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Life can be stressful and nothing melts away the tension of everyday life more than a trip to the spa. Hotspots staff members visited spas to give you a preview of some of their best services.

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Life can be stressful and nothing melts away the tension of everyday life more than a trip to the spa. Hotspots staff members visited spas to give you a preview of some of their best services.

spoil-yourself-spa-reviews-2The Grand Resort and Spa
539 N. Birch Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
954-630-3000
GrandResort.net

I made my way past the lovely pool, looked in the workout room and then passed the lush tropical gardens before I got to the Spa at the Grand Resort. I was greeted by Spa Director J.D. Greene and was explained in detail what the 2 services they were going to be doing on me were. I then was introduced to Paula, who hails from Colombia and has been working at the Grand for 9 years. JD told me she is one of the best facialist and that I was in for a treat. I am a spa lover, so you can imagine how excited I was to get started. First Paula did an analysis of my skin and realized that I have combination skin; oily in some places and dry in others. She then began the anti-aging facial ($130) with a pre cleanser, followed by a cleanser and then an exfoliation. After those steps it was time for extractions. These were probably the best extractions I’ve ever had because Paula did not stop until everything was extracted. Most people do not like long extractions because it can be slightly annoying, but I love them because I know it is good for my skin and that I will look that much better (okay, who isn’t vain about their looks). The extractions were followed by the best masque I ever had. It was a cooling mask and was three layers. While this was working its magic Paula massaged my arms using a hot stone and then massaged my feet which felt amazing! Once the masque was ready to be removed, she moisturized my face and I was off to the next treatment.spoil-yourself-spa-reviews-3

In the next room I was privileged to get a mud massage ($120) from JD himself. JD has been in the business for over 25 years and is committed to customer satisfaction. In this procedure sea mud and earth mud are used in combination to massage your whole body and you receive all the benefits of the enzymes and anti-oxidants into your skin. In addition to the massage you get an exfoliation and a polish. Afterwards you are watered down while on the table and then dried off and moisturized. This procedure made me feel like a king with an overall feeling of relaxation and a connection with my whole body.

The Spa at the Grand uses Dermalogica skin care products as well as the Jack Black line. They are committed to these products because they offer monthly education on skin care, massage, facials etc and JD is a proponent of continuing education to stay on top of all the new trends.

— Scott Holland


spoil-yourself-spa-reviews-4The Cabanas Guesthouse and Spa
2133 NE 26th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
954-565-2307
TheCabanasGuestHouse.com

I pulled up to a big gate as it slowly opened and I drove into a parking space noticing a few men in and around the pool. I thought to myself,”this is the life.” I work in an office all day so I tend to forget that we live in paradise. I got out of my car, breathed in the beautiful Florida air and after passing a waterfall Jacuzzi that overlooks the water, made my way to the door of the spa. I was met my owner Norman Lachance who gave me a tour of the spa and then did the procedure on me himself. I received the Anti-Aging Facial which normally is $129, but for the month of October he is running a special for all first time customers; only $89 (that’s a bargain, trust me!). The Anti Aging facial opens pores to let the skin breath and to help the skin receive the vitamins. It also helps with wrinkles, discoloration, sensitive skin and irritations. The procedure started with a cleansing, followed by and exfoliation with fruit. Then came the part I liked best, Microdermabrasion. Now, I have to admit that when Norman told me he was going to do this I was a little nervous because I thought it was going to be painful, but it was not at all. For those of you who haven’t had Microdermabrasion it’s like a suction on your skin, but it feels incredibly cleansing and the results are amazingly instant. This was followed by the removal of blackheads (those nasty creatures that get under your skin), then a sensitive skin mask. While the mask was drying he gave me a full arm and legs massage for relaxation (and relaxing it was). Once the mask was removed Norman applied a B5 serum followed by an age preventing gel.

When the facial was over he insisted I look in the mirror to see the visible difference and I felt pretty (oh so pretty). Norman was trained by Dr. Babor, who is a German doctor and uses his line of skin care products designed specifically for men. He also gave me some samples of the Babor gel moisturizer, which I must admit is fantastic!

The Cabanas Spa has a full line of services which you can check out on the website, but Norman pointed out that Back Facials are becoming one of his most popular treatments.

— Scott Holland


spoil-yourself-spa-reviews-5The Grand Beauty Spa
2717 W. Kennedy Blvd
Tampa, FL
813-874-7674
GrandBeautySpa.com

Rarely do you find a spa that offers tranquility and exceptional treatments at affordable prices. When you visit The Grand Beauty Spa you have an opportunity to experience these, while indulging in an array of services and owner Carmen Lee-Sargeant is the driving force behind it all.

Carmen’s mission statement is in part to “…offer a place of tranquility, rejuvenation… with extraordinary care.” Indeed, she does this on so many levels. You will adore Carmen. In addition to her own skills, she has an exceptional staff. This spa and salon is definitely worth visiting as Carmen, along with her personally selected and trained therapists, are a not-to-be-missed.

I had the pleasure of experiencing their signature facial/pedicure combo treatment, which were anything but regular. The Grand’s Signature Facial was the most comprehensive facial, massage, combo I ever experienced and loved. While I was enjoying my facial, another staff member was giving me their Signature Spa Pedicure, all on the same table as the end of the table opened up and dropped down allowing my feet to dangle into a whirlpool of water.

