As, I have mentioned before, one of the best parts of doing the annual Spa Edition (this is year #5) is the relationships I have formed with the local spa owners. Every year I look forward to seeing them and spending some quality time with them and their staff. What I have definitely learned from the spa owners and their staff is if you take care of your body on a regular basis it will take care of you and make you look and feel younger for many years!

Bliss_logoBliss Spa at the W Fort Lauderdale
401 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard

It amazing how many times I have been to the W Fort Lauderdale and passed the beautiful Bliss Spa and said to myself “I have to get a service there,” so you can imagine how happy I was when they decided to be a part of our Spa Issue. You walk into the Bliss Spa and you are surrounded by products. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for products, so you can SpaReview15_Bliss4imagine how I felt when I walked in and I was surrounded by Elemis, Bliss Remede and so much more. I was then greeted by the Blisser who checked me in and walked me back to the Men’s locker room, which features a waiting room area, an outdoor terrace, digital lockers, sand-tiled steam showers, sink side soap sampling, fashion, beauty and sports reading selections, and spa snacks including olives, cheese, fruit and their legendary brownie buffet.

My Services started out with the blissage™ 49 (49 mins – $125), which is named after their flagship NYC location. You can choose between a full shoulder-to-toe rubdown or targeted SpaReview15_Bliss2treatment of specific spots with knots. Tony Carlucci was my therapist who had a strong but yet gentle touch that eased all my tensions away. The room was dimly lit and the music was so soothing I caught myself falling asleep a few times. One of my favorite things about receiving a massage in a high end spa like Bliss is that they cover you with a sheet so that your body stays warm and you feel like you are in a cocoon, and you can really relax and enjoy the massage.  When the blissage was over, I felt so relaxed it was hard for me to walk back to the locker room, but those snacks were on my mind and they motivated me to get there…LOL!

SpaReview15_Bliss3A few minutes later, Judy Leone, came to get me so she could administer my fabulous facial™ ($130).  This fab-for-all facial includes all the expertly performed facial essentials (cleansing, exfoliation and extractions), and is designed to be customized ‘spa’- cifically for you with a variety of beauty-boosting upgrades. What I really enjoyed about this facial was how knowledgeable Judy was, and how much she taught me about my skin. We tend to forget that everyone’s skin is different and needs to be treated differently. Based on Judy’s technique and knowledge it was obvious that not only does she love what she does, but that she has been doing it for a really long time. I truly enjoyed this facial.

Afterwards, it was time for my hot cream manicure ($25) and ‘sole’ man pedicure ($55) SpaReview15_Bliss1which were both done by the beautiful Tia Roper. This must-have mani includes cuticle clipping, pushing, perfecting and polishing and of course its namesake a hot cream hand soak. Now I have had many Mani and Pedis in my life, but this was the first time I had a hot crème soak, and DAMN, it’s amazing. From the moment Tia put my hands into bags it felt great, but even better was later that night as my hands were so soft. Afterwards, I had the pedicure which includes soaking, de-roughing, clipping, trimming and buffing. Although I loved my time with Tony and Judy, my favorite time was with Tia as she was so personable and also it was obvious that she truly loved what she does. I think I was smiling the whole time I was with Tia.

Bliss’ philosophy is that happiness is the result of total well-being. From the transformational benefits and wonders of their spas to the powerful skin caring products they offer, everything they do is geared to their one goal of helping you feel beautiful, healthy and happy…and beautiful I did feel after leaving the Bliss Spa at the W Fort Lauderdale.

If you want to experience the Blisss Spa, and why wouldn’t you, now is the perfect time as they are featuring “Soothing September Spaaacials” for $99. You can choose between a blissage 49, a fabulous facial (60 mins) or the hot salt scrub (45 mins).



