Entries in ‘California’ Journal

Spa Week Deals

Saturday October 18, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 0 Comments

I’ve said it before, “If money were no object, I’d splurge on a massage once a week.” But like everyone else, I watch my pennies and treat myself to a spa treatment once every few months or when I come across a deal. Twice a year in April and October, Spa Week offers $50 spa treatments. The ladies at Healing Hands Day Spa offered me a massage and facial in anticipation of Spa Week. Are you in need of a little me time?
 

wellness and health

Laughter is key to wellness and health



Wellness and health benefits

Simply walking into a spa tends to lower my blood pressure. The low lights, relaxing atmosphere, soothing scents and welcoming staff are in complete contrast with my job as a travel writer. I’m used to rushing to catch a flight, shoulder strain from carrying a too-heavy laptop computer bag and hours of poor posture while typing on a computer keyboard. I need to shift my focus away from spa treatments as a splurge and keep in mind the wellness and health benefits to my body and spirit.

Benefits of massage

“My goal as a massage therapy ambassador, having studied at National Holistic Institute, is to increase people’s awareness about the benefits of massage,” explained Massage Therapist Amelia Academia. “To receive a massage is blissful, reduces stress, and improves circulation throughout the whole body. I believe that it is important to incorporate massage into a health plan, as much as going to the gym to exercise. It may be easy to think of massage as a luxury treat you do once a year. It really is so much more of a mind and body holistic healing experience.”

 

massage

The benefits of massage

Massage

Having recently returned from a food and wine trip to Quebec, Canada, I opted for the detoxing massage. The aromatherapy treatment began with essential oils of rosemary, burdock, echinacea, lemon, geranium, peppermint, figwort and watercress. I was able to identify some of these scents from my apothecary experience at The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.

Microdermabrasion facial

In my world, you only live once and you’re only given one body, so why not take care of it? As I have now entered the active baby boomer stage of life, I’ve decided to be open to facial treatments. Before my skin started showing the signs of age, I didn’t give it much thought. Now I realize the error of my ways and understand the need to keep adequately hydrated.
 

relax
 

Young and cheerful, my esthetician Hannah Sweet grew up drawn to skin care. “I’d mix my own masks. As I got older I learned that I liked the functionality of the skin and how and why it works.”

My appointment began with a warm paraffin treatment to moisturize my hands & deeply penetrate the skin. Next came the microdermabrasion facial. Having never experienced this machine before, Hannah compared it to a cat’s tongue licking your face and that was a perfect analogy. A hydrating mask followed and I was ready to re-enter the work world after a morning of pampering.

Bookings for Spa Week deals are available online now with Spa Week taking place October 20-26, 2014 nationwide. To schedule a Healing Hands spa treatment click here. Check the Spa Week website for additional locations.
 

Insider Tip:
Spa Week offers deeply discounted treatments via Spa and Wellness gift cards. Redeem gift cards for treatments at any participating spa. For additional insider tips follow Northern California Travel Writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter and Spa Week on Twitter @spaweek.

 
If You Go:

Healing Hands Day Spa (925) 362-9892

2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd. Suite 107B

San Ramon, California 94583

Article and photos by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Healing Hands Day Spa for review purposes. I was not paid for this review. All opinions are my own.

Marilyn Monroe Spa Review

Wednesday October 15, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 1 Comment

I love everything about a trip to the spa; from the aromatherapy scents that hit my nostrils upon entering the spa, to soaking in a hot tub after a deep tissue or hot stone massage and the sense of calm that envelopes my body at the end of a treatment. When the folks at Marilyn Monroe Spas offered me a facial, I only hesitated for a second. That’s because I always opt for a massage over a facial. In this instance, I’m glad that I went for the facial treatment.
 

"Marilyn Monroe Spas"

Aromatherapy scents hit your nostrils at Marilyn Monroe Spas. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

Marilyn Monroe Spas

Marilyn Monroe, while a tragic figure, knew what made her happy. “Beneath the makeup and behind the smile, I’m just a girl who wishes for the world,” said Monroe. There’s no denying that name recognition works when it comes to branding the Marilyn Monroe Spas chain. The first Marilyn Monroe Spa opened in northern California at Hyatt Regency Monterey and continues its expansion with luxury nail salons, hotel spa resort locations and Glamour Rooms.

While Marilyn Monroe Spas are fairly new players on the scene, the corporate team behind the brand are seasoned operators, with Disney Resort Spa experience under their collective belt.
 

"Marilyn Monroe"

“I just want to be wonderful!” Marilyn Monroe. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

As I mentioned, I’m not a facial gal. It’s not that I have anything against facials, it’s that I sit hunched in front of a computer all day and my shoulders are always in tight knots. If money were no object, I’d treat myself to a facial AND massage once a month.

 

"Marilyn Monroe Spas"

The relaxation area in Monterey, California


 

"Nancy D. Brown" "golden glow facial"

Marilyn Monroe Golden Glow Facial

 
Marilyn Monroe facial
The Golden Glow Facial treatment, priced at $175. was 80 minutes of me time.  The oxygenating facial opened up my pores and re-hydrated my very dry skin. The Green Tea Refining Mask was cold on application, but my Esthetician Lucy patiently explained each step of the facial treatment. While the antioxidant ingredients went to work restoring elasticity and hydrating my face with moisture, I also received a hand, foot and shoulder massage – yeah! After this relaxing treatment I did feel refreshed and like Marilyn Monroe, I felt just wonderful.
 
"Marilyn Monroe Spas"
 

Did you know that Marilyn’s favorite scent was roses? As such, many of the organic spa products are infused with roses. I tried the rose cream cleanser, the rose hip cell renewing facial polish, the rose firming and brightening serium, rose hip firming de-puff eye cream and the rose hip cell renewal seed oil capsules. This last item is used as a nightly treatment instead of moisturizer.
 
Next time I’m near this spa, I’m trying Marilyn’s Signature manicure/pedicure treatment.
 

"Marilyn Monroe Spas"

Manicure, pedicure anyone?


 
Insider Tip:
Love spas, but tough on the budget? Mad About Marilyn is a rewards program offering “Mad Money”. $30 month will get you $30 toward a spa service. For every $10 you spend (including your monthly membership fee) you earn $1 in Mad Money, plus 10% discounts on products & 20% discounts on all services at hotel spas. For additional insider tips follow Northern California Travel Writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter and Marilyn Monroe Spas on Twitter @MarilynSpas.
 

If You Go:

Marilyn Monroe Spa (831) 657-6734

1 Old Golf Course Road

Monterey, California 93940

Article and photos by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Marilyn Monroe Spas while researching a hotel review. All opinions are my own.

Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Monterey

Friday October 10, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 3 Comments

Author John Steinbeck would have been happy to stay at Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel during his Travels with Charley, as this hotel is very pet-friendly. They have an entire building dedicated to people traveling with their pets, as well as offering outside dining and fireplace access to pets and their owners.
 

"Hyatt Regency", Monterey

Hyatt Regency Monterey Lobby. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

What I liked about Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa; the 22 acre resort will keep everyone happy. With two heated swimming pools, tennis courts, shuffle board, 24/7 gym, jogging paths, on-property 18-hole Del Monte Golf Course, several restaurants and the Marilyn Monroe Spa, there truly is something for everyone! My Golf Course king room opened up directly to the golf course.
 


 
 

swimming pool, "Hyatt"

One of two heated pools. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

"StayFit gym"

StayFit gym available 24/7. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

Is there a better way to spend the day in Monterey than Pebble Beach golf, followed with a spa treatment, dinner at TusCa Ristorante, a dip in the pool and s’mores by the fire pit? Make that a weekend with horseback riding in Pebble Beach and I’m one happy camper.

Traveling with your pet? This Hyatt Regency is pet-friendly and charges a one-time $100 fee. The fee includes a pet bed and bowl to borrow, doggie treats and privacy hanger alerting house-keeping so no one spooks the dog. Outside dining options include heat lamps and fire pits, keeping man and his best friend toasty warm.
 

"Hyatt Regency Monterey" king bed

Monterey Golf Course King. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

fire pit, "Hyatt Regency Monterey"

Pet-friendly fire pit. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

Upon Request
Monterey county is tough on water wasters; this includes hotels and restaurants. When you dine in Monterey restaurants you’ll need to ask for a glass of water, as it is only served upon request. Want a bathrobe in your room or nightly turndown service? You’ll need to ask at the Monterey Hyatt. I learned of these two options after I had already checked out of the hotel – but they are available to all guests – upon request.
 

"Hyatt Express Check-in Kiosk"

Hyatt Express Check-in Kiosk. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

Insider Tip
Hate waiting in line to check in or out of your hotel? The Hyatt Express Check-In Kiosks might be just the ticket for you. Guests are able to utilize web check-in online and receive e-mail notification when their room is available. Bypass the hotel lobby line by heading straight for the Express Kiosk. Swipe your credit card and your confirmation will be printed, along with keys and directions to your hotel room. Hyatt Gold Passport members (free to join) are able to request specific hotel floors and receive points for their stay. Points may be redeemed for hotel or restaurant rewards.

Hyatt Regency Monterey charges a $20 resort fee. The daily fee covers Wifi, parking, airport and Fisherman’s Wharf shuttle, as well as access to Hyatt StayFit gym open 24 hours, pools and tennis courts. My Monterey Golf Course King room rented for $179. plus tax. Check the website for current rates and package deals.
 

"Hyatt Regency Monterey" flowers

Flowers photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @HyattMonterey on Twitter.

Check-In Time: 4:00pm

Check-Out Time: 12:00pm

If You Go:

Hyatt Regency Monterey (831) 372-1234
1 Old Golf Course Road,
Monterey, California 93940

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Hyatt Regency. All opinions are my own.