Sandra, Ritz Carlton La Prairie Spa

Sandra answers readers’ questions from visits to a spa, urban myths, pregnancy  issues, shaving, and best treatments while visiting La Prairie. 




“I don’t  usually frequent spas, what should I know before I go?”  -Jennifer, Consultant, New York City

Always  arrive early.  The goal is to relax so why be late?  Also, a lot of  spas have luxurious relaxation areas and wet areas for guests to enjoy.  Most spas cannot elongate the spa treatment due to spa services booked  directly afterwards.  Always respect the time that has been committed to  you as a guest by the spa.  Spas are very busy and expect guests to respect and follow their cancellation policies.  They love to  give VIP treatment to wonderful guests!

Research  the spa a little bit so you have set expectations.  Use spa websites to  see customer comments and repay the favor by sharing your experience with  others.  It is always better to come to a spa ready  for services, makeup free (wouldn't you rather have the esthetician spend more  time massaging your face than removing makeup?), steam, sauna, shower and  whirlpool beforehand to open pores and relax and warm muscles.  Also a  light snack ensures you won't get hungry in the middle of services.  Some  spas offer snacks or a menu of food choices; however it is always best to  arrive ready to go into your services (better to be safe than sorry!!!).   Leave your jewelry in your bag or purse as you may forget it in the  spa!!!! You don't need stress after relaxation.  Bring cash as many spas  only accept cash gratuities.  Know that your hair will probably become
messy!  If you really want a fantastic  service than scalp massage will most likely occur!  Ensure the spa you are  visiting has amenities so you may freshen up afterwards.  Before you enter  the spa, turn off your cell phone.  This is not the place for casual conversation and it isdistracting to others.

There are a lot  of urban myths floating around about visits to spas.  What are some common misconceptions about the  spa experience?   -Stacey, Editor, New York City

Many people think they can get an infection from water therapies.  State laws require chemicals be used and checked
throughout the same to ensure efficacy in whirlpools.  This is to prevent the spread of infection.  As long as you are attending a reputable spa you  should be worry free about the cleanliness! Another  urban myth is male therapists - ladies are so afraid to get a massage from a  male.  I believe mostly because they are self conscience about their body.  I promise you, the therapist is a professional, this is their career, and  they are not analyzing each part of the body as they massage, they are focusing  on the knots and muscles and making the guest feel great!

Which celebrities usually visit the spa and what are their favorite services? Amy, Publicist, Los Angeles

We  respect people’s privacy and do not disclose that information.  However on  a daily basis you can see some of the most influential people in Hollywood coming out of our massage  and facial rooms.  Since most celebrities staying in the hotel are in town  meeting with press and traveling a lot, they mostly enjoy relaxing with one of  our talented massage therapists!

I’ve heard it’s best to bring my own manicure utensils to  a spa to prevent infection.  What items  should I purchase and where is the best place to get it?  -Madeline, Entrepreneur, New York City

Not to our spa; we provide new utensils for all guests; however if you  are going to the bodega style mani/pedi salons located all over the city, I  would recommend it.  New emery boards and orange sticks need to be used on  all guests all metal and steel can be sanitized.  You may purchase at your local drug store or  a beauty supply store such as sally's beauty supply.

What are  some tips to spot if it's a good spa or a bad spa, which could create an  infection? – Michelle, NYC

If  you don't see the technician sanitizing the pedi tub before you start, or using  brand new utensils - run!!!!  You can also pop in and just ask for a tour  of the facility; there is no reason you should be denied a tour if it's fast  and the spa is not too busy.

Should I shave before a treatment?– Michael, Investment Fundraiser, NYC

Shaving  is not recommended prior to any body treatments or hair removal services. For  men, shaving is recommended, but not necessary, prior to a facial. If you do  choose to shave prior to your facial, be sure to do so at least six hours prior  to your appointment

What should I wear during my treatment? - Veronica, Developer, Chicago

Most body treatments are enjoyed without clothing;  however, please wear whatever makes you comfortable. During all treatments, the  body is fully draped, except for the area being worked on. Before and after  your treatment, robes and slippers are provided.

I’m pregnant and have some special medical  issues.  – Andrea, Writer, Florida

Please notify our spa reservation agent  before booking your treatments if you have high blood pressure, allergies, any
other physical ailments or disabilities, or if you are pregnant. If you have  any concerns at all, please let us know. If at any time during your services you experience discomfort, please alert your therapist immediately.  While there are a few services that should be  avoided during pregnancy, there are many beneficial treatments that can be  enjoyed. Please notify our spa agents if you are pregnant when you make your appointments so that they can offer guidance.

What treatment do you recommend for to treat feet after a  long day up and down Fifth Avenue in Jimmy Choos? –Claire, Actress

Treatment: After  Shopping Paradise (90 Minutes)

This after-shopping indulgence combines foot reflexology and a spectacular pedicure to revive your feet and your shopping stamina.

I’m often working until 1AM doing deals and meeting tight deadlines.  What type of facial can I get to make me look refreshed like I went on vacation even though I didn’t? – Linda, Investment Banker, New York

Caviar Firming Facial

The best  treatment we could recommend is the Caviar Firming Facial for its healing  properties.  This facial is the epitome
of true luxury with a proactive concentration of Caviar Extracts, AHA’s, and sea proteins that leave your skin feeling transformed, lifted, and illuminated by its touch of energy and moisture.

What treatment do you recommend for those that tend to experience a lot of jet lag? – Laura, Model, New York

Swedish Massage
With a  rundown body the best treatment to relieve tired muscles is a Swedish  massage.  This massage includes soft
tissue manipulation that increases circulation and metabolism by releasing  muscle tension and promoting a sense of pervasive well-being.

“Because it’s summer, all of my clients in the  Hamptons have projects.  All this  shopping for clients and stress has left my skin dry and I don’t have time to  give it the attention it needs.  What can  you suggest?” - Bruce, Interior Designer, New York

Luxe Moisture Indulgence (60 minutes)

Gentle exfoliation,  an all-over mask application of Cellular Hydralift Firming Mask and  relaxing massage provide a uniquely hydrating and nourishing  experience.  Feet and hands are exfoliated, massaged and placed in heated  hand and foot mitts.  Helping to seal in moisture and provide nutrients,  Skin Caviar Luxe Cream leaves your body luminous.

“I have just arrived in New York from a very long and cramped flight from Sydney.  The  jet lag leaves my body tired and it’s difficult to attend meetings immediately  after landing.  What treatment can you suggest to help get me on back on track?” Barry, CEO, New York

Jet Lag Therapy (90 Minutes) 

I would recommend this treatment because it’s specially designed for  people like Barry—the jetsetters that have to adjust to time zones and relax,  while at the same time prepare for meetings.  The treatment helps banish the effects of time differences, bad airplane  air, and seating that can make your torso feel like a pretzel. Thirty minutes of aromatherapy massage, 30 minutes of foot/hand reflexology, and a 30-minute  de-stressing facial will feel so good you'll hardly remember the plane trip because you’ll have had the best treatment ever.

Are there any treatments you recommend to help  me get refreshed during my lunch hour? - Jane, IT Consultant,  Manhasset

Executive Stress Break (60 Minutes) 

Leave the  office, the meetings, and the fast track. Unwind, unkink, and let knowledgeable hands take the world from your shoulders while they untie the painful knots  that executive life ties so well. This luxurious gift to yourself includes a 30
minute upper body massage to relieve tension in the back, neck, shoulders, arms,  and 30 minutes of reflexology that focuses on the hands and feet.

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