April 11, 2012

Spa-delicious time at Paradise Point

Posted in Between Us column, Health, Travel, Women at 9:53 pm by dinaheng

Choosing a treatment at The Spa at Paradise Point in San Diego is like taking a mini-vacation on the island of your choice.

My sister Linda and I, who love getting massages, recently stayed at the luxurious Paradise Point resort on Mission Bay, and decided to spend an afternoon relaxing at The Spa. As we perused the spa’s offerings, it was hard to decide what to try.

Following the theme of the resort, The Spa offers treatments and services that use techniques and ingredients from four exotic destinations — Hawaii, Bali, Fiji and Thailand — as well as the usual Mainland fare.

Samples from the menu:

* Blissful Stone Massage (Fiji) (50 minutes for $150 or 80 minutes for $200) : An ancient massage technique uses heated volcanic river stones to penetrate the deeper layers of your muscles to create a deeper level of relaxation;
* Organic Cocoa Cream Wrap (Bali) (50 minutes for $130): Therapeutic dry brushing prepares the skin for a blend of warm organic cocoa cream and coconut oil infused with vanilla and bergamot,  before receiving a face, scalp and foot massage;
* Bamboo Scrub (Hawaii) (25 minutes for $75): A delicate scrub using micro-particles from bamboo to massage and exfoliate, essential oils and a finishing spray of Oligo Relax Mist;
* Heavenly Soak (Thailand) (25 minutes for $75): Unwind in a traditional Japanese soaking tub with a fusion of rich mineral sea salts and essential oils; or
* Tension Tamer (Mainland) (50 minutes for $130 or 80 minutes for $180): Swedish, Deep and Sports techniques  combine for a personalized massage treatment.

“All of these treatments are more than just pampering,” says Brenda Larnin, director of The Spa. “Baths are detoxifying. Massage breaks up lactic acid and pain in the  muscles. Getting a massage after strenuous activity can be the equivalent of taking two aspirin. After a treatment, the therapist will tell you to drink water when you leave. The health benefits from a couple of extra glasses of water a day are great.”

Larnin points out that stress is an underlying cause of most diseases, so it’s important to unplug and relax, even if just for a 25 minute massage, or a bath treatment.

“You can’t bring that phone into the treatment room with you,” she says. “The recession’s made people more leary of spending money, but once people come, they appreciate the amenities and experience. You get the pool, fitness center, sauna, relaxation, and you can make a whole day of it.”

Linda and I certainly enjoyed our afternoon experience. Entering The Spa, we passed the outdoor pool, a well-equipped fitness center, and gift shop area before walking into the quiet retreat. A salon offering hair, manicure,  pedicure, and makeup services was nearby.

After changing into robes and slippers in the women’s locker room — which features dry sauna and steam rooms — we met our spa therapists and parted ways.

Linda went with Mandy, an aesthetician and massage therapist, for her Signature Tropical Paradise Facial from Hawaii (80 minutes for $185), which began with a 25 minute neck, back and shoulder massage. “I really liked it that Mandy was so knowledgeable about skin care,” Linda said later. “She answered all my questions about the procedure, and it was so relaxing to get the massage on the upper body.”

I went with another massage therapist, who gave me a Tropical Essence Massage from Fiji (50 minutes for $160), a treatment that combines the exfoliation of a scrub and the moisturizing feel of a massage.  While the massage was competent, it felt a little rushed. The therapist worked to exfoliate the skin, then gave me a few minutes to shower off the scrub before quickly finishing up with a massage. If you’re looking for true relaxation, I wouldn’t recommend this treatment.

After our first treatments, Linda and I sat for a few minutes in the Relaxation Lounge, a quiet waiting area that offers fruit and water. Those making a day of it can order food from a menu, as well.

Before long, therapists came by to get us for our second treatment of the afternoon. Linda went to get the Balinese Massage (50 minutes for $150), which combines techniques of palming, kneading, stretching and pressure point massage to create a calming and invigorating experience.

I chose the Na, Tropical Fruit and Flower Facial (80 minutes for $185), an organic therapy for the face combined with an aromatherapy massage up the shoulders, neck and scalp. Mandy, who also worked on me, said that most customers getting a facial are concerned about aging skin, acne or sun damage.

By the time she was done with me, I felt every bit of tension leave my body. Looking in the mirror, I could see a visible difference with lighter, brighter skin. Needless to say, when we left, Linda and I both bought the facial exfoliant Mandy recommended for our skin, Hylunia’s Grape Seed Exfoliating Scrub ($32).

There’s nothing that lifts the spirit and pampers the body like treating yourself to some time at a spa. So if you’re in San Diego, and relaxation is on your mind, be sure to check out The Spa at Paradise Point.

The Spa offers daily specials, and will be offering a promotion rate to celebrate Paradise Point’s 50th anniversary. For any massage that offers an 80 minute and 50 minute option, spa goers can get the 80 minute massage at the 50 minute price, subject to availability, from May 1 until the end of the year.

For more information, check out http://www.paradisepoint.com/san-diego-spa-deals.php on the Internet.

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