It was during a recent Watermelon Vodkatini Pedicure at Stillwater Spa at the Toronto Park Hyatt that I started thinking about how alcohol and spirits have become such an accepted part of the wellness industry. From champagne wraps to cognac massage oil, spa-goers no longer blink twice when their treatments sound perfectly suited to cocktail hour, so let’s look at some of the best, the oldest and the most exotic spa therapies with alcoholic ingredients.
The Czech Republic for a beer bath
The Chodovar Brewery in the town of Chodova Plana has been producing beer for centuries, but it wasn’t until 2006 that they took this historic brew to the spa. Now, not only can you sip a dark lager, you can soak in a tub of it along with fragrant herbs and spring water. Why? Beer is said to be good for skin problems, circulation, joint pain and to increase the levels of good cholesterol in the blood. Cheers!
Think a brewery isn’t deluxe enough for you? The swanky Augustine Hotel in Prague offers a scrub containing Himalayan salt and hops flowers. Hops, a main ingredient in beer, is said to reduce blood pressure and help with insulin levels, so lie down and drink in the benefits.
Bordeaux for vinotherapy
What wine and spa lover wouldn’t want to be dropped at this, the original wine spa? Yes, it was here, at Les Sources de Caudalie, that the world was first introduced to Vinotherapy, wine-based treatments that are now classics on global spa menus, especially in wine growing areas such as Napa and Canada’s Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Here at Les Sources de Caudalie, you can spend your days looking out over the vineyards and soaking in barrel baths, red vine baths or grape marc baths. If that gets old, though it seems unlikely it would, try a Merlot Wrap or Crushed Cabernet Scrub, all the while knowing you’re taking in plenty of healthy resveratrol, the potent antioxidant found in the skin of red wine grapes. Now that’s worth drinking to, n’est-ce pas?
Bali for a Bloody Mary
Vodka has been used as a beauty staple for centuries, standing it for everything from a pore-tightening facial astringent to a clarifying hair rinse. Add tomato and make it a cocktail at the St Regis Resort in Bali, where you’ll be lulled into spa mode by the ocean and the twitter of tropical birds. While the resort’s Bloody Mary is said to be one of the best in the world, you can take it a step further with Bloody Mary Ritual at the hotel’s Remede Spa. This spicy ritual begins with a Tomato, Pineapple and Wasabi Body Reviver followed by skin purifying Vodka Tomato Clay Wrap, which is then topped with a detoxifying massage and a Tomato Vermouth and Mineral Salt bath. Count me in and hold the celery.
Carol Perehudoff is an award-winning travel writer and spa junkie. Don’t miss her luxury travel blog at wanderingcarol.com.