Tag Archives: Spas

Golden Door Spa

Golden Door Spa: Life in the Slow Lane Isn’t So Slow After All

These days we could all use a break, and luxury spas are just what the doctor ordered. Spas provide the antidote to our high stress modern lives. They are resources for preventative health, wellness, anti-aging and more – and no “one size fits all” experience will do. Thankfully, many spas in the US and abroad are creating unique experiences for their guests, catering to their needs, and understanding that the ageless generation works hard, plays hard—and seeks some serious rejuvenation.

It’s been a week since I returned from my very special week at the Golden Door Spa. If you aren’t familiar with it, Golden Door is located 2 hours south of Los Angeles in Escondido, California. It’s the top of the heap, uber special and grand dame of residential spas in the United States. After returning home one week ago, I confess, I am still resting up. I’m exhausted.

Activity at Golden Door Spa starts at 5:45. That’s a.m. for you night stalkers. A brisk 5 mile hike up the mountain before breakfast isn’t my idea of fun so I opted for a more leisurely 3 miler. It did, however, get me out of bed in the morning at least three times while I was there.

That’s the thing about The Door, as devotees call it. There is so much choice. Don’t like early morning? Sleep in. Don’t like the time you are scheduled for aqua aerobics? Change it. Want an extra mini-muffin with your oatmeal? Have it! It’s a judgement free zone. The other guests aren’t tracking your efforts and the instructors want what you want. They really must hire them for “helpful attitude,” beyond their skillsets. The number of guests is limited to 40 per week, so you enjoy a four-to-one staff ratio.

Decisions, Decisions

Before I even arrived at The Door, I was faced with the first of many choices. What did I want to accomplish? What was my goal for my time at The Door? Weight management, strength, balance, flexibility, mindfulness, rest. Hmmm…could I just say “all of the above” and let the chips fall where they might? Yes, it seems I could.

There are classes or programs all day long. Each day I received my program of activity printed on a fan shaped piece of stiff paper. I had a facial and a massage everyday, too, I might add. I’ve never been stretched, strengthend, trained, buffed and puffed so much in my life. As for activities, I fit tap dancing, meditation, archery and Zumba, into that schedule, as well.

Overall, it was fun and funny and the food was terrific. Before I knew it, my week was up and it was time for me to get home and rest!

Booking a Spa

Top 5 Things to Consider Before Booking a Spa

There are many reasons to visit a spa; relaxation, destressing, and the well-being that comes from the healing of physical touch. The rewards of a spa visit are well documented. But how does one decide what kind and which spa to visit? Rebecca Simpkin, owner of spas in Ibiza, gives us her top 5 things to consider before booking a spa.


When booking a spa holiday, or even if you are just going for the day, the first thing I always consider is a recommendation from a friend – someone who has the same values as you do and likes the same things. Usually, there is no better recommendation or advice than from a friend and you will certainly be headed in the right direction when considering where to go.



Do you want to be able to lie in the sun and allow the rays of the world’s energy source restore you back to you? Somewhere you can allow your experience to truly integrate into your very being? Is it important to you to be in a sunny climate or are you more of a person that likes to be wrapped up warm in front of a fire with a heart-warming cup of tea? Weather affects all of us so be certain you’ve chosen a climate that makes you happy.



Do you want to go far a field and really feel as though you have “gotten away from everything” or would you prefer to just go a short distance from where you live? After all, travelling can have an impact on your experience. I feel it is important to travel comfortably there and back so you really get the full benefits of your experience. Consider maybe arranging a driver to take you to the spa. If you’re taking a train or flight, ensure you travel as comfortable as possible, choosing seats and luggage space where possible. The less stress you have getting there and back will have an impact on the benefits of your experience.



Booking a spa experience with a friend or partner is a great way to spend time together. Sometimes we get so bogged down with day to day life that we don’t really connect with our loved ones, so a spa experience is great to get away from distractions to turn your phones off and enjoy some quality time together, totally relaxed and in your true essence and element. Consider who you would like to spend some sacred time with.  Maybe it’s just yourself and what greater gift can you give yourself than the very best you?



Ask yourself what it is you are wanting out of your experience. Do you want to feel totally relaxed or energised? Different spas specialize in different programs, but a lot of time they can make a bespoke program to cater for you very needs. So if you feel you have found the right place but you don’t see a package that’s for you, let them know what you are looking for and see if they can create something especially for you.

Finally, enjoy this gift to yourself. If you were the most rare, exquisite flower that ever existed, how would you treat yourself? Imagine that every other being on the planet was the most beautiful unique flower too. How would you treat them? Relax and enjoy the entire experience with love for yourself.


Three Best Spas in Ibiza


Open Spa

If you only think of Ibiza as the club and party capitol of the world, you might be surprised to learn it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its beauty and history (Christopher Columbus may have been born there) make Ibiza a must for the seasoned traveler.

