These hotels spas are havens within which to completely immerse yourself. After all, the healing powers of nature are at their best when ingredients are locally sourced
When we pad gently on slippered feet into the decadently luxurious space of a spa, to lie down in a warm, low-lit room on a thick fluffy towel and float gently away into a haze of blissful relaxation, we like to think we are leaving the world behind.
What doesn’t usually feature in the mind’s eye is what’s growing outside in the gardens, or what’s to be found buried in the rich soils of the hills beyond.
But today’s most sophisticated spa therapies are increasingly dedicated to harnessing locally sourced ingredients, prized for their ecological credentials as well as their evocative, sensual and powerful holistic-beauty benefits.
“There’s a real win-win element that comes into play when you source ingredients for spa and skincare treatments locally,” says Fiona Klonarides, award-winning beauty blogger and founder of The Beauty Shortlist.
“Not only is it far more ecological, in every sense of the word, but freshly harvested, locally produced ingredients have a special potency.
“One of the spa trends most of note this year is all about bringing the outside in – using fresh ingredients in actual beauty treatments and therapeutic tea infusions,” she adds. “The aim is to achieve that close contact with phytonutrients and the healing power of nature.”
Strawberry – The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Red, plump and undeniably delicious, the strawberry is appealing to both our palate and complexion. Its main skin-pleasing ingredient is alpha-hydroxy acid, a naturally occurring substance that helps to shed dead skin cells so that new, youthful skin is revealed.
Strawberries also help clear up acne and oiliness, rejuvenate the skin, whiten teeth, reduce under-eye puffiness and leave hair glossy and beautifully conditioned.
“We use strawberries in our infused water that we serve to our guests as part of their full luxury spa experience,” says Jill Haidler, Spa Director. “The infused water is filled with antioxidants and helps boost the immune system and restore health to your skin, hair and nails.
“Other health benefits of strawberry-infused water are that it can improve your mood, boost your metabolism and help flush toxins from the body.”
In true Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts style, spa guests are also treated to a sumptuous appetizer of chocolate-covered strawberries, locally sourced from Abita Springs in Louisiana, to round out the full strawberry-infused spa experience.
Citrus – Boca Raton Resort and Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
At the Spanish-themed Waldorf Astoria Spa in Boca Raton Resort and Club, guests are taken back to the mid-1500s when Spanish explorers brought oranges to Florida.
Using this fruit to enhance the spa experience for all senses, guests are treated to citrus spa treatments, signature citrus scents and refreshing orange-flavored teas.
Spa Director Vanessa Carter says: “Citrus essence is highly uplifting and invigorating. These properties help to create a sense of wellbeing, and it is also anti-inflammatory, which helps to address skin concerns and promote collagen production.”
Citrus is incorporated in many facets of the Waldorf Astoria Spa experience. Its topical benefits include lightening, firming and hydrating the skin, as well as preventing and treating environmental sun damage.
“From the scent-infused aroma that greets guests as they enter the spa, to citrus-infused water that quenches the deepest of thirsts, citrus is ever present in the 50-minute Ritual Bath hydro journey,” adds Carter.
“It includes a refreshing, cooling and revitalizing vitamin-C face splash that incorporates an exclusive blend of essential oils obtained from bitter orange, among other citrus fruits.”
Traditional Attar – Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
The use of opulent scents in the spa world is something we have become accustomed to, but the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah is taking a traditional beauty therapy and making it wholly fresh and modern.
“As we look more to holistic wellness, the mind and emotions are becoming more important,” explained the late Geraldine Howard, then president of Aromatherapy Associates. “Spas are beginning to use essential oils and the power of scent for their true purpose, and for their innate, therapeutic, healing qualities.”
The Waldorf Astoria Spa at Dubai Palm Jumeirah embraces the local culture of traditional ‘Attar’ (meaning scent in Arabic) perfumery by integrating a selection of the finest perfumes, rich in woody aromatics and spices from the East and feminine florals from the West, into their treatments.
When indulging in the signature bespoke massage, guests are invited to complete a sensory test to select their ideal aroma, making the experience more tailored and luxurious. Each perfume has been selected to ignite a personal, sensory journey, transporting guests to an unforgettable place and time.
Honey – Waldorf Astoria Orlando
For thousands of years, raw honey has been prized for its powerful antioxidants and antibacterial properties.
Often incorporated into anti-aging skincare regimes, it is also heralded for treating and preventing problem skin, such as acne, as well as promoting a beautiful complexion.
Highly moisturizing and soothing, honey is a well-known ‘clarifier’, helping to open up and unclog pores.
At the Waldorf Astoria Spa in Orlando, the wonders of locally crafted honey are infused into unique skin treatments, products and personalized therapies to achieve natural radiance and a healthy glow.
Locally sourced from Winter Park in Florida, sweet, hydrating Tupelo honey is used in a number of key treatments, such as the Honey Butter Massage, the Honey Calendula Body Buff & Wrap, and the manicure and pedicure.
Tupelo honey is considered the gold standard by which all other honey varieties are measured. By massaging the sweet-scented honey into the skin, and applying it during treatments as part of a topical scrub, guests are pampered by a stimulating therapy that indulges the senses as well as the body.
Pearl – Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah
Opalescent, lustrous and rare, pearl oysters occur naturally on relatively shallow banks in the Gulf. Individual pearls that date back at least 7,000 years have been excavated from archaeological sites; pearls lie at the heart of tradition in the Emirates.
Representing serene beauty, it is only natural that elements of pearl are found throughout the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. Panels and engraved doors inlaid with mother-of-pearl details welcome guests to their suites, in which bespoke headboards are adorned with mother-of-pearl details.
British artist Ann Carrington has also created four pieces expressly for the hotel; works made entirely from mother-of-pearl buttons that have been sewn in the pattern of fan coral onto taupe silk.
To book your indulgent spa experience at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, visit waldorfastoria.com/spa