The Pampered Valentine
Attention gentlemen! Now that the holidays are long gone and you've had a few weeks to recover from a season of giving, the 2012 calendar is about to to turn the page to February — which means Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Time to look lively and get a game plan together for that special someone in your life. (And no, letting her in on your special Super Bowl Sunday plans is not what I have in mind when I say "game plan.")
Yes, chocolates and flowers are always a nice gesture, but in my opinion, chocolate goes straight to the hips and flowers die in just a few days, so I'd suggest upping your game just a tad.
Don't worry, I'm not suggesting you run out to the nearest jewelry store and squander your savings on a big shiny diamond — although I'm sure the are a few ladies out there who wouldn't mind if you did. Instead, I suggest giving her a pampered experience. Something with a little relaxation, rejuvenation, and luxury all rolled into one. In other words, give her a day at the spa.
I haven't met a woman yet who doesn't love a little rub, polish and replenish that a few hours at a spa can give.
I haven't met a woman yet who doesn't love a little rub, polish and replenish that a few hours at a spa can give. If you ask me, it's a sure fire way to relax and feel beautiful from the inside out.
When it comes to spas, Austin has a hefty few from which to choose. Depending on how involved you want to be in the experience, your selection will fall into either the Resort Spa category or the Day Spa category. Day spas are great for that quick release from reality that still lets you get back to your real life in time to get the kids in bed or get a jump on your busy schedule for the next day.
The brand new Hiatus Spa and Retreat is offering a handful of special Valentine's packages at its Austin flagship location on West 5th Street. There are five different multi-treatment options, including "Love on the Rocks For Two" with a couples' hot stone massage plus a hot stone mani-pedi for $379; or, just for her, the "Pure Love," which begins with a refreshing organic facial, an invigorating body scrub, a relaxing massage and a soothing mani-pedi. (At $369, I'm a fan of the Pure Love package because it covers everything a girl could want from a spa day. Ask for Jessica for the facial, and Chantal for a very stress relieving massage.)
You can also find a selection of packages at Viva Day Spa, including a chocolate lover's dream package called the "Chocolove" that begins with a full body brush and Swedish massage with a custom Whipped Cocoa Cocoon Body Butter, and also includes a scalp massage, a "choco-foot-love" pedicure, a selection of fine chocolates and a steaming cup of hot chocolate. For $215, this three hours of chocolate pampering is a sweet deal, indeed.
Of course, instead of just giving her a day to herself, you may want to join in on a relaxing getaway as well. Why not make a weekend of it? If you want to stay downtown, book a night and a special Valentine's dinner at the Four Seasons with a day at their spa overlooking Lady Bird Lake.
Or head out west to Lake Travis for a romantic retreat at Travaasa where, for the entire month of February, the resort is providing guests with romantic and engaging classes for two. Between a few spa indulgences, foodies can enjoy classes such as the Aphrodisiac Culinary Demonstration, the Breakfast in Bed Culinary Demonstration and the Romantic Dinner for Two Culinary Demonstration.
Travaasa rates begin at $379.50 per person (double occupancy) and include two nights’ accommodations, daily breakfast, a romantic dinner, wine and cheese selections upon check-in, two $125 spa credits and a selection of romance-inspired classes.
And for the real splurge, show your love with an escape to Lake Austin Spa. Here, tucked away in a cozy bungalow-style room along the tranquil shores of Lake Austin, you almost don't even need a spa to help you relax. But with half and full day Valentine's spa getaway specials — both including a spa lunch at Aster's Cafe with a not-to-miss serving of the spa's signature frozen yogurt — for both day and overnight guests, it's a luxury gift your loved one won't soon forget. (The ideal set up is to save a massage appointment to follow a light spa dinner that will serve as a soothing wind down to slip into a warm cozy bed to finish the day.)
Sure, these all fall under the "indulgent" category of gift ideas for Valentine's Day, but people have done a lot crazier things in the name of love. And I'm pretty sure you'll be rewarded in more ways than one with a gift like this.