Get Ready to Summer at the Spa

by Marika Flatt in Summer 2017

Back-to-back appointments never felt so relaxing

Whether you’re stressing out from the dog days of summer at work, or having your kids home for summer break is getting to you, there’s no better way to relax than getting pampered at the spa. We’re lucky to have several world-class destination spas in Texas. Take your spouse, daughter, a friend; or escape by yourself! We’re going to introduce you to three very different spa styles so explore the one that suits your R&R needs.

Lake Austin Spa

Get busy but restore at this lakeside retreat

Nestled in the corner of Mary Quinlan Park, just off the Colorado River in Steiner Ranch on the west side of Austin, sits this upscale resort, perfect for the spa-goer who may want more than a treatment. Seemingly infinite options are available. Learn to pedalboard (it’s like a stand-up paddle board with a stairmaster and LAS is one of the first locations to get these fun rides), or take a fitness hoop dance class; take a sunset wine cruise or a private culinary lesson; learn Tai Chi on the lake or take an aromatherapy workshop.

There’s nothing not to love about this place, although it is a bit pricey. The nightly rate does include uber-comfy accommodations (we love the lakefront rooms) and all-inclusive meals. The classes are included but you pay for any spa treatments on top of that, at the lux Lake House Spa up the hill. But you must treat yourself to a service. The Weekend Warrior Massage (80 minutes) is ideal because you’ll be moving your muscles while you’re there so this treatment combines stretching with deep tissue massage for the ultimate prescription.

Make sure you take time to relax in the blue room at the spa and spend time in the amenities: hot tub, sauna, steam room and outdoor patio. You’ll want a half-day just in the spa.

The food is delicious and the portion sizes remind you that you’re at a wellness spa. You’re welcome to order alcoholic beverages, but those aren’t included in the all-inclusive price.

Here’s a few of the many classes: morning yoga on the dock, restorative yoga, guided meditation, yoga nidra, foam rolling, pilates, PiYo (pilates & yoga), cardio blast, HIIT, Bollywood dance class, Core, and full body cardio circuit. My personal favorites included the morning hike on the greenbelt, Barre None (a dancer’s class without the barre), and the spin class in the studio overlooking the lake. But, one of my favorite activities was the lunchtime boat cruise along Lake Austin.

LAKEAUSTIN.COM

JW Marriott Austin

A day spa option

If you’re in Central Texas and looking for a day spa option, we recommend JW Marriott Austin. Start at their restaurant, Corner, for brunch/ lunch to enjoy the house-made zucchini cornbread, chilaquiles or 7-layer salad. All the food is locally and sustainably sourced.

Then, head to the sixth floor to enjoy a manicure, facial or massage at the spa. The spa staff is ultra attentive and knows how to pamper. If you’re in a crunch for time, they even offer express treatments, lasting only 12 to 25 minutes.

You’ll love this bustling downtown location where you can spend as little or as much time on your R&R as you like.

JWMARRIOTAUSTIN.COM/SPA

Loma de Vida at La Cantera in S.A.

All-exclusive pampering

Loma de Vida spa at La Cantera Resort in San Antonio opened its doors last October after a few years of intense planning and development to create a destination spa fit for a Texas queen. Loma de Vida means “hill of life,” where the city is in view, but peacefulness takes center stage.

You’ll notice an emphasis on Himalayan pink salt at this spa (which you can see in our Facebook video). It’s used in their Clearing Himalayan Salt Stone Mineral MassageTM — an energizing digital detox, with smooth stones that knead away your sore muscles.

This perfect retreat for couples can include a personal cabana or a private Sky Loft, so you can be scrubbed and massaged under the endless Texas sky. There’s also a Grotto that can be privately booked for a small group.

But the real shining star at Loma de Vida is their Solarium (women- only and men-only). You’ll find an “Experience Shower,” using the Himalayan salt scrub with water jets coming at you from all directions; then you can sit in the perfectly-heated “Vitality Pool,” just warm enough to relax; and you can also detox in the dry sauna with a Himalayan salt wall at one end and a window to the hills on the other. Also, spend some time at the outdoor infinity pool with smooth rocks on the bottom to heal your tired feet.

Add a hand-crafted, cold-pressed juice from their café, Quenche. Or a light lunch.

You can even get access to all that Loma de Vida has to offer without a spa treatment for a daily rate of $40 for hotel guests and $60 for locals.

DESTINATIONHOTELS.COM/LOMA-DE-VIDA

New to spa-ahhhhing?

Here’s a few tips to get the most out of your experience:

  • This is a great time to try new things, whether you’ve never had a craniosacral (scalp) massage or you’ve never danced in front of others in a fitness class or never tried a juice cleanse, this is your chance to get outside your comfort zone.
  • Use the time to recharge your batteries but go into it expecting to move your body, too. Your body, mind and spirit will feel much better after a workout, even if you’re not used to exercising.
  • Don’t arrive without a few necessities: a swimsuit (no matter the season), clothes and shoes for fitness, a good book, sunscreen and a good pair of UV-protection sunglasses.