Mandara Spa Aboard Norwegian Cruise Line

Candyce Ross
Mandara Spa on Norwegian Cruise Line, London review via @agirlsgottaspa Picture this – You’ve just started your holiday. Before you know it, you're whisked away to a luxury spa and are being pampered with the view of the open sea in front of you and not a worry in the world! Everything is being taken care of and all you’re in charge of doing is sitting back and relaxing because it's only smooth sailing from here. Literally - because you're on board a Norwegian Cruise ship and being treated like a princess in their Mandara Spa. Mandara Spa is on board every Norwegian Cruise ship and I was given a taste of this experience when I recently escaped winter for the afternoon at the Mandara Spa at Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge in London. View of Big Ben in London from Norwegian Cruise ship via @agirlsgottaspa Mandara Spa review via @agirlsgottaspa As I sunk into the massage table and enjoyed a Balinese massage and mini facial, I closed my eyes and imagined watching the vast deep blue as if I was cruising. My therapist carefully chose the most suitable Elemis products to hydrate my skin, which needed a little boost after being exposed to the cold winter weather. Mandara Spa, London via @agirlsgottaspa The spa uses signature Mandara, Elemis and Bliss products and has an indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, sauna, manicure and pedicure area. In addition, there is also an amazing salt grotto which is surrounded with layers of body cleansing salt crystals and is said to help skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as colds, allergies and respiratory ailments. Spa treatment at Mandara Spa in London via @agirlsgottaspa Norwegian Cruise line has been voted the World’s Best Cruise Spa by the World Spa Awards so you know that you’re in the right hands when it comes to choosing a holiday focused on a little “me” time. What I like about the idea of cruising with a luxury spa on board is that you can have a week (or two!) of trying different treatments, seeing different destinations and you only have to unpack once! Foodie indulgence aboard Norwegian Cruise ship via @agirlsgottaspa Norwegian Cruise ships also have a large selection of entertainment and restaurants on board to cater for all interests and taste buds. From waterfront bars to specialty restaurants, you are spoilt for choice. There are also many healthy dining options available, so for those who are worried about returning from a week of indulgence looking like a house – fear not! What better way to see the world than replacing stressful flights with days spent looking out to sea. Beach hair, sun kissed skin and a trip to the spa to top it off...dreamy! Have you had the chance to spa at sea yet? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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The FLOAT Therapy Experience

