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Mega Spas and healthful living

From Yoga to Tai Chi along with the usual array of massage and beauty treatments, hotels are seriously focusing on your well-being by offering every kind of personalized treatment package including diet coaching and outdoor excursions. ESPA at the Ritz Carlton, Powerscourt features 20 treatment rooms, plus two private Spa Suites, a 20-meter Swarovski crystal-lit pool, exercise room and a state-of-the-art thermal suite, relaxation areas, hot-pools and saunas all offering superb views of Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Many luxury properties like the Amelia Island Plantation don’t require you ever leave the grounds for a spectacular week of R & R. You can bicycle the hotels 1300 plus acres, take a on-property and off-property nature tours (which I did and thoroughly enjoyed), eat at any of their 8 plus restaurants, golf and then hit the health & fitness center, spa, beach, pools and so much more. The whole family will return home healthier and rested. This is an ideal situation for your multigenerational vacations.

Many spas have been transformed from what I thought was pretty wonderful to even more fantastic like the Willow Stream at Fairmont’s Turnberry Isle Resort in Miami. Here we had a spacious suite overlooking the golf course with a spectacular view of the Miami skyline, exemplary service and at the Willow Stream spa the best foot massage I’ve ever had. Well I must say for a foot massage it included my shoulders, arms and hands all by a masterful masseuse.

I do wish some spas would do a little mystery guest spying on their personnel occasionally. A $200+ massage that feels like you they just moved a little air around you isn’t worth a dime or the room that is so cold it’s impossible to relax as you shiver under the thin sheet.

The spa at the new Capella in County Cork was an oasis of calm as is the entire property. Take a ride in a horse drawn carriage, walk with the two resident dogs, or ride a bike around the lavish grounds before enjoying the sauna and whirlpool. My favorite here was having breakfast in the beautiful main dining room which then necessitated my using their very well furnished gym.