Everythingspa’s Blog

CNYSPAGIRL blogs about all things spa

Studio 8 Fitness and A Time For Me Wellness Center, Clinton NY October 22, 2011

You would never expect an upscale day spa and fitness studio to be tucked away along this mostly rural stretch of Route 5 near Clinton, NY.  But just when I had started to lose confidence that my GPS would deliver me to my pre-programmed location, there it was.

It was a Wednesday morning in early September when I arrive at Studio 8 Fitness, prepared for a serious workout. I am joining a small group of women for a circuit training class as a guest of Kelli Corasanti, the fitness center’s owner. It’s the first time I’m meeting Kelli, but she hugs me like a long lost friend. And before I know it, we’re warming up on the cycles to signal the beginning of our workout.

It doesn’t take long before Kelli asserts herself in a drill sergeant-like manner that you’d never expect to come from the pretty, slim blonde.  One minute, she provides nurturing guidance to this group of ladies that follow her in an almost cult-like fashion. (And I mean that in the nicest possible way!) The next minute, she’s a rough and tumble fitness instructor issuing training instructions that you wouldn’t dream of deviating from.  But it’s all good: Kelli is the perfect combination of Barbie and G.I. Joe.

When I asked the other members of my small group why they come to Studio 8 Fitness instead of a traditional gym, the response was overwhelming:  It’s the personalization and the motivation provided in this somewhat non-traditional environment adjacent to A Time For Me Wellness Center.  But most importantly, it’s Kelli herself. “I love what I do and I think it shows”, says Kelli, whose classes are fun, energizing and certainly challenging.  It’s no surprise that Kelli has such a following, given her warmth, spirit and positive energy.  But she also holds an impressive resume of educational degrees and fitness certifications, so you know you’ll be in extremely good hands:

  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer specializing in functional training.
  • Certified as a TRX Instructor.
  • Certified as a Youth Fitness Specialist through the International Youth Conditioning Association.
  • Master’s degree in Counseling Education.
  • Previous experience as a Mad Dogg certified SPIN Instructor.

Kelli has published two books: Kelli’s Quips: Happy Thoughts for Busy People (available on Amazon.com) and Finding My Way Back to Me: A Journey of Self-Discovery (available on Amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble). Finding My Way Back to Me is also the title of an online life coaching program that Kelli created at http://findingmywaybacktome.com.

When my workout was over, I dragged myself down the stairs and into the day spa.  The tough part of my visit was over.  Now I was in for some serious and well deserved relaxation:  a massage, facial and lunch!

A Time For Me Wellness Center’s owner, Amy Croft, has created a welcoming sanctuary in this unassuming location. When I first arrive at the spa, Amy is decked out in gardening clothes and is going about the business of planting fall flowers out on the deck.  When I emerge from my massage, the first of two treatments in store for me that day, she has transformed herself into a sophisticated spa owner.  Along the way, she and her staff have baked oatmeal cookies (they’re still warm!), made the fruit-infused spa water and are mentally and physically preparing for the clients who are scheduled for appointments that day.  This is the typical day-in-the-life of a spa business owner who wears many hats.  What distinguishes Amy and her family-like team of associates apart is their passion for their clients, the spa and their work.

But don’t take my word for it: just ask the massage therapy client who has just received her 92nd massage at A Time For Me Wellness Center.  If that isn’t a testament to why the spa was Voted #1 Day Spa in the Utica Observer-Dispatch Readers Choice 2011 Awards, then I don’t know what is!

The spa itself is a stunning piece of architecture that has surely caused more than one guest to desire, wistfully, to live there.  The large deck, a spectacular gathering place for pre or post-treatment relaxation during nice weather, overlooks the thickly wooded surroundings, which were already showing signs of the fall spectacle that Mother Nature puts on annually.  I can imagine winters in the great room, in front of the floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, sipping a warm beverage as the temperature dips outside.  It is the most unpretentious of settings – the kind of place where the clients feel “at home” moments after walking through the door.  The décor has a sunny, Tuscan feel – deep green ceramic tiles complement bright yellow walls. Warm wood flooring covered in patterned area rugs and rich woodwork lend a rustic feel to the open, airy design.  A cozy upholstered seating area is perfect for sinking into while you await your treatment; it’s the kind of place that makes you want to linger just a bit longer, so plan on making the most of your relaxation time and not rushing away after your service is complete.

With a full kitchen available, it’s a sought after place for holiday and office parties and just about any other event that a guest can dream up.  There’s even a designated spa party room in the works that can accommodate private groups. Since it’s opening in November 2006, the 4,000 square-foot three-level wellness center has become a popular place for couple’s massages, thanks to its two couples massage rooms. There are eight treatment rooms in total, with service offerings that include massage, esthetics, manicures and pedicures.

