Peter Island Resort in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, has a new spa (www.peterislandspa.com) where the focus is on “soulful well-being and natural curatives.” Translation? Ingredients used for treatments are prepared on the premises daily from fresh ingredients. With 10 treatment rooms and two outdoor “bohio” suites, the spa is directed by Maggie Wagner. She oversees a menu of treatments that includes the signature Thermal Sand Bundle Massage (heated sand bags are placed on areas of specific tension; ask for Katie) and the West Indian Honey & Sesame Seed Glow. Clients traveling with companions can request “Thalasso Mud Bowls Alfresco.” For $15 a bowl, guests receive their own portion of Thalasso Mud to take to the pool or beach for their own private mud scrub. Instructions are to bake in the sun, then rinse in the sea.
The opening of the spa goes hand in hand with the resort’s new Luxury Villa Program, which includes an 18-hour-a-day attendant, a valet, chef, housekeeper, and 24-hour chauffered vehicle on standby. The key accommodations in the program are the existing, newly renovated Hawk’s and Crow’s Nest Villas. Two “ultra” luxury Villa Estates are set to open this year. The four-bedroom Crow’s Nest has a “seamless-edge” pool, media room and comes with a private chef and car. The three-bedroom Hawk’s Nest has a large, private sundeck with a dipping pool. Contact Mark Young (284–495-2000), the well-connected, full-time villa director, with specific VIP villa requests, which could include fulfilling extensive food-shopping lists to customized excursions for diving, sailing and heli-golf.
Insider secret: The resort has its own heliport for those who wish to come and go on their own.
Other favored quarters at Peter Island are the Beachfront Junior Suites for their views of famous Deadman’s Beach. Standard guest rooms have island views.
Contact Head Concierge Hugh Benjamin for special needs; General Manager Sandra Grisham-Clothier can be contacted through the resort’s main number (284-495-2000).
The Westin Rio Mar Beach Golf Resort & Spa (www.westinriomar.com) in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, has opened the Mandara Spa, a tranquil, luxurious retreat in the center of one of the Caribbean’s most popular resorts. The spa, which has a Balinese theme, has 11 treatment rooms, including a couple’s massage facility. The four-handed massage is Mandara’s signature treatment; the stone therapy is the most requested. Many of the therapists (all are certified through Mandara, which is owned by Steiner Leisure) are trained to do both facials and massages, meaning those having multiple treatments can stay in the same room and flow seamlessly from one experience to the next. Consult with Spa Director Alisa Oliver ([email protected]; 787-888-6725), and be sure to book clients ahead of time, as the resort, which is popular with golfers and family travelers, gets busy at peak periods.
VIPs at the resort, which is managed by Hendrick Santos, will want to stay on the Royal Beach Club floor, which has a private concierge and meal services throughout the day. The Atlantic and Caribbean suites offer the largest accommodations and have ocean front views. They must be booked directly with the hotel’s reservations department. Be sure to book discerning guests in a private car via the hotel’s concierge, Zandra Segarra. She can also reserve a luxurious dinner at the resort’s Palio restaurant, or arrange for a private tour of the El Junque Rainforest.
Insider secret: While most flying private planes into the area land at San Juan’s international airport, the resort’s 500 acres provide many areas in which helicopters can land and take off.
The Fiesta Americana Grand Aqua (www.fiestamericana.com) has opened in Cancún, Mexico, as Grupo Posadas’ flagship property.
The spa here, managed by Jaime Martinez Austria, has 11 interior rooms and four outdoor “palapas,” where treatments such as the popular anti-stress massage are performed. Signature treatments rotate each month; currently on the calendar is an exfoliation using lime and ginger.
All guest rooms have balconies and ocean views; the Viento suites with adjoining rooms are ideal for families. Ana Laura Rios (52 998 8817600, ext. 7634) is the manager dedicated strictly to VIPs.
Concierge Francisco “your wish my wish” Ugalde, can arrange for customized tours and transportation to and from the Cancún International Airport (www.cancun-airport.com), which is just 15 minutes away and provides facilities for private jets.
Dining promises to be a main event at Aqua, which has lured Michelle Bernstein (formerly of Miami’s Azul) to its shores to open the signature restaurant M.B. Book a table here at least a week out. Contact Operations Manager Jean Francois Girault if you’re sending a VIP to the new resort.
The Atlantic (www.luxurycollection.com/atlantic) in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection. The Zen-like Spa Atlantic has eight treatment rooms, including a couple’s room with its own bath. Spa Director Joanie Bowden prefers that travel agents book treatments ahead of time; ask for Norman Sarmeinto for men and Donna Angheluta for women. Deep Tissue Massages have proven to be the most popular treatment here.
Complement a day at the spa by having Concierge Mark Armstrong’s staff arrange a yacht excursion or an exotic car rental to tool up and down Fort Lauderdale’s oceanfront. Because the hotel has only 124 rooms, everyone gets involved with seeing that guests have a great time, including General Manager Robert Morrice. Traveling with an entourage or extended family? Book a two- or three-bedroom Penthouse Suite.
Trina Restaurant and Lounge is the creation of Don Pintabona, formerly of Tribeca Grill in New York. Be sure to book at least one week out.