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by Michelle Pratt | March 1, 2008
The magnificently situated top floor spa is a welcome and restful retreat for guests of Cape Grace in Cape Town, South Africa.

The magnificently situated top floor spa is a welcome and restful retreat for guests of Cape Grace in Cape Town, South Africa.

Salon Name: The Spa at Cape Grace

Salon Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Service Name: The Manicure

Service Price: ZAR 350 ($52 USD)

Description: Location. Location. Location. The Spa at Cape Grace is located on the top floor of the Cape Grace hotel, offering guests sweeping views of Table Mountain, the city, and the yacht marina, which all add an impressive element to the sensory experience. Treatments inspired by the African continent ensure clients leave with their well being restored. The spa is exclusive to hotel guests, so if you want to enjoy the view and the services, expect to stay the night.

The Manicure uses citrus, aloe, and vitamins E and C to moisturize clients’ hands. The antioxidants in these ingredients “awaken the skin, correct sun damage, and give skin a smooth, firm appearance,” according to the salon’s menu. Eleanor Williams, marketing executive for The Spa at Cape Grace, says the included massage “stimulates the bodies’ lymph nodes to work efficiently, eliminating fluid and toxin build-up in the skin. It’s a great way to energize tired-looking skin.” The Spa attendant uses an African knopkierie (a wooden stick with a knobbed head) during the manicure service, leaving hands and nails nourished and beautiful. The last step in this over-the-top service is a calming head massage. 

 

Private space allows guests to experience their nail services while still enjoying an open, airy spa atmosphere.

Private space allows guests to experience their nail services while still enjoying an open, airy spa atmosphere.

Salon Name: l.a. vie l’orange

Salon Location: West Hollywood, Calif.

Service Name: The Orange Peel

Service Price: $100

Description: l.a. vie l’orange made the cut because of their genius at healing treatments and their ability to market to their audience. They combine elegance, pampering, and quality with fun. This clever spa assigns a “diagnosis” to clients’ hand or foot condition, and “prescribes” a certain service as the recommended treatment. If clients have a diagnosis of dry, callused feet and cracked heels, the solution is The Orange Peel.

The service begins with a luxurious foot soak to prepare feet for maximum results. To prepare clients for relaxation, l.a. vie l’orange lights candles to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. During the service clients are offered their choice of homemade cookies, wine, champagne, hot tea, iced tea, orange-cucumber water, or hibiscus tea. The service continues with the application of a specially formulated callus removal serum, followed by an exfoliation treatment using the spa’s exclusive alpha-hydroxy sea scrub. Next, hot oil is used to massage the feet. Clients are further pampered, and feet are further treated, when paraffin is painted on and feet are wrapped in a hot towel. Cucumber heel cream application is the final step before polish completes the service. Clients can add a 20-minute extended massage for only $20.

 

The After Shopping Experience provides guests with the reward they deserve after a hard day of shopping.

The After Shopping Experience provides guests with the reward they deserve after a hard day of shopping.

Salon Name: La Prairie at The Ritz-Carlton Spa

Salon Location: Central Park, New York City

Service Name: After Shopping Paradise

Service Price: $165

Description: This 90-minute after-shopping self-indulgence combines foot reflexology and a spectacular pedicure to revive not only your feet, but your spirits. The treatment begins with 30 minutes of reflexology, leaving your feet relaxed and ready to be pampered. After this half hour of relaxation the feet are soaked and the cuticles conditioned before an exfoliating and “retexturizing” treatment begins. Next, a hydrating and conditioning mask is applied, and the hand and arm are massaged using Cellular Body Emulsion & Hand Cream. The finishing touch to this extravagant pedicure is a coat of polish.  

 

Guests can enjoy pedicures poolside at the beautiful Lake Austin Spa.

Guests can enjoy pedicures poolside at the beautiful Lake Austin Spa.

Salon Name: Lake Austin Spa

Salon Location: Austin, Texas

Service Name: Pumpkin Pedicure

Service Price: $160 (Guests who receive services totaling less than $250 can expect to pay a $25 facility fee on Fridays and Saturdays)

Description: It’s more than a pedicure, really. It’s an entry into an alternate world. Dubbed the No. 2 destination spa by Condé Nast Traveler, the Lake Austin Spa’s beauty and grounds are enough to command the $160 price tag. And for those of us who prefer the great outdoors to the inside (regardless of how lush that inside is), pedicures are available poolside for an additional $25.