Christine Hansen is one of five Licensed Massage Therapists.  What impressed me the most about her massage technique is that there was nothing perfunctory about it.  If you’ve ever had a perfunctory massage, you know exactly what I mean.  Christine used a variety of techniques and assisted stretching to work all the muscles and areas of the body she knew would be sore the next day, courtesy of my morning workout with Kelli at the in-house Studio 8 Fitness (Coming soon –  more about Studio 8 Fitness). The signature massage is a customized 60 or 90-minute treatment that includes hot towels on the feet, hot stones on the back and a touch of aromatherapy.  During my visit, the spa was running a promotion that included a complementary add-on, normally a $5 value.  There were so many interesting offerings; I opted for the foot scrub as the ideal complement to the hot towels.

Jen Salvo, a cosmetologist who offers esthetic and nail services, gave me a pampering and relaxing facial using products by Plantogen, know for plant derived spa therapy.  Afterwards, I followed my own advice and lingered just a bit longer over lunch on the deck before making the surprisingly quick and picturesque drive back to Syracuse.  A Time For Me Wellness Center and Studio 8 Fitness is a gem of a spot that simply cannot be kept a secret!

A Time For Me Wellness Center

7201 Route 5 West

Clinton, NY 13323

315.853.3300

http://www.timeformedayspa.com

info@timeformedayspa.com

Studio 8 Fitness

7201 Route 5 West

Clinton, NY 13323

(315) 723-9986

http://www.studio8fitness.com

kelli@studio8fitness.com

 

Terra Organic Spa and Syracuse Chi Spot: Environmental friendly efforts March 30, 2011

 

Terra Organic Spa - Fayetteville, NY

Earth Day (April 22) is the annual celebration of the environment, created to honor one of the most noteworthy “women” of all times: Mother Earth. This month, we’re showcasing wellness businesses owned by spectacular Central New York women who show adoration to our planet through their personal and professional environmentally conscious practices.

Rachel McClean, owner of Terra Organic Spa in Fayetteville, walks the walk and talks the talk when it comes to honoring the earth.  So much so, in fact, that she named her spa after it.  “I was completely obsessed with the human language for months. Terra is a Goddess in the mythical world, but it also means Earth. It’s a name that came to me in a dream.” The clients at Terra Organic Spa are split evenly among genders, so the unisex name appeals to both men and women.

When you name a business after the earth, there is a mighty expectation to live up to.  Terra is a gleaming example of a local business going the extra mile using Earth-friendly practices that include the use of organic products, holistic concepts, energy efficiency, and green cleaning methods.  A spa generates a great deal of laundry and that can be rough on the environment.  At Terra, the laundry soap is organic, biodegradable and free of chemicals – better for the environment and better for the client.  The cleaning products are chemical free and yet still effective against dirt and germs.  Old sheets and towels are repurposed and donated to local animal shelters.

High quality products used during spa treatments include critically therapeutic pure essential oils from Aromatics International, a company dedicated to supporting organic farmers and essential oil distillers in countries around the world. Clovertree Apothecary products have been chosen for their effectiveness, organic properties, strict purity standards and because they’re made in the USA.  And all that goodness only adds to the appeal of the treatments: The organic facial is wildly popular.  McClean says “It’s a delight to hear people talk about the service after the fact.  It smells so good and fills the spa with wonderful aromas. The products can be purchased and used at home to take the experience with you.”

Debra Lee Gertz has practiced acupuncture at 510 Jamesville Avenue in Syracuse for twenty years.  She recently bought the building, welcomed some independent practitioners and christened the space ‘Syracuse Chi Spot’. Along with Donna Heitzman (Chiropractor) and Madelaine Greacen (Ayurvedic practitioner), the three ladies have created a complementary wellness facility that treats mind, body and spirit in earth-friendly ways.  For starters, clients are encouraged to eat locally and seasonally for balance and health and as a way to lessen our carbon footprint.

Syracuse Chi Spot - Jamesville Ave, Syracuse NY

Food scraps and used tea bags generated at the office are composted and added to the practitioners home gardens to enrich the soil and to grow their own food in the summer months.

All herbs that are provided to Syracuse Chi Spot’s clients are wild crafted, organic and most are fairly and directly traded. They are free of pharmaceuticals, preservatives, dyes, yeasts or sugars and are safe and independently tested for heavy metals, pesticides and microbes.  They are also sustainably harvested and grown.