Shannon Smyth2 comments
Flotation therapy via @agirlsgottaspa @lodgeatwoodloch Sensory deprivation doesn't necessarily sound like a very glamorous or indulgent spa treatment. Maybe the thought of being enclosed in a tank or a windowless room feels a little (or a lot) claustrophobic to you. But let me tell you, it is the most amazing thing ever! Floatation therapy, if you don't know just yet what it is, is unlike any other spa treatment you've ever had. Most spas offer it in a pod-like tank or a tank similar to some sort of ice chest. The tank is filled with warm water, not very deep at all, and epsom salt. You then close the tank door once inside and typically there is not a ton of room for you to move, and you simply float. You can choose to have soft lights on or off, music on or off, and you are left alone for 50 minutes. Sensory deprivation or ligh therapy in the float tank via @agirlsgottaspa @lodgeatwooloch What is sensory deprivation? Blocking out most of your senses - sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, creates an amazing wellness tool. You suddenly aren't concentrating on anything other than your own breath. The weightlessness of your own body allows every muscle to relax and release tension. Since the water is as warm as your skin, and due to the high concentration of epsom salt, you literally cannot feel the water you are floating in. All of this is supposed to also help you relax your mind, and for those of you like me who have 50 tabs open at any given time on your computer while holding your phone in the other hand, talking your kids through their homework and holding a toddler on your lap all at once - it is a very welcomed opportunity! The Lodge at Woodloch, an amazing destination spa in the Pocono Mountains, now has a FLOAT Therapy treatment that I was able to experience for myself. You can either go in alone for 50 minutes or 75 minutes, or you can float with a friend for the same time intervals. Thankfully for people like me who tend to get claustrophobic in small, enclosed spaces, their sensory deprivation tank is acutally a room with a pool in it. There is no cover that lowers down on you, but instead has a very large door that you shut to the room. The pool room also has very high ceiling and wide walls. @lodgeatwoodloch FLOAT therapy room review via @agirlsgottaspa How does FLOAT Therapy work? At The Lodge at Woodloch, you are escorted to the FLOAT room where a spa professional asks you a series of questions (do you have any health issues, large cuts, communicable diseases, etc.) She explains to you how the float room works, that you'll need to shower prior to and after your session, that you'll need to remove any makeup you may have on, as well as any jewelry. She then leaves you alone and only comes back (and just waits outside of the room in the hallway) once the floatation system tells her that your session has ended. You then put in silicone ear plugs (theirs are from Leaping Lizard and pretty amazing as NO water got in at all), proceed to shower using their body wash from head to toe and then step into the pool...completely naked. I had brought my swimsuit thinking that this would be my attire, but nude is what you wear for 50 minutes. Once you hit the button to adjust lighting (you can turn it off, have a white light, or have colored lights) or sound (on or off, loud or soft), an automated voice comes over the sound system telling you that your FLOAT treatment is about to start, this sets the time for 50 minutes. There was a neck floatation that I used to keep my head above water and they have a small hand towel that you can use to drape the exposed part of your chest and stomach since the air is a bit cooler than the water (although I found it all balanced out rather quickly once I shut the tank door.) I highly recommend saving the towel for when you may need to wipe your eyes instead. Trust me. I accidently rubbed my eye after my hand had been in the water and was able to rub the stinging salt out right away. Can you image if that towel had been salty and wet? Yikes. I tried every variation of the lighting and no lighting and music and no music. I couldn't get my mind to stop with complete sensory deprivation (no sound, no lights), but I did like low music and no lights. It was quite soothing and relaxing. It felt like floating in space. When the 50 minutes were up, another announcement came on and let you know that you are done and that the sanitation process will begin shortly. My short two steps to the shower were all it took for the salt to begin to crystalize on my skin. You then use the body wash to cleanse your skin again. I was amazed to see salt all over the shower floor. In case you were wondering, the high level of Epsom salt won't dry out your skin. It contains Magnesium Sulfate, which is absorbed through the skin. This typically helps to soften dry skin and can sometimes help treat eczema. I asked if it would strip hair color and if you have recently color treated your hair, it is not recommended to use the FLOAT Tank (if it does not come off on a towel, it should be thoroughly set.) It can remove tints of hair color, though. Overall, it is safe to use on color treated hair. If you have a Keratin Treatment, it would not be recommended. The sanitation process itself is pretty cool to watch.
When I opened the FLOAT room door, someone was there to greet me and bring me back to the Women's Retreat, where I showered again because there was salt in places there should not be salt. Enough said. What amazed me most about this float experience is that my entire body felt as relaxed as if I had just had a one-hour massage. Being all alone in the tank made it even better because I wasn't worrying myself about snoring, what I looked like, and any other thing that comes to mind when someone is giving you a facial or massage. I could just purely RELAX. It was heaven. I can't wait to do it again! Have you tried floating yet? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Spa Pedicure at Utopia Salon & Day Spa in Hawley, PA

