Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Dog Days of summer are
almost here, which means we crave, almost require, a spa break. Yet typical
offerings often leave today's seasoned traveler unimpressed. "People are
so used to a Swedish massage that they get bored and want something more
unexpected," says Karen Benson, a Virtusoso spa specialist from Camelback
Odyssey Travel. "Being outside, surrounded by nature, heightens our
senses while offering a greater opportunity to become relaxed," she says.
If you're seen it all when it comes to spa menus, we've rounded up these
latest offerings—unusual twists on outdoor summertime spa treatments.
For The Uber-Lazy If you consider relaxing in a hammock being active, then
up your unmotivated ante with a hammock massage—performed in a treehouse
($225). Offered at Dorado Beach, a Ritz Carlton Reserve, in Puerto Rico, the
therapist comes to you and works the pressure points on your back, hands and
feet while you sway to the ocean's rhythm. The smell of bay rum leaves,
lemongrass and ginger growing throughout the spa's garden will take you deeper
into the zen moment. For The Water Worshiper Those who want more
movement than the dead man's float—but aren't quite ready for diving and
skinny dipping after dark—should opt for Solage Calistoga's floating
meditation (pictured), which takes place in their bathhouse geothermal mineral
pool ($130 for a private or couples session, $25 per person for a group of 10
or less).  The water temperature is naturally set by the sun at a dreamy
96 to 98 degrees while you float in a mesh chair, partially submerged in the
warm water. Held at night so you can see the stars and the moon—both of
which are incorporated into the session—a guide leads you a meditation
designed to release stress and tension while enhancing mental clarity. For
The Sun Seeker Rather than cover your skin in sunblock, try a four-hour
white clay body mask lagoon trip ($150) at the UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa in
Trancoso, Brazil (one of Anderson Cooper's own picks). First, you'll
travel via horseback to the red-colored cliffs of Taipe Beach, then detoxify
your body by applying a mineral-rich clay created per the rich traditions of
the native Pataxó Indians. After basking in the sun for 20 to 30 minutes (so
the oil can go deep into the skin), dip in the ocean to wash it away before
heading back to the property—by horse or by car. For The Shady Lady
If you'd rather take cover, head indoors to an authentic Temazcal, a domed
structure, for traditional Mayan therapy ($90) offered at the Sandos Caracol
Eco Resort, Mexico. Set within the jungle, this pre-Hispanic ritual helps
eliminate toxins, purify the body and stimulate circulation as you're guided
through different levels of heat and steam generated by volcanic rocks and
medicinal herbs stored inside. Once you're reborn, get baptized in a
cenote—a natural pit formed from the collapse of limestone bedrock that
exposes groundwater considered sacred. More good reads from T+L:
• World's Top 50 Hotels
• World's Best Islands
• Best Places to Travel in 2015 Did you enjoy
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Her Birthday And You're Invited These new outdoor spa treatments
offer a twist on the common service.

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