Gertz says “The organic oils used by our Ayurvedic practitioner, Madelaine Greacen, are recycled by a local business and often reused for heating oil.  All laundry is cleaned in a high efficiency machine and if possible, hung out to dry. The detergents we use are eco-friendly and free of dyes and perfumes. “

Here are some simple and effective steps to reduce ones impact on the planet at home:

  • Buy only what you need to help reduce food waste in your home
  • Compost yard and organic household waste
  • Buy organic products whenever your budget allows
  • Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose.
  • Use energy mindfully
  • Eat locally and seasonally
  • Practice sustainability
  • Plant a garden; grow your own fruits, veggies and herbs


 

Demystifying Couples Massage – Just in time for Valentine’s Day January 15, 2011

Resting Room at Spa Mirbeau

“I’d rather have a sharp stick in the eye”.  That’s what my husband would say if I suggested that we try a couples massage this Valentine’s Day, or any day for that matter. You see, he’s not exactly the massage or spa treatment type of guy.  And that’s putting it mildly.  Since we’ve been paired up for most of my adult life, it’s probably no surprise that I’ve never experienced a couples massage; they’re not for everyone. But Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if the traditional dinner and a movie seem all too familiar, it might be time to break out of that rut and try something new.

Valentines Day is the perfect excuse to book a couples massage.  Not that you need an excuse – massage is more than just a pampering indulgence.  Regular massage can provide relief from stress and pain, relaxation and long lasting effects for personal well-being. Can you think of a better way to enjoy quality time with a partner, loved one, friend or someone special?

Couples massages aren’t just offered at fancy spas; there are plenty of options around Central New York ranging from basic to luxury.  You can receive a massage at a wellness center, massage studio, day or resort spa or even in your home.  You can find independent massage therapists working for themselves or practicing out of a facility that offers massage and other spa treatments.

So what can you expect during a couples massage? A couples massage is generally offered in a private room that is large enough to accommodate side-by-side massage tables or in a special space dedicated to couples massages. Two therapists will work on the couple simultaneously.  Every spa or studio will offer different pricing for their couples massage offerings. If you’ve purchased a package or special deal, you might enjoy champagne or other beverage, fruit, chocolate, or other goodies before or after your treatment.  Your treatment might start with a foot soak or other add-on. If you want a basic couples massage without all the trimmings, just say so when you book the appointment.

Before the massage, your therapists will step out of the room while you and your partner disrobe to your comfort level.  You’ll get settled on the massage table and your therapist will knock before entering.  During the massage, you’ll be professionally draped with sheets and/or blankets except the area that is being massaged.  You can have a conversation with your partner or therapist or lose yourself silently in the treatment.  Gentle music might be playing in the background and can be customized to your liking.  Be sure to communicate your preferences to your therapist (deep tissue massage often carries an extra charge): pressure, lighting, music and warmth.

After the massage, your therapists will leave the room while you get dressed or put your robe back on.  If there are relaxation facilities, you might be invited to hang out for a while and relax.  You may want to shower (if available) or freshen up.

Tips for couples massage:

  • Appointments book up fast, especially for Valentine’s Day.  As soon as you’ve found a therapist or place that you’d like to try, book quickly.
  • Allow extra time.  Rushing into or out of a massage can defeat the purpose.  Be sure you have a little extra time to decompress before the massage and take time to relax before re-entering reality post-massage.
  • Ask about the cancellation policy before booking and make sure you can live with the terms.
  • When determining your budget for your couples massage, factor in gratuities for your therapists. Gratuities are typically 15% to 20% of the total cost of your treatment or package, depending on your experience.

Here are a number of ideas for a special Valentine’s Day couples massage experience throughout Central New York:

At Waterfalls Spa in Hope Lake Lodge at Greek Peak Mountain Resort, you’ll feel like a VIP when you book one of the truly decked out suites for your couples massage.  Personalization is the key to a specialized spa experience at this four season family resort near Cortland. Except for a small relaxation area, there aren’t any common spaces at Waterfalls Spa. Couples will be escorted to their private treatment suite to change, relax and enjoy time together. All treatment spaces have the ability to change color allowing complete customization of services and harmonization with the individual guest.

You can reserve a specific treatment, like a 60-minute Signature massage for two ($180), or you can reserve increments of time in one of the two luxurious Waterfalls spa suites (2 hours, $275; other time increments available).  The suites have been designed to accommodate most spa services; complete with two multipurpose tables, a two person tub that incorporates chromatherapy, sound resonance and vibration therapy, a two person infrared sauna, a shower and lounging area with a flat screen television for the ultimate spa event.  You might wish to book a two hour increment, start with a hydrotherapy bath with a customized bath additive, relax in the private seating area for a bit, and then enjoy a side-by-side couples massage.  Whatever you can conjure up, the professional staff at Waterfalls spa can work to customize a special experience just for you!