Guests are invited to change into a spa robe before they begin the 80-minute pedicure with foot soak. Next, a pleasant-smelling, vitamin-and mineral rich pumpkin masque is applied to clients’ feet. This softens and replenishes the skin, and helps the skin repair itself to reverse the signs of aging. Guests enjoy a foot massage and an exfoliating step to repair dry feet. Next, attention is turned to the nails; the cuticles are removed and the nails conditioned before they are filed, buffed, and polished.[PAGEBREAK]

Tea and other service appropriate drinks are served in the tea lounge at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental.

Tea and other service appropriate drinks are served in the tea lounge at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental.

Salon Name: The Spa at Mandarin Oriental New York

Salon Location: New York City

Service Name: Oriental Foot Therapy

Service Price: $215 (weekday); $225 (weekend)

Description: In Oriental philosophy, the soles of the feet are said to mirror the systems and functions of the body. The Mandarin Oriental invites clients to “leave the everyday pressures of life behind and cleanse away their cares with this symbolic and traditional treatment.”

During the 50-minute Oriental Foot Therapy, feet rest on warm pebbles as they are bathed in warm water rich with fragrant oils. A therapist exfoliates and smoothes the feet and lower legs, and massages Marma points (the points where two or more tissues meet) on the feet and ankles. This treatment is rumored to help raise natural energy, encouraging the release of tension.

 

The nearly two-hour Actaea Works Signature manicure was inspired by an ancient Polynesian rite.

The nearly two-hour Actaea Works Signature manicure was inspired by an ancient Polynesian rite.

Salon Name: Actaea Works

Salon Location: Shorewood and Bayview, Wisc.

Service Name: Actaea Works Signature Pedicure

Service Price: $85

Description: At first glance an $85 pedicure may seem steep, but between the pampering attention clients receive and the length of the service, this price tag is more than reasonable. This hour-and-forty-five-minute service was inspired by an ancient Polynesian rite for the care of hands and feet. Clients begin their pedicure by inhaling their choice of oil and receiving a massage on the head, neck, and shoulders.

Attention to the feet begins with an exfoliating treatment. Next, clients are pampered with a signature mixture of essential oils, lemon, and Comfort Zone Monticelli Mud. The mud originates from the thermal waters found in springs in Parma, Italy. This mud mixture is applied to clients’ feet, which are then wrapped in hot towels. Clients enjoy a few relaxing moments with the warmth of the towels.

After these steps, the clients’ feet are cleansed and filed before they receive a reflexology massage with Lippman Collection Steppin’ Out Foot Balm. The service ends with polish application. 

 

Warm, earthy tones and understated elegance create a relaxing escape for guests at The Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley, Pa.

Warm, earthy tones and understated elegance create a relaxing escape for guests at The Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley, Pa.

Salon Name: The Lodge at Woodloch

Salon Location: Hawley, Pa.

Service Name: Nirvana Manicure

Service Price: $85

Description: Both the Nirvana Manicure and its namesake pedicure are the most “luxurious hand and foot services we offer,” says Ginny Michel Lopis, COO of the Spa at Woodloch. This vegan and organic service hydrates skin with a hot cream mask infused with warming Indonesian ginger. Natural products such as Chinese Jasmine and Indian Frankincense are used to exfoliate and nourish the skin. The 80-minute manicure boasts “two delightful massages, followed by perfect polish, leaving hands looking healthy, renewed, and beautiful.”

During the Nirvana Pedicure ($115/80 minutes), guests sit in a private pedicure area while they enjoy a view through floor to ceiling windows of Pennsylvania’s beautiful wooded landscape and the spa’s private pond. The pedicure chairs have hand-hewn copper tubs that have been created to serve as plumbed, fully functioning foot baths. Copper does not harbor bacteria, allowing the spa to combat sanitation naturally. Clients have a chroma-therapy reading while they select the perfect nail color selection, and they are given a recommendation for at-home nail care so they can “continue the journey.”

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