SPAS FOR TEENS
by Katy Koontz
Women (and more than a few men) have long known that retreating into the restorative, pampering space of a spa can help melt the angst of mortgage payments, work pressures, and midlife body changes. But these days, stresses shed at spas are increasingly more likely to include boyfriend breakups, acne attacks, and exam anxiety. That’s because spas are now catering to the teen and sometimes even the preteen crowd with special services, products, and even entire treatment rooms and lounges just for them.
Parents’ desires to share fun, feel-good experiences with their kids as well as a willingness to devote plenty of cash to their skin- and hair-care cause are helping to fuel the trend. After all, children between the ages of nine and 18 spend almost $10 billion a year on personal care products, according to marketresearch.com. Can a little professional pampering be far behind?
For massages, a few special rules apply: A parent must be in the room during the massage, and the teen must wear underwear or a bathing suit. Otherwise, the main difference between teen treatments and adult treatments is an emphasis on learning healthy skin care to minimize or prevent acne, and a notable profusion of brightly colored potions and sweet-smelling scents for spraying, slathering, puffing, and buffing.
Here’s a sampling of spas that offer something special for the under-20 set:
SPahhhT, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort - San Antonio, Texas
The Hyatt Regency really hits the spahhht (pronounced “spot”) with this one. The funky décor has a decidedly retro teen flavor, with beanbag chairs, lava lamps, black lighting, and beaded curtains. The vibrant purple, pink, orange, and bright blue walls leave no room for prissy pastels. Want tunes? Top 40 hits grace the sound system.
The spa menu here includes the Sole Mate pedicure, Just the Right SPAhhhT full-body massage, Let’s Face It facials, Nail It! nail treatments, Tatoo You henna tattoos, Grafitti hand-painted nail art, and Caribbean-style hair-braiding. Those who overdid it in the sun will appreciate the Hot SPahhhT sun-relief treatment for sunburned skin.
The SPAhhhT also offers a few pre-teen treatments, including the Girlie-girl Facial. And when they’re not at the SPahhhT, kids of all ages will no doubt appreciate the resort’s four-acre water park with its 450-foot Ramblin’ River.
For Mom: The Hyatt’s Windflower Spa offers a full range of massages, body treatments, and skin care options. Aunt Mary’s Body Butter Remedy, for example, combines a through body-scrub with a body-butter massage and body-wrap, The Lavender Lemonade treatment, on the other hand, uses a custom blend of Hill Country-grown lavender mixed with a bit of citrus. The ultimate, however, is the synchronized massage—two massage therapists working side-by-side on one guest. For more info: Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort
Spa by ASHA, James Chicago Hotel - Chicago, Illinois
The James’ Spapalooza is billed as a teen extravaganza, and it’s easy to see why. The experience begins with My First Pure Focus Facial, progresses to a hand and foot massage, and ends with a Mix Your Own PUREfume session. For the latter, teens smell a series of pure scents (cinnamon, licorice, or peppermint, anyone?). They then pick their faves from the bunch and blend them to create a custom-made scent of their own design.
For Mom: Among the spa treatments for adults are the Neti Massage for relieving sinus pressure and pain, the Triple Moisture Massage (combining acupressure, effleurage and deep tissue massage), and the Himalayan Rejuvenation Treatment (deep exfoliation, massage, aromatic steam bath, and a botanical compound poured onto a special point on the forehead for deep relaxation).
When spa-goers get their fill of pampering, they can indulge themselves in a little retail therapy in the famed Michigan Avenue shopping district known as the Magnificent Mile, just steps from the hotel. For more info: James Chicago Hotel
Sea Spa, Loews Coronado Bay Resort - Coronado, California
Loews teamed up with Pottery Barn's PBteen just two years ago to create a teen lounge and a teen spa treatment room in the Sea Spa at Loews Coronado Bay. The lounge is outfitted with a media tower, a pool table, Nintendo, a Wii, and two iChairs with places to plug in your iPod or MP3 player. The décor is beach-themed, right down to its life-size surfer wall mural.
The teen treatment room with its colorful hibiscus-patterned sheets and shell chandelier is the place for acne facials, sports massages, the spa’s popular Skincare 101 sessions, and full-body organic spray-tanning. Want more? Sign up for one of the teen belly dancing classes.
Teens who opt for the signature Golden Goddess spa package get a 25-minute green tea and ginger facial, a spray-on tanning treatment, and a pedicure featuring gold minerals and Artemisia flowers.
For moms: Sea Spa treatments for adults include seaweed body wraps, sea salt body scrubs, Beach Stone Massage, and the ultra-tranquil Watsu Flotation Massage.
For more info: Loews Coronado Bay Resort
Spa at Pinehurst, Pinehurst Resort - Pinehurst, North Carolina
TeenSpa customers at Pinehurst wait in their own teen-friendly lounge before indulging in the various offerings here. On the menu are the half-hour Teen Makeup Application and Lesson as well as the Total Teen Facial (deep cleansing, toning, steam, mask, extractions, and a facial massage as well as instruction on keeping skin healthy at home).