GreenJade_logo2Green Jade Men’s Spa
2301 Wilton Drive #C5, Wilton Manors

Green Jade Men’s Spa opened in 2014 and offers relaxing massages right in the heart of Wilton Manors. I was lucky enough to get a Deep Tissue Massage ($60 for 60 minutes) from owner David. After I laid down on the table David asked meSpaReview15_GreenJade1 how much pressure I wanted and then put a towel on my shoulders and started the massage. Afterwards he used lotion which he rubbed on his hands and then applied to my body. It started off warm, which felt really nice. He made his way from my shoulders all the way down to the tips of my toes. David was able to instinctively know where I needed more relaxation. The 60 minute massage was so relaxing, I almost fell asleep. The time went by so quickly. The next day my body felt totally relaxed and I felt like I was floating on a cloud.



SaltThisWay_LogoSalt This Way
2286 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors

Salt this Way is the most recent Spa to open on Wilton Drive. When I first spoke with CEO Suzi Hollis, she told me she would like for me to get a Swedish massage (50 min – $75)  and a Reiki Healing session (60 min – $75) , but she would prefer that I do them on 2 different days. Upon entering Salt This Way, you notice the beautiful Wall fixtures of salt, fish tank, salt rooms and chambers.  I had to ask about the name and they explained to me that there are a lot of Holistic components of Salt and that salt SpaReview15_SalthisWay2therapy can help with respiratory, dermatological, and immunity issues. Also known as halotherapy, this form of natural therapy utilizes the healing qualities of salt. I then met Linda, who would be my Massage Therapist. She walked me to the room and after I was on the very comfortable table she got me to relax by talking me through meditation techniques where I pictured white light traveling throughout my body, healing all tightness and alleviated any stress.  She then started the massage with placing a salt crystal and a small amount of Eucalyptus oil underneath my table that I can breathe. She informed me that the combination of the 2 would assist my breathing and prevent congestion. She used lavender oil which not only felt good, but smelled delish. She focused on one area at a time and also helped me with stretching. Linda constantly checked in and whispered” are you warm enough? SpaReview15_SalthisWay1Is the pressure right”? She really did a great job making sure I was comfortable. After the session I felt incredibly relaxed and will definitely go back.

A few days later I went back to Salt This Way for the Reiki Healing Session. I honestly had no idea what it was going to entail, but was relaxed as I found out Linda, who did my massage would be my therapist.  Reiki uses energy, vibrations and tapping into the bodies 7 different chakras. At first I am standing and explained that most of the session would not involve any touching. I closed my eyes as she circled around me placing her hands very close to my skin and asking if I could feel the energy. Then she asked me to lay down on my back and to just remove my shoes. She then asked me to picture many things as she put her hands over my face in a circular motion. I was so relaxed that at one point she asked me to move my hands, and I could hear her, but I was so relaxed I couldn’t move my hands. The remainder of the session was like a multi-faceted day dream. At the end I felt spiritually awakened. I found out that in Reiki, the energy is channeled by the therapist, and that it helps raise the vibrational level in the body so the individual can heal themselves, as true healing comes during relaxation which raises one’s vibration.   It heals on an emotional, mental, physical and spiritual realm. I also was informed that only through deep relaxation are we able to heal on these levels. Reiki is something I highly recommend!



JolureBeautyAtelier_logoJolure Beauty Atelier
62 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, Miami

When I arrived at Jolure Beauty Atelier, I was greeted by owners Raul and Jorge, and I found out that customer service is their number one priority. They introduced me to Lissette, the salon’s nail technician who escorted me to the Spa Pedicure Relaxation area. She performed my Spa Pedicure ($35) and my Spa manicure ($20).

As I soaked my feet in warm water, Lissette gave me option of the scent for my Water Therapy, I chose Lavender. Then my nails were trimmed and shaped, and the cuticles detailed and buffed. My feet were exfoliated with a natural honey and dark sugar scrub, which was also my choice. The best part of the Spa pedicure was the scented warm oil massage, they have a variety of SpaReview15_Jolure1scents to choose from. To end the massage, they wrapped my feet is a scented warm towel and the applied a deep moisturizer. The manicure included the same treatments as the pedicure.

