Expert answers to your spa questions
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By Susie Ellis
May / June 2008
Q: I've been searching for years to find someone who might help minimize the 20- and 30-year-old acne scars on my face. At nearly 50, I find them more troublesome than the lines. Can you help?
A: Mauro Romita, M.D., who owns the Ajune medical spa in New York City, explains that acne scars look worse over time. When your skin is young and tight, the pits aren't as noticeable, but as the skin loses elasticity, they become more pronounced—like a sheet that appears to have more wrinkles when it's not pulled taut. He says the most effective solution is a face-lift to pull up your skin and then dermabrasion or laser treatments (which tend to be more successful with lighter skin). Here's the upside: Plastic surgery will help reduce both your scars and your lines.
Q: Every year ten of us get together for a fun spa weekend. We like to visit, relax, eat, and have massages—preferably for an all-inclusive fee. Any ideas?
A: How great to travel with so many friends! Start by checking the Group Specials section on SpaFinder.com. At press time, for example, Silverado Resort in California was offering a package that included accommodations, a wine tasting, spa treatment, breakfast, and tennis, for US$230 per person per day, a 40 percent savings. Also, check spas' own websites for group specials; for instance, the Lodge at Woodloch in Pennsylvania was giving 20 percent discounts to groups of eight or more. Finally, remember that virtually all properties will welcome a good-size group and might offer incentives to get your business. If the spa you like isn't advertising group specials, call and ask for a deal.
Q: My sister and I are looking for a spa like the BodyHoliday in St. Lucia, which offers a sunny climate, spa treatments, beaches, and so on. What do you suggest?
A: Not only does the BodyHoliday offer sun, sand, and surf, but it's also a destination spa, meaning all guests come for the spa experience and the price is all-inclusive, with only a few exceptions. It's difficult to replicate the BodyHoliday's character, since there are very few destination spas on the beach. The place that comes closest in my mind is Chiva-Som in Thailand. If your budget allows, you might also consider Pure Kauai or Pure Maui in Hawaii. Both companies create custom spa vacations including accommodations in a private home, a personal chef, spa treatments, and fitness programs with outdoor activities like surfing and hiking.