During my journeys, my body has been detoxified, purified, beautified and blessed in almost every language . . . in the African bush . . . floating down the Amazon and up the Nile . . . by the pyramids . . . in rain forests and botanical gardens . . . in airports and 37,000 miles high in the sky. My skin and my mind have been treated to the hands, spirit and souls of rural villagers, shamans, high priestesses, tribal leaders, naturalists and sophisticated spa therapists . . . with every wild herb, root, bark, sacred clay and mineral waters known to ancient and modern man.
ESPA at the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt An invite, from the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt and Sceptre Tours, to experience the first 100% authentic Irish Og Peat Ritual sends me on an unforgettable odyssey. From the moment I enter the gates I am transported back to the days when land barons ruled their fiefdoms. (more)
Banyan Tree Phuket. Rain is bouncing off my private pool; I am ensconced in a three bedroom villa at the Banyan Tree on the island of Phuket; I open sliding doors and step down into the pool. At the end of my walled garden, four steps lead up to a deck with a pagoda roof that overlooks a man made lagoon; an oversized lounge bed, (called a bale), huge pots of fragrant flowering plants, comfortable lounge chairs and a dining table decorate my spiritual sanctuary; an outdoor fan cools the still air. The rainy season is restless and anxious to unleash its fury. Last weekís typhoon, accompanied by monsoon rains and gusty winds blew the sea into an unfriendly angry frenzy; fortunately it cooled the air somewhat before my arrival. I begin my days meditating with the staff to bring me into the moment, and to fade invasive thoughts carried over from the day before; it is here I learn to listen to my body, and not just my mind. (more)
It is dusk on the beach in Tulum, Mexico; I stand on the edge of the sea with Shaman Nanci. As the sun begins its final descent, two Mayan men take turns blowing into large conch shells to announce the Temazcal is about to begin; the sound is eerie. The shaman passes a coconut shell filled with burning incense up and down my body to clean my aura, as I slowly turn to face the four directions of the wind. (more)
WITCHCRAFT PURIFICATION CEREMONIES TAKE PLACE IN CATEMACO, MEXICO
Catamaco in the state of Veracruz is home to a large population of brujas (witches) attracted to the area by the high electrical energy that bounces off the mountains and three surrounding volcanoes. Witchcraft purification ceremonies take place the 1st Friday in March, and I am here to have my aura cleansed by magician Deborah. (more)
RED MOUNTAIN SPA
Learning What I Can Do to Love Myself More Today and Every day. For me the gift of giving to myself, and to others, is what prompts me to share my recent and most enlightening visit to Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah. It is here I experienced a surge of energy and feelings of peace, balance and harmony with nature from the moment the shuttle from the Las Vegas airport pulled up to the small hospitality building. (more)
THE FOUR SEASONS IN CAIRO
By far the most sensual spa ritual Iíve ever experienced took place at The Four Seasonís Spa in Cairo. After soaking in a luxurious Cleopatra Bath of milk and honey, I was wrapped in a white robe that partially covered my naked body, then led to a high back woven cane chair with an opening in the center of the seat; an incense burner on the floor under the chair was emoting sweet and pungent smelling vapors. When I sat on my queenly throne, the vapors wafted up between my legs . . . purifying my femininity, enhancing my fertility. I am told, during the days when pharaohs ruled, and Nefertiti, Nefertari and Cleopatra were worshipped as the most beautiful women of their time, female royalty had to maintain sexual arousal at all times, not just to please her Pharaoh but also Horis and Osiris, Gods of the after life. (more)
THE RITZ CARLTON SHARM EL-SHEIK
The flight from Cairo to Sharm El Sheik takes an hour. I check into the Ritz Carlton, and then dress for the Bedouin Feast being held in my honor. We are transported into the desert by bus; dozens of lanterns light the night; a starlight sky welcomes our arrival; whole lambs are roasting on spits; several round tables have been set near a small raised stage; belly dancers and dancing horses entertain us ; a twenty five foot long buffet is laden with middle eastern delicacies; a server piles my selections on a plate; When dinner and the show are over, I move to an area in front of a roaring bon fire; the sand is covered with Egyptian rugs and pillows; I am handed an apple pipe to smoke; there is no other moment or place in time, just the black expanse of endless desert. (more)
MASSAGES IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN BUSH LEAVE IMPRINTS IN MY HEART
In the Zulu culture boys are given Induka sticks when they reach puberty as a weapon and a sign of manhood. They are made of wood with a knob on each end, longer but similar in design to a bakerís rolling pin. At the Mountain Grace Hotel Spa two therapists take turns rolling Induka sticks over my body as part of a Zulu ritual massage; kneading every muscle in my body into submission.
THE RITZ CARLTON ISTANBUL THE ULTIMATE IN HOSPITALITY AND IMPECCABLE SERVICE
A stay at any Ritz Carlton Hotel or Resort is the ultimate in exceptional hospitality and impeccable service; every guest is treated as the hotelís most important guest. The Ritz Carlton Istanbul lives up to that reputation with rave reviews; from the moment I pulled up to the entrance, the doorman made me feel he was waiting just for me. (More)