getaway girl with bekah wright goes to the Revive Spa
One of the biggest perks of my job as a journo for hire is traveling internationally to check out spas and the latest in spa treatments. Recently, I was able to do this all under one roof as Kerstin Florian introduced several new treatments at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. When I met the striking 60-year-old blonde, she spoke of her personal journey and its effect on her business. After years of working in the skincare industry, at the age of 32 Florian peered in the mirror and realized she’d only been looking at the surface.
The Kerstin Florian odyssey
The epiphany led her to travel to various countries to learn how they connected on a spiritual level with their approach to health and beauty. Florian’s odyssey inspired the product lines and treatments offered by Kerstin Florian International at spas across the world. I was ready to begin my own journey around the globe with several signature treatments.
After hearing about Florian’s adventure of being helicoptered into a remote area in Sweden to learn about the Samer culture, I was eager to experience the “Sami Zen” treatment that evolved from that moment in her life. Though there was no teepee like the one in which Florian originally received the treatment, Marriott’s Revive Spa created an atmosphere that transported me straight to Sweden with Sami jojk music playing in the background and artifacts that evoked the natives’ spirit.
Experiencing Revive Spa
The treatment began with a body scrub of chamomile and pumice. Lulled into nap mode, I was led to a warm herbal bath containing chamomile and melissa. I sank into the foamy water with visions of being surrounded by snow-covered mountains. Too soon I was beckoned back to the massage table. With able hands, my therapist applied birch-bud extract, something Florian uses in her own daily regimen for benefits such as detoxifying the skin and stimulating circulation. Even the folk singers on the DVD seemed pleased with the aromatherapy’s uplifting scent.
A face treatment followed with a soothing mask and hot stone massage. As if hearing muscles tight from hours at the computer crying out for attention, the therapist proceeded with a hot stone body massage. Unlike basalt rocks used in most hot stone massages, smooth crystal stones from the Samer region of Sweden glided over my body. A whisper from the therapist brought me back to the present. Sadly, the treatment had reached its conclusion. But not to worry, I still had day two of pampering ahead in…
France. Florian has harnessed the intoxication of Provence and its lavender fields with her “Lavender Dreams Ultimate Experience.” In this indulgence, there’s no fuss, just a state of bliss, heightened by the scent of lavender. Prepared for the shock of cold water hitting my warm skin, I was further surprised when the body scrub was dry. No mess. No need for disrupting the treatment’s flow to hop in a shower. A body wrap followed, during which both my scalp and feet received acupressure massages with warm lavender oil. I wondered, is it possible to purr in French? The body massage elicited a “Merci!” from me.
Next stop, Morocco, aka Revive’s Spa Bistro. Here Casablanca native Chef Smail Yaakoubi pours guests a verbena brew and serves dishes influenced by his country. A favorite salad of mine – the baked pear, rocket, fennel and wedged blue cheese with aged fig balsamic. Delish! Oh, the salad was good, too.
A follow-up to lunch — a “Kerstin Florian Caviar Facial.” The main ingredient in the products used in this age-defying, and divinely decadent facial is antioxidant-packed Sevruga Caviar from ancient caviar fishing grounds of the Caspian Sea. Add a shot of vodka to this treatment and Russian’s everywhere will applaud a perfect pairing. Sans vodka, the facial brought a smile to my face with an Aculift Massage. I was intrigued by the rich Marine Matrix Sheet laid over my face when I learned it is derived from the nutrient-rich exoskeletons of shrimp, or chitosan. By the time the luxurious treatment concluded, my skin was hydrated, smooth and glowing.
Indulgences at Desert Ridge
After all that pampering, I needed to exert some energy, so I spent the afternoon in the resort’s “Lazy River” – a flowing pool. Instead of taking an inner tube and floating along, I played Olympian and swam effortlessly with the flow. Just to keep myself humble, I swam against the current, too. No Michael Phelps, I was essentially swimming in place. After my shenanigans in the pool I realized too late I’d forgotten to apply sunscreen. My sunburned skin needed assistance and I knew just the right spa treatment to remedy it.
Kerstin Florian is now offering two new Med Skin facials. The Med Skin Correcting Facial includes a 20% glycolic peel, enzyme peel and personalized home program that corrects among other conditions uneven skin color, fine lines, enlarged pores and loss of elasticity. My sunburn RX – the Med Skin Rescue Facial. Geared towards those with sensitive skin, the facial uses an algae masque to calm inflammation and heal skin. My epidermis was breathing a sigh of relief.
As stars filled the desert sky and the resident owl let out a “hoo,” my trip around the world via Revive Spa came to an end. The spa had done its job, sending me on my way relaxed, recharged and with magnificent skin. For that I bid them “tack” or thank you and adieu.
Pamper the One You Love, (or at least the one you’re with):
JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix
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