Expert answers to your spa questions
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By Susie Ellis
March / April 2006
Q: I'm a 35-year-old single man looking for a spa where there are singles events.
A: Since I met my husband at a spa (22 years ago), I feel especially qualified to give advice on this topic. Destination spas are probably your best bet. Unlike resorts, where being alone can be awkward, destination spas cater to solo travelers, some of whom are certainly single. Activities such as hiking and fitness classes, shared meals, and evening programs give you opportunities to meet others. I recommend Rancho la Puerta in Mexico (women usually outnumber men four to one). Visit Spafinder.com for information on more than 20 additional destination spas. (Ask spas about their ratio of men to women--you may as well stack the odds in your favor.)
Can you help me find a spa in a warm climate that specializes in detox programs?
One of my favorite detox programs is at Sanoviv Medical Institute in Rosarita, Mexico, just an hour south of San Diego. Even women's-health expert Christiane Northrup, M.D., sings its praises. The institute is a comprehensive medical facility with a spa, and its staff does an excellent job of combining traditional and alternative modalities. Colonics are optional, and you can even have your amalgam dental fillings replaced. Each of the 47 guest rooms has an ocean view, the swimming pools are filled with triple-filtered chlorine-free water, and the food is fresh and mostly raw. (See Luxury SpaFinder January-February 2006 for reports on other spa detox programs.)
Does a degree in spa management exist?
A few universities offer degrees in spa management. Others allow students to specialize in spas as part of a hospitality management degree or offer certification programs. The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in upstate New York was among the first to add spa management to its curriculum. Associate professor Mary Tabacchi, who developed the school's spa, hotel, and resort development and management course, has trained some of the world's leading spa professionals. The University of West Florida offers a B.S. in hospitality, recreation, and resort management with a specialty in spa, and Arizona State University has a spa management certification program. UC-Irvine has a 12- to 18-month extension program in spa and hospitality management and a two-month online introductory spa management course.I've just visited...
Golden Door Spa at the Boulders
What I loved
Experiencing a bit of the original Golden Door in a resort setting. The fact that fitness, spirituality, and spa therapies are integrated. The outdoor labyrinth and meditation tepee.
The spa design, based on curves rather than angles. The Japanese-style ofuro bath, kept at 98 degrees, which is much more comfortable than a traditional hot whirlpool in the Arizona desert.
What I didn't love
Hearing street noise while relaxing by the pool. The thick, lukewarm carrot-tomato soup and rather dry potato pancake at the Golden Door Caf�.
Make sure you...
Spend time at the spa before and after your treatment to get value for your money. My $135 massage seemed pricey, but after spending several hours by the pool, sampling the heat experiences, shopping in the boutique, walking the labyrinth, meditating in the tepee, and snoozing in the relaxation room, I thought that the price was a bargain.
866-397-6520 or www.wyndham.com