The experience was amazing. They really know how to pamper a client. As you get your services done, they offer a range of snacks and drinks, including wine! After my mani-pedi, I received the JOLURE Signature Nourishing Facial ($65). I met Yrcia, who is their Skin Care Specialist and also Raul’s mother. She walked me over to a separate small building towards the back of the salon. It is a beautiful intimate spa where they offer all facials, massages and body treatments.

The Jolure signature facial began with a deep cleansing to determine skin type and condition. Followed by steaming and gentle elimination of clogged pores (I needed it). A specific blend of essential oils, vitamins, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory botanicals, plant based creams and a masque was chosen by Yrcia for my type of skin. A great addition is that they carry their own Skin Care products and use them on their clients, so you can purchase and maintain your improved skin after your facial.  I left Jolure feeling and looking fabulous!



TheSpa-at-Grand-Resort_logoThe Grand Resort and Spa
539 N. Birch Road – Fort Lauderdale

For those of you read the Spa Issue yearly, you know how much I love Paula, so I am sure you would be surprised that I let a co-worker experience her magic. However, since I am a giving person, I had to share the wealth. Therefore I let our Senior Account Executive, Anthony Verrico receive Paula’s wonderful Deep SpaReview15_GrandResort2Cleansing Facial ($135).

The facial started with a double cleanse which was followed by a microdermabrasion treatment which is a mechanical deep exfoliation with a diamond tip wand. Afterwards Paula massages your face with her magical fingers using stress relief oil. This is followed by an oatmeal mask, and then a contour mask is applied on top of the oatmeal mask. This is to tighten and calm the skin down. While the masks are setting Paula SpaReview15_GrandResort1does a hot stone massage to the arms and neck. Once the masks are removed, she applies moisturizer and sunscreen.

JD, (manager of the Spa) was very excited to tell me that starting October 1st they will be offering Chemical Peels from Dermalogica. These peels are good for Hyperpigmentation, and eliminating fine lines. The Chemical Peel, which is a 3 to 4 layer peel, is like going one step further than the Microdermabrasion. He also wanted to remind the community that the Spa offers great mid-week specials on Tues, Wed and Thurs, which change every week so call them to find out.



78DegreesSpa_logo78 Degrees Spa
2153 Wilton Drive – Wilton Manors

78 Degrees, the median temperature for the greater Fort Lauderdale area, represents optimal comfort. For many people it’s the very reason we live in South Florida. 78 Degrees commitment is to deliver the highest quality spa treatments to bring you optimal comfort and pampering. Upon entering the spa at 2153 Wilton Drive, I was welcomed by owner John and Skin Care Specialist Phillip Daigneault and was given a full tour of the spa which is much larger than it looks from the outside.

SpaReview15_78DegreesPhillip walked me back to his aesthetician room for my Deep Cleansing and Rejuvenation Facial ($105), and I noticed how clean and soothing the atmosphere was. I found out that Phillip used to be a teacher, but left that to become a Paramedical Aesthetician, which means (I had no idea either) he can do everything but cut the skin. Once on the table Phillip started with a face cleaning followed by exfoliation and extraction. Afterwards Phillip applied a Glycolic Peel, which exfoliates the outer skin and tricks the skin to think its damages and pushes new skin cells to the surface. While the peel was setting I received a shoulder and neck massage. The next step was a Vitamin C Peel which re-energizes and plumps the skin. This was followed by a Borghese Mud mask, which is cold and closes the pores and pulls out any toxins in the skin, and also tightens and tones and feeds nutrients to the skin. While the Mud Mask was settling Phillips massaged my arms and hands. After the mud mask was removed I received a peptide Eye Treatment followed by a Vitamin E Moisturizer with SPF 30. The Deep Cleansing and Rejuvenation Facial clears toxins from the skin and also tightens and tones the skin. You see the effects from the procedure immediately, but it takes a few days to see the full effect. Phillip also does Waxing for those of you who are in need of removing unwanted hair.

