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Expert Tips

 

Chilling Out at Some of St Petersburg/Clearwater's Best Spas



When contemplating a visit to a health spa there are so many factors you should consider such as expense, the caliber of the facility and the various treatments offered. 

Of course, something else to think about - as they say in Hollywood - is: location, location, location.

If you're visiting the area and you happen to be staying at a hotel such as Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Loews Don Cesar, or The Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, all you have to do is slip into their posh spas if you want to be pampered. If you're an area resident and want to savor your spa day beside the sea, these - and others such as Opal Sands Resort and Sandpearl Resort - are excellent options. 

For a quicker - but equally wonderful - experience, the smaller, welcoming  Tranquility Wellness Spa or Marilyn Monroe Spas are excellent options. Smaller day spas may not have all the trimmings such as steam, sauna or Jacuzzi's, but then again, they're probably more cost-effective and produce equally pleasing results.

The savvy ancients were really on to something when they indulged in those long ago therapies!


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St. Petersburg
Marilyn Monroe Spas
Photo courtesy of Michelle da Silva Richmond

These Orlando-based spas with the rights to the icon's name and likeness are just starting to expand, but fortunately for St Petersburg, there is one conveniently tucked into the trendy Sundial area of downtown. A new concept in day spas, aiming to encourage women to "channel their inner Marilyn Monroe," this Glamour Room also caters to men and children with a selection of specialized services. Massages, facials, manis and pedis and a full service hair salon promise a calming respite from life in the fast lane. Skin products are certified organic and facials range from anti-ageing to relaxing, while massages run the gamut from hot stone, deep tissue, aromatherapy and Swedish. During down time you'll be treated to beverages such as coffee, tea, wine and champagne. Somehow, I suspect that Marilyn would approve!

Recommended for Spas because: It's a new concept in glamour and relaxation and is conveniently located in downtown St. Petersburg.

Michelle's expert tip: For an extra treat, incorporate a mani/pedi into your massage experience.

Read more about Marilyn Monroe Spas →


Botanica Day Spa
Photo courtesy of Botanica Spa

Opened in 1994, Botanica Day Spa is a favorite with locals and visitors alike, prompting them to expand to a bigger location in the near future. Treatments cover a wide range of options from speed waxing, to lash extensions and customized facials and massages. Always leading the list are Brazilian bikini waxing and brow shaping as well as the dermaplaning facial, which exfoliates the skin, ridding it of the fine vellus hair (peach fuzz), so that it can better absorb products. Specialty massages such as the Thai blends the custom massage with stretching techniques developed in Thailand. Special "boosters" such as a salt scrub or scalp massage can be added to any treatment for an extra cost. Of special note is their infrared sauna, which instead of overwhelming you with strong heat, goes directly to the body, increasing blood circulation, relaxing muscles and detoxify.

Recommended for Spas because: The services are great, the atmosphere is soothing and they pull out all the stops to make clients feel special.

Michelle's expert tip: Sign up for a spa membership. It will entitle you to special discounts every month.

Read more about Botanica Day Spa →


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Clearwater
Sandava Spa
Photo courtesy of Sandava Spa

Located in the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa, Sandava Spa promises a relaxing and rejuvenating experience with treatments for both men and women, which includes a selection of luxurious couple's massages. Scenic sea vistas are the perfect backdrop for the customized organic treatments incorporates properties of the sea to promote total wellness. Stress rolls off your back as you give yourself over to the Sun Warm Shell Massage, with specially heated rounded sea shells combined with sea minerals and algae to ease sore muscles and release tension. Another favorite is the 90-minute IntuiTouch 90, an intuitive massage which allows you and the therapist to discover and customize what your body needs and tailor your session with a blend of touch modalities.

Recommended for Spas because: The location, the services, the staff and the ambiance are all topnotch.

Michelle's expert tip: Be sure to try a manicure or pedicure. They're unique to as they are done on a massage table and are waterless.

Read more about Sandava Spa →


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Safety Harbor Resort & Spa
Photo courtesy of Michelle da Silva Richmond

Built on the site of natural mineral springs discovered by Spanish explorer Hernando Desoto in 1539, Safety Harbor Spa has been on the tourist trail since 1925. Choose from more than 50 spa and salon treatments for men and women, ranging from aromatherapy massages to facials and body wraps. Teen packages (boys and girls ages 12 - 17) include limited spa services. Steam and sauna rooms, whirlpools and three swimming pools are an added bonus. Salon services offer hair, nail, make-up and waxing options. Private wellness consultations include tips on nutrition and wellness, healthy aging, stress management and more. Special all day packages are offered, which include a delicious lunch in the cozy Fountain Grill Restaurant.

Recommended for Spas because: The legendary Safety Harbor has been a favorite with Hollywood glitterati, locals and international travelers since it opened in 1925.

Michelle's expert tip: Purchase a spa service and enjoy everything the resort has to offer, including fitness classes, pools, whirlpools,sauna, steam room and the waterfront tiki area.

Read more about Safety Harbor Resort & Spa →


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Vinoy Salon & Day Spa
Photo courtesy of Michelle da Silva Richmond

The Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club - one of St Petersburg's historic resorts - is home to one of the area's well-known spas. A host of services for body, hair and nails beckon for both men and women in a small, but comfortable setting. Body scrubs, facials, and a variety of massages - including one for couples - help melt away the stress of everyday life. For a true indulgence, try the holistic Oligomer re-energizing treatment, combining mineral-rich seawater and seaside plant oils to rebalance the body's skin cells. A steam room and plunge pool complement the spa experience.

Recommended for Spas because: It's located in one of the city's most iconic resorts. Do a tour of this historic venue - opened in 1925 - when you're done.

