Spas… Ah-h-h-h-h!

Continued (page 3 of 5)

Massage therapist Jan Viramontes says it’s very important to her to let clients know from the start they’re in good hands. “Communication is key,” she says. “I want them to know they are safe, that I know what I’m doing, that you can trust me with your body. I want them to feel comfortable.”

To start, a dry brush is used to exfoliate and stimulate circulation to the top layer of the skin. Then, the mud mixture is applied in a thin layer across the entire body, back and front. It goes on smooth, but as it dries, you feel the red rock texture. The wrap is applied for 30 minutes, spurring absorption. Following a shower, it’s on to the massage table for the rest of the 80-minute session.

In the massage, Jan finds the neck is usually the most tense area. Pressure varies, but she gets a feel for the body as she’s working, moving blood in and out of the muscle. “It may feel like a workout,” she says, “but more relaxing and without the sweat.”

The Circle

The Hilton Spa

Going around in circles is not a symbol of getting lost for the Hilton Spa _ on the contrary, it’s what gives guests and staff a heightened sense of direction. You’ll see the circle, represented as a Compass, all around the full-service spa facility. Each direction indicates points on life’s journey matched by particular treatments. Pretty heady stuff for a hotel chain, but the personal touch goes a long way to erasing any preconceptions about corporate stuffiness.

Hilton’s facility is extensive, including a 2,500-foot fitness center, aerobics room, lap pool, tennis and volleyball, and classes. Locals can take spa treatments for a fee; using other parts of the facility requires a membership.

At the front desk, guests re­ceiv­­ing body treat­ments or massage fill out an “intake” form to provide basic information. Guests are given a robe, slippers and a key, directed to a spacious locker room, and then to “Still­point,” a quiet rendezvous for contemplation, and for meeting the therapist, essentially the center of the “circle.” Treat­ments are tailored to the individual. East, or Sunrise, symbolizes new beginnings, and might in­volve traditional massage or re­flexology. South, or the “Place of the Heart,” symbolizes cleansing: aromatherapy, couples mas­sage, a sea salt wrap. West is Introspection: deep tissue massage, heated stone treatment, clay wraps or an herbal/meditation bath. North represents wisdom, ex­pressed in Ayur­vedic Abhyanga massage from India (using warm herbalized oils soothing to the nervous system), or a “chakra” (energy) balancing using gemstones and crystals.

Mii amo

A Destination Spa at Enchantment

When 90 minutes just isn’t enough time to work out those kinks, there’s Mii amo. A “destination spa” connected with the Enchantment resort, Mii amo offers three-, four- and seven-night “journeys,” personalized itineraries of treatments in a setting dedicated to rejuvenation and designed to seamlessly meld with the soothing red rock environment and traditions of the area.

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