Dead Sea Spa at the Kempinski Ishtar Jordan

By Dearbhla Doyle, Guest writer for Unwind and let go.
JordanThe Kempinski Ishtar Hotel at the world famous Dead Sea was the perfect place to end a wonderful five day tour of Jordan. Having spent a dusty day in the Wadi-Rum desert, undergone the trauma of losing my luggage for more than three days, and spent two days hiking in blistering heat through the spectacular city of Petra in flip-flops (I kid you not), myself and my travel companion were in serious need of some rest and recuperation.
Dead Sea BathingThe Kempinski Ishtar has everything you would expect from a five star resort on the shores of the Dead Sea but we were specifically there to avail of its award winning luxury spa. Given its proximity to mineral rich waters and detoxifying muds, the menu of treatments allows for a Dead Sea salt immersion in a comfortable and intimate surrounding. That been said, I still took a dip in the Dead Sea waters in the early evening and watched as many fellow bathers covered themselves from head to toe in blue grey mud, a ritual dating back centuries.
Dead Sea MudIt was only fitting therefore that I had opted for a ‘Polish & Swathe’ treatment at the Spa that evening, an invigorating Dead Sea salt body scrub followed by a Dead Sea Mud wrap accompanied by a gentle head and neck massage. The treatment did not disappoint, the polish combined the Dead Sea salt detoxifying cleanse, with an Apricot and Avocado polish allowing me to drift peacefully swathed in a body wrap to the accompaniment of gentle Arabic music. My therapist was accomplished and attentive and gently coaxed me through the whole process, so that it felt truly relaxing.  Afterwards as I sipped a glass of mint tea, I felt thoroughly cleansed and relaxed, and my skin felt deliciously soft, just what was needed after a few days of exposure to the desert sun.
Kempinski Ishtar SpaVisiting the Dead Sea, is of course a one in a lifetime experience and the Kempinski Ishtar Hotel is a great stopover. Asides from the luxurious spa, there is a super choice of restaurants. We dined in the resorts excellent Italian restaurant, having by that time had our fill of the delicious local Jordanian ‘Mezze’ platters (there is only so much hummus one can eat!), but here at the hotel you can take your pick of Western, local, or Asian cuisines. There is also a number of swimming pool options, as well as the obligatory Dead Sea bathing experience on the shores of the hotels private beach. I ended my too-short a stay with a sumptuous breakfast on the terrace overlooking the Dead Sea, alas minus my travelling companion who had to leave early to catch her flight. As I sat, staring out across the still waters of the Dead Sea, I made a mental note to return someday to the beautiful country of Jordan.
Kempinski Hotel, Ishtar Dead Sea,Swaineh, Dead Sea, 11194, Jordan
Dearbhla DoyleDearbhla is a sometimes Irish Diplomat living and working in Brussels. When not lamenting the current sorry state of the world, she enjoys fine food and wine, good conversation, opera, reading and seeing new places. She is also not averse to some well deserved pampering from time to time. 

Deep Tissue at the International Orange San Francisco

Golden Gate bridgeWhile in Switzerland last year, I was introduced to one of the worlds top Spa consultants and over an interesting exchange, he offered me several insider tips on city spas around the globe.  And so when I was last visiting San Francisco based on his recommendation, I took the opportunity to visit the International Orange Day Spa on Fillmore Street, located in Pacific Heights and close to Union Square.

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The Delamar Hotel Spa in Greenwich Connecticut

Delamar Hotel SpaAs part of a recent work assignment on location in Greenwich Connecticut, the schedule included (much to my joy!) a complimentary treatment at the Delamar Hotel spa. Located on the waterfront, the hotel overlooks a pretty marina with fancy sailboats and kind of reminds you of a laid back Summer postcard. Having flown long distance to get there,  I opted for a Swedish massage as my treatment du jour. Perfect for weary travelers but not too demanding for already jet lagged muscles.

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Exfoliation at the Bulgari Hotel Milan

Bulgari HotelAs part of my recent Detox program, I upped the ante on my regime by including a body exfoliation at the luxurious Bulgari Hotel when I was last visiting Milan. Located in one of the nicest parts of the city, the Bulgari Hotel overlooks beautiful botanical gardens and is reputed to be the most exclusive hotel in the city.  I visited it on a quiet Sunday afternoon and observed many elegant guests in the lobby and adjoining spa. I chose my treatment carefully from the extensive spa menu and settled on the creme dela mer inspired ‘La mer signature body treatment with exfoliation’ to apparently ‘renew, relax and restore’ my body.  I don’t normally use the La mer range of products, but with a diamond component, I was happily anticipating beautiful shimmery skin by the end of my treatment.

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Enjoying the new spa at Ashford Castle

By Natalie McGuinness, guest writer for Unwind and let go.

The spa at Ashford Castle was reviewed by The Irish Times shortly before I visited, so my anticipation levels were raised based on the glowing feedback. The spa is a cleverly designed glass annex like an orangery for cultivating beauty and relaxation, tucked away in the west of Ireland. My first visit to the Spa was for an emergency file and paint.

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A facial at Hotel Principe Di Savoia Milan

Milan Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Whenever I travel to Milan, I like to stay at the Hotel Principe Di Savoia. Quintessentially Italian with luxurious interiors and slightly chaotic service, the hotel is a landmark meeting place not too far from the iconic Duomo and central fashion district. In recent times, I have through various commitments been back and forth to the hotel and though I am rarely greeted as a frequent customer or with any semblance of recognition, I always like to return for the luxurious bedrooms and scrumptious La Dolce Vita decor.

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Deep Tissue Massage at The Marker Hotel Dublin

I had been meaning to visit the Spa at the Marker Hotel in Dublin for a number of months, especially as it was recently awarded Top Spa by Irish Tatler. The Spa, located on the 1st floor up a discreet flight of stairs, has a minimal look and feel. While it doesn’t quite have the sharp contemporary interior as the Peninsula in Paris, it is clean, relaxed and inviting and a perfect city centre escape.  As it happened, Friday evening turned out to be free in my calendar and as the week wore on between work and travel, I thought it was as good a time as any to check it out.

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