While you are taking in the beauty and visiting the remains of early Phoenician settlements, you’ll want to avail yourself of at least one of the best spas in Ibiza.

The Open Spa in the Gran Hotel is one of the most comprehensive spas in Ibiza. This spa is located on the marina. Ibiza Gran is one of the most luxurious hotels on the island, so it lends itself to feeling salubrious as soon as you arrive.

Open Spa 1

The spa itself is top of the range with a full water circuit, including a steam room, Hamman treatments, sauna, and cold rain showers. You have the option to feel as if you were in a tropical rain forest or have a cold bucket simulated experience poured over your hot body! This hot to cold transition helps to balance out the lymphatic system.

There are also many hydro pumps throughout the water circuit so you can have a mini back massage or enjoy a little self-reflexology. Relax in square hot tubs with metal beds in the water, which don’t sound that comfortable but actually are because the bed is made to follow the curves of your body, making the lying down experience in the water even more relaxing.

I highly recommend the Open Spa in the Gran hotel, and if you book a treatment the spa experience is included. However, if you are just wanting to pop in the price is:

Open Aqua individual access:
Low season: April, May and October 40 € pp

High season: From June to September 50 € pp

Open Aqua individual access:
Low season: April, May and October 40 € pp

High season: From June to September 50 € pp




Atzaro is an agriturismo hotel nestled in a beautifully fragrant orange grove.  The surroundings are truly beautiful and make you feel as though you are in Bali. The setting is spectacular and the spa treatments are of the highest standard.  You can come here and use the Hamman and the gym and quite often you can find packages for using the spa, which includes lunch.

There are many Bali beds dotted around the place so you can just relax as well as take a swim. All in all this is a very pleasant experience relaxing in beautiful surroundings and get a nice bite to eat while you are there. Prices are:


1SPA-tratamientosBenefit from the facilities: Spa pool, sauna, Hamman, gym and multiple relaxation zones, on top of access to our main pool and pool bar.

Price: 20€ * available October 6th to April 1st




Access to Spa facilities + Lunch menu at La Veranda Restaurant

Price: 60€ * April 1st to October 6th


Price: 120€ * April 1st to October 6th


Access to Spa facilities + Dinner menu at La Veranda Restaurant + Treatment or massage

Price: 140€ * April 1st to October 6th




Can Marti Goddessa experience is the most rustic feeling spa set up in an enchanted forest in the north of Ibiza. This experience needs to be booked in advance so that the lovely Jules Gibbons can meet you upon arrival.

Next you will check in and get comfy in the little cottage where you and your friends can enjoy a cup of herbal tea served in traditional Moroccan style. Next is to experience the Hamman. Here it is truly a sacred experience.

They use homemade orange scrub for the body, and at an extra cost, a clay face-mask. Following your Hamman experience, you have the option of experiencing one of the lovingly prepared treatments to help you reconnect to YOU. All in all you will leave feeling refreshed pampered like the Goddess you are.

Price: 35€ to 65€


A Day in the Spa at Ta Cenc

Just arriving through the entrance to Ta Cenc Hotel and Spa on Gozo incurred a certain thrill within me. Surrounded by fig, lemon, orange, carob trees, and an amazing display of bougainvillea in the lovingly tended gardens created an instant sense of calm and tranquility. It was easy for me to lock my stresses and worries in my car, where they belonged for the day.

Met by the hotel’s marketing manager, Victor John Borg, I was led into an oasis of warmth, serenity, and light and introduced to my therapist. My anticipation was building as I was handed a fluffy towel and settled into the womb of the treatment room. With soft music playing and the gentle light of fluttering candles, I was ready! Just leave me here! You don’t need to do anymore for me. I’m happy.


The signature treatment for Ta Cenc Spa is the Candle Light Massage, a tempting concoction of warmed candle oils that are gently massaged into my aching and tense muscles. The warmth of the oils mixed with the aromas and the massage itself leave me with an out of body experience. I feel as if I am floating. My brain has shut down and I never envisaged feeling so relaxed.

I have to ask myself: why I don’t take more time out of my madly busy schedule to continue this experience more often? Busy people forget to relax and to take time out. It’s vitally important and I have quickly realised that after just a few hours of the spa experience, I am feeling as if I can tackle anything. It’s a misconception that spas are indulgent and only for holiday-makers. Spas have a vital role to play for the well being and sanity of a person. In fact, statistics prove that 75% of holiday-makers book a hotel with a spa, but never actually venture into this space of calmness…they must be mad! Having being gently plucked off my cloud and being brought down to earth, I explored the grounds of this magnificent hotel.

The views from the lunch terrace are, quite frankly, breathtaking. Looking out over the sea, towards Malta, with the sun on my face, I truly feel like I have died and gone to heaven. There’s an ethereal kind of hush around here. No mobile phones pinging, only the gentle rustling of the trees.


