Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spa Hopping In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

What happens when your search for sizzling spa treatments takes you to the best new spas in Latin America? You just might find yourself in sexy Rio de Janeiro also known as Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City) where the beautiful people let it all hang out. After spending time taking in the city’s most famous sights beneath the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain and on the cable car ride up Sugar Loaf Mountain… it was time for a little pampering. In a city where rhythmic music and life blend together in perfect harmony, I was ready to surrender to total relaxation.

My first stop, the exclusive Copacabana Palace Spa, along the iconic Copacabana beach. The spa is an elegant and sophisticated new addition to this legendary hotel. It’s housed on three floors offering seven treatment rooms, a fitness center, sauna, relaxation area and a steam bath. The spa is a mix of Hollywood glamour and traditional charm offering some of the most amazing treatments in all of Rio. As my therapist began blending the soulful sounds of Brazilian music with synchronized hand movements during a full body exfoliation in my spa suite, I quickly drifted into a stress-free zone. Soon after, I sank into a bath of fragrant oils extracted from the native Bre Branco tree, while enjoying a fabulous hydrating facial. Before the two-hour session ended I was led to the massage table where the softness of the Bossa Nova music drifted through the air as my tightly balled muscles began to loosen under the healing hands of my therapist.
My day ended with a spa lunch of tofu burgers, dried fruit and a mushroom tartlet developed by Francesco Carli, the internationally renowned Chef of the Cipriani Restaurant in Italy.

The next morning, a driver arrived to whisk me off to the H. Stern Spa tucked inside the Rio Design Barra Shopping Mall. This famous jewelry maker has partnered with French cosmetic company L’Occitane balancing the healing powers of precious stones found in Brazil with traditional rituals promoting wellness. As you enter the boutique you’re surrounded by cases containing sparkling gems inspired by nature. Guests visiting the boutique and Zen-inspired spa can select from a menu of body treatments and facials. I decided to try a signature massage. My therapist placed a bowl of precious stones on the floor designed to arouse feeling and emotion as the sound of water flowing began to relax me. An hour later, I awakened to feel refreshed and renewed just in time to shop for jewels just outside my door.

Are you planning a trip to Brazil?
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