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Petroleum spas in Naftalan, Azerbaijan

Petroleum Spas are becoming more common in Naftalan (in central Azerbaijan). Western doctors say that bathing in cruse oil may cause cancer, but locals in Azerbaijan disagree.

The New York Times reported this on the health benefits (or cancer risks) of the spas:

Gyultikin Suleymanova, the lead doctor, said the local crude was unusual because it contained little natural gas or other lighter fractions of petroleum, and as a result was safe.

Naftalan crude contains about 50 percent naphthalene, a hydrocarbon best known as the stuff of mothballs. It is also an active ingredient in coal tar soaps, which are used by dermatologists to treat psoriasis, though in lower concentrations.

The National Agency for Research on Cancer, an American government agency, classifies naphthalene as a possible carcinogen, though Dr. Suleymanova said that is not the case when people bathe in it. Baths are lukewarm and last 10 minutes.

The therapeutic benefits are a product of natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory agents that seep into the skin, she said.

Written by Healthy Vacations on December 5th, 2006 with comments disabled.
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Geothermal spa treatments in Reyjavik, Iceland

In the mood for a geothermal spa treatment? Reykjavik, Iceland, is the place according to Iceland Experience, a division of The Great Canadian Travel Co.

These Icelandic geothermal spa vacation packages are available for just over $1,000 per person (based on double occupancy), including round-trip airfare and three nights’ accommodations. This includes a luxury spa program (hot tubs and deep tissue lava massages). Departures are from Boston, Baltimore and New York.

Prices: the “Iceland’s Spas” package is priced from $1,009 low season (Jan. 1 to Mar. 31/Nov. 1 to Dec. 10), $1,149 shoulder season (Apr. 1 to 30/Oct. 1 to 31) and $1,709 high season (May 1 to Sept. 30/Dec. 11 to 31). For reservations and more information, call 800-661-3830.

Written by Healthy Vacations on November 15th, 2006 with comments disabled.
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The importance of qualifications in medical spas

After reading an interesting LA Times article that raised the question, “when all is stroked and slathered, is it money well spent?” I realize that I have to warn you about the spas I blog about here.

Since my information comes from newspaper articles, magazine articles, and travel books, I just don’t know how qualified the masseuses at say the best spa in Asia or The Breakers in Florida are. Qualifications and training become even more critical when you’re going to a medical spa:

Medical spas are claiming an increasing part of the market, offering services such as Botox, laser hair removal, acupuncture and teeth whitening….Dermatologists cite dangers of scarring, burning and disfigurement from laser and Botox treatments by non-physicians. Some spa operators oppose stricter regulation, saying dermatologists are simply protecting their turf.

The article I link to has some useful advice. For example if you’re going to a medical spa, find out if it is owned by a doctor, check the doctor’s license with the medical board, and find out if a doctor will be performing the treatment. Even at regular spas, it’s a good idea to find out what qualifications the therapists have.

Basically, don’t think you’re getting all the information you need from this blog.

Written by Healthy Vacations on November 6th, 2006 with comments disabled.
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The Spa at Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Nihonbashi

Described as “a heavenly place in the sky” because it is 36 floors high, The Spa at Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Nihonbashi was recently voted the best day spa in Asia (as opposed to resort spas).

Here, therapists apply both Asian- and Western-inspired treatments: “Every customer is taken on a personal journey to improved well-being, depending on needs,” says Sarah Watterson, operations manager of The Spa at Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The Spa offers morning sessions of Ashtanga yoga in addition to massages, facials, manicures & pedicures, aromas, and more. They claim that, “Heat and water experiences will ease the body and relieve the mind. The vitality pool gently releases muscle tension, the crystal steam room offers a meditative experience, and a splash from the ice fountain provides a sharp, arctic refresher.”

Some people must think it’s true because this place was voted the best day spa in Asia.

Written by Healthy Vacations on October 28th, 2006 with comments disabled.
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The Breakers: Palm Beach, Florida

The Breakers is a famous hotel/resort that was built in 1896 and rebuilt in 1926. The European-inspired resort has recently been renovated (to the tune of about $145,000,000). The renovation was impressive enough for The Breakers to be named one of the 1,000 Places To See Before You Die.

With two 18-hole golf courses and 21 Har-Tru tennis courts, it’s easy to get some exercise before enjoying a classic European treatment called Guerlain Paris, a complete skin analysis and treatment.

The spa has indoor and outdoor elements right by the 1/2 mile private beach. 

The children’s program accommodates different age groups and can include professional instruction in sailing, golf, and tennis.

In low season, doubles start at $275. Make that $495 in high season. Rooms with the best oceanviews are at least $200 more. The best times to go are from November through May. 

Info: 1-888-BREAKERS

Written by Healthy Vacations on October 27th, 2006 with comments disabled.
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Resort to Golf in Las Vegas

Has it been a while since you’ve had your hands wrapped around a golf club? You’ve been working hard and it’s healthy to take a break and get out there on the green. When you just can’t leave work behind bring your colleagues along on your golf holiday.

