Options – Your Corporate Retreat in a Luxury Condominium Resort – Golf, Water, Spa

As a hotelier, this article will be a little different from most that I write. Today, I will be discussing the option of planning your corporate retreat in a luxury condominium resort.

Having spent over thirty years in hotels, I normally think of conventions and meetings being held in hotels or large convention halls for City Wide Conventions where housing is at the surrounding hotels.

However, I recently wrote about having a very small corporate retreat in a cabin, in the mountains. For extremely small groups, cabins works fine.

But, let us talk today about a corporate retreat for small to mid size groups, from ten to one hundred and discuss anther option. What I am talking about is a facility to not only conduct meetings, but to relax and enjoy.

Recently I had the opportunity to stay at the RiverStone Resort & Spa in the Mountains of East Tennessee. To quote them, “Are you more business than pleasure?” “Or are you more pleasure than business?” They are a luxury condominium resort in a majestic Smokey Mountain setting.

But, what makes them different from a regular convention facility?

First, and foremost are the one hundred twenty five luxury condominiums they offer instead of hotel rooms. Each one has spacious interiors and customized details. Offered are one bedroom to four bedroom units that all have a nine foot and/or volume ceilings. Each unit has granite counter tops in the kitchen area, a large flat screen TV in each living area and an outside balcony overlooking the river on one side or a premier golf course on the other.

What fascinated me was the ability to take your family along with you and have a common area to eat, watch TV and socialize. This works even better than a hotel suite, because you have a complete kitchen with a nice dining table. Granted, you can eat out if you want, but I always like the option of a few items from the refrigerator.

Second, it has a first class spa right in the facility. Enjoy it by yourself or have a “Couples” massage. Body treatments, natural nail services and facials are also available, to mention just a few.

Third, enjoy the water. RiverStone Resort & Spa has a large glassed in pool for those so inclined, but outdoors they offer a 300 foot heated lazy river. Just hop in one of their inner tubes, float around and relax. My wife and I spent almost an hour enjoying the lazy river relaxing and letting all of our cares float away. We will do this again.

Fourth, golf is available for the avid outdoorsman. With one of the premier public golf courses right next door, you have the option of playing by yourself or setting up a tournament. You may be lucky enough to get one of the balconies overlooking the 7th fairway of the Gatlinburg Golf Course where you can relax and watch them play several holes.

Fifth, unique places are nearby. Dollywood Theme Park is less than a mile and a half away, right on the same street. Pigeon Forge also offers endless shopping, craft shops and musical showcase theaters within walking distance.

Sixth, first class meeting facilities are available for up to 150 classroom style along with wonderful inside and outside areas for wedding receptions. One balcony overlooks the Pigeon Forge River and is a perfect setting for receptions, breaks and lunches. Additionally available is a spacious workout room with multiple equipment options, plus a game room for all that includes a pool table and an air hockey table.

Finally, perfect balance. “Simply, it’s all about achieving a perfect balance of relaxation and wellness, and creating the ultimate escape” as stated by the RiverStone Resort & Spa. To me, it is a facility to not only conduct meetings, but to relax and enjoy. Take your family along, relax in luxury condominiums, enjoy the lazy river, golf, shopping, musical theaters and maybe spend a few minutes in a business meeting. Can you think of better way to have a Corporate Retreat? So, think different and deviate from your norm. You will enjoy it!

How To Live Longer And Stay Healthier Thanks To An Asian Spa

The word ‘spa’ comes from the name of a small town in Belgium, and the ‘spa’ industry has been a phenomenon that has grown at ever increasing speed over the last decade. Now every major hotel worth its salt has a spa and leisure complex in place and operating as part of the facilities on offer in order to tempt a discriminating guest to cross the threshold. Many of these spas are truly luxurious pampering palaces offering myriad means of massage, beauty treatments, steam rooms, luxurious baths and much more.

Asia has taken to the spa concept and plays host to some of the finest and most sumptuous in the world. These can be found in India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Thailand, the Philippines, China and Japan. The Banyan Tree in Phuket is listed by Britain’s Guardian Newspaper as being amongst the best fifty on the entire planet.

In Thailand the notion of spa is a blend of ancient tradition comprising massage and meditation and herbal baths and steam rooms. Before the arrival of allopathic medicine from the West the Temple was the centre of learning. The monks fulfilled the dual role of doctors and apothecaries. Wat Pho in Bangkok retains the distinction of being the leading centre for massage in the Thai Kingdom. The therapists trained by this temple are experts in their field and quite rightly enjoy the honorary title of doctor.

There is however, in Thailand a different type of spa that came into existence in the early 1990s. Destinations such as Koh Samui attracted a younger and more health conscious tourist. To cater for the backpackers a couple of spas have come into existence that have focussed on detoxification and fasting programmes. These are not luxurious resorts attached to branded hotel chains but offer comfortable beachside bungalow type accommodation and embrace a philosophy that advocates good health and longevity. Today people flock from all over the globe to stunning locations such as the Health Oasis Resort in Koh Samui in order to be part of this remarkable health conscious philosophy. What’s more the same visitors return year after year to clean up and recharge batteries in order to better face the stressful lifestyle imposed by work and career in the big cities of Europe, America, Australia and Asia.

