D.I.Y. facial, courtesy of your hotel’s breakfast bar

A well-done spa treatment, especially a facial, during a vacation can lift a weary traveler straight out of their jet-lagged funk. But hey, lets not be so easily sold here: spa treatments, particularly those available at destination hotels, are expensive. The good news? You can work yourself up a little D.I.Y. facial with the stuff your hotel offers you for free. Call it resourceful; call it low-class. The fact remains: this stuff works.

Gather what you’ll need from your hotel’s breakfast bar and retire back to your room for some You time, courtesy of You.

What you’ll need:

Your in-room coffee maker
A packet of sugar (pure cane is best)
Yogurt
Uncooked oatmeal
Uncooked egg
Lemon or Orange
WaterOnce you’ve completed your hotel scavenger hunt, you’ll be ready for a self-made facial.

1. Wash your hands well.
2. Squeeze the lemon or orange into a cup of water. Using the corner of a washcloth, rinse your face with this mixture.
3. Spread the sugar over a clean corner of the washcloth. Wetting the washcloth just a bit, gently exfoliate your face with the cloth.
4. Rinse your face clean of the sugar.
5. Fill your coffee maker with water, but add no coffee. Turn on the coffee maker. Once the water is boiling, carefully lift the coffee maker’s water receptor so that you are exposed to the steam from the coffee maker. Place your face 5-10 inches from the steam, depending on what is most comfortable for you. Allow the steam to hit your face for a few minutes.
6. Once your face has been steamed, you can treat it with a mask. Make an easy mask by mixing the uncooked oatmeal with the uncooked egg. Spread the mixture all over your face using a cloth. Remove the mixture once it has hardened.
7. On a clean face, gently apply yogurt, focusing on the under-eye area. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes.
8. Rinse the yogurt.

And now? Enjoy. Because you really don’t have to pay top dollar to rejuvenate your skin at a hotel. In fact, skin rejuvenation can be complimentary.

Taj Mahal is getting a facial

taj mahal, Taj Mahal, India, india
India’s most beautiful monument is going to look even more beautiful after a team of specialists give it a mud facial. The Taj Mahal in Agra is getting treated with multani-mitti , known in English as fuller’s earth, an absorbent mud that sucks up dirt and grime and is normally found in beauty parlors. The Archaeological Survey of India is conducting the cleaning.

The site’s mosque and some of the outlying buildings have already been treated, and the team hopes to start work on the main building in April. The process involves spreading mud over every surface, covering it with a polythene sheet, and waiting for the mud to dry and flake off. Once this happens, the surface is washed with distilled water.

The Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built by Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in 1648 as a mausoleum to his wife.

[Photo courtesy jrodmanjr via Gadling’s flickr pool. For another of jrodmanjr’s great shots of the Taj Mahal, see one of our previous Photo of the Day entries.]

A unique retreat at the Lost Iguana Resort in Costa Rica


So, what are you doing in May? If your plans are open, check out the “Volcanic Yoga & Spa Retreat” at the Lost Iguana Resort in Costa Rica. You’ll save almost 40 percent off the price of the six-night getaway with a price tag of only $800 while enjoying the “eco-chic” property and (more important), giving yourself the break you deserve.

From May 14 – 20, 2010, the Lost Iguana is hosting this unique retreat, which includes airport transportation, breakfast and dinner every day (you’re on your own for alcohol, though) and a $300 Golden Gecko spa credit along with your accommodations. And, there are daily yoga and water fitness classes to keep your body moving – when you’re not out on a guided nature hike.

Now, let’s get to the spa – nothing beats an amazing spa treatment. With your $300 spa credit, you can take advantage of a wide range of treatments in private open-air thatched bungalows. Volcanic clay and stone facials are on the menu, not to mention exotic body polishes to help you push out the toxins and stimulate your circulation. I’m particularly interested in the cocoon stream therapy treatment, which purifies and softens your skin.

If you have an open week in May and an itch to get on the road, this is the only way to scratch it. Sit in a spa, and let someone else do all the work of stretching your muscles for you.

New Peter Island wants to help make a new you

Peter Island Resort & Spa is celebrating a new look with a fresh deal. The largest private island resort in the British Virgin Islands has refurbished its 32 ocean-facing rooms and 20 beachfront junior suites and wants to show off the new look. Hey, if you just got a makeover, wouldn’t you? So, the property is offering up the “New Us, New You” package, which runs through October 31, 2009.

Remember, this is Peter Island, so you’re going to have to put out some cash, but you’ll get plenty for it. For $2,780 (or $4,020 for a junior suite), you’ll get five nights and only pay for four. On top of that, the resort is throwing in three meals a day and access to resort activities, including windsurfing, kayaking and the like. The best part – in my mind, at least – is the 75-minute Ayurvedic Abhyanga massage. The private yoga class for two doesn’t do much for me, but if you’re into yoga, I imagine you’d like it.

While you’re in the 10,000-sqft spa, check out some of the other treatments, as well. There are 13 types of facial available, with everything from collagen to caviar to botanical extracts.

If you need a reason to go relax on a private island that keeps even its own guests to a minimum, this is probably it.