When I first got into magazine editing, I had never been to a spa before. I was in my early 20s, a recent college grad and, like most young adults my age, didn’t have any money. So I wasn’t sure what to expect when – during my first weekend on the job – my editor assigned me to cover a media event at the Four Seasons Palm Beach spa. I ate lunch with a bunch of beauty editors, toured the resort and was treated to a body wrap and massage. My therapist exfoliated my skin, and then, using a giant paintbrush, covered me with a thick mud. She wrapped me in a warm blanket and as the minerals seeped into my skin, I felt more relaxed than I ever had in my life. Once the mud hardened, I rinsed it off in the private rain shower connected to my treatment room, watching in fascination as the mud melted off and swirled down the drain.
I immediately called my mom afterward. “So, I think I like my new job,” I told her. When I studied journalism, I never imagined that I’d end up writing about beauty products and facials – but it ended up being one of the many pleasant surprises that come with working in the magazine industry.
That was years ago, and since then I’ve been to some of the best spas in South Florida and the Caribbean – from Canyon Ranch in Miami Beach to Tammy Fender Holistic Therapies in West Palm Beach to Elizabeth Arden’s Red Spa to The Ritz’s spa in St. Thomas. I’ve had facials, massages, body treatments. While each spa experience was incredible in its own way, nothing has been quite as memorable for me as that first treatment at the Four Seasons. It’s true what they say – nothing is as memorable or magical as your first time.
But then I walked through the Eau Spa‘s doors. And wow. It’s easy to see why this spa has won countless awards – named one of the top 15 spas in the world by Town & Country and top 15 in the US by Conde Nast Traveler this year alone. It’s like something straight out of a fairy tale – 42,000 square feet of jaw-dropping, whimsical beauty. It’s not the kind of place where you book an in-and-out, 50-minute massage. The only true way to experience this water-filled playground is to spend the entire day there.
There’s a massive outdoor garden, complete with a giant chess board, cabanas, and a dipping pool with comfy, hanging chairs for guests to dangle their feet in water. There are indoor private lounges – one for men and one for women – stocked with complimentary cupcakes, fruit-infused water, magazines and the most incredible chandelier made out of vintage-looking wine glasses. There’s a scrub and polish bar where guests can create their own aromatherapeutic concoctions. And there’s a wishing well where each guest starts their treatment, placing a floating candle on the water and making a wish.
Before my treatment, I dined al fresco in the outdoor garden area, lounging in one of the Eau’s comfy white robes. As I ate my grilled chicken, spinach and berry salad, sipped Champagne and flipped through magazines, I felt so incredibly tranquil.
After lunch, I was escorted to my room for the Queen of Hearts treatment, which is a part of a special series the Eau is running – 155 minutes of pampering, with a body scrub, massage and facial all for $286 (regular price is $476).
My therapist introduced herself and offered me a spoonful of honey made by the Eau’s personal beekeeper (needless to say, the honey was delicious.). The treatment started with a scrub made of red flowers and coffee – it smelled as amazing as it felt. Then I was drawn a warm, bubbling bath in a private outdoor garden terrace with fans, lounge beds with curtains to block sunlight, tons of fluffy towels, body oils and a shower. As I sipped my Champagne in the tub, I was completely having one of those is-this-real-life? moments. My therapist brought me back indoors for my massage, which was so good I didn’t want it to end. As if that weren’t enough, I was then brought into another room for my facial, where my face was massaged and exfoliated with an array of fragrant, calming products.
I finished the day with a makeup application by Sophia, who also did my facial. She was such a doll and a true artist with a makeup brush in her hands. The Eau uses all Kevyn Aucoin products. Aucoin, the makeup artist who created the eponymous line, pioneered the natural look that became popular in the ’90s. It was my first time trying the line, and I have to say I was impressed by how subtly the products enhanced my features.
I had an incredible day at the Eau Spa – one that all other spas will have to live up to for years to come. Part of me thinks every other spa owner in the world needs to visit the Eau and take how-to-create-a-dream-spa lessons – but then the Eau wouldn’t be as special as it is, would it?
If you only get one spa treatment this month – or this year – or your entire life, it should be at the Eau Spa. And there couldn’t be a better time to do it. With the Fairies Favorites promotion, the spa is offering 40 percent off treatments. Here’s the menu:
ONE LOVE FACIAL – 90 Minutes for $252 (Regularly priced $420)
Let’s get together and peel alright. Emancipate yourself from hyper-pigmentation, photo-aging, pore congestion and fine lines and wrinkles. You and your masterful Esthetician will choose three of the following to customize your treatment: Alpha Beta peel or microdermabrasion, vitamin C mask, collagen or hyaluronic infusion, sculpting microcurrent or collagen stimulating LED.
THE IMPERIAL GEISHA – 90 Minutes for $178 (Regularly priced $296)
An imperial secret reserved for thousands of years, revealed to your lover’s body in this resplendent treatment. The perfect journey includes a hand drawn bath of exotic florals, oriental teas and precious oils combined with a hand washing and polishing of the skin, a delicate dry buff, and a warm butter and silk massage. The sensual scent will linger on your most precious possession as a reciprocal gift for you.
THE QUEEN OF HEARTS – 155 Minutes for $286 (Regularly priced $476)
Spoil your sweetheart in a private wonderland where exotic garden fairies will be her loyal subjects. She will be drawn a bath fit for a queen, where she may nibble sweets and sip champagne before being treated to a 60-minute Hammam Scrub & Massage and a 60-minute Eau Naturale Facial. She will be most grateful to her king.
NO FLUFF AND ALL BUFF – 60 Minutes for $165 (Regularly priced $275)
This one gets the job done with no frills. Your journey to taut and toned skin includes crystal-free microdermabrasion or Alpha Beta peel, and your choice of a hyaluronic gel infusion, collagen mask or vitamin C mask. If you are looking for results, then look no further.
GARDEN OF EDEN – 90 Minutes for $285 (Regularly priced $475) / 120 Minutes for $414 (Regularly priced $690)
Play in paradise. Surrender yourself to a layered, sensual journey as you are submerged in the sounds, scents and surroundings of the original temptation. Harness the power of nature with Arctic berries and melted botanical cream with a decadent foot to scalp massage. Slither into a bath and enjoy time in your own private garden.