As hotel suites become increasingly luxe (personal butlers, high-tech gadgets, and in-room spa treatments, anyone?), it’s getting easier to avoid leaving the confines of one’s room. Now two of our favorite spa retreats, Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, California, and Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix, have recently introduced new suites with just such pampering in mind.
Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, Bacara’s new Penthouse and Sea Haven suites ($8,000–$10,000; 805-571-3106), which debuted in July, offer 180-degree views of the water and the meticulously tended 78-acre property. Inspiration came easy for Bacara president BJ Hoppe, who worked with Los Angeles–based Barry Design Associates (the firm behind the Balboa Bay Club & Resort and the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills). “Every aspect of the layout maximizes the ocean views,” says Hoppe of the 2,000-square-foot suites, which are all identical save for their angle to the water. The design is unfussy and the color scheme a subtle mix of deep brown, sand, and aquamarine. Upon entering the space, you’ll find a foyer leading to the large living area, complete with a big plasma TV, a woodburning fireplace, and a custom-made wood and marble-topped dining table that seats eight. In the adjoining butler’s pantry, the exotic zebrawood cabinets and Viking glass-front refrigerator can be stocked with any number of snacks by the personal butler. A personalized menu of spa cuisine, like seared tofu and striped sea bass, can be taken in the dining area or on the wraparound terrace—arguably the suite’s best feature. Massages, manicures, and pedicures can all be arranged on the terrace as well. The two bedrooms, one on either side of the suite, have the requisite bespoke Pratesi linens and porthole windows, designed to make it seem as if one is at sea on a yacht. Both bathrooms have large Waterworks tubs perfectly positioned so you can look out onto the terrace and the vista beyond. Post-soak, there’s a plush Frette robe to wrap around yourself.
For an altogether different aesthetic, there’s the Spanish colonial–style Royal Palms Resort, nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix. Its six Alvadora Spa Terrace suites ($550–$580; 800-672-6011; royalpalmshotel.com) afford some of the best views on the property. With a focus on bringing the spa to hotel guests, spa designer Sylvia Sepielli commissioned a daybed with a massage table stored underneath and kept the palette neutral, with touches of lavender and sage. Unique details include a salt lamp meant to induce calm, a minibar stocked with snacks like green-tea gummy bears and organic raisins, and a library of books, CDs, and DVDs on meditation, healing, and spirituality. In keeping with the wellness trend, private in-room yoga instruction is available; the suite comes equipped with yoga blocks, a medicine ball, and stretch bands. Spa-suite guests also have their own menu of services, among them Thai massage and body exfoliation treatments.
Eat Cookies, Lose Weight
It sounded like an ad from a supermarket tabloid, but we trusted the woman who told us about Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet too much to dismiss it entirely (plus, she’d never looked better). Turns out it’s a cult classic introduced back in 1975 by Miami physician Sanford Siegal, who concocted an oatmeal raisin cookie containing a secret blend of appetite-suppressing amino acids. Dieters eat six of these treats a day—and nothing else—until dinner, when they are allowed about six ounces of lean chicken, fish, or turkey and one cup of green vegetables (in addition to the requisite eight glasses of water). The daily calorie count adds up to only about 800 (500 from the cookies, 300 from dinner), which makes it far from a miracle cure, but we must admit, it’s a very tempting quick fix. Especially since Siegal has expanded the offerings to chocolate and coconut. $60 for a weekly box; cookiedietonline.com