Now that you’re all revved up for your holiday, the next step is to choose a golf resort to have your golf holiday in. For this purpose, a Las Vegas golf resort is your best choice. Las Vegas golf resorts are some of the most visited golf resorts the world over.  Experience this global destination for yourself. What’s fantastic about golf resorts is that the golf course is close or built around your accommodations. What’s more is that these golf resorts are very posh and you will be in for a full sensory treat to ensure a vacation like no other that you will be talking about year after year.

One thing to consider when choosing the right Las Vegas golf resort for you is the resort’s proximity to the Las Vegas strip in case you want to get in some time away from the golf course and into Vegas’ hottest and hippest clubs and casinos. Especially if you’re traveling for vacation with your family, you will want to be able to let them have access to their kind of fun as well. This makes the location of the Las Vegas resort of your choice of utmost importance. Also, you can compare Las Vegas resorts in terms of their amenities and features. Choose only the best suited facilities for yourself and your group. You are after all on vacation and everything must be conducive to your continued happiness while on holiday.

One more thing to consider is the type of course or courses available at the Las Vegas golf resort you choose. Most golf courses at these resorts are designed by golf and design pros and this will give you an idea of the difficulty level and characteristics of each course. Do some research on the different courses and find one that will suit your taste and particular golf skills.

I’ll offer two ideas. Silverstone Golf Club is conveniently located at the heart of the Las Vegas strip and you may consider spending your golf holiday there. This club boasts of posh amenities and fantastic resort accommodations to ensure a memorable holiday. Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas is another golf resort. Live in the lap of luxury in the midst of a pro-designed golf course for countless hours of challenging and entertaining golf games at the Hyatt Regency Lake in Las Vegas.

Written by Healthy Vacations on October 13th, 2006 with comments disabled.
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Seaview Resort & Spa: great golf near Atlantic City’s casinos

Seaview Resort & Spa is a Mariott resort that hosts the ShopRite LPGA Classic. The resort has 36 holes of championship golf and two of New Jersey’s oldest and most prestigious golf courses. The golf facilities also include a Faldo Golf Institute and Swing Studio and well groomed natural-grass practice facilities. 

Seaview Resort & Spa also has the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, an indoor swimming pool, a health club, tennis, plus gourmet and casual dining.

Seaview Resort & Spa was voted the #2 “Most Underrated Resort” and the #3 “Best Spa/Gym” in the Northeast & Mid Atlantic Region as published in T+L Golf Magazine’s Annual “World’s Best Golf Resorts” issue. It didn’t quite make the top 10 US golf resorts:

3 PINEHURST RESORT, North Carolina

If you have experienced the Seaview Resort & Spa, please take a moment to comment below. We want to hear your experiences.

401 South New York Road
Galloway, New Jersey 08205 USA
609-652-1800, Fax:  609-652-2307, Sales:  609-748-7660, Toll-free:  800-205-6518

Written by Healthy Vacations on October 6th, 2006 with comments disabled.
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Heli-skiing & heli-hiking in British Columbia, Canada

Canadian Mountain Holidays’ heli-skiing and heli-hiking tours of British Columbia’s southeast corner are featured in 1,000 Places To See Before You Die.

The winter months (December through May) feature exclusive heli-skiing adventures for intermediate and advanced skiers. The helicopters bring skiers to 8 – 15 runs each day somewhere on 14,000 square miles of pristine, snowy wilderness. Where you go is determined by your preferences and the guide’s expertise. Prices for a one week all-inclusive heli-skiing adventure start at $2,650.

Following the winter months, heli-hiking season begins (July through September). Wildflowers (early July through mid-August), glaciers, rivulets, and snow-capped peaks await. Hikes range from quite gentle to quite demanding (even demanding mountaineeriing experience). A 3 night all-inclusive heli-hiking adventure is $1,350. 


Written by Healthy Vacations on October 1st, 2006 with comments disabled.
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Indian Creek Resort in Idaho Springs information & reviews

There are inexpensive motels in Idaho Springs (32 miles west of Denver), but Indian Springs is the spa. Indian Springs Resort was built around underground hot springs where famous Americans like Jesse James, Walt Whitman and President Franklin D Roosevelt have stayed.

Indian Springs Resort is a spa that offers massages, facials, mud baths, and mineral-water soaks. There is a geothermal cave bath with pools of 112-degree water (no kids and no bathing suits allowed). There is the 90-degree-green-mineral-water swimming pool surrounded by a nice garden.

When you need to get away from the resort, you have a charming downtown part of Idaho Springs, the Phoenix Gold Mine is 15 minutes away (they have tours of the mine, gold panning lessons, and creeks where you can pan for gold. Georgetown is also nearby with the Georgetown Loop Railroad, a narrow gauge steam engine passenger train that does a 75 minute loop around the mountains.

If you have stayed at Indian Creek Resort or elsewhere in Idaho Springs, please share your experiences below.

Written by Healthy Vacations on September 24th, 2006 with comments disabled.
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