Once the facial was over John (the owner), Licensed Massage Therapist, performed my Swedish Massage ($75). Before I got on the table he asked me about my last few days, what stress areas or trouble spots I have and then allowed me to choose my own aromatherapy scent which he infused in the room and in the lotions. My body was relaxed from the back of my head to the tip of my toes.

78 Degrees also offers haircuts and Men’s grooming from Barber Pete and is open Tuesday thru Friday from 10 am to 8 pm; Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment on Sundays and Mondays. For more information call 954-630-1444 or visit



lavish_logoLavish Manors Nail Spa
2717 N. Dixie Highway – Wilton Manors

When I arrived at Lavish Manors, I was greeted by owner Tommy Lee, who informed me that his number-one task at the spa is to ensure quality service to all of his clientele. I was then introduced to John who performed my Rock Pedicure for Men ($40) and my classic manicure ($15).

SpaReview15_lavishmanors1I started out with relaxing my feet in the bubbling warm water. Then my toes were trimmed and shaped, and the cuticles detailed and buffed with a sea salt scrub. He then softened and plumped my skin with an intensive callus treatment followed by an exfoliation with a mango peel. This was followed by a rejuvenating foot masque to brighten, soften and relieve dry skin and inflammation. This was followed by the best part of the Pedicure: a hot stone massage with a house blend of hot oils (now if you have never received a stone massage on your feet, this is a must!). The Pedicure ended with aromatic steaming towels followed by a moisturizer.

The Pedicure was directly followed by the classic manicure that included nail trimming, shaping, cuticle detailing and a lotion massage.

I left Lavish Manors feeling fabulous and I couldn’t stop looking at how nice my toes looked.



UrbanRetreat_logoUrban Retreat Spa
4450 NE 20th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale

Frank Velaz, who is the owner of Urban Retreat Spa and I have known each other for many years. He opened Urban Retreat and Spa in 2006 and the business has steadily grown. He has a staff of 5 therapist who each have at least 10 years’ experience in the industry.

Generally when I go back to a Spa the next year I prefer that they give me a different treatment SpaReview15_UrbanRetreat1so that I can spotlight other procedures that they offer. However, Frank said that the O2 Lift Facial ($75 for 50 minutes), was so good for my skin last year, that he wanted to perform it on me again. This is very Frank, he cares more about his customers than promoting his business (that’s a rare quality in a business owner). The O2 Lift Facial is also known as the Celebrity Red Carpet Secret and is used at Miss Universe & Miss America the day of the pageant. This luxurious and effective  oxygen facial skin care treatment infuses SpaReview15_UrbanRetreat2oxygen, plant-derived stem cells, peptides and a high concentration of enzymatic botanicals into the skin leaving it luminous, refreshed and rejuvenated. This oxygen skin care process provides a revolutionary treatment to exfoliate, illuminate and oxygenate. Right before applying moisturizer and Sunblock he applies a Skin Sense Pure Hyaluronic Serum (their own brand) that shows immediate results. Seriously he had me hold a mirror so I could literally see the results instantaneously. This procedure has no down time.

Urban Retreat offers a Free Skin Analysis to properly design a custom plan of professional treatments and home skin regimens, with reality based prices. Evidence based skin care solutions. PCA Skin Certified Peel Treatment Center and Certified In Collagen Induction Therapy by Florida Esthetics Association. or



B-Resort_logoB Resort & Spa Orlando
1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista

B Indulged®, an AVEDA lifestyle spa is located at B Resort & Spa and it happens that I know the General Manger Benny Koe, who has managed high end Spa’s for many years. When you walk into the B Indulged Spa your senses are immediately awakened by the beautiful scents of the Aveda products that are on all the walls. I found out later that they built the spa to be a serene environment that is designed to awaken the senses and bring balance back to the body, mind and soul.