Waterfalls Spa at Hope Lake Lodge

Greek Peak Mountain Resort

2000 NYS Route 392

Cortland, NY 13045

1-800-955-2754

http://www.greekpeak.net/waterfalls-spa/waterfalls-spa.aspx

 

SpaZend in Syracuse has just the answer to an alternative date night activity. If a candle-lit and rose petal strewn spa, wine, cheese and fruit, followed by a 50-minute couples aromatherapy massage sounds like a dream, book an appointment for “Date Night”, a wildly popular offering from SpaZend ($150). The event is held one Friday each month from 6 to 9 pm. SpaZend has partnered with Strong Hearts Café across the hall to offer all Date Night participants 10% off their meal if you’d like to stay for dinner.  Guests are encouraged to come early or stay after their treatment to enjoy the soothing relaxation room, have tea or refreshments and enjoy the company of that special someone.

Date Night at SpaZend

“We love the idea of giving people in Syracuse another option” says spa owner Liz Goldenberg. Former participants have described the event as “a magical evening”. Other patrons remarked how “everything was so romantic!”.

SpaZend

719 East Genesee Street

Syracuse, NY 13210

(315) 424-3772

http://www.spazend.com/

 

Jeannine Gettis is a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) and owner of Hearts Content Healing who offers massage therapy at two locations throughout Central New York.  I enjoyed the gift of a highly customized session with Jeannine at Kelly’s Massage and Holistic Health Spa in Manlius.  She’ll pair up with another therapist to offer couples massages in a purposely-designed couples suite with an infrared sauna.  A basic 60-minute couples massage is normally $140, but customized packages with add-ons can be arranged for Valentine’s Day. “

Jeannine Gettis, LMT

315-559-2595

HeartsContentHealing.com

Kelly’s Massage and Holistic Health Spa

136 W. Seneca Tpke (Route 173)

Manlius, NY  13104

315-682-7323

 

At Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Skaneateles, couples can enjoy a posh resort experience without the added expense of spending the night.  Matt Dower, Spa Director at Mirbeau, encourages couples to check in as early as possible, enjoy all the amenities the spa has to offer such as the dry sauna, herbal infused steam rooms, fireside resting area with foot pool and all-season Aqua Terrace with 15 person freeform whirlpool.  The workout room features cardio and strength training equipment and the motion studio offers exercise class, all included in the price of your treatment.

Spa Mirbeau Monet Room for couples treatments

Mirbeau is Best for Romance according to SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Awards for several consecutive years, including 2010.  Dower tells us the most popular couples treatment is The Art of Living, combining an herbal bath in an oversized soaking tub for two, chocolate covered strawberries and then a luxurious side-by-side massage in front of a fire in one of their signature treatment suites for two.  The 100-minute treatment is priced at $400 (Mon-Thu) and $430 (Fri-Sun).

Mirbeau Inn & Spa

851 West Genesee St., Skaneateles, New York 13152

1-877-MIRBEAU (647-2328)

http://mirbeau.com/

While a couples massage isn’t in the cards for me this Valentine’s Day, I hope you take the opportunity to take time for yourselves and do something calming, relaxing and fabulous for your well-being.  A couples massage might just be what the doctor ordered.

 

Heart’s Content Healing offers massage, yoga, and Reiki in Central New York November 21, 2010

Kelly's Massage and Holistic Health Spa Photo credit: Jeannine Gettis

You’d think that as a freelance writer who covers spas and wellness, the names of massage therapists would roll off my tongue when friends, family or perfect strangers ask me for a recommendation. I’ve had the great fortune of experiencing massages and spa treatments from therapists, estheticians and wellness providers throughout North America. (I love my job!)

To read the rest of the article, click here to be directed to my National Spa Examiner page on Examiner.com.

 

Spa Review: Norabloom Beauty Lounge (Ithaca, NY) November 16, 2010

Norabloom Beauty Lounge

It’s not every day you get an email like the one I received from Holly Green, owner of Norabloom Botanicals and Beauty Lounge in Ithaca, NY.  “I am not a full resort or destination spa, however I offer a heck of a facial 🙂 I am an Esthetician and Makeup Artist and I have designed and created my own organic skin care line. Would you be interested in visiting?”  Would I?  Heck yes!

To read the rest of the article, click here to be directed to my National Spa Examiner column on Examiner.com.

 

Product Review: San Francisco’s SenSpa launches SenZen products October 20, 2010

Filed under: day spa,Product review — everythingspa @ 11:42 am
Tags: , , ,

SenZen products from SenSpa

It’s always fun when a little box of products arrives in my mailbox. It’s especially fun when the products are from SenSpa, my favorite spa I’ve never been to. Let me explain.  Click here to read the rest of the article on my National Spa Examiner page on Examiner.com.

 

Spa Review: The Spa at The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa November 15, 2009

 

Topnotch Resort and Spa Room 137 and The Esex - 68

Women's gathering room at The Spa at Essex, photo by Michele McIntyre

 

 

To read the article, click here to be directed to my National Spa Examiner page on Examiner.com.