Lifestyle

The Ultimate Spa Guide

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by Chelsea Rathburn

Step inside one of Gwinnett”s world-class spas, and feel your stresses melt away…

From late nights at the office to juggling the kids” ballet lessons and soccer practices, the stresses of daily life can take their toll. If rush hour traffic has had you fantasizing about escaping to a deserted island, don”t book your plane tickets yet … You can take a mental vacation at one of Gwinnett”s relaxing and restorative health spas.

Like stepping into a cocoon of calm, a visit to a spa can erase the pressures of even the most stressful week. Wrapped in a warm, fluffy robe, or sipping herbal tea in the spa waiting room, you will feel layers of tension melting away before you”ve even been called in for your service. That”s because every detail has been created with your complete comfort and relaxation in mind, from the soothing music and dim lights to the aromatic candles.

Once thought of as playgrounds for the ultra-wealthy, spas have evolved to serve a wide variety of interests and health needs. Sure, you can still jet off for a week at California”s famed Golden Door Fitness Resort and Spa (where a seven-night stay will cost you $7,500), but you can also experience world-class massages, facials or body treatments at a day spa right in your own zip code.

For example, Spa Sydell, which opened its Gwinnett Place location in 1998, strives to give Gwinnettians an experience that blends the high-end services of a "destination" spa with the coziness and convenience of a neighborhood facility.

"So many of our clients were driving to intown Atlanta from Gwinnett, so we knew there was a need for our services," Spa Sydell President Richard Harris says. "We”ve been very happy since moving out to Gwinnett County."

My, how they”ve grown

The last few years have seen a boom in spas, both here in Gwinnett and across the country as more and more people view relaxation as critical to their health. There are now more than 8,700 day spas in the U.S., and 81.2 million visits are made to day spas each year.

"It”s no longer a luxury," says Sandra Coffey, owner of Patrick”s of Atlanta. "People budget this in, and incorporate it into their everyday lives."

Laura Campbell, vice president of Spa Finder, a national spa travel and marketing company connecting spas and spa-goers, agrees. "Overall, people are being more health conscious in general and are looking for ways to make themselves feel good. Day spas have made the spa experience affordable for everybody, not just the elite."

Indeed, Gwinnett-area spas offer a wide variety of experiences and atmospheres. If you like to combine beauty and relaxation, you can look for a spa with a hair salon. You can receive powerful aesthetic treatments such as Botox or laser hair removal in a relaxing environment by visiting a physician-supervised medical spa. Or you can enjoy a classic resort experience by spending a day, a weekend or longer being pampered at the deluxe Chateau Elan resort. There is even an area spa – Jonpaul”s – which caters exclusively to men!

No matter which experience you choose, you”ll receive a vacation for the senses whose effects can last far longer than the afternoon.

"You walk away learning a little more about how to balance your life," Campbell says, "so you can be more productive at work and in your personal life."

The Art of Touch Day Spa
225 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Suwanee
(770) 904-2991 www.artoftouchdayspa.com

Open since September 2005, the Art of Touch soothes away stress with luxurious body services in a tranquil Mediterranean-inspired setting. A two-sided, floo