Just when I thought things could not get any better, I was taken for dinner at the hotel’s Il Kantra beach bar. Wow, what a backdrop! The table was perfectly placed over looking Mgarr-ix-Xini bay. With the sun setting and making the sea sparkle, I tucked into the most delicous plate of fresh, locally caught fish. Now I really am in heaven!

Tucked away on the island’s most Southerly tip, perched on the highest cliffs of the island, Ta Cenc hotel is managed by the charming Mr. Italico Rota, who gave me the impression that he is totally dedicated to the needs of his guests, offering a wonderfully, warm welcome at this rustic, beautiful, and charming oasis.

The Spa offers a unique swim in/swim out lagoon style heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna.


To contact, and find out more about Hotel Ta Cenc & Spa you can visit their website at www.tacenchotel.com, email: spa@tacenchotel.com, telephone: 0035622191000 Coordinates: 36°1′28″N 14°14′45″E

Treatments start at around €40.00. Day packages from €60.00, which include a light lunch and full use of the facilities.

43 The Spa

My favorite hotel in Barcelona has gotten even better!

43TheSpaThis summer, Hotel Arts Barcelona launched 43 The Spa offering guests the ultimate beauty experience in the city, solidifying its reputation as one of the leading spas in Europe. The spa will now offer treatments by the prestigious luxury Spanish skincare brand Natura Bissé a favorite with top beauticians around the world.

Situated on the 43rd floor of the hotel, 43 The Spa is named after its prime location, which offers guests spectacular panoramic views of the coastline from some of the treatment rooms, the vitality pool and the sauna.

The spa is comprised of eight treatment rooms, several with natural light and all with chromo therapy. It also features a wet zone with saunas, Klafs color therapy steam rooms, vitality pools and ice fountains. Hotel Arts Barcelona was one of the first hotels in the city to embrace wellness as a necessity for its guests.

The new spa will be offering treatments by Natura Bissé, which was established in Barcelona over twenty years ago and is considered among the most exclusive brands in the world. Their luxurious and high performing products are created with cutting-edge, highly effective, active ingredients.

For the launch of 43 The Spa, Hotel Arts has chosen to use the exclusive Diamond Collection by Natura Bissé. The luxury skincare brand has also created two signature treatments especially for the spa, combining the expertise and the marine environment of the hotel for rejuvenation, wellness and relaxation. The two new exclusive treatments incorporate seashells and use products with ingredients that reflect the coastal location.

Narcisa Boutique Bed, Breakfast & Spa on Gozo, Malta

‘Narcisa’ is a recently, but traditionally built farmhouse style property, sitting on the edge of the fertile Nadur valley, offering views out towards the sea. Ideally situated in one of Gozo’s biggest villages, and in close proximity of the best beach on the island, Ramal Bay, Nadur has the village emblem of the sun rising, as being on the very tip of the Eastern side of the island, Nadur is the first village to see the sun rise.


The bedrooms at Narcisa are all en-suite, and the two double rooms offer stunning views from their private terraces. On arrival guests will find handmade soaps, fresh fruit, and a bottle of local wine in the room.

Breakfast is a totally relaxed affair, with the breakfast table buckling under a variety of fresh fruit (as much of it local produce as possible according to the season)local breads, a selection of cheese and cold meats, yogurts, cereals, freshly squeezed orange juice, and preserves. As an optional extra I provide homemade pancakes stuffed with fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey, or a traditional English breakfast. Guests sit by the pool, on the breakfast terrace, overlooking the garden, and enjoying the sea views.

roomThe treatment room at Narcisa is warm and cozy, with relaxing music and candles burning, with luxurious massages and facials to choose from.

In the garden, surrounded by fruit and olive trees, I have created a meditation area, where a guest can awaken their sensory awareness with natural products such as wood, stone and water. Also, it’s possible to arrange yoga classes in this area, on a one-to-one basis.

I strongly believe that bed and breakfast dwellers do fit into a different category to luxury hotel dwellers, but that doesn’t mean that the standards need to drop. At Narcisa, my guests have my undivided attention, and I can organize practically anything for them, from a wedding to a country walk, with a truly personal touch.

GardenAs an ex-pat, previously working in a country that makes everything as difficult and stressful as it possibly can for its occupants, I believe that I fully understand the total importance of a persons annual vacation. It’s really interesting for me, having studied the psychology of a traveler in a recently completed degree in tourism (Yes, I’ve come a long way from booking a flight and packing a suitcase) to watch my guests arrive as a bundle of tied up knots and stresses, and slowly, but surely, unravel.

The strap line for Narcisa is ‘Relax- Indulge –Unwind’, and I don’t feel that my job is done unless my guests do just that.

To find out more about Malta, Gozo or Narcisa, please feel free to email me, Julie Wiltshire, on info@bedandbreakfastgozo.com, and to visit the website www.bedandbreakfastgozo.com