Michelle's expert tip: Packages can be customized to suit each client's needs, so be sure to ask about this option.

Read more about Vinoy Salon & Day Spa →


5
Clearwater Beach
The Spa at Sandpearl
Photo courtesy of Sandpearl Resort

Tucked along the tranquil waters of the Gulf Coast, the Spa at Sandpearl offers a host of ocean-inspired treatments and salon services in a soothing oasis where stress-release is guaranteed. Named "One of the Top Spas in North America," by Condé Nast Traveler readers, spa offerings include everything from warm stone massages, to hydrating body wraps, detox treatments, refreshing facials, skin enhancements and more. Specially designed spa mixers - perfect for bachelorette parties - welcome 20 or more guests to participate in a social event and mingle, while savoring miniature spa services. Those treatments average about 10 minutes, but guests can indulge in several while they're there.

Recommended for Spas because: The location on the beach alone is worth the visit, but the array of pampering treatments is just the icing on the proverbial cake.

Michelle's expert tip: If you're with a few friends, book a "sparty," a spa happy hour with a sampling of mini-treatments (such as a meditation station, reflexology, massages, manicures, and skin consultations),light appetizers and cocktails. If you're visiting solo, don't miss the Jacuzzi with waterfalls before or after your treatment to keep you in the relaxation mindset.

Read more about The Spa at Sandpearl →


Tranquility Wellness Spa
Photo courtesy of Tranquility Spa


This small, multi-faceted spa is centrally located in downtown St. Petersburg and boasts a host of services for the body, face, nails and psyche. Recently taken over and revamped by French couple Églantine and Luca Leguerchois, treatments - enhanced by natural essential oils - offer a definite "Je ne sais quoi" French flair, while combining the best of both countries. The focus is on total wellness and leaving your worries behind from the minute you trade your shoes for comfortable spa flip flops at the front door. This is the only place in the area offering the unusual deep-tissue Ashiatsu massage, whereby the therapist is suspended from the ceiling while using only her feet to knead out your aches and pains. While you're there, order lunch from next door Meze Restaurant and dine at your leisure at the spa in between treatments.

Recommended for Spas because: The spa is small, but centrally located, with an accommodating staff and an amazing selection of treatments - all with a European flair.

Michelle's expert tip: For an amazing experience, book the unique Ashiatsu massage. It's something you won't forget.

Read more about Tranquility Wellness Spa →


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Clearwater Beach
Opal Spa
Photo courtesy of Michelle da Silva Richmond

The recently opened Opal Sands Resort houses a small, but appealing spa featuring a host of soothing facial and body treatments for both men and women, in a beautiful setting. A tastefully appointed relaxation room with sweeping views of the sea offer the perfect sanctuary from which to prepare for the stress-relieving treatments you'll find here. A special favorite, the Signature Body Renewal starts with a slow brushing of the skin followed by a gentle exfoliation enhanced by essential oils and a de-stressing massage. For in-depth facial experiences, the SWiCH, Oxygen and the Resurfacing facials are favorites. Manicures, pedicures and waxing services are also available.

Recommended for Spas because: It's the newest resort in the area and offers the perfect spa sanctuary.

Michelle's expert tip: Book your treatment a couple hours before sunset so afterwards, you can extend your relaxation by toasting the evening with a glass of champagne on the spa's outdoor relaxation terrace overlooking a beautiful sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

Read more about Opal Spa →


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St. Pete Beach
Spa Oceana
Photo courtesy of Loews Don CeSar Hotel

One of the area's most popular spas is located in the legendary Loews Don CeSar Hotel on St Pete Beach. In keeping with their name, Spa Oceana recently revamped their spa menu to offer treatments related to some of the world's oceans - with products indigenous to those destinations. The Indian Ocean menu focuses on India, Bali and Tibet with treatments incorporating elements such as bamboo, mandarin and singing bowls into their rituals. As you might expect, the Pacific Ocean selection showcases floral scents, coconut and fresh pearls. Atlantic Ocean options pamper with magnolia, citrus and beach grasses. The focus is not only on relaxation but on healing with a host of therapies and treatments for both men and women. A full service hair and nail salon complement the soothing spa services.

Recommended for Spas because: The "Don" is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been a landmark since it opened in 1928.

Michelle's expert tip: Sign up for their newly implemented "Loyalty Program" for massages, facials and special discounts for family and friends.

Read more about Spa Oceana →


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Palm Harbor
Salamander Spa
Photo courtesy of Salamander Spa

This recently re-branded spa is already making its mark with locals as well as visitors to the area. The focus here is on well-being and signature treatments are designed to "energize, assimilate, focus and let go through the movement of fluids within the body in order to harmonize, fortify and heal." You can't go wrong with any treatment you select - and the options are impressive. The signature Salamander Spa Ritual offers a mesmerizing scalp massage, followed by a body massage and an exfoliating foot scrub and heated towel treatment, sure to cure whatever ails you. For an exceptional experience, indulge in one of the Elemis Biotec facials, which re-boot the cells and renew the skin. It may just take years off of your face! Be sure to have a spa lunch while you're there - the selections are amazing and it's delicious.

Recommended for Spas because: It's a haven of tranquility, the services are wonderful and the staff is very accommodating.

Michelle's expert tip: Every service - including nail services - entitles you to use all of the spa facilities such as steam room, hydro-therapy pool etc. so that you can make a day of it!

Read more about Salamander Spa →


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Meet Michelle da Silva Richmond

Michelle da Silva Richmond is an award-winning travel editor and member of the Society of American Travel Writers and other journalism organizations. 

She has written hundreds of articles...  More About Michelle

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