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As if experiencing and writing about spa treatments like facials and massages weren’t enough, spa writing includes anything that incorporates “spa health”. 

The Spa Writing workshop this year in Chicago will explain what defines spa health and the writing opportunities around the holistic and wellness concept. 

Here is a glimpse into what you will learn more about and a few details from my spa experiences; some are dreamy treatments, but many include much more than “just” a treatment!

** Spa visits may include overnight accommodation

At many of the properties visited – whether it’s a resort spa or a boutique hotel — the property managers want you, the spa writer, to experience both the spa and hotel.  It’s a nice plus for you, but also for them, because your write-up includes details about the entire property.   Whether it was staying in the cabin bungalows at the Solage in Calistoga (Napa) or a spectacular night at Le Sirenuse in Positano, both write-ups described a dreamy spa visit and overnight stay.  “Still owned and operated by one family, Le Sirenuse is a breathtakingly pretty boutique hotel located on the cliffs of Positano. The views and scenery along the Almalfi Coast are of spectacular beauty.”

** Spa visits may include being a guest in a spa café or spa cuisine cooking class

Many spa properties have spa cafés or spa cuisine cooking classes.  Lake Austin Spa encourages its visitors to eat healthy cuisine at the Aster Café, and the Four Seasons Westlake offers cooking classes to spa guests.  Both properties want guests to know about the on-site herb gardens used for cooking and incorporating into spa treatments.  “My visit started with a light lunch in the charming Aster Cafe, where sun-catchers hang in the windows and a glimpse of the outdoor setting can be viewed while sipping a glass of tea.”

** Spa visits may include other facets of relaxation and learning

Spas invite visitors to rejuvenate in other ways besides massages and facials.  Ojai Valley Inn offers lifestyle classes through its spa; I had more fun in an aromatherapy class making my own blend of essential oils all afternoon over a 50-minute massage.  “Strolling down the path, I felt as though I were taking a walk in a meadow; the natural aromatherapy of flowers and herbs was blissful and there were lots of butterflies having their own fun in the abundance of wild flowers. Still in my robe and feeling quite comfortable I couldn’t resist the hammocks with a lake view.”

** Spas want to educate visitors more about health, wellness, and exercise

Wellness is more than pampering, and spas are incorporating yoga, hiking, and other low-impact exercise classes into the routine.  I reviewed and wrote about a chocolate, wine, and yoga workshop (all the same workshop) – it was a blast!  “…over the course of two days, I took two yoga classes and had two chocolate and wine tastings following the yoga; it was like the carrot dangled in front of me … except it was the most delicious Vosges Aztec truffles infused with ancho chillies  and Ceylon cinnamon”

** Spa health writing includes consumer perspective opinions, but also how-to or technical advice

Many publications – online or print — want how-to write-ups on topics like spa-ing on a budget, how to spa, different types of spas and treatments, and education on skincare products and ingredients.  “The fact is that wearing sunscreen is the best anti-aging tool, but let’s face it: Sunshine makes us happy and feeling the warmth on our face is blissful.  90% of wrinkles are caused by the sun!  The name of the game is “Sunshine in Moderation” and if we wear our sunscreen, we can splurge.  Here’s the scoop on a good, effective SPF (Sun Protection Factor)”

** Spa writing isn’t just for spa magazines

Many of my articles or write-ups are for wedding magazines, health magazines, and even real estate magazines!  Spas are so fun to write about from the treatments, to the products, to the architecture and therapists.  I stayed on Capri Island in Italyfor a week reviewing a boutique hotel and spa for a wedding magazine. “Two hours from Siena is the romantic spa and golf resort Terme di Saturnia. Tucked away in the rolling hills of Tuscany, this ancient property with natural hot springs can accommodate weddings large or small. The setting is peaceful and bucolic, yet it features an art gallery, inspired Mediterranean cuisine and the elegance of a resort spa. An original thermal spring feeds a park of hot-water swimming pools, waterfalls, Jacuzzi, and waterways. After you enjoy some of the specialized treatments, the warm, healing waters of the Roman Bath will further invite your deep relaxation. A recent addition is a gorgeous all-season golf course, designed with respect for the environment and with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.”

** Or … you can experience and write about my favorite topic — the spa surroundings and the treatment

“I indulged in the Halele’a Signature Treatment – Voyage from the Sea 4 Hands Lomi Lomi Massage and Facial, a 90-minute treatment.  As if one practitioner isn’t divine enough, this treatment entails two practitioners – that’s four hands instead of two; that detail alone equals bliss. 

“As if going into a spa cave isn’t dreamy enough, opt for their Signature Treatment, the Solo Vino.  A wine experience like no other, this two-hour body libation begins with an exfoliating grape seed scrub, followed by an invigorating jet shower rinse and a decadent body wrap with a wine cave mud mask. A massage and a glass of wine and cheese tray complete this Napa Valley favorite.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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