JAN 2016

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28 DAYSPA | JANUARY 2016 According to Auberge du Soleil's spa manager Kimberly Jade DiVico, the spa's Fire- side Lovers Retreat (3 hrs./$2,000), which features massage, wine by the fi re, private hot tubs and dessert, actually attracts a lot of non-romantic twosomes, such as gal- pals and mothers and daughters. (By contrast, the spa's above-mentioned After-Hours Indulgence is favored by couples celebrating engagements and anniversaries.) Although Milk + Honey's suburban outposts tend to attract "traditional" partners, its downtown Austin location is popular with same-sex couples. At Tuscan Sun, Val- entine's Day specials are available to singles too, and "are not marketed strictly to the coupled," says Satterfi eld. Our experts agree that when it comes to atmospheric fl ourishes, a little goes a long way. Auberge du Soleil's DiVico relies on rose petals strewn across massage tables, baths and fountains, as well as complimentary sparkling wine and decadent desserts. In the evening, all treatments are lit by candlelight. At New York City's Peninsula Spa, director Enid Fernandez always decorates the couples' suite entirely in rose petals, regardless of the time of year. "For those who book on Valentine's Day we also offer a complimentary bottle of champagne, choco- late-covered strawberries and a fruit platter," she says. Of course, supplying a steady stream of fresh fl owers (or petals) can get expensive, so clever, cost-conscious spa owners seek alternatives. Lamar points out that red and pink heart decor is low maintenance, affordable and still an effective atmosphere-enhancer. And the classic chocolate-coated strawberries are always a hit with guests. "We hand-dip them ourselves," she notes. "It's not a huge expense, but it offers a nice added value." Your V-Day efforts can also be subtle and understated, reminds Milk + Honey's Smith. "We're known for our minimalist aesthetic," she says, "so, we place heart-shaped choc- olates in clients' lockers—and that's it." Spa Lamar's V-Day fl ourishes such as heart-shaped decorations and personalized champagne buckets won't break the bank. Milk + Honey's clients have learned to love the spa's low-key decor. PHOTOS COURTESY SPA LAMAR (TOP); MILK + HONEY (BOTTOM)

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