Shannon Smyth
Review of Utopia Spa & Salon in Hawley, PA's spa pedicure via @agirlsgottaspa The best part of living in a tourist area (the Poconos), is that there are a lot of little gems waiting to be discovered. For me, this gem has been right in front of my face for 13 years. I've driven by Utopia Salon & Day Spa countless times, but let me be honest, I never really gave it a second thought based on the outside. I guess you could say, I judged a book by its cover. Utopia Salon & Day Spa is located on the busy highway of Route 6 in Hawley, it's also right by an intersection for Wallenpaupack school district and Turkey Hill (where all of those tourists going on Lake Wallenpaupack are gassing up their boats.) When one of my favorite spas was totally booked, I decided to do a quick search of others in the area. Utopia was the first to pop up. I looked at their menu and saw that they were completely affordable and when they said they could get me in next day, I was stoked. It was when I pulled into the parking lot that I realized there was a lot more to the building than you could see from the road. When I entered the back of the building, I was taken back by how beautiful it was inside with its local flare of wood floors, stone fireplace and wood beam ceilings. Utopia Salon & Day Spa in Hawley PA. Review of this Poconos spa, spa pedicure via @agirlsgottaspa I waited for my pedicurist, also named Shannon, and was greeted and taken down to another room to pick my lacquer. All of the polish was Morgan Taylor, and I chose Well Spent, a purple creme. I was then led to the pedicure room which is a quiet, intimate room of 3 pedicure chairs and a bench to sit on for polish drying. I sat in the chair nearest the window that looked out to some trees. I remarked to Shannon, that sitting there, you would never know that the intersection was just a few feet away. Utopia's spa pedicure ($47) consists of 55 minutes of calf and foot pampering. Aside from the typical nail clipping, buffing, polish removed and reapplied, your feet and calves are exfoliated with a citrus sugar scrub and then a hydrating green minty masque is applied. Before painting my nails, Shannon gave my feet a nice massage (honestly I probably would've paid more for her to do it longer because it was so relaxing!) Utopia Salon & Day Spa review via @agirlsgottaspa The pedicure chair is a massager and I sat there in pure bliss while it kneaded out my sore back muscles. Something I particularly loved about Shannon was that she was not an over-talker. We've all experienced those kinds of people at least once or twice while spa-ing where the person giving the treatment just won't stop talking. Shannon spoke when I asked questions, made light conversation, but didn't make silence feel awkward at all. I just felt completely relaxed. When I book my next pedicure, it will definitely be with her. If you happen to be in the northern tier of Wayne or Pike counties near Lake Wallenpaupack, I recommend stopping by Utopia Salon & Day Spa for some extra pampering. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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6 Tips to Avoid These Summer Skin Problems

Shannon Smyth
6 tips to avoid these summer skin problems via @agirlsgottaspa Oh the summer skin care woes. From sunburn to body acne to sun parched skin, we've gathered expert tips for how to avoid them from the start. Perspiration, body acne Expert Tip:  “To prevent breakouts in the summer, use oil-free moisturizer. During the hotter months skin’s natural oil combined with oil-free moisturizer is enough to keep skin well-hydrated. This trick will also help prevent skin from looking too shiny in the summer.” –Alina Cimpoeru, lead esthetician at The Guerlain Spa Treatment: The deep cleansing Orchidee Imperiale “Cure” Facial utilizes products from the renowned Orchidée Impériale skincare range to fight signs of aging, and leaves acne-prone skin feeling fresh and radiant. Our favorite product to use at home: Subtle Green Vienne Moisturizing Lotion for face and A Girl's Gotta Spa! Body Lotion for body 6 tips to avoid these summer skin problems via @agirlsgottaspa Bloat, Water Retention “Hydration, hydration, hydration! Drinking plenty of water post-treatment helps to flush out the toxins overall smoother and healthier glow. Common causes of water retention during the summer months are the beaming heat, which causes the body to be less efficient at removing fluid from tissues, hydration is the main key to healthy skin!” says Spa Lead Tamra Spier at Hilton Orlando’s eforea spa Treatment: Beach Body Contouring Wrap is designed to get travelers ready for the beach, lemon and lime team up with seaweed and micronized green coffee to slim, tone and breakdown fat. Our favorite product to use at home: 1907 Alkaline Water  6 tips to avoid these summer skin problems via @agirlsgottaspa Sunburned body Expert Tip: “One of the most important recommendations I give after sunbathing is to rinse your body with fresh water to remove salt and/or chlorine from the skin. These two elements will dry the skin quickly. The skin is incapable of producing water, only oils, so during summertime it is imperative to consume plenty of water; your skin will really appreciate it.” – Frank Garcia, Spa Director at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Treatment: The Anti-Aging Massage uses a Swedish technique combined with a plant based anti-aging massage cream. The cream contains frankincense, which preserves tissue and stimulates collagen synthesis, Roman chamomile to protect skin cells, Mango and Cupuacu butters to nourish and sooth the skin, and plum kernel oil and quinoa oil to fight dehydration.  Our favorite product to use at home: A Girl's Gotta Spa! Body Wash (has 30% soothing aloe) 6 tips to avoid these summer skin problems via @agirlsgottaspa Cracked heels/feet Expert Tip: Wearing sandals too often can crack the skin around your heel. This summer, maintain skin’s elasticity with a mineral exfoliator. It will act like a soap and leave you with a baby soft skin – Christophe Champs, Studio Manager at the Metropole Espa Monte-Carlo. Treatment: The Black Diamond Scrub by Réverence de Bastien (created by Bastien Gonzalez, famed “pedicurist to the stars”) is a mineral foaming scrub combining black diamond, particles of mother of pearl and black volcanic sand for a natural exfoliation that clears away dead skin cells, leaving feet smooth and silky. Our favorite product to use at home: Amope Wet Dry Pedi Foot File  6 tips to avoid these summer skin problems via @agirlsgottaspa Chapped Lips, Wind-Burned Face Expert Tip: “Use chamomile tea to soothe and relieve some of the discomfort of sunburned or wind burned skin. The chamomile tea tannins offer anti-inflammatory properties that relieve the sense of burn and make you feel calm. I fill a spray bottle with cold tea and spray tea directly on the skin or for sensitive areas around the eyes, use teabags and place them over the eyes.” – César Sánchez, Spa Manager – Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose Treatment: The Antioxidant Facial is an oxygenating, anti-aging facial that utilizes ingredients brimming with antioxidants, including an application of natural ingredients rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and botanical extracts, to refresh and hydrate sun- and wind-burned skin, combat premature aging, disrupt hyperpigmentation and provide skin with a healthy glow. Our favorite product to use at home: Lasting Smiles Lip Balm and Teami Skinny Tea 6 tips to avoid these summer skin problems via @agirlsgottaspa Dehydrated/Flaky Skin Expert Tip: “After a hot shower, cleansed skin is more receptive to getting hydrated using Thermotherapy. For dehydrated skin, use a hydrating serum for the face and neck. Soak a towel in warm water, cover the face and rest for five minutes. Then apply hydrating lotion, soak a face towel in iced water, cover and rest for five minutes. Skin feels hydrated, tighter and firmer.”  – Michelle Arce, Marketing Director at Zen Spa Retreat – Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino Treatment: For dehydrated skin, the Deep Skin Hydrating Booster Treatment uses a combination of peeling, ionization and thermotherapy of marine collagen and hyaluronic acid to instantly plump skin cells with extra moisture, restore smoothness and enhance skin's suppleness. Our favorite product to use at home: Block Island Organics Revitalizing Night Cream Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Can Ultrasound Improve the Look of Skin?

