Hotel Concierges To Cure Your Hangover And Fix Your Love Life

If you’re like many hotel guests, you probably just waltz right past the concierge desk without a second thought. After all, unless you need a hard-to-get restaurant reservation or last minute theater tickets, you can probably figure out whatever you want to know with a quick search of Google. But what if we told you your concierge might be able to help you quell that nasty hangover, or that they could put the spark back into your love life?

A growing number of high end hotels are bringing in specialty concierges whose job is to provide more personalized services to hotel guests. For example, Westin Hotels & Resorts has recently employed a running concierge who can share advice and help guests achieve their fitness goals. Meanwhile the Viceroy Riviera Maya has its own soap concierge for the traveler who just can’t bathe without some hand-shaved artisanal soap.

One specialty concierge we can imagine being in high demand is the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans’ “Recovery Concierge.” Guests who partied a little too hard can head to the concierge for hangover help, and might find themselves being prescribed a hair of the dog treatment, an in-room massage, or some fresh fruit to give them a healthy energy boost. And then there’s the “Romance Concierge” at the Rendezvous in St Lucia. Her job is to help romantically challenged individuals woo their partner by organizing private dates on the beach, musical serenades, and private sunset cruises, among other things.

What kind of fantasy concierge service would you like to see in a hotel?

Chiang Mai’s best “budget” massage: from a former inmate

Want a rubdown on your next visit to Thailand? Of course you do – a massage is often a vital part of any vacation.

For 150 bhat, or $6, you’ll enjoy an hour-long treatment at Lila Thai Massage in Chiang Mai. What makes this special? Your therapist is a former inmate from the Chiang Mai Women’s Prison. This budget spa employs former inmates as part of a work rehabilitation program.

All therapists have had 180 hours of training while in prison, about half of what is required in the United States to become a licensed therapist (300 to 1,000 contact hours are usually required for U.S. therapists). Still, services, performed in a spa environment, are more upscale for the price, which is comparable to what you’d typically pay for a street massage. The spa also offers oil treatments, foot therapy and facials, as well as a variety of package options.

Thanks to one of our own former writers, Catherine Bodry, and @WhyGoThailand for this tip.

[Flickr via Hanumann]

Daily Pampering: Thai detoxifying ritual at Canyon Ranch

There’s a massage that leaves you relaxed and rejuvenated, and then there’s a massage that transports you into another universe. Enter: the traditional Thai detoxifying ritual from Canyon Ranch Miami.

The 100-minute session is a celebration of Thai healing therapies based on the royal healing traditions of Thailand. It begins with an application of aromatic Thai herbