Spending a morning or afternoon at a spa is a decadent treat for me on any day; getting to spend parts of two consecutive days at a spa is an experience I won’t forget.
Historically, I have not been a huge spa fan. Unlike many good friends, I don’t often spend time at the spa. It’s not that I have anything against them; it’s just that they seem so … extravagant.
Yet, over the course of one weekend in June, I found myself on Saturday and Sunday at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s La Prairie Spa getting comfy in a bathrobe after a relaxing dip in a hot tub, then reading the latest fashion magazine while drinking herbal teas before having people pamper me with treatments.
My mission: to experience and write about two specific spa treatments — one for my body and one for my face.
THE BODY TREATMENT
Walking into the La Prairie spa, I felt as if I were entering another world. The entrance foyer is fashioned like an ice palace, with the soothing sound of a trickling waterfall offering a relaxing welcome.
The attendant greeted me warmly by name, while somehow signalling to another attendant who magically appeared and escorted me to the “women’s sanctuary,” where amenities like a steam bath and soaking tub were available for me to enjoy.
After donning a white robe and slippers, I was taken to the relaxation lounge, given a warm neck wrap and some herbal tea while I awaited my treatment. I was then greeted by Anca, the spa therapist who was to give me the “Balancing Caviar Body Treatment.”
Anca explained she would first use a special, new brush to exfoliate my skin and then treat it with a “La Prairie Body Soufflé” – products that would provide deep hydration, lifting and firming. This process would remove old skin cells and then treat the refreshed skin with moisture. Afterwards, she would give me a relaxing massage.
I found the treatment to be both invigorating and deeply relaxing. The brushing made me think of getting rid of the old while getting ready to welcome the new — a process I have been working on in several aspects of my life lately.
Anca’s healing hands helped melt away some of the tension I had been carrying. The treatment lasted for 90 minutes and by the time it was done, I was in a state of complete bliss. Not only was my skin smoother than it had been in years, but I also felt refreshed with a renewed sense of energy.
Anca sent me home with my treatment brush as a parting gift and a reminder to do this treatment again – she recommended at least every few months.
On the second day, I was like a seasoned spa pro. I knew the routine and was looking forward to it, especially after such a blissful experience the day before. This time, after the same welcome and relaxing warm-up, I was led to a different treatment room with a machine purring in the corner.
I was nervous about the facial. I hadn’t had one in years and receiving one is a very personal experience. I was also worried the therapist would take one look at my face and then scold me about my poor skincare regimen.
My therapist, Marieke, eased my nervousness. She explained that the difference between a hydrofacial and other facials was the use of technology. She said that the machine she used was a specialised one that removed dead skin cells while introducing products that would heal and enhance the skin. There were several stages in the treatment including an exfoliation, an LED light treatment, a “rapid response booster,” a “super serum” treatment, a three-minute peel and a luxurious finish with La Prairie products.
To me, it seemed the machine’s device was like the end of an electric toothbrush, but without a brush — rather, there was a little whirling tip that softly plucked at the skin. Marieke used her fingertips expertly throughout each stage, working rapidly with ease across each section of my face and neck. I had a cloth over my eyes and just relaxed, almost falling asleep during the treatment.
Once finished, Marieke showed me a clear jar that contained the makeup and oils the machine had removed. I was happy for her to tell me that I had been keeping my skin cleaned quite well after all!
Returning to the sanctuary for an herbal tea and a snack, I felt like a new woman. My skin was so radiant that one of my female colleagues at work even commented on how good my face looked the next day.
A NEW MINDSET
Getting the two treatments and having the spa staff pamper me all the while was certainly decadent, but I’ve changed my mindset and no longer see spa visits as extravagant. Feeling as relaxed and renewed as I did after my weekend spa experience reminded me not only that I deserve to feel that way, but that it’s also more necessary than indulgent.
La Prairie Spa, you have not seen the last of me!