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Jan 072013
 January 7, 2013  Posted by  Health & Beauty, Hot Deals
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The holidays are over, you shopped till you dropped, you cooked up a storm, you gifted and re-gifted. Now it’s time to indulge yourself with a spa getaway. While an actual spa vacation can be a budget-buster, by booking a single treatment — even a mani or pedi — at a luxurious resort spa or hotel, you can enjoy the same upscale facilities that are available to registered guests.

The Joya Spa at the luxurious Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a gorgeous retreat inspired by the Moroccan deserts and Andalucia in southern Spain and set against the majestic beauty of Camelback Mountain. A 50-minute massage or facial (from $149) will give you access to all the amenities the spa has to offer, including the steam and sauna, the Joy of Discovery experience, the luxurious relaxation area and the inviting rooftop pool. If you like, you can order a reasonably-priced spa lunch while you lounge poolside in your bathing suit.

La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California, has just had a $50 million renovation, and you can access all the upgrades and new amenities, including the  lounging pool, whirlpools, cedar sauna and cleansing steam room for the price of a treatment. Sample the activities in the state-of-the-art athletic club, relax poolside, cool off under one of the waterfall showers, walk barefoot between the thriving gardens on the Reflexology Pathway.

La Costa offers Early Bird Specials – the first appointment of the day — at $135 for either a 50-minute Signature Massage, a 50-minute Botanical Facial or a 50-minute Custom Scrub. Another good deal is the Spa & Lunch Package ($165, Monday through Friday), which includes a 50-minute La Costa Massage or custom facial, a Spa Café lunch and an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage.

A luxurious big city getaway can be yours at the spa in the Chicago Peninsula Hotel. Arrive early and enjoy the aromatherapy steam, the saunas, the Ice Fountain and the Experience Shower. Bring your bathing suit and spend time hanging out on the pool deck and terrace. Sip fruit-infused water and snack on nuts and dried fruit. Relax in the Asian tea lounge. All this can be yours even when you buy any treatment. Facials and body treatments start at $165.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa in Orlando, Florida, features 40 treatment rooms, a private 4,000-square foot heated outdoor lap pool, a boutique and a café – all available when you book a treatment – or a spa package. The All About Me package ($195, Sunday through Friday) includes a 50-minute massage or facial, a 30-minute me-time manicure, a 45-minute pedicure and a glass of champagne or wine. And if you’re a Florida resident, you can get 15% off spa services from Monday through Thursday.

These are just a few examples of the kind of spa getaway you can arrange for the price of a treatment. Here’s how you can set one up in your area.

  1. Locate the best, most luxurious resort or hotel spa in your area. If you need some help, go to the website of the International Spa Association, which lists member spas nationwide.
  2.  Once you find a spa you like, check the website to see if they have the kind of amenities you want to experience.
  3. Check the website for promotions. Call and ask if there are discounts for area residents. Many have spa days or spa evenings specifically for locals.
  4. Once you’ve made your appointment, either arrive very, very early or plan to stay late, to enjoy the pool and other amenities.

To extend your getaway even more, consider having lunch at the spa.

Lillian Africano

Lilllian Africano is the editor-in-chief of, cruise editor at JAX FAX, senior editor at Elegant Accents and executive editor at She also blogs on and She formerly served as a freelance editor and writer at AOL Travel and is the author of 16 books, including three best-selling novels (under the pseudonym “Jessica March”). She co-authored the 9th edition of Off the Beaten Track Guide to New York, as well as You Know You’re in New Jersey When… and two editions of The Insiders Guide to the Jersey Shore. Lillian is president-elect of the Society of American Travel Writers and past president of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association. Find her on Google +.

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