Special treatment: pamper yourself with the pros
All the hard work and playing that Trinis do takes a toll on the body – and we do like to look good. The answer? Spas. In the last 20 years, a spa culture has developed from the beauty industry, its many treatments offering some respite from daily stresses – or forming part of a relaxing vacation. Some are located in hotels, catering both to guests and the general population, while others are independently owned. Their diverse offerings include everything from reiki and aromatherapy to lymphatic drainage (this detoxes the lymph nodes) massages and Shirodhara, a form of Ayurvedic medicine. Many do both beauty and massage treatments, so you can be pampered literally from head to toe – hair, eyebrows, facial, deep-tissue massage, a little laser on the thread veins, and a pedicure. Some spas even throw in complimentary feet and hand massages, herbal teas, wine, tea and light refreshments.
Spa treatments range from massages (deep tissue, Swedish, aromatherapy, hot stones and more) to steams, body scrubs, peels and wraps, and saunas (which are growing in popularity). You can elect to have individual treatments, and many spas also offer package deals. If you have the time, you can make a day of your spa outing by adding beauty treatments such as manicures, pedicures, facials, eyebrow tinting, and waxing (including Brazilian waxing for women).
The décor of local spas is often Asian inspired, designed to induce feelings of calm and relaxation. Fountains, plush furniture and cosy colour schemes combine to make each spa a retreat from the bustle of every day life. Naturally, the décor and degree of luxury differ according to the target clientele, but service across the board is warm and welcoming. In some spas, wine, tea or coffee is served at no extra cost, as well as light refreshments like cheese and crackers. Spa staff members are friendly and open to lively conversation, but respectful of one’s need for silence. When making appointments, clients can request the services of particular staff with whom they may have developed a relationship, or who have a reputation for doing the best work.
Time to indulge
Spa Esencia (Hyatt Regency Trinidad)
T: 623-2222, W: www.trinidad.hyatt.com/hyatt/pure/spas/
Luxurious and private are the essence of this spa, where each suite has its own shower and toilet. Indigenous ingredients are used in the treatments which have carnival-themed names, such as the Dimanche Gras massage, which combines aromatherapy, warm stone, Swedish and deep tissue massage. The only spa in the Caribbean that offers the Intraceuticals Infusion Treatment, Spa Esencia offers 10 body treatments, 15 massages and nine types of facial – as well as a combo package. Feed your skin cocoa, coconut oil, sugar cane, vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon with one of their delicious treatments. Booking a treatment also gives you access to the fully equipped gym and the infinity-edge pool for the day. Tips: Get to the spa early as they serve delicious herbal teas prior to treatments. And don’t forget to take your room key as this is the only way to work the elevator.
The Face & Body Clinic
T: 653-8329, W: www.faceandbodyclinic.com
A trailblazer in the field of beauty and spa treatments, The Face and Body Clinic is a one-stop shop for de-stressing (the spa); giving the old ego a boost (beauty treatments); and turning back the clock (laser therapy or a little ‘lipo’). The ‘lipo’ is not the traditional liposuction, but an alternative that uses ultrasound and encourages lipolysis (fat depletion). You will find just about every treatment you can imagine at The Face and Body Clinic’s four branches (Port of Spain, San Fernando, Tobago and Charlieville, Chaguanas): eye lift treatments, facials, bleaching, electrolysis, waxing, hair reduction, skin resurfacing for wrinkle reduction and/or treatment of acne scars; and removal of age spots, moles, spider veins and tattoos. You can, literally, walk out of there a different person. Offerings are based on the products, treatments and professional programmes of Spanish spa and body-care giant Germaine de Capuccini.
Sanctuary Day Spa
Located in St Clair and the Hilton Trinidad, they use eastern methods and products to promote peace, tranquillity, wellbeing and good health. Among the many services are Reiki, Shiatsu, and Shirodhara, a form of Ayurvedic medicine.
Donna’s Skincare Studio
Client care is what sets this San Fernando spa apart. Clients are given complimentary feet and hand massages, free consultations and follow-up services. Clients are pre-booked for appointments, called for feedback following visits, and educated about their treatments.
Spa tips & tricks
- Do make an appointment beforehand. Check availability if you need same-day service
- Do ask about cancellation policies. Some spas charge you for no-shows
- Do arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment
- Do wear comfortable clothing that can be easily removed for body treatments. Some places may allow you to wear a swimsuit for your comfort, and most provide robes
- Do alert your therapist/beautician about any allergies or healthcare concerns you may have
- Do observe cell phone etiquette so as not to disturb other clients
- Tipping (at the client’s discretion) is encouraged and some spas allow you to tip the staff directly; others ask that you leave your tip at the front desk with the name of your attendant.
And breathe….yoga in Trinidad
As you can imagine, living in a mini-metropolis like Trinidad can take a lot of your energy. And what with the island’s economy racing full steam ahead, more and more Trinidadians are turning to yoga and meditation to stay calm and relaxed. This Eastern practice is quietly drawing in believers and quite a few studios (hatha, moksha, ashtanga) have mushroomed around the capital. The Raja Yoga Centre offers free courses in anger management, stress-free living, positive thinking and meditation as a service to the community at five locations across Trinidad (Port of Spain, Chaguanas, San Fernando, Sangre Grande and St Augustine). Its San Fernando branch is particularly picturesque, perched atop a hill overlooking the city. Feel free to drop in. www.brahmakumaris.org/trinidad