DEC 2018

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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[ 28 ] • # dayspamagazine • december 2018 spa hopping All Ha nds on Deck Beyond its unique and impressive facilities, Bota Bota is known for the authenticity of its spa treatments. Although the massage therapists are independent contractors, Emond helps fund their training in Thailand, Hawaii and beyond to further their skills. "They go off for three months or even a year, and we support that," she notes. The estheticians, who are all employees, also go through rigorous training to ensure they master each skincare protocol and are well versed in the product lines. The spa's most popular off erings are its signature massages, which are often booked in conjunction with the water circuit ($30-$55, depending upon the hour and season). During my visit, I received the Thai Massage With Oil (60 min./$80; 90 min./$110). After changing into a robe, I headed to the middle deck to meet my massage therapist, Elisabeth, who led me to the luxuriously appointed therapy room. As I noticed the soothing light fi ltering in through dozens of small portholes set into the black walls, off ering tiny glimpses of the city, Elisabeth told me that the view was just as spectacular at night, particularly when there are fi reworks in the harbor—a dazzling show that takes place throughout summer. After settling onto the massage table, I slid between the cotton sheets, luxuriating in the heating pad beneath me. Then, Elisabeth showcased the extensive training she'd received in Thailand, massaging my muscles into submission using a soothing blend of mango and shea butters, combined with grape seed, sunfl ower and saffl ower oils. Having correctly assessed that I had the posture of someone who works at a computer most of the time, she focused primarily on my neck and shoulders, kneading away the knots and lulling me into a state of complete relaxation as low-fi French music played softly in the background. Healing Waters After my massage, I headed straight for one of the whirlpool tubs on the top deck—a silent zone overlooking the city that felt miles upon peaceful miles away from the bustling metropolis. The 103-degree water further melted my muscles, and I sat in serenity with a few other guests who appeared equally blissed-out by their Bota Bota experience. At sundown the following day, I returned with two friends to enjoy the Nordic water circuit and gardens. We began with an intense eucalyptus steam bath, breathing in deep and relaxing as the heat worked its pore-dilating, toxin-releasing magic. Next, we plunged into the freezing-cold pool just outside the sauna door in order to get our blood pumping and close our newly cleansed pores. Finally, we chilled out in one of the whirlpools on the top deck, looking out over the city—by far my favorite part of the prescribed cycle. For our next circuit, we visited the dry sauna fi rst, followed by the converted wine barrel plunge pool. To wrap it all up, we headed for the massive pool in the gardens, where we couldn't stop talking about our collective love for the Nordic spa experience. It was the perfect way to conclude my time at Bota Bota, as I got to marvel at how seamlessly the place caters to each guest—whether they seek peace and serenity or something more social. Even with a steel walkway partitioning off the quiet areas, both sides of the spa still felt very much connected. It's a true urban oasis off ering the best of both worlds. u COURTESY MARIE-REINE MATTERA s er eac h d t li ut by

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