The Water Ritual

August 4th, 2009
Spa La Costa

Spa La Costa

It’s summertime, so, naturally, I have water on my mind. Conserving water. Jumping in water. Drinking plenty of it. And long, warm baths.

Baths, of course, are few and far between these days. Not only because they don’t support an eco-responsible lifestyle, but they also require quiet time at home that I just don’t get till well past nine. When I can sneak away during the day, I try to make it to places like Blue Marble Spa, where their water ritual massage is ultra-nurturing. Blue Marble is also an eco-spa—San Diego’s first—so I can conserve and get pampered at the same time. It’s good for the conscience and the soul.

Rather than installing a traditional vichy shower, the folks at Blue Marble opted for a LEED-certified shower wand that delivers rain-like water while conserving it. The water massage ritual comes with an herbal cleansing and exfoliant and a deep-healing massage. I left feeling like I had taken a long nap in an aqua-massage bed—only with actual water touching my skin, which is never a bad thing, especially during the summer.

For more on the ritual, check out the review at

To get you back in the water, here’s a short list of other San Diego spas offering hydrotherapy:

Spa La Costa
Indochine Indulgence (100 min./$295)
The 100-minute version of our Signature Spa Voyage. Ingredients derived from areas surrounding the Indian Ocean. Start the voyage with a brown sugar and Dead Sea salt scrub followed by an Egyptian Milk bath. A soothing massage with Ayurvedic oils gives way to a body wrap of lotus.

Spa at the Four Seasons Resort Aviara
Water shiatsu (watsu)
This form of aquatic bodywork applies massage and stretching while you float in a heated pool. The water supports you, taking the weight off the vertebrae and allowing the spine to be moved in ways that are impossible on land. This treatment can be experienced in the second and third trimesters (12 to 40 weeks). 50 minutes – USD 170.00 | 80 minutes – USD 240.00

Spa at the Del
Hydroptherpay Soak
Muscles relax and stress melts away as you soak in a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy tub with chakra-balancing light therapy and signature bath salts. 30 minutes — $80.

Spa Aquazul at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel
Enriching Soaks
Aqua Vital ~ 50 min: $110
This intense and comprehensive treatment includes a dry brush exfoliation, hydro-soak, and customized full-body moisturizer application

Aqua Restore ~ 20 min: $45
A tranquilizing blue cocktail of sea minerals, seaside aromatherapy plant extracts, and moisturizing algae extracts assist in softening the skin and soothing the mind and muscles. Ideal for jet lag, sport strains, emotional stress, and general unwinding.

Aqua Detox ~ 20 min: $45
Steeping in a bath containing freeze-dried marine ingredients like seawater and seaweed, offers a profoundly therapeutic and detoxifying affect to the body. This soak will leave you detoxified, nourished, and rebalanced.

Gone Spa-ing: the new hip gift for dads

June 19th, 2009


I finally decided on my father’s day gift. No, he’s not getting the new iPhone. Not another digital camera either. Not even new sneaks for his next marathon. This year, I’m sending him to a spaaaaahhhhh.


Don’t get me wrong—I’m sure he’d love another high-tech toy. But these days, even 15 minutes of serenity are hard to come by, so I’m ensuring he gets a full two hours of it. No cell phone. No computer. No reminders. And no toddler running around. Just pure and simple bliss.


According to IbisWorld Industry Research, he will be one of many dads getting a spa gift this Father’s Day.  Unlike previous years, Father’s Day spending on home improvement gift cards and electronics will be down (28% and 21 % respectively), while sales of pampering services are expected to increase more than 35%.  It is the age of the “New Age” dad after all, and he’s faced with a shrinking economy, astronomical college tuition fees, pressure to reduce his—and the family’s—carbon footprint, and a house that’s not worth what it used to be…


The least we can do is give him a little peace of mind, rejuvenated muscles, and skin that looks like he doesn’t have a care in the world. And just so there aren’t any questions about his manliness, I booked a treatment called the “Iron Man.” I’m sure he’ll roll his eyes at first, but he’ll thank me for it later.


If you’ve procrastinated like me, there’s still time to book a Father’s Day spa escape. Here’s a sample of the packages you’ll find in San Diego:


Spa Velia, downtown

Dad’s Day Getaway: 50-min deep tissue massage, 25-min scalp massage, 25-min gentleman’s facial. $220.