Teens can also choose a half-hour Teen Tune-Up—a one-on-one session with a certified personal trainer that covers strength training, flexibility, and cardiovascular conditioning. Teens also get a take-home program.
TeenSpa packages include Teen Time Out (a half-hour massage plus a facial and makeup application), Mother and Daughter Teen Re-TREAT (a facial, manicure, and pedicure for both mom and daughter), and Friends Always and Forever (facial, manicure, pedicure, and make-up application for a group of teens).
Pinehurst’s Kid Spa also offers limited services for smaller spa-goers, ages 6 to 11.
For Mom: This new spa includes aquatherapy tranquility areas, a full-service salon, and a fitness center. The Spa offers some 40 services, many making good use of locally grown ingredients, such as holly berry, pine, peach extracts, and magnolia. For more info: Spa at Pinehurst
The Spa, Round Hill Hotel & Villas - Montego Bay, Jamaica
Round Hill’s spa offers an "All About Me" teen spa menu that covers all the basics for spa-goers ages 12 to 16. Options include a 25-minute mini massage or a 50-minute full-body massage, an Elemis Aromapure Taster Facial (using Eastern massage techniques for added relaxation), manicures, pedicures, and hair braiding.
For Mom: The Spa, located in an 18th-century former sugar plantation house on 10 acres, offers skin renewal therapy, hand and foot treatments, facials, massage, and hydrotherapy. Some particularly popular choices include outdoor seaside massages and yoga classes on the waterfront lawn. Round Hill Hotel & Villas
RockResort Spa, The Landings - St. Lucia
Just opened last December, this brand new Caribbean spa has a long list of services for spa-goers ranging in age from 2 to 14. Young customers are provided with MP3 players during their spa experience, and attendants offer teens their choice of fruit smoothies while maintaining a current selection of popular teen magazines.
The most popular treatments include the 50-minute My Skin-101 facial as well as the 35-minute New You makeup application and lesson (including those all-important "before" and "after" photos). Teens can also opt for 25-minute customized manicures and pedicures.
For Mom: Each adult spa treatment begins with a signature water purification ritual. One popular offering is the La Soufriere and Lime Massage, which incorporates Thai stretches, acupressure, Lomi-Lomi massage, and St. Lucian volcanic mud for detoxification. Those who opt for the St. Lucian Polish Body Scrub will salivate over the papaya, pineapple, kukui nut, and herbal coconut milk products used. Many treatments here make liberal use of local St. Lucian spices, including vanilla, bay leaf, ginger, cinnamon, and boise bande bark. For more info: Rock Resorts Spa
Topnotch Spa, Topnotch Resort; Stowe, Vermont
This award-winning spa has been recently renovated, and it now offers more teen treatments than ever. Tops on the list is the Total Teen Facial, blending several skin therapies such as deep cleansing, toning, steam, mask, extractions, and a facial massage. The Super Sugar Scrub exfoliation treatment employs pure maple sugar. Those who opt for this sweet treat will also leave with cornmeal soap and a loofah mitt to take home. The spa’s full-body Teen Massage focuses on the back, shoulders, and legs and uses a light citrus aromatherapy oil.
Each teen spa treatment includes instructions for a home-care routine addressing nutrition and exercise. Teens who want even more advice can get the Teen Tune-Up ($75), a one-on-one session with a certified personal trainer who covers strength training, flexibility, and cardiovascular conditioning.
For Mom: New spa treatments here include the Decléor Aroma Relax Wrap and the June Jacobs Cucumber Green Tea Facial. In the mood for something else? With 30 treatment rooms and more than 120 treatments and services, that shouldn’t be any problem. For more info: Topnotch Spa
Turtle Cove Spa, Mountain Harbor Resort; Mount Ida, Arkansas
Nestled in Arkansas’ Ouachita Mountains, this family resort caters to younger children and teens as well as adults. During the Skin Care 101 facial, estheticians discuss good skin care and lifestyle habits. A take-home starter kit is also available, including sample sizes of basic cleansing products, lotions, lip treatments, and other goodies.
Make up lessons, massage, pedicures, manicures, yoga, and even veil dancing are other teen options. For those who can’t decide there's a Spa Princess Package, which includes several services, a spa lunch, and a spa gift (plus your own take-home tiara). Turtle Cove also hosts teen spa parties.
For Mom: Adults will appreciate all the special touches that set Turtle Cove apart, starting with the metaphor suggested by crossing the suspended wooden bridge to enter the spa. Turtle Cove's special Turtle Tranquility fragrance, flowing fountains, and Turtle Tea (a gentle blend of fresh ginger, tea and fruit juices) set the tone for a variety of signature treatments in massage, facials, bodywork, holistic therapies, body therapies, spa manicures and pedicures, and mineral makeup. For more info:
Turtle Cove Spa
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Katy Koontz is a travel writer based in Knoxville, Tenn