You can almost hear the Beach Boys singing in the background at the new Aquaterra Spa at the Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, California. The area’s bohemian sensibility, which was shaped by a local artists’ colony, is reflected in the spa menu. Among Aquaterra’s treatments for two is one called Artistic Ritual, which begins with a mud wrap, followed by a bath based on color-therapy principles. “Color therapy is an ancient form of healing,” says spa director Catherine McGrath.
“Red stimulates the nervous system, while green is very tranquil.” While soaking in a tub together, the two clients are given paintbrushes and a palette of vividly colored mud to brush onto each other. The idea is to bond by stimulating each other’s chakras, or energy sources all accompanied by a good laugh and a stunning view of the Pacific. (Aquaterra’s other couples services include the seaweed-intensive Ocean Ritual, a purifying Earth Ritual and a Botanical Ritual that features a lavender scrub and bubble bath.)
Men are discovering what women have long known that soothing masks can rejuvenate the skin and refresh the spirit.
Up the road a few hundred miles, the Ojai Valley Inn offers the Massage Duet, in which therapists perform near-synchronized massages on a couple lying on adjacent beds. The inn, which also boasts a PGA golf course, has a penthouse suite with a secluded terrace and private elevator for guests who want especially indulgent simultaneous pampering. Privacy is also a top priority at the new Ocean Club Spa in the Bahamas. Guests enjoy treatments in one of eight villas, each equipped with side-by-side massage tables, a private garden, waterfall shower and Balinese daybed for two. (Unfortunately, to many a couple’s chagrin, the villas are not intended for overnight stays.)