I received gracious service, relaxing space, and a beautiful vibe.

— Scott Spar


spoil-yourself-spa-reviews-6Bliss at W Fort Lauderdale
401 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
954-414-8200
Wfortlauderdalehotel.com

It’s important to take time out and pamper yourself and, in my opinion, nothing melts away stress more than a massage. I headed to the popular Bliss at W Fort Lauderdale to experience the Blissage 75 ($150). The 75 minute treatment includes the massage of your choice — I chose deep tissue because I like some pain with my pleasure — and a hot paraffin pack for my aching feet.

As soon as you walk into the W and head to Bliss, you know you are in for something special. The décor is modern and sleek. As soon as you sign in, you are led to the luxurious locker room where you can slip into a robe and flip flops and sit and enjoy tea or water and snack on olives and items from their famous Brownie Bar, while reading magazines and waiting for your massage.

I did just that as I waited for my masseur, Jordan. When he arrived, he led me back to a tranquil room and asked what kind of massage I wanted and wanted to know if I had any problem areas. I told him about the tightness in my neck and requested a deep tissue massage to get the kinks out. He also had me pick a scent of oil for him to use, to add an aromatherapy element.

Once Jordan went to work, I felt the knots in my back melting away. A feature that makes Bliss stand out from other spas is the music they play during their services. It’s not the typical nature sounds, but modern, laidback songs from singers like Jack Johnson and Melody Gardot.

Jordan expertly massaged my back, legs, arms, neck and scalp and was fantastic. Towards the end, he added the warm paraffin pack to my feet, which felt squishy, but nice, and softened my skin.

After my amazing massage, Jordan led a sleepy, happy me back to the locker room and showed me how I could use the shower/steam room and told me that I could stay and relax. I did just that for a bit before snapping myself out of my dream-like state and heading home.

— Sheri Elfman


spoil-yourself-spa-reviews-7Organica Wax & Beauty Studio
730 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
954-534-7599
OrganicaBeautyStudio.com

I used to think that facials were something you got before a special occasion, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to look at them as a necessity. No matter what you do on your own, it’s hard to ever really get into those pores and you rarely can give yourself that after-facial glow.

I headed to Organica Wax & Beauty Studio in Hallandale Beach to experience their European Facial (a steal at $49 an hour). I was introduced to my aesthetician Eva who asked me questions about my skincare routine and looked over my skin to see my skin type. All of Organica’s facials are different to suit the needs of each individual client.

Eva started off by removing any excess makeup I had on my face. She then used Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb exfoliant on my skin. Organica has the full line of Eminence at their Studio for sale. The line is very popular with many movie stars like Alicia Silverstone, Olivia Wilde and Ryan Gosling. Having this line used on me made me feel extra glamorous.

I then had my pores steamed open for Eva to extract dirt and oil. This process can be somewhat painful, but I believe that beauty is pain and looking good doesn’t come easy. I then had cucumbers put over my eyes and Eva closed my newly cleaned pores up. She then massaged my face with a Firm Skin Acai Masque. Eva finished my amazing facial with Stone Crop Moisturizer on my freshly cleaned skin.

After my facial, Eva got to work on waxing my eyebrows ($14). I had been doing my own eyebrows this past year and let’s just say, it was noticable. Eva patiently waxed and tweezed my brows into two almost completely matching (she explained that I have to let one grow in some more from my overambitious tweezing sessions) arches!

Organica uses a special Botanical Wax which penetrates deeper and lasts longer. They do a lot of Boyzilian Waxes ($50) and full back massages ($30) also.

What I enjoyed about Organica Wax & Beauty was it’s small size and tailor-made facials. The spa is attractive, but minimalist in look – they put the most emphasis on their services.

I left Organica with glowing, younger looking skin, noticably tighter pores and gorgeously arched brows.

— Sheri Elfman


spoil-yourself-spa-reviews-878 Degrees Spa
2153 Wilton Drive
Wilton Manors, FL 33305
954-630-1444
78DegreesSpa.com

I’ve always heard good things about 78 Degrees Spa, but I had never experienced it myself until this past year when I decided to treat myself. Located right on Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors, the spa is a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle and action on The Drive. It’s been open for five years and has a loyal base of clients.

I entered the attractive spa and spoke with owner John Pimenta about their services. I decided on the Deep Cleansing Facial ($105) to really get those pores fresh and clean. A female aesthetician brought me back and asked me about my skincare routine, which, not surprisingly, brought a fleeting look of horror. I admit, I need to take better care of my skin, especially since I am not getting any younger. She told me that I have combination skin, which I didn’t know, and an oily t-zone. She cleansed my skin and went to work using the lotions specially made for 78 Degree Spa. The products are organic and smell very nice. They are all alcohol-free and water-based.

My facial started with an exfoliation to get rid of dry skin cells. Then, I had a steam treatment to open my pores and a nice, long extraction, which I desperately needed to give my skin a good, really deep clean. Some people are afraid of extractions, but they are important to get your skin really clean and looking its best.

My aesthetician used their brand of Papaya Cleanser and Toner and Papaya Mask, which not only made my epidermis rosy and glowy, but was extremely yummy-smelling.

In addition to a variety of facials, 78 Degrees offers massages, body treatments (scrubs, wraps and mud therapy) and hair removal. It’s the perfect place to go to treat your body right after a night of partying on The Drive.

— Sheri Elfman

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