I was greeted by 2 smiling faces at the reception desk, one of them being the Spa Supervisor, Lindsey Sappenfield, and after I checked in, I was introduced to my aesthetician. I was there for SpaReview15_BResort1a day of beauty (yes, sometimes, we all need to feel beautiful…LOL) which they call the B Indulged Journey (3 ½ hours – $306).

The Signature Journey started out with a B Indulged® 80 minute Signature Body Treatment (on its own $175), which was a full body massage with their Stress-Fix ™ body butter featuring the aroma of lavender, lavandin and clary sage. This custom body treatment begins with a gentle exfoliation, followed by a relaxing Swedish massage (but they do offer therapeutic deep tissue as well, it’s up to the client). The treatment concludes with a warm cocoon and foot reflexology. When the Massage was over I was escorted to a different room where I received the  B Indulged® 50 min Signature Facial (on its own $120), which was a customized facial, based on my skin’s specific needs and produced incredible results with the use of AVEDA’s only pure botanical products and Elemental Nature techniques. After this I felt like my face was glowing. I was then taken to the salon part of the spa where I received my final 2 treatments the B Indulged® Signature Manicure and Pedicure (on its own -30-Min Manicure $45 | 50-Min Pedicure $65 | 80-Min Manicure & Pedicure $100). This customized experience for hands and feet included proper maintenance and grooming of nails and cuticles, personalized massage, customized exfoliation and a treatment masque. Imagine sitting in a massage Pedicure chair looking out onto the gorgeous B Resort property with a warming neck pillow, a glass of champagne in your hand, and having your feet pampered. Is there anything better in life?



5-Elements-Spa_logoThe 5 Elements Spa and Longevity Center
2288 Wilton Drive

If you have been to the Shoppes at Wilton Manors lately, you may have noticed the construction on the new “5 Elements Spa and Longevity Center.” Although they are still under construction (the opening date is sometime in November), we were lucky enough to get a tour from the owner, Catalina. The Spa and Longevity Center (more about that later) is going to have an organic feel to it. They will feature a full-service spa, medical spa and longevity center, offering massages, skin care, hydrotherapy, nutritionists, life coaching, and meditation, as well as a full medical spa menu. The space itself is much larger than it appears.  The 3600 sq. ft. interior space is beautifully designed, having been built from the ground up.  The space will feature SpaReview15_5Elements1multiple treatment rooms, couples’ suites, manicure and pedicure stations, a relaxation lounge, sauna, steam room, two locker rooms, a Japanese soaking tub, and more.

The 5 Elements Spa, for those who don’t know, and I was one of them, is influenced by the practice of Ayurveda, which consists of a balance of the five elements: earth, water, air, fire and ether.  The concept for the spa was born out of the founder’s passion and desire to create an environment that promotes true wellness and longevity in the community.  What she feels the world needs is a spa that does not just amount to beauty treatments, but instead, a place where people can regularly and routinely learn, grow, and partake in resources that will promote overall health and longevity.  After all, their motto is “Adding years to your life and life to your years.”



Cabana-Guesthouse-Spa_logoSpa Cabanas Guesthouse and Spa
2133 NE 26th Street, Fort Lauderdale

The Spa Cabanas is going into its seventh year of operation. Their services and treatments are designed to focus on your individual request, as well as rejuvenation and well-being. The owner of the spa is Norman Lachance, who is also the lead aesthetician at the spa. Norman made the choice to go to Pavonia and Decleor from Paris for skincare, and he also pursued studies (earning a certification) from Dr. Babor of Germany.