Cinnabar Acupuncture Clinic & Spa, Rancho Bernardo

Athlete’s Renewal: For performance and recovery. Begin with a 60 min acupuncture treatment to balance the body and deeply relax the muscles. Followed by a 60 min sports massage. 120 minutes. $145.


For a list of other San Diego spa specials and day spa packages, check out 10 Father’s Day Spa Specials on

Spa Treatments for Less Than $100

June 15th, 2009


With all of us tightening our belts these days, the one question I’m constantly asked is “How can anyone afford to go to a spa?” And my response is almost always, how can you not? Sure, “spa” connotes images of luxury and pampering—the two things you’re supposed to sacrifice in this economy. But what if you changed you’re perception of “spa” to mean stress relief, injury prevention and skin resurfacing instead? Would you put down the $99 pair of sunglasses you’re about to buy and instead reserve a $65 facial? If you knew that massage helps improve your circulation, would you spend money on it rather than splurging on a calorie-packed dinner?


Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as much a fan of wine diners as I am massages. And what woman doesn’t need another pair of sunglasses to round out her wardrobe? But the more I delve into the spa lifestyle of spa owners, entrepreneurs and athletes, the more I realize that spa-ing is by no means a luxury—it is a necessary, preventative measure that can improve your well being, especially in times like this.


And you don’t even have to spend more than $100 to spa. From salon spas to day spas to resort spas in San Diego (and nationwide for that matter), you can find special promotions and mini-treatments that will get you in the door for less than you might think—and you’ll even have access to a steam room or whirlpool tub. Here’s a list to get you started. You can also check out our spa deals & discounts for more, and don’t forget the great deals you can get at spa happy hours, listed on our spa events page.


“Quickies” at Rock Spa, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

Vital Leg Detoxifying: A stimulating mask and massage for the legs. Increases circulation and restores energy to tired and fatigued legs. 25 minutes. $75

Express Yourself: Personalized mini-revival facial which includes a cleanser, mask and moisturizer. 25 minutes. $65

Rejuvenate: head, neck and shoulder. 25 minutes. $65


The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn’s “Short & Sweet Spa”

Made to Order Facial: 20 minutes. $70

Back of Body Massage: 20 minutes. $75

Swedish Foot Massage: 20 minutes. $70


Mini-treatment at La Jolla Spa MD

Lime and Ginger Salt Glow Scrub: 30 minutes. $85


The Catamaran Spa’s June Promotion

Cucumber Green Tea Cold Stone Facial: 50 minutes $100


Rock Spa luxury day spa at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

Rock Spa luxury day spa at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

The Group Facial

May 5th, 2009

I’ve heard of group sex, but a group facial? I recently attended one, and I must say, it is an efficient way to rejuvenate your skin in the midst of a hectic work week. Sure, it’s not as luxuriously pampering as an hour-long facial that includes a shoulder rub and scalp massage. But it doesn’t include the unpleasant extractions either.

In just 30 minutes and for a mere $30, layers of dead skin cells were removed from my face, leaving me with supple, dewy skin and a mid-week glow. Instead of small talk to fill in the silence with someone I hardly knew, we talked shop: the percentage of glycolic acid being applied, the benefits of using a daily cleanser with 3% glycolic, and the importance of broad spectrum sunblock even with the use of my tinted Bobby Brown moisturizer. And I still had time to meet my friends for cocktails.

Skin Authority, a San Diego-based skincare lifestyle company whose initial products were designed for cosmetic surgeons, has launched these social skincare events—they call them “Skin Revival” sessions—to introduce spa clients to their at-home skincare line. I attended the event at Spa Terre at Paradise Point Resort in Mission Bay. Smartly so, they provided wine, cheese and crackers to a group of mostly women, and a few wise men interested in improving their skin. We were given a brief yet insightful intro by Skin Authority trainer Linda Nelson. Then, we dispersed to “mini facial stations” along banquet tables, with one chair for sitting on, another for propping our feet up, and towels and other tools for each therapist. The skin rejuvenating facial included a 35% purely unbuffered glycolic peel, an antioxident-rich eye brightener, an SPF 30 broad spectrum moisturizer, and serums of vitamin C and A.

I left my first group facial looking better than I did when I got there. And I was inspired to maintain the youthful look with a proper regimen at home. And so began my use of Skin Authority’s Youthful Skin kit. Four steps at night and three in the morning–very easy. Stay tuned for an update on my skin…

And if you’re interested in jump-starting your skincare program, sign up for the next Spring Revival, Wednesday April 29th at Rock Spa at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego.