With the holidays officially behind us, it’s time to set our sights on the upcoming season of love. As Valentine’s Day approaches, spas across the country are sharpening their menus and preparing to serve up some romance in the form of luxurious treatments. We spoke to reps from seven spas, who dished on their treatments for two that are rocking the worlds of their clients, from traditional side-by-side massages to Moroccan themed bathing rituals.
Protocol Breakdown: The spacious couples’ room at the Na Ho’ola Spa offers breathtaking views of Waikiki Beach, the treatment begins with the refreshing and relaxing Lemongrass Matcha scrub, which is followed by a hydrating, antiaging Carita facial, and ends with a Maui Organic Lavender Lomilomi massage.
The Perfect Preparation: Ramping up the “love factor” is easy when you have one of the world’s most romantic settings as your backdrop, says spa director Yoshimi Anderson, who explains that the spa attracts many couples marking romantic celebrations, honeymoons, anniversaries and weddings. Nonromantic pairs can get a taste of the good life too. “Oftentimes we customize treatments for mothers and daughters so they can experience different services, but together in the same room,” she adds.
Why Two Beats One: “After the service, the twosome is led back to the relaxation lounge to enjoy their post-treatment bliss with tranquility and total togetherness,” says Anderson. To amp up the romance, the spa’s staff offers sparkling wine; to entice mother/daughter and BFF twosomes to splurge in the retail section, duos receive a 10% discount following their service.Protocol Breakdown: The worries and stressors of “real life” are checked at the door with this two-hour slice of heaven, which includes a 50-minute couples’ massage and a fully customized 50-minute Ananya Signature Facial.
The Perfect Preparation: To make the most of their coupled clients’ time, Ananya’s staff does its very best to set the mood. “The room is lit with 25 candles on the wall,” says spa director Julie Becker. “It’s a very romantic and cozy space, and for special occasions like Valentine’s Day we add champagne and chocolates. We ensure that the entire two-hour treatment is coordinated in such a way that couples stay together the whole time—they never have to leave the room.”
Why Two Beats One: This luxurious getaway has proven so popular it has resulted in some updates to the spa’s menu: Becker is developing a program in which couples learn how to pamper each other. “In time for Valentine’s, we’re working to create a massage-teaching service,” she discloses.
Protocol Breakdown: Derived from the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, forest bathing is more than a hike, it’s a full immersion in nature. During the leisurely, two-hour trek, participants are urged to connect and engage with their surroundings—the smells, sounds, position of the sun, even animal tracks. Silent meditation is also a key component; guests are invited to quiet their minds for a portion of the hike and share their experiences upon arriving back at the spa.
The Perfect Preparation: Coupled clients account for a majority of The Mayflower Grace Hotel’s business and 40 percent of the spa’s volume; the spa’s staff strives to shower pairs with all the joys of nature— and then some. In addition to the standard bubbly and organic chocolates consumed on site, guests are encouraged to take edible treats or exclusive spa products home with them as mementos of their experiences.
Why Two Beats One: Forest Bathing allows for a different type of connection and intimacy: Couples can book a private excursion (which is typically executed in groups) to enjoy some much-needed alone time amid the property’s beauty. “The uniqueness of Forest Bathing is the opportunity to be together in nature and explore new ways of relating to each other and with the world around us,” says spa director Victoria Boscarino. “We live most of our days in a state of separation from the people we love most; even when we’re together we are often busy with work or on our phones. Getting away and being immersed in nature with another person infuses the soul with a sense of wellness, magic and special bonding.”
Protocol Breakdown: “Couples have a lengthy menu of entirely customizable massages to choose from, which allows them to mix and match their treatments,” says Chelsea O’Donnell, head of marketing at Body by Brooklyn. This is ideal for twosomes with varying needs: A male guest might want to enjoy a sports or deep tissue massage, while his significant other may opt for hot stones.
The Perfect Preparation: Couples can enjoy the spa’s private VIP Suite, a space that’s available to rent by the hour before or after any treatment. This exclusive lounge area features a couch, flat-screen TV, Jacuzzi tub for two and a steam shower. “We always fi ll the tub and decorate the water with rose petals and candles, plus we provide fruit, snacks and champagne,” says O’Donnell.
Why Two Beats One: Body by Brooklyn attempts to make its couples’ services like one-on-one date experiences. “Whereas most people might only spend an hour or two at the spa, our guests often stay with us for half a day,” says O’Donnell. “Even after they’ve lounged in their private suite, couples can then come into our main lounge for a bite to eat or a cocktail by the fireplace.”
Protocol Breakdown: Couples soak together in tubs filled with soothing warm water for an ultimate hydrotherapy treatment. They can pick from three themes—Greek, Scandinavian or Moroccan—each of which includes elements such as unique decor, complimentary refreshments, and specially mixed aromatherapy oils associated with that region.
The Perfect Preparation: Inspired by travel, these bathing rituals’ themes are uniquely designed and prepped to make couples feel like they’re on an exotic vacation. Ole Henriksen staff spares no expense on the little details to create an authentic experience. For instance, the Moroccan-themed soak features wine and region specific fruit served on trays made of bone. The soak itself is equally memorable. “It’s an interesting sensory experience—the aroma sweeps guests away to another region of the world,” says spa owner Vance Soto. “We even give every couple a small vial of their chosen scent to take home.”
Why Two Beats One: Although anyone can enjoy the standard 25-minute version of this service as an add-on, it’s the privacy factor that keeps twosomes coming back for the whole “royal treatment.” “When couples have the room to themselves, they’ll add their own touches such as their spouse’s favorite champagne, snack or music,” says Soto. In fact, clients have even been known to propose to their significant others during their time at the spa!
Protocol Breakdown: Couples get their pick of either the signature massage, which incorporates Swedish-style techniques, or a deep-tissue method. They can also tailor the service by selecting special oils and adding individual elements to the room.
The Perfect Preparation: Healing Waters pulls out all the stops in making sure couples get the most out of their time. Guests are welcome (and encouraged) to bring personal touches such as cards or gifts with them, explains Amanda Gorecki, president and founder of the mini chain. “The majority of our clients are regulars, so oftentimes they’re looking for a different protocol from what they previously received,” says Gorecki. “That ‘different experience’ typically involves the types of oils, techniques and room setup—all of which can be individualized. We also add little details like rose petals on the massage tables and customized body butters.”
Why Two Beats One: Both locales feature an expanded space exclusively for couples’ treatments, encouraging complete togetherness throughout the service and well after. Duos are invited to utilize their suite or the spa’s living room before or following their service. “The treatment room is stocked with delectable treats and beautifully decorated with side-by-side chaise longues,” explains Gorecki. “We also offer couples catered dinners in the living room for special holidays, such as anniversaries. On Valentine’s Day weekend, all guests receive a red rose and the spa is decorated with the classic flower.”
–By Angela Melero