Lake, and then explore miles of groomed trails. 

Dog Sled Tour: Embark on an exciting two-hour dog sled ride through the scenic Aspen Snowmass Wilderness, featuring sleds pulled by 13 Alaskan snow dogs and guided by an expert musher.

Hot Air Balloon Tour: Soar high above Aspen at sunrise in a colorful hot air balloon, experiencing breathtaking views of the captivating Roaring Fork Valley, with a champagne toast and pastries enjoyed in the clouds. Available through the end of the winter season, The St. Regis Aspen’s Family Tradition Experiences are completely customizable and can be booked through The St. Regis Aspen Concierge with advance notice of 24 hours.

To learn more about family traditions and all holiday activities and festivities at The St. Regis Aspen, please call 970.920.3300 or visit The St. Regis Aspen Resort. I am headed there in January. How about you?

 

7 Accessorizing Tips to Decorate Your Home

I am changing gears for this Friday. How about a little lifestyle and decorating? If you like to keep your home looking fresh, but don’t have the money or time to completely redecorate at the moment, you could get a new look just by updating your accessories. This will save you time, money and hassle, and it can achieve excellent results. Here are 7 accessorizing tips to decorate your home this summer.

1. Change with the seasons

It’s important that your interior design reflects what’s going on outside. Dark hues and lots of wood aren’t going to look particularly current if it’s the height of summer. Try changing your fabrics, ornaments and other objects with the seasons. This gives the home a fresh look.

2. Use the rug as a focal point

An area rug is a fantastic addition to any living or dining room as it creates the perfect starting point for your interior design. It’s worth investing in a good quality rug as it will last for many years. Use the colors in your rug to choose a color scheme for the room.

3Use pillows

Whether you call them pillows or cushions, they are the ideal accessory for any sofa or bed. They are a fantastic way to experiment with different colors and find unique combinations that make your room look extra special. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colors, sizes and textures.

 4Select your favorite items

Pick your favorite things in your home and make the most of those instead of using miscellaneous accessories that you don’t absolutely love.

5. Good things come in threes

A really great way to design your interior is to use multiple accessories. If there’s a particular piece that you love, use it three times in the same space. This will create a bold statement and make it look all the more impressive.

6. Use art to your advantage

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, so if you spot some art that you like, display it with pride.

7. Dress your tables

You might have a beautifully decorated dining room, but if you’re greeted by an empty dining table, it always makes it seem a little dull. Don’t be scared of dressing your dining table when it’s not in use. Bold, colorful napkins and accessories will ensure it’s a worthy focal point and make a world of difference to the overall look of the room.

If you’re looking for accessories to improve or enhance your home, visit bettaliving.co.uk for more fantastic ideas. Also, see my favorite home decor magazine Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine. Sign up for their weekly newsletter and enjoy the beset interior content you can find. Thank you Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles for allowing me to use this photo.