Shannon Smyth

I'll be honest, I was not very familiar with the world of cosmetic ultrasound treatments when I decided to try the Mira-Skin Ultrasound device. Upon doing my research, I learned that ultrasound is a non-surgical/non-invasive treatment that counteracts the effects of time and gravity on your skin.

Ultrasound uses the body's own regenerative response to gently and gradually lift skin on the eyebrow, under the chin and on the neck, and smooth lines and wrinkles on the décolletage.  It can improve the appearance of moderately loose or sagging skin by depositing focused ultrasound energy below the surface to stimulate the body’s creation of new collagen.

The Mira-Skin Ultrasound device promises the benefits of a professional cosmetic ultrasound spa treatment in the comfort of your own home whenever you so desire and at a fraction of the price. 

After receiving my Mira-Skin Ultrasound, I used it for a month before writing this review. The issues I was aiming to treat with this device were dry dull skin, acne scars and skin that just seemed tired looking.

The Mira-Skin Ultrasound device is extremely easy to use. After cleaning my face, I just followed the simple directions and applied the Mira-Skin Hyaluronic Serum to my skin. The serum helps skin to retain moisture, which lends to a plumping effect in the skin. 

After applying the serum, I then applied the Conductive Gel to my face and glided the ultrasound device across my skin. It's the ultrasound waves that help to break up and lift dead cells and boosts the performance of the anti-aging nutrients in the serum.

I then just applied my regular moisturizer, as usual. Serum's role is to help bring your moisturizer deeper into your skin as well, allowing for both products' ingredients to work to their full potential.

After the first use my skin immediately looked more hydrated.  After about a week of using the Mira-Skin Ultrasound device for about ten minutes three times per week, my skin looked rejuvenated, hydrated and smooth. 

After one month of using the ultrasound device, a lot of my acne spots have faded and I am hoping with continued use they will fade even more.

My skin looks brighter, feels more supple, I have noticed my face is a lot less puffy in the mornings and best of all, except for one or two minor pimples, my acne issues seem to be a thing of the past.

I have to be honest and admit that I was really skeptical about the Mira-Skin Ultrasound device, especially after using it for the first time.  Because I didn't feel any vibrations, or tingling...or really anything. It seemed too easy and I didn't think it would work, but I have seen a huge improvement in my skin in the past month.

This device is definitely worth investing in and the very minimal time it takes to use it just a handful of times per week to see such a difference.

Disclosure: Press sample

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Pre-Natal Massage at The Lodge at Woodloch

Shannon Smyth
Pre-natal massage review of @lodgeatwoodloch via @agirlsgottaspa Your aching back, your swollen cankles, your sore shoulders... if you are in your third trimester of pregnancy, I'm sure you can relate. There's so many things to look forward to with your impending arrival, but feeling like your body is falling apart is not one of them. As someone who absolutely loves her spa massages, pre-natal massage was something I was curious about since massage during pregnancy can have some unwanted side effects (especially if you are considered high risk, like myself.) Before heading to your local spa to indulge in a pre-natal massage, make sure that the therapist is trained in pre-natal. There's pressure points, etc. that are to be avoided during pregnancy because they can trigger contractions (some even say pre-term labor.) And there are certain essential oils you should stay away from. You should also get the all clear with your doctor/mid-wife first, as well. The Lodge at Woodloch, located in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, has staff that are trained in pre-natal massage. Once I had the all clear from my mid-wife team for massage, I ventured up during their Beauty Event Weekend in June.  The Lodge at Woodloch offers 50 and 75 minute Pre-Natal Massage, 50 minute Pre-Natal Shiatsu Massage, a 25 minute Gentle Belli Facial and a 50 minute Nuturing Body Polish. The treatment rooms at The Lodge at Woodloch are always relaxing with low lighting, soothing fragrances and tranquil music. When my therapist told me I would first lay on my back, I was surprised. I was worried that it would be uncomfortable or that I'd have difficulty breathing, however the massage table is manipulated in a way that you don't actually lay flat. It was quite comfortable, in fact. Pre-natal massage at The Lodge at Woodloch includes massaging your shoulders, scalp, arms, legs, ankles and bottom of your feet with Mama Mio Skincare. For the massage I had, they used O.Mega Tender Touch Massage Oil which contains avocado oil, jojoba oil, borage seed oil, rose hip seed oil and combined it with an essential oil blend of citrus, lavender and ylang ylang. Avocado Oil - rich oil that readily penetrates the skin due to the presence of Palmitoleic Acid. Avocado Oil is best suited for dry skin applications. Jojoba Oil - the closest oil to your skin’s own sebum; it is very soothing, helpful in healing and protecting skin from the ageing process. Borage Seed Oil - very high in the essential fatty acid Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA – Omega 6), making it extremely valuable in skincare formulations. Numerous studies have shown the topical application of oils containing GLA will effectively repair severely dry skin. Rose Hip Seed Oil - high in Linoleic and Linolenic essential fatty acids, which are key components of the epidermal lipid bi-layer. This oil is beneficial for the treatment of damaged and distressed skin by providing intense moisture. It smelled amazing. Who knew how much my feet were in need of a massage until the therapist touched them? She then moved to my belly for a brief belly massage. I warned her that my son may kick her in the process. However, he must've have felt how relaxed his mom was and didn't move the entire time. Once the front portion of your body has been tamed into relaxation, you then lie on one side with a pillow between your legs, a pillow under your head and a cloth covering your eyes so that a portion of your back can be massaged. Maybe it was just me, but the pillows were literally the fluffiest most comfortable pillows I have ever experienced and I wanted to drift off to sleep. You then switch sides so that she can give the rest of your back the attention it needs. When the 50 minutes were up, I told the therapist I would be OK if she just left me there to sleep. Unfortunately, others needed to be pampered so I couldn't take a nap. Darn. This pre-natal massage was glorious, my only advice is to go with 75 minutes. Take in as much pampering as you possibly can before your little one arrives. My husband gifted me a gift certificate for The Lodge at Woodloch that I intend to split between a pre-baby pedicure (because I honestly can't each my feet anymore) and a post-baby Tension Tamer massage when my upper back will be in dire need of soothing. If you've had a pre-natal massage at The Lodge at Woodloch, I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Disclosure: This massage was comped. However, all opinions and glorious relaxation are all my own.

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Infrared Sauna Benefits

Gail Lewis

Infrared Sauna Benefits #detox

Trying to convince my fiancé to go to the spa with me is usually a pretty hopeless undertaking, so imagine my absolute surprise and excitement when he actually suggested that we go to the spa together for a treatment.  That excitement might have decreased a little when he made it clear the "treatment" he wanted us to experience together was sitting in an infrared least we would be sitting together in a was a start. Perhaps sitting in an infrared sauna, sweating for 40 minutes does not sound very appealing, especially given the fact that its been about 90 degrees everyday in Bali for the last two months and I feel like I sweat plenty on a daily basis.  Little did I know that the infrared sauna benefits are amazing and an very effective way to detox. Unlike traditional saunas, an infrared sauna heats through a process called conversion, which warms your body instead of the air around you.  Thus an infrared sauna produces three times the amount of sweat of a traditional sauna.  The more we sweat, the more toxins are removed.  An infrared sauna also increases blood circulation and metabolism, reduces joint stiffness and muscle pain, helps to boost the immune system, decrease cellulite and rejuvenate the skin.  Also unlike traditional saunas it is still easy to breathe in an infrared sauna so you leave feeling rejuvenated instead of drained. Sitting in an infrared sauna in hot and humid Bali was certainly not one of the spa treatments I would ever have imagined myself indulging in, but I can honestly say that I really did enjoy my 40 minutes in an infrared sauna.  I made sure I consumed a ton of water before, during and after my session.  I was actually rejuvenated after my 40 minutes in the infrared sauna, my skin looked great and I was told that a 40 minute session can burn 300-600 calories!  Looks like weekly infrared sauna sessions are now going to be a part of my wellness program! Have you tried this type of spa treatment? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Immersion Spa at Borgata Atlantic City #DoAC

Shannon Smyth3 comments

I traveled to Atlantic City to check out the amazing spa options as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars by Crowdtap #DoAC. All opinions, and fun, are my own.

Borgata Atlantic City Casino and #Spa #review #DoAC

When you think Atlantic City, casinos and gambling may be the first things that come to mind; but what about waterviews, the boardwalk, the beach, amazing restaurants, world class entertainment and my absolute favorite: the spas? Atlantic City is more than just a town to gamble in, and it's certainly a lot more safer than you think!

For my trip to Atlantic City, I stayed at the Borgata Casino & Spa. Don't mistake the Borgata to simply be a hotel and casino, as it is so much more. Honestly, it's like its own city. It is massive with upscale shops, outrageously delicious restaurants, cafes for a quick treat (Frappacino's at Starbucks and amazing display to delight your tastebuds at Sweets & Eats), an entertainment venue, two spas (Immersion Spa and Spa Toccare), nightclubs and The Water Club. You really have no reason to leave the Borgata with so much to do, BUT you should as Atlantic City has so much to offer. Their tagline, after all is, Do AC!

On a sidenote, I spent a good deal of money at Sweets & Eats in the Borgata. I mean look at these delectable treats!

Borgata Atlantic City #DoAC Fruit Tarts at Sweets & Eats Borgata Atlantic City #DoAC Espresso Gelato at Sweets & Eats

Immersion Spa at Borgata Atlantic City:

Sirodhara Ayurvedic Spa Treatment at Immersion Spa at Borgata Atlantic City #review #DoAC

It has been a crazy and intense month for me, so seeking an Ayurvedic spa treatment was a no brainer. Immersion Spa, which is located in The Water Club adjacent to the Borgata, has several Ayurvedic treatments to choose from. The spa staff have you complete a Constitutional Analysis prior to your treatment. This analysis is a questionaire about different aspects of you health, body and mind. The questions have three columns and 3 answers that best match you. The three columns are to determine which element you identify most with: Vata (Esther & Air), Pitta (Fire & Water) and Kapha (Water & Earth.)

I ended up being Pitta, which means I am knowledgable, headstrong, brave and friendly. I won't tell you the bad characteristics of someone who is Pitta because naturally my reacton is "that's not me." Ha!  Peggy (who did my spa treatment) took the information from the analysis to decide the type of oil to use during my treatment.

I chose the Shirodhara spa treatment, which begins with you face down as your shoulders, neck and upper back are massaged. After about 10 minutes, you turn over, face up. Most of the treatment is spent with a steady stream of warm oil slowly pouring from a bowl above your head. Your eyes are covered, as is your body and feet (which are wrapped in warm towels.) Tranquil music plays as the warm oil makes its way across your scalp and through your hair. I literally fell asleep and kept waking myself snoring! All I can tell you is that to get me relaxed to that point is a feat unto itself!

Once the oil treatment is done, the oil is then gently massaged into your hair and scalp soaking it with its nourishing and hydrating properties. Hair is then wrapped in a towel and your treatment is done. It is so soothing and relaxing. Be sure that you do not wear a "good" shirt into the spa if you are having this treatment, as your hair is literally dripping with oil. Once I removed the towel, I used one of the hair scrunchies that are available in the spa's changing area and put my hair up. The spa says it's best to leave the oil in your hair for as long as possible to allow your hair the ability to absorb the oil. This might be doable if you plan to use the steam room, whirlpool or just hang out at the pool (without actually taking a dip.) I had to head back to my room to get ready for dinner so I had to wash my hair right away.

Quick tip: Do not wet your hair when you get in the shower. Instead apply shampoo first and lather. Let it sit in your hair for about a minute and then rinse. Avoid using a conditioner until the next shower. I had to do this about 3 times before my hair was no longer slick. While it was still a bit weighty, it looked like I had flat ironed my hair that night. My hair was so smooth and frizz free.

Immersion Spa has treatment rooms that are dark with low light and they also have treatment rooms facing the Atlantic City skyline and ocean with floor to ceiling windows. My treatment was in the dark room, but I think next time I'd like to experience a massage while staring out at the ocean.

Borgata Atlantic City Spa Treatment Room #DoAC

Immersion Spa is a two-story spa located on the 32nd floor of The Water Club. Here, you'll find 360 degrees of floor-to-ceiling water views, a fitness center and a lap pool that overlooks Atlantic City. It is simply breathtaking. They have a great spa boutique and I came across brands I knew, as well as some I didn't. To be honest, I'd love to see my brand sitting on those shelves one day.

Immersion Spa at Borgata Atlantic City #DoAC

Immersion #Spa Pool with a floor to ceiling view of Atlantic City. #DoAC immersion-spa-view

One of the restaurants that I visited during my stay was Dos Caminos, which is located at Harrah's Resort. I do love Mexican food, but believe it or not, I've never eaten guacamole. With the guacamole being handmade right at our table, I couldn't say no! (And it was AMAZING!)

Dos Caminos Atlantic City #DoAC

Handmade guacamole #DoAC

Handmade guacamole at Dos Caminos Atlantic City Harrah's Resort #DoAC

Crab guacamole at Dos Caminos Atlantic City #DoAC

I don't gamble, but I did enjoy learning how to play Craps at Resorts Casino, the oldest casino in Atlantic City. Although, I'm still confused about how to win, I think I did a pretty good job for a beginner! I had a lot of fun learning and the team there were great.

Craps at Resorts Casino #DoAC

Resorts Casino Atlantic City Craps #DoAC

Resorts Casino is located on the Boardwalk, where you'll also find Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville (I heard he played a free concert there recently) and Landshark Bar & Grill which is located across from Resort Casino directly on the beach. I had lunch at Landshark and I'd like this to be my view

Landshark Bar & Grille on the beach in Atlantic City #DoAC

Of course, a stroll on the beach was in order as well. I loved that the beach was not overcrowded at all and quite family-friendly. Atlantic City beaches are clean and so close to the fun on the Boardwalk.

Atlantic City #DoAC

Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City #DoAC

Atlantic City beach and boardwalk. #DoAC

While on this trip I was paired with two bloggers, who I had so much fun with! Kelly from - check out her blog to learn more about the fashion in Atlantic City; and Lyuba from - she's covering all of the amazing food in Atlantic City.

Fun in aAtlantic City! Lyuba from @willcookforsmiles and Kelly from @KellyAugustineB #DoAC

I enjoyed Atlantic City so much that I'm thinking a spa hop throughout the city may be in order. I heard they also have some PGA golf courses closeby that my husband would love. So as you can see, there's something for everyone in Atlantic City!

Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+

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Balinese Creambath At Amo Spa, Bali

Gail Lewis

Amo #Spa in #Bali

The first time my fiancé described a Balinese Creambath to me, I swear I heard harps playing and birds gayly chirping in the background as he waxed poetic about what sounded positively heavenly.  Now four years later we are in Bali and the first order of business for me was to experience a Creambath first hand.  There are a ton of spas and salons that offer this service, but I wanted to experience the specific treatment he had described to me exactly the way he described it, which led us to Amo Spa in Seminyak, Bali. 

himalayan salt scrub

Amo Spa #Bali

Amo Spa is the creation of native New York Supermodel/Actress Navia Nguyen and is a beautifully serene space with an amazing service menu and an expertly trained staff. 

Before my service began, I had the pleasure of sipping on a cool refreshing glass of wine from the in-house bar.  After changing into proper Amo Spa attire, my insanely decadent  hour-long service began with a shampoo, during which I went weak in the knees from the massage that accompanied my shampoo experience.  

The conditioning cream was then applied to my hair, section by section, and slowly, luxuriously massaged in by the stylist (who I may begin stalking on a regular basis.)  Not only was the product massaged into my scalp, but  my head, neck and shoulders were also continuously massaged with oil as I sat like jello in a chair.

Hair After Balinese Creambath #spa

With the conditioning cream still in my hair, I was placed under a steamer for about 20 minutes.  The steamer helps to infuse the cream into hair for an even deeper conditioning.  My hair was then rinsed and a tonic was applied to it. 

Believe me, ladies and gentlemen, when I tell you that had I not been looking into a mirror when I touched my hair, I would not have believed it was my hair I was touching.  It was incredibly soft and silky.  I was able to easily run my hands through my hair while wet, which is usually not a good idea given my super thick, curly textured hair. 

After blow drying my hair, not only was it soft and silky, but also wonderfully shiny and bouncy!  I now daydream about  Navia taking Amo Spa stateside and eradicating bad hair days one state at a time...a girl can dream. 

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The French Manor Inn and Spa Massage Review

Shannon Smyth
The French Manor Inn and Spa, Le Spa Foret, massage review via @agirlsgottaspa Up on Huckleberry Mountain lies an enchanting stone chateau with 20 miles of magnificent views of the northern Pocono mountains. Whether your view is of the prominent snowcapped peaks in the winter, the lush greenery in the Spring and Summer, or the spectacular colors of the Fall foilage, you are guaranteed something breathtaking even before stepping foot inside The French Manor Inn and Spa. If you long for a peaceful hideaway that is elegant, a place to simply retreat to whether you are local to the Poconos or are venturing in from out of state, you won’t be disappointed with what The French Manor has to offer. I’m blessed to live local to The French Manor, and having been previously to their Le Spa Foret for a Spa Pedicure, I know that the team here is top notch. The French Manor Inn and Spa, Le Spa Foret, massage review via @agirlsgottaspa Prior to your spa treatment, and on this day it was a Therapeutic Relaxation Massage for me, you are greeted with small, brown, glass bottles of essential oils. Every spa treatment at Le Spa Foret is completely customized to your needs and only with natural or organic products. In dire need of a floral fragrance, I chose Soft Beauty which contains jasmine and smells heavenly. The French Manor Inn and Spa, Le Spa Foret, massage review via @agirlsgottaspa The Therapeutic Relaxation Massage ($95) is a Swedish-style massage that promotes relaxation using long strokes and kneading of the superficial muscles. It was much needed, as the launch of my natural body care line has kept me at my desk long hours and feeling exhausted. Robin immediately picked up on the tension in my neck and upper back and kept much of her focus there. While I don’t typically chat too much during a massage, I found that Robin and I actually had a lot in common, so I didn’t mind the great conversation while her hands worked magic on helping to relieve the pain I was feeling in my muscles and the absolute need to relax my mind. It’s worth noting that if you love huckleberries (as I discovered I do after my trip to Idaho’s Spa Ssakwa’q'n), The French Manor offers a huckleberry candle in their spa boutique. My advice? Buy one. The sweet scent has filled my office daily and is such a pleasing fragrance. To learn more about The French Manor Inn and Spa, visit If you found this spa treatment review helpful, please Like, Share and Pin it! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Disclosure: Spa treatment comped for review.

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