What then is this secret that lures the visitor to stunning tropical location? It is a five point programme that embraces firstly cleansing. This means getting rid of all those toxins accumulated by a western lifestyle and is achieved by cleaning the colon by means of enemas or colonics. Secondly we cleanse the body by breathing properly. That means it is necessary to inhale deeply, hold the breath and then release it for a specific number of times during the day. Where better to do this than in the clean air of Koh Samui? Thirdly comes a diet formulated according to blood group. This concept is based on the findings of Dr. Peter D’Adamo who is the author of the book “ Eat Right for your Type”. Fourthly comes the importance of exercise. A gentle regime of walking or more strenuous yoga is a must on a daily basis and the fifth and final step in this journey is meditation. All spiritual disciplines advocate spending a certain amount of time in quiet contemplation.

Many of us know about these techniques but need a gentle shove in order to incorporate them into daily life. Thus a nine-day de-tox at a Spa like the Health Oasis Resort [http://www.healthoasisresort.org] will teach you how to achieve healthy living and lifestyle; afterwards all you have to do is to take the new knowledge back home and incorporate it into your daily life.

Big Apple Spa – Experience the Best Day Spas in New York City

Planning a visit to NYC? In the midst of deciding what Broadway show to see, where to shop, sleep, and eat, don’t forget a little pampering. A visit to a day spa is a perfect way to unwind and indulge during your stay. But there are countless day spas in the city. How do you tell which day spas are the best? Following are a sampling, including spas for the budget-minded and extravagant luxury spas.

One of the true originals, Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa on Fifth Avenue still commands a loyal following. The Red Door’s celebrity colorist brad johns defines color from around the world. Botox, Restylane and Juverderm services have recently been added and are performed by plastic surgeon, Dr. Bryan G. Forley, voted one of the “Best Doctors of 2005” in New York Magazine. Guests may enjoy their classic 50-minute massage for $105.

An exquisite day spa tucked away on the sixth floor of Takashimaya, the luxury Japanese department store on 5th Avenue, Barbo at Takashimaya is an intimate spa, featuring only two treatments rooms, and no plans to expand. While the products in the spa are from the German line, Barbor, the treatments themselves have an Asian influence. The Sea Creation facial ($250) is one of the spa’s most popular treatments – designed to regenerate the skin and boost cell energy. Make sure to order tea service after your service at the Teabox Cafe where more than 48 different types of tea are available.

Located on Broadway, Bliss Soho has been voted Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Urban Day Spa.” The flagship spa was created by Marcia Kilgore in the 1990s. The atmosphere mixes a modern, tongue-in-chic approach to grooming with a vast menu of facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, body treatments, and more. There are two other locations at East 57th Street and Bliss 4 in W Hotel.

Hailing from the Peninsula Hotel, Cornelia Zicu is a star esthetician who now owns her own spa. Cornelia Day Resort is located in midtown and is the first in NYC to have a watsu pool massage treatment. The watsu takes place in warm-waist-deep water. The spa’s specialized watsu pool is heated to the exact temperature as the body. Because of the pool, the treatment is relatively unusual to the city.

Boasting a “wet lounge solarium,” Great Jones Spa, located in Manhattan, features hot tubs, cold plunge pools, and saunas, which are available to guests up to two hours prior and one hour following spa treatments. Their 60-minute Swedish massage is offered for $130.

Offering affordable serenity in Manhattan, Haven, located on Mercer Street, is a cozy neighborhood day spa with a hospitable environment. Services include body therapy, facials, hand and foot therapies, waxing, and massage packages. One-hour Swedish massages run $115, while the “80 minutes in Haven” facial treatment ($150) leaves guests glowing.

For those who are seeking more than just a pampering treatment, Juva on 56th Street is a medical spa offering therapies which tackle issues such as sun spots and acne. Under the medical supervision of Bruce Katz, M.D., the Juva products used during treatments provide long-lasting benefits with mineral essentials and surpass normal spa techniques.

Designed to impress the most jaded spa goer, Juvenex combines Asian, European, and American spa remedies which are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Walking through its doors, guests are transported into another place with unusual saunas, plunge pools, and the Jade Igloo – made from 20 tons of semi-precious stones. The spa is open to women only, daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and for couples during the evening from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Go for something truly unforgettable with a visit to the Spa at Mandarian Oriental, affording great views of Central Park and featuring amenities such as the “Heat Expereince” rooms. Considered one of the best hotel spas in New York, services are pricey, but luxurious. Bamboo, natural stone and gold leaf set the tone for an amazing Manhattan spa experience that focuses on rebalance and an enhanced sense of well-being. The spa’s latest addition is the Thai Yoga room, designed especially for their exclusive Thai Yoga Massage.