SpaReview15_CabanaSpa2When I arrived at the spa for my treatments, I was greeted by Norman, and the spa manager, Clint. Both of these gentlemen are wonderful people and I love seeing them. They make you feel very relaxed and comfortable. I was then introduced to Felix Gutierrez, who was my going to perform my Deep Tissue Massage. I explained to Felix that I was there more for relaxation and he said he would administer more of a Swedish Massage as that’s a lighter touch and definitely more relaxing. As he started on my body, he quickly found my tense areas and asked if it was OK to massage those areas a little deeper. He explained that I would feel a little more pressure and that it could be a bit sore for a couple of days. At this point I already trusted him and said it would be OK. He then told me that if at any time it is too much to let him know. The massage also included stretching, which my body is definitely not used to, but once you let yourself go with it, it feels great. Felix gives a great massage and his hands are so soft, it felt like they were gliding on my body! I was so relaxed after the massage, and my body felt so relaxed, all I wanted to do was lay down. Lucky for me, my next treatment was only a few steps away.

I was then introduced to Jimmy Nichols, a paramedical aesthetician, who was going to be my SpaReview15_CabanaSpa3aesthetician for the remaining two treatments. The first was a body exfoliation, and although I have never received a body exfoliation before, it is one of the more popular treatments at the Spa Cabanas. The Body Exfoliation consists of an application of a cleansing body sugar scrub made with green tea and lemongrass oils.During the application process, the areas that are being focused on are scrubbed and exfoliated using effleurage techniques and then immediately covered with a warm towel (I can’t tell you how good the warm towel feels on your body; it’s just something you have to experience for yourself). The scrub is then removed with another warm towel, and then lotion is applied to leave your skin soft and silky.

I then received a PCA Facial, which is one of the Spa Cabanas’ signature anti-aging facials. The PCA (Physicians Care Alliance) has been partnering with physicians for over two decades to provide a proven process combining aesthetics and science for healthy, beautiful skin. PCA Skin is only available through physicians, nurses and licensed skin care professionals. The process was as follows: PCA total wash (face and body), skin analysis, extractions, and PCA Nutrient Toner. Then Jimmy did what I can only call a “Facial Massage.” I have never had my face massaged like this before, but it felt incredible! After the facial massage, a mask was applied, followed by a PCA serum (the serum is mixed by the therapist depending on your skin type). After this PCA, Linea is applied to reduce wrinkles and lines, followed by the PCA Moisturizer. The last step is to apply the PCA Weightless SPF protection for all skin types.SpaReview15_CabanaSpa1

I was incredibly impressed at how much knowledge Jimmy had. I think I learned more about skin in that one session than I knew before.

There are some services that you can add onto the anti-aging facial that cost a bit extra, but are definitely worth it. One is microdermabrasion, which is an exfoliating treatment used with a machine that minimizesfine lines, improves skin tone, and reduces pore size in one treatment, defending against early signs of aging. I never understood how this works, but Jimmy explained to me that it causes a small amount of trauma to the skin, causing the skin to repair itself in a more organized fashion. The procedure is performed using a machine that sprays fine crystals across the skin, removing the top layer of the skin, and then vacuuming the crystals and skin away. The second is the PCA Oxygenating Trio Facial, which I found out is safe for all skin types and has absolutely no down time. This procedure improves dull complexions and asphyxiated, deoxygenated skin. It also improves pores and promotes healthy oxygen in the face, giving a vibrant glow that lasts a week.

The Spa Cabanas always features specials; check their ad right here in Hotspots to find out what they are. For the month of September, they are offering an anti-aging facial combined with a 60 minute massage for only $149; a 90-minute massage package of five sessions for only $360; and 20% off waxing.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Spa owners and managers for being so kind, they were: Derrick and Johanna (Bliss Spa at the W Fort Lauderdale); David (Green Jade Men’s Spa); Suzi (Salt This Way); Jorge and Raul (Jolure Beauty Atelier); JD and Paula (The Spa at the Grand Resort); John (&8 Degrees Spa); Tommy (Lavish Manors Nail Spa); Frank (Urban Retreat); Beni (B Resort and Spa Lake Buena Vista); Catalina and Devin (The 5 Elements Spa); and last but definitely not least Norman and Clint (Spa Cabanas). If you are interested in being a part of future Spa editions email me