||Spa means “health through water,”
the water of mineral springs, which Europeans, drink, bathe in and
call “the cure.” More than 3,000 years ago Caesar’s
legionnaires stopped in Tuscany on their way back to Rome to soak
in bubbling pools.
The destination spa is an American invention pioneered by Elizabeth
Arden. Seventy years ago she created a haven, not only for well
being, but for pampering, exercise and weight loss. Her imitators
are considerable. In the States stand-alone retreats do it all and
fulfill every fitness need. We always return from a visit feeling
completely invigorated and renewed. To keep up with our country’s
love affair with beauty treatments and working out, spas are now
an important feature of hotels, resorts and cruise ships. Even small
properties with a few pieces of equipment and one or two treatment
rooms often include spa in their listing of amenities. A stretch
of the imagination, pretension or maybe both.