Where to go when you want to relax...and get results.
STYLE ME PRETTY LONDON If you like your luxury sleek, sophisticated and preferably dressed in black, consider the Bulgari Hotel your new happy place. This beacon of subdued style is decked out in sapele-mahogany wood and modern silver accents, with connections to the iconic house everywhere: Table lamps are replicas of traditional Bulgari candlesticks, the private bar is adorned with photos of celebrities from Hollywood’s golden age, wearing the Italian brand’s jewels, and silk curtains in the guest rooms are woven with the pattern of a brooch made by founder Sotirio Bulgari.
Impressive decor and well-dressed staff are obvious areas in which to push the luxe envelope, but the Bulgari truly excels in its approach to wellness. Bodyism, the hotel’s gym, has a savvy yet holistic approach to fitness. It offers targeted programs specializing in sculpting lean, lithe bodies and is used by models like Lara Stone and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
If expending energy to look beautiful is (understandably) too much work for you, book in at the pinch-me-plush spa. The Contour & Firm Body Treatment helps send cellulite along its squidgy way by using a combination of warm and iced mittens to exfoliate skin, followed by a detoxifying body wrap to help further flush out toxins and improve skin texture. Next, a lymphatic-drainage massage wrings the last possible bit of bloat out of existence. Your best post- treatment pre- jewelleryshopping option: Lounge by the gold-Muranotiled pool with a glass of bubbly and a smug smile on your face. VANESSA CRAFT h
THE HOUSE SPECIAL REMÈDE SPA AT THE ST. REGIS BAHIA BEACH RESORT, RIO GRANDE, PUERTO RICO Set in a pristine private bay at the base of El Yunque National Forest, Remède Spa radiates luxe tranquility. Inside, the space feels—and functions—like a posh hotel in Manhattan, flush with thoughtful accoutrements (contact-lens cases, Phyto hairspray), a plunge pool and sauna circuit. Highlight The Spa Without Walls program allows you to experience treatments under a canopy staked in the sand. Try the Encanto Rum Massage, which uses massage oil blended with the indigenous Isla del Encanto rum. You can chase your massage with a poolside pedicure (and complement it with a local-rum cocktail). Relaxation verdict It revives mind, body and soul. Must-do After a treatment, head to Remède’s sleek, modern showers and use its stellar house line, Laboratoire Remède. The star product—Laboratoire Remède Complete Repair Conditioner—feels like the most expensive serum-infused conditioning mask to ever rein in frizz and leave hair shiny. KATHERINE FLEMMING HOME SWEET HAMMAM THE ÇIRAGAN PALACE KEMPINSKI SPA, ISTANBUL The classically elegant Sanitas spa is a mecca of pristine-white marble and perfects the balance between old- and new-school Turkish hammam therapies. In the summer months, have your experience in one of the special podlike stations set in the hotel’s private gardens with the famous Bosphorus Strait as your backdrop. Highlight The Sehrazat Hammam Treatment starts with a hot sauna or steam to soften the skin before your therapist, wearing exfoliating mitts, vigorously scrubs your body. (Kiss that layer of winter skin goodbye.) Next, a cleanse/massage is performed with a high-foam, frothy soap-filled sponge. After the sensations subside, it’s time to wrap yourself in a long, thin body cloth—a peshtamal—and lie down on the relaxing, muscle-melting hot-marble bed to rest (and most likely snore). Relaxation verdict Invigorating and stimulating in the best possible way. Must-do Lose your inhibitions: Get used to being in your birthday suit; it’s the norm (though disposable underwear is available), and it’s easier for the technicians to work if you’re au naturel. CHANIZE THORPEh
WAILEA, MAUI, HAWAII This huge haven of aloha is the biggest spa in Hawaii and has 40 luxury treatment rooms spread over 4,645 square metres. The laundry list of therapies leaves no hot stone unturned, with options like a Volcanic Ash Body Treatment or chocolate-coconut massages for keikis (kids) offered in a Malama Ka ’Ohana (family) spa suite. Highlight No matter which treatment you are having, you are encouraged to arrive an hour early to indulge in the complimentary Termé Hydrotherapy Circuit: a prepampering maze of Swiss jet showers, cascading waterfalls and hot and cold plunge pools. Relaxation verdict Haute Zen. Even during a scrub there’s a risk that you’ll fall asleep, thanks to hypnotizing ukulele tunes and the therapist’s rhythmic massaging hand strokes. Must-do Get scrubbed. The spa’s new treatments, like the Maui Sugar Cane Exfoliation and the Kokoleka Truffle Body Cocoon, are deliciously fragrant—you’ll smell like fresh-baked cookies. There are also options to try a bath with one of five different sea salts (blended with indigenous minerals, herbs and spices) that capture the vibe of each Hawaiian island. Get ready to glow. C.T. HIGH- TECH SKIN SMOOTHIES BABOR BEAUTY SPA, CALGARY This new futuristic white-and-silver-clad gem of a spa in Calgary’s downtown Mission District is Babor’s first and only in Canada. (The company founder, Michael Babor, is a German biochemist and anti-aging guru.) With only three treatment rooms, it feels like you’re entering your own private spaceship spa pod. Destination? Beautiful skin. Highlight The high-tech yet naturally sourced products. Treatments feature specialized ingredients, like the pink Saskatchewan mineral salts in the Aktiv Peeling + Body Cocoon. The brand’s latest product, Doctor Babor Derma Cellular Ultimate A16 Booster Concentrate, uses the active ingredient Retinew. Extracted from the seeds of the moth bean, Retinew is 16 times more concentrated than retinol. Relaxation verdict Never-ending body bliss—one gel mask, skin serum, lymphatic massage and hot-and-cold lava stone after another. Must-do The Vital Detox Therapy. This 50-minute facial treatment packs a cellular regenerating punch. It’s worth it just for the final mask: a thick, cool mintygreen gel that helps coax vitamins and minerals deeper into your skin. Think a next-generation green-juice smoothie...for your face. CHRISTINA REYNOLDS ■
This sketch is a “quickie.” I am only supposed to spend a few minutes drawing the basics of what I see, without removing my pen from the paper. I’m not sure if it really captures my essence, but it’s a good exercise in relinquishing control and following one’s instincts. Not being able to go back and erase and revise my mistakes is somewhat terrifying, but as a consummate perfectionist, this is a lesson I need to learn. I actually find this to be the most relaxing sketch to create; I realize that I am enjoying the process instead of concentrating on trying to make it “good.” h
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH For one assignment, I am supposed to sketch a building, so I choose the somewhat uninspiring apartment building across the street from my home. I’ve looked at this building numerous times, every day, for four years. But I’ve never really seen it. FAMILY PORTRAITS I do a fast watercolour sketch of my menorah and then go back and slowly add the details with a pen. Danny Gregory, the co-founder of Sketchbook Skool, says, “Accuracy is less important than capturing your experience.” It’s not a perfect rendition, but it depicts an important symbol in my life, one that represents my family and my heritage and culture. QUOTE, UNQUOTE For this week’s assignment, we’re asked to draw one of our favourite quotes. I like this one from Oscar Wilde because it speaks to the hardships we all endure and the possibility of finding something beautiful amid the rubble when you shift your viewpoint. If this course has taught me anything, it’s that sometimes all you need to do is look up. You might be amazed at what’s there—what has been there all along, simply waiting to be seen. ■
For my next #lifereboot, I’ll be exploring the idea that the key to happiness is living a life with gratitude. Time for some deep reflection—with the help of my camera and a couple of rolls of film.