Take care of your body.
It’s the only place you have to live in.
I have a confession to make. I absolutely LOVE spa-ing! I am even willing and ready to travel the distance in order to heal, nurture or pamper myself. I developed this healthy addiction a few years ago while living and working abroad in Asia and I really am very glad I did. Discovering and indulging in local spa treatments became a weekly (and much-needed) beauty ritual to recover and regain energies!
Going to a spa not only offers so many benefits for the body, mind and soul, it is actually a royal treatment that becomes cellular memory and is simply unforgettable. It is not a just luxury but a necessity :)
Relaxing, rejuvenating and recharging batteries at an elegant, private and luxurious spa in a spectacular location and in complete harmony with its natural surroundings? Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? It’s almost like a prescription anyone would love to get from their doctor!
Well, that is precisely what Pacifica Spa at Parador Resort in Punta Quepos, Costa Rica offers and more, so much more!
Little did I know it would be the best reward after going on many adventures while in the Rich Coast. Let’s recall them shall we?
- Visiting a local school and helping students (as well as appreciating being a teacher) – check
- Hiking down an off-the-beaten path to reach the unbelievably beautiful white sand beach Playa Biensanz – check
- Taking a walk on the wild side at Manuel Antonio National Park – check
- Going on one of the best (yet scariest) adventure ever: zip lining in the rain forest – check
- Going on a night tour of the jungle on the hotel premises – check
Some of those adrenaline-producing, heart-pumping activities pushed my body to the limit and put it under a lot of pressure! Needless to say that I was exhausted as every muscle and bone was aching at the end of the day but all in all it was well worth it.
What better way to release stress, reduce muscle pain than taking a few hours to unplug and escape from the real world?
My health practitioner would have happily approved of my 2-hour session which was programmed a Sunday afternoon and 2 treatments were on the menu: a cleansing facial and hot stone massage.
I can’t even begin to describe how happy and excited I was to let myself go to enjoy Pura Vida as they say in Costa Rica :)
As my appointment time approached, I walked towards the building where the spa is located.
I could already sense how calm, peaceful and pure the ambiance felt like! Serenity is the word I was looking for!
As soon as I went through the main door, I smelled the citrus oil air-diffuser which was divine, aromatherapy at its best!
Behind the reception was a sweet and kind soul Marjorie, a certified professional who has been working at Pacifica Spa for a few years now!
I told her my name then she immediately stood up to welcome me and said: “Good afternoon! Welcome señora Karla, we had been expecting you!” It sure made me smile and felt as a VIP or star just walked through the doors! That put me at ease immediately.
Next, she made me read and fill out a form which is very important before the start of any treatment. There are several health-related questions (as well as skin-type) to answer but I understand perfectly. It helps them make an assessment of your medical condition (pressure, medication) and make recommendations based upon the information provided.
Don’t worry if it’s your first time or if you are an experienced spa-goer. The trained, friendly and helpful staff will inform you and let you know the procedures step by step. You’re always welcome to ask questions too.
I was originally supposed to get a body mud wrap but when she explained to me that I would be wrapped as a mummy or a burrito for about an hour. Now you probably know this by now (or maybe not), I simply CANNOT stand, sit or lie still for too long (1 hour max), as I’m restless or antsy and want to move around or change positions a bit too frequently. So I opted to have more flexibility and being able to move, so the hot stone massage sounded way better!
After answering the last questions, I handed back the questionnaire and Marjorie proceeded to show me the changing rooms which are located downstairs.
In case you love being in the water, you can have a hydrotherapy treatment in the pool with essential oils
or why not the Jacuzzi? :)
There are lockers with keys attached to a plastic bracelet which you carry with you at all times. A white robe and black rubber slippers are found inside each locker.
You have the option of taking a shower prior to the treatments which I took advantage of. It was raining and pretty hot and humid every day, so it was normal for me to take 2 or 3 showers!
After I got ready, I went up to find Marjorie and she led me to the treatment room.
Soft music was playing and again that incredible essential citrus oil scent was diffused. It’s much better than an incense stick or Glade Candle let me tell you.
I’ll be very honest; you can be totally uninhibited or a bit more reserved (I am) when it comes time to be on the massage table. I was a bit nervous at first but you know what, I decided to trust Marjorie because
1- She emits this pure and positive energy right from the first moment you are in her presence, so why not go with the flow?
2- That’s what she does best and she is a top professional!
3- Privacy is of utmost importance, so if you prefer to stay covered you can but it is more efficient if you allow the skin to be exposed so that the ingredients of products are more effective. I only asked to have my upper back exposed during the hot stone massage :)
First we started with the Pacifica Facial which is deep cleansing and refreshing and includes: exfoliation, gentle vaporization followed by a relaxing facial massage and special mask according to your skin type (I got a cucumber-based mask).
I let my mind be silenced thanks to the soothing instrumental music and started reliving all the moments I described above! It was as if I played back a mini-movie in my mind.
I could feel the magic hands and circular movements work on my face! Trust me, old layers, impurities and other signs of the times on my face were a heavy burden, lifted up and gone for good! If I may say this, my face was soft as a baby’s bottom and I think I looked a few years younger in only a space of an hour! Miracles exist right? :)
Time does go by fast when you are having a good time! Before I knew it, Marjorie asked me to turn on my stomach as she was going to start the Hot Stone Massage.
The stones used are collected from a river, dried to soak up energy from the sun, and then they are heated in a special recipient, anointed with essential oils and later placed on precise energetic points of the body, also known as chakra points. The heat releases muscle tension, helps improve digestion, circulation, produces a relaxing effect and give an extra boost to those energy centers!
Again, can I be completely honest with you? When they say it’s hot it REALLY is! Not burning but very, very hot. They have a set temperature but the heat is applied quickly and in circles. Marjorie placed several stones along my spine from my neck to the place where your back ends. I also had stones in both of my palms, on my feet (great pressure there and the oils used make the soles of your feet soft as velvet) and it felt so good! I could definitely feel the energy circulating all over the place…
To be continued…