Friday, December 02
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Spa-Licious Pampering

Hydrating Facial
There’s nothing like having a comforting spray of warm steam directed at your face during deep winter, especially while a litany of sumptuous plant-based potions are massaged into your parched skin. I found Geomare on a street in Southampton Village I didn’t know existed, tucked off Windmill Lane near where it intersects with North Sea Road.

Geomare Wellness Center and Spa, which inherited many of its staff from Ananas when that spa closed its doors a couple of years ago, is a cozy refuge that offers an array of facials to treat all complexions from dull and drab to acne-prone and mature. There’s even a Gentleman’s Cleansing Facial ($145). Seems that men desire radiant skin too. Who knew?

There are also massages and body wraps galore. The Absolute Healing and Relaxation Massage uses a “powerful combination of techniques to remove pain and relieve stress” ($205). The Aroma Stone Massage is a “blissful head to toe treatment with stones and essential oils ($195). If you’ve never had these smooth capsules of heat glided on your skin you’re in for a treat. The list goes on and on: Stretch Sport, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu.

But my poor face has been bombarded by the frigidity of winter, so Marina, a Latvian esthetician who studied medicine in her native land, recommends an “Advanced Optimizer” facial ($185) to stimulate cellular regeneration. As my face is enveloped in a whirling cloud of steam, she applies a litany of luscious plant-based potions with ingredients like hibiscus peptides, horsetail, vitamin C, and co-enzyme Q10 to “reinforce the structure of the epidermis.” God bless.
The spa uses products from three companies including Natura Bisse and the pricey La Prairie. My facial is based on the botanical-heavy Yon-Ka line from France. The result: bright skin that feels like it’s glowing from within.

For readers of Hamptons Real Estate Showcase, the spa is offering 15 percent off treatments in February. Code: HRES
Geomare Wellness Center & Spa
80 White Street, Southampton

Seaweed Scrub
Scrub-a-dub! I’m at Gurney’s Seawater Spa getting a treatment called “Active Green Argilite.” A technician is slathering on gritty bits of seaweed and massaging it into practically every pore of my body. I haven’t been so scrubbed down since I was in my bassinet. This “exfoliation” feels like I’m being polished with mild sandpaper. To rinse me off she puts me in a “Swedish shower” where a dozen or so jets spray geysers of warm water at me – like being caught in a tropical storm.
Now that my skin has been made ready, it can receive lashings of fragrant, mineral-rich argillite mud and bioactive herbal extracts. I’m enfolded in a cocoon of plastic wrap and terry cloth to allow it to do its work, while my scalp is massaged with frankincense oil. After another shower, I’m coated with seaweed gel and dispatched to the steam room, glistening like a mermaid. The final touch is a rubdown with the spa’s signature seaweed laminaria oil. Divine.
As the only Thalasso Center in the continental United States, it’s no surprise that many of Gurney’s spa treatments feature seawater and seaweed. For those who want to soak up sea minerals in the most laidback manner, head to the heated seawater pool, and take in the ocean views.
Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa
290 Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk

Hot Massage
Wellness junkies, rejoice! The Hamptons’ pre-eminent wellness guru, herbalist and aesthetician Barbara Close, whose East Hampton spa, Naturopathica, has been the center of anti-aging on the East End for more than two decades, opened a Manhattan spa in December. Naturopathica Chelsea, which has been featured in Vogue, boasts a Sensory and Meditation Lounge, Remedy Bar (herbal apothecary), and Vitality Bar with such healing elixirs such as kombucha, which is available on tap. You can spike these tonics with house-made herbal tinctures for extra benefits.
Both locations offer a menu of treatments from the Natural Face Lift, which delivers Bio-Energy Lift Serum™ via ultrasonic and micro-current technologies, to the Alpine Arnica Massage, a deep-tissue “Russian massage” incorporating arnica, sweet birch and magnesium to target sore muscles and stiff joints.

At the East Hampton spa, where Heidi Klum and Martha Stewart have been pampered, it’s hard to choose which delicious-sounding treatment in which to indulge. The Wild Lime Scalp Treatment ($35) designed to ease stress? The Age Defense Hand Treatment ($40), in which botanical extracts pamper weathered hands? As I’ve been fighting off a cold, I opt for the 90-minute Blue Eucalyptus Energizing Massage ($180).

My therapist, Natasha, explains that the procedure is based on the Chinese Medicine belief that when our body is suffering a “cold invasion,” we need to reinvigorate it with heat. While being massaged with ginger root oil to “combat adrenal fatigue,” her fingers stimulate “warming” bladder points. All the while I inhale eucalyptus steam to “enhance immunity” – just what the doctor ordered to break up the congestion forming in my chest. Did I mention the hot herbal pillow she slid under my neck? Please don’t let it end! But if it must, what better finish than a warm cup of detoxing strawberry-hibiscus tea.
Naturopathica Healing Arts Centers & Spas
East Hampton – Red Horse Plaza ~ 74 Montauk Hwy
NYC – 127 W. 26th Street

Hamptons Home Spa
Don’t get a massage or other body treatment from “wellness ambassador,” Debbie Townes, if you don’t want to be lavished with a lush blend of scents. The veteran spa director and owner brings a spa to your home – replete with candles, music, and an arsenal of essential oils.
Setting her table in front of my blazing fire, she proceeds to use her magical hands to find the “issues in your tissues” with a mix of Swedish and shiatsu techniques. While it’s mostly blissful, her knowing fingers also probe trigger points to release knots of tension. “I’m looking for textures, muscle spring-back, tangles in muscle fiber,” she explains as she finds a “story” in my rhomboid, or is it my scapula?

She douses me with lemon grass (to stimulate circulation) and eucalyptus (to relieve congestion) and lavender (for lymphatic stimulation and just plain relaxation) as I breathe in the scent of her home-made candle made with oak moss, linden and black pepper. Ahhhh.
Hamptons HomeSpa