I spoke with my doctor over the weekend who very generously gave me plenty of time to go over the results of my annual physical. Other than higher-than-I-would-like cholesterol, I seem to be humming along pretty well.
At the end of our phone conversation I decided to ask him if he has seen the movie Sicko. Wow – did I get an earful! Ranting about how Michael Moore is crazy, that he is spreading lies, that he is almost a Communist, etc. After listening to the tirade I asked again if he had actually seen the movie to which he said “no” – he wouldn’t dream of giving Michael Moore any of his money. So I offered to buy him a movie ticket because I would rather talk with my doctor about Sicko after he has seen it than before. I have some questions.
One valid point my doctor made (without having seen the movie) was that there may be a better solution than what Michael Moore proposes in Sicko. Just adopting a health care system from another country – such as Canada or France – may not be the best answer. There might be a third way, by taking some aspects of both systems and even adding a part that doesn’t seem to exist anywhere. He suggested more free market aspects.
Anyway, my thought today is that I do hope that the conversation continues and shifts from whether or not we like Michael Moore to some smart solutions for health care woes. At least the movie gives us some concrete things to talk about.
Am back from China and preparing for the May 20th Global Spa Summit which is shaping up to be quite an event. Just spoke with Susan Harmsworth (ESPA) on the phone as we are now adding her to the speaker line up in addition to Steve Case (Revolution LLC and Miraval) and Kevin Kelly (Canyon Ranch). I knew Susan’s company was global but I had no idea they were now operating in over 50 countries around the world. As I look over the stellar list of delegates I am getting excited about so many icons in the spa industry coming together in one room. Christina Ong (COMO Shambhala), Deborah Szekely (Rancho La Puerta and Golden Door), Stephen Purdew (Champney’s Health Resorts) and the list goes on. And having just returned from my trip to China where the spa industry is just beginning to bud, I can’t help but feel that the timing of this gathering seems almost perfect.
You may have noticed that this is becoming a regular Friday feature on my blog. I’ve decided that sharing with you spa news of interest might offer additional information that you find helpful. What you may not know is that I select the news to share with you out of a barrage of incoming items and that the headlines are altered somewhat to make them more useful to you. My hope is that this will save you time. By simply scanning the headlines posted here each week, you can keep up with what is going on. If you want to read more on a topic, just click on the link.
I hope you find it helpful. Please let me know if you have other suggestions for our spa news digest.
Exclusive Prada Face and Body Treatments Offered at Ritz-Carlton Spas
Hotel Spa Industry Grows to Meet Demand
Breast Tissue Donors Receive Free Treatment at Indiana’s Ology Spa
Indian-Wells-Based Spa Resorts Offer Affordable California Getaways
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota Launches Pet Massage Program
North American Spas Offer Holiday-Themed “Edible” Treatments
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru Now Open
Spa Vinotherapie Caudalie Espana Debuts in Northern Spain
Barcalo Maya Beach Resort in Mexico Will Open New Spa
EcoTulum Resorts & Spa in Mexico Promotes Toy Distribution for Disadvantaged Children
Bangkok’s S Medical Spa Embodies New Trend of Medical Tourism
My favorite spa of all has to be Lake Austin. I don’t see why they haven’t won our Crystal Award yet. This spa comes with my highest recommendations and high hopes that next year they will win “Top Spa in North America.” As I was driving up to the resort, I saw a sign that reads, “Slow down as this road ends in a lake,” and they weren’t kidding. Lake Austin is literally right on Lake Austin (if that makes sense).
I appreciated that the cardio machines in the fitness room overlook the lake so that cardio seems much more exhilarating (and less hamster/treadmill like) than usual. The entire resort is breathtaking. The views made me want to cry, and I am not an emotional person (at all). This property just triggered something in me. When I saw the famous “blue room” at the new Lakehouse Spa, I seriously considered just reclining right there on the lounge, wrapping myself in one of their quilts and asking my client to come back for me later, or better yet tomorrow! The design elements in this one room top what most spas have to offer throughout their whole property. I just couldn’t stop gushing (can you tell).
This place is rustic without making you feel as though you were entirely removed from reality. All rooms have internet access and all the amenities you can think of…The Spa Café has cuisine that’s both healthy AND tasty, which isn’t always accomplished at spas. Ok, the best part of Lake Austin is this little secret I am about to let you in on. The Lakehouse Spa is open for day guests, and they encourage them! So if you are only in Austin for the day or only have time in your schedule for one day at the spa, don’t let that stop you from visiting Lake Austin. Booking a treatment at the spa entitles you to spend your entire day there, enjoying the pools, the café, and of course the blue room, which will leave you very far from blue.
Since I have been immersed in some projects at the office this week, I can’t report on any spa experiences (darn), but fortunately there is hardly a day on which someone from our staff of over 50 people isn’t at a spa. So here is an email I received from Tamara Bedrosian – one of our top account executives – from her recent trip to the “big” state of Texas.
“I am out in Texas visiting spas and, wow, the variety here is pretty fascinating. My trainer told me before I left that Texas is the “fattest state” as kind of a warning not to stray too far from my usual healthy eating regimen and regular workouts. Well, whoever said that Texas is the fat state apparently hasn’t visited Cooper Aerobics Center, founded by Dr. Ken Cooper in Dallas. This place is so full of fit people. The grounds are beautiful- unlike anything I had ever seen before. This is NOT a destination spa. Health and wellness is the main game, with serenity and relaxation second. I felt as though I was back at University…Actually, if you can picture this, a college campus crossed with the White House. I stayed at the Lodge at Cooper Aerobics Center, which has a very regal feeling. My room was fit for a queen (which is fitting), and I have heard that several presidents have stayed at Cooper. Everything about this place is inspiring. I woke every day to joggers doing laps around the outdoor track. Joggers of all ages, I might add, as well as all sizes. The focus wasn’t necessarily on being thin but being fit.
Guilt and curiosity dragged me to the fitness center bright and early before my meetings. The center is 40,000 square feet and has everything you can possibly imagine and more. About 70% of the guests there worked with trainers. The renewal rate on memberships at Cooper is 89%, which is one of the highest in the country. I can see why: this place is serious on results. I hope I haven’t scared you, though. Cooper is lenient on a couple of things. They still have Snickers Bars in the vending machine and now they are offering BOTOX® in the Spa. Might that seem contradictory? Perhaps. But Dr. Ken Cooper understands, that sometimes nature needs just a little nurture.”
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