Sublime Spas

Kid-friendly treatments offer pampering experiences

By Kara Williams

If you’re a fan of massages or other soothing body treatments, you know how relaxing and refreshing a spa visit can be. These days, it’s not just adults enjoying a soak or pedicure. Many day, hotel, and destination spas are creating services just for kids.

Spas that cater to children ensure their safety and security. A reputable spa will require that an adult is present in the room while a child is receiving any treatment that involves undressing. It’s perfectly okay, and often required, for a child to leave his or her underwear or bathing suit on during the treatment. For further peace of mind, make sure a same-gender therapist is assigned to your grandchild.

For a special celebration of Mother’s Day, consider a grandmother-granddaughter visit to a spa. Here are just a few spas with kids’ programs:

The Spa at Pinehurst, Pinehurst, N.C.

[photo p max-width=180 align=right]With distinct services just for young clientele, the Spa at Pinehurst, a historic, upscale resort in North Carolina, is a lovely spot to introduce your grandchild to spa treatments.

Children ages 6 to 11 select from a special KidSpa menu, which includes a 20-minute Kids’ Massage and a 20-minute Kids Facial (short treatment times for short attention spans). Tweens and teens, ages 12 to 16, might enjoy a Totally Teen Facial, with a special “take home” prescription for healthy skincare, or the Teen Makeup Application & Lesson with non-comedogenic makeup. Boys get into the act with a Teen Tune-Up Fitness training session. Teenagers even have their own lounge, where they can listen to music, read magazines, and sip strawberry smoothies.

For Mother’s Day, grand pairs are welcome to book the two-hour Mother/Daughter ReTREAT package. You receive a Mini Facial, Spa Manicure and Pedicure, and your young companion gets a Kids’ Facial, Twinkle Toes Pedicure, and Fancy Fingers Manicure.

Azul Beach Hotel, Riviera Maya, Mexico

[photo k max-width=180 align=left] At this 97-room, all-inclusive property just north of Puerto Morelos, Mexico, (about 20 minutes from the Cancun International Airport) there are no rules about playing with food. The beachfront resort’s SPA Azul gives kids the opportunity to be covered in chocolate and almond oil during its 25-minute Chocolate Massage. Grandparents can enjoy a similar 50 minutes of decadence.

Other treatments just for children:

  • 25-minute Kid Massage — where a same-gender therapist teaches a bit about the health benefits of massage
  • Strawberry Ice Cream Manicure — with a soak, strawberry-kiwi exfoliation, strawberry lotion, polish, and a lollipop
  • Chocolate Milkshake Pedicure — where kids enjoy a steaming cup of hot cocoa while feet are soaked in a chocolate milkshake bath, exfoliated with a chocolate scrub, rubbed with chocolate-mousse lotion and topped with toe polish.

Meanwhile, you choose from exotic treatments like the Four Hands Massage, with two therapists working out your kinks, a green tea-based Water Lily Body Wrap, or an Aromatherapy Salt Glow exfoliation.

Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas

[photo l max-width=180 align=right] Named by Condé Nast Traveler readers as the #1 destination spa in North America, the Lake Austin Spa Resort rolls out the red carpet for multi-generational families with teens. Discounts are available for stays of three nights or longer with grandchildren 14 or older, and groups of six or more.

Teen-specific treatments at this intimate destination spa (there are only 40 hotel rooms), include Fab Face Facials, Bye Bye Blemishes acne treatment, Nail Candy Manicure, and Fancy Feet pedicure. Teens can also choose from an array of “grown-up” services.

Lake Austin Spa Resort holds specific Mother/Daughter weeks (to which grandmothers are welcome) with workshops that might touch on body image, self-esteem, and communication skills. Peggy Post, the great-granddaughter-in-law of etiquette expert Emily Post, is a featured speaker May 5-11, 2008. Packages include unlimited fitness classes, three healthy meals daily, and a spa and fitness allowance that can be used on more than 100 different treatments and therapies.

Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Beaver Creek, Colo.

[photo a max-width=180 align=left] Springtime is an especially affordable time to visit spa resorts in the Rocky Mountains: When the ski lifts close, many resorts offer discounts before the summer tourists arrive. The Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek (two hours from Denver), offers 30 percent off all body treatments, Monday through Friday, through May 22, 2008. Weekends bring 15 percent off treatments.

Plus, various packaged services are 20 percent off this spring. This includes the two-hour Teen Scene: a 30-minute facial, manicure and pedicure, plus a retail credit at the spa boutique. “Little divas” ages 8 to 12 are pampered with the Prima Donna package: a Bubbling Footbath, Bejeweled Fingernail Art, and Twinkle Toes Nail Art.

The Allegria Spa underwent a massive $12 million renovation and expansion last year. One unusual new amenity is the Aqua Sanitas water sanctuary for adults. Modeled after ancient Roman bath rituals, and inspired by the many healing hot springs found throughout Colorado, this is a self-guided journey through various pools, showers, and steam rooms. It’s rejuvenating and relaxing, and can be enjoyed on its own or with any of the body treatments.

Health Spa Healdsburg, Healdsburg, Calif.

[photo h max-width=180 align=right]The brand new Health Spa Healdsburg welcomes all ages to its peaceful, environmentally friendly bungalow on a half-acre of land in Sonoma County, Calif. A tranquil private garden, sculpture pond, and waterfalls set the tone for relaxation.

What’s nifty for multiple generations here is the Family Massage. For this treatment, you share a room with your grandchild, receiving full-body massages simultaneously on side-by-side tables. Some of the suites have gauze curtains separating the tables for more privacy, and one has a wood-burning fireplace to create an even cozier atmosphere in the cold-weather months.

Another unusual healing treatment for all ages at the Health Spa Healdsburg is the Water Flow Massage. You and your therapist (both in swimsuits!) enter an indoor, heated saltwater pool, where your body is gently guided, stretched, massaged, and supported. Because you’re in a weightless state, your limbs and spine can move to therapeutic positions that can’t be achieved on a massage table.

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