December 2009

Paradise Found!

Author: Linda S. Hopkins

Nobody said life on earth would be easy. Some days, it seems that the very air here is charged with invisible stress ions that stretch our patience, tense our necks, wrinkle our faces and ravage our bodies. Have you ever just wanted to stop the world and get off? Now you can, at the Heavenly Spa by Westin, an 8,000-sq. ft. unspoiled Eden, where you can trade your troubles for a ticket to paradise.

Rapture begins when you pull up to the front of the Westin Hotel and Spa, and a sharp-dressed man (a.k.a. valet parking attendant) sets you on the path to peace in exchange for your car keys. He won’t guide you down streets of gold or open the pearly gates, but you’ll know you’ve been living right the moment you enter the reception lobby of the Heavenly Spa. As calming colors, subtle scents and serene sounds envelope you, add the sweetness of a white tea and blueberry elixir (the signature welcoming beverage), and the world as you know it begins to fade.

Upon check in, you’ll be escorted to the locker room where a cozy robe invites you to let out an unrestricted sigh of relief. While you are waiting for your first treatment (and in between services) you can choose to relax in the lounge where cushy chairs, soft lights and candle displays set the scene for reading, journaling or daydreaming. Or, you may prefer to melt your cares away (along with any aches or pains) in the steam room, sauna or whirlpool. (Hint: arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment time to take full advantage of the amenities.)

At your scheduled appointment time, if you booked a facial, massage or other body service, a staff member will lead you to a tranquil treatment room, lightly scented with signature aromatherapy blends, equipped with a luxurious padded spa table, dressed in plush, Comphy™ brand linens for the ultimate in softness and comfort. Slip between the covers and wait for the ringing in your ears. It’s not the death knell. It’s your technician softly signaling the beginning of harmony and relaxation. You’ll hear the chime again at the end of your treatment—a gentle way to return to consciousness after a blissful escape to the twilight zone.

The heavenly difference
Great care has been taken to ensure that you reign supreme at Heavenly Spa by Westin. From the warm, cloud-like spa tables with custom-designed face cradles to the music selection, lighting and sumptuous products, the intent is to engage all five senses from the moment you arrive and throughout your visit.

But Heavenly Spa by Westin takes it a step further by including the emotional sense. Inside each treatment room is a hand-woven sweetgrass basket, known as “the burden basket.” The technician will invite you to deposit your troubles there. Once you have done so, he or she will hang the basket outside the door. “It’s symbolic, but it is a powerful ritual, allowing you to leave the stresses of everyday life behind,” said Spa Director, Brandi Byrd-Lavertu.

Further setting the spa apart is the personalized approach to services. “We recognize that our guests have different needs and different states of mind,” said Byrd-Lavertu. “For instance, the mother of a bride has very different needs from her spa visit compared to the couple celebrating their honeymoon, just as a woman traveling alone on business may have different expectations than the sisters on a girls’ getaway. As part of the service of booking a spa appointment, we ask our guests how they would like to feel after their service. Of course, relaxation is part of it, but a spa experience can and should be so much more. It is our job to determine how to do that for each individual.”

The first Heavenly Spa by Westin to be opened in the Continental U.S., the Hilton Head Island facility is located at the Westin Hotel and Spa, 2 Grasslawn Ave., inside Port Royal Plantation. Equipped with nine treatment rooms (including a couples’ treatment room with whirlpool tub), four manicure stations, four pedicure stations, women’s and coed relaxation lounges and full locker room facilities as well as full-service hair salon and makeup services, this is your one-stop source for beauty, serenity and self-care. In addition to a broad range of traditional spa services, signature treatments include locally inspired services based on sweetgrass and the vibrational energy of the color indigo. (For a full list and descriptions, download the spa menu at www.hiltonheadheavenlyspa.com.) Packages are offered for bridal parties, bachelorette spa days, holiday parties, afternoon tea and spa, children’s parties, corporate/work spa events and other customized events. Gift cards are available for individual services, packages or a predetermined denomination.

If you’re not quite ready to meet your maker, but you want a little preview of what’s to come, visit the Heavenly Spa by Westin. You may just decide this is close enough for now. Look for discount coupons in this and every issue of CH2. For reservations, call (843) 681-1019.

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Touched by an Angel

I recently had the good fortune to spend the day at the Heavenly Spa by Westin where I was treated to three fabulous services: a Heavenly Massage, Sand and Sea Pedicure and Beyond Botox facial. Each technician was an angel, each service divine and the whole experience out of this world, but the treatment which stood out most was the facial, for two reasons: relaxation and results.

The facial began with a thorough cleansing using the new *Clarisonic brush technology. (So good, I have asked Santa to drop one down my chimney on Christmas morning.) The product line used throughout was B. Kamins, incorporating procedures recommended by the skincare founders, based on the hit lifestyle book, Beyond Botox: Seven Strategies for Sexy, Ageless Skin without Needles or Surgery.

The massage element of this facial, which included face, neck, scalp, arms and hands, was one of the most complete and relaxing I have ever experienced, the masque a tingly delight and the moisturizers lightweight yet oh, so effective. Results? Softer, smoother skin, less visible lines and wrinkles, and a near comatose state of mind. If this is a preview of heaven, I can’t wait to get there. Thank you, Rebecca Sisler (esthetician) and Heavenly Spa by Westin!

Available for sale at the Heavenly Spa by Westin along with a complete line of facial and body products for your indulgence at home. Popular product lines
include Astara Biogenic Skincare, B.Kamins, Bumble and Bumble,
Colorescience [comfort zone], Lavender Sonoma, NuFace, Signature
Sweetgrass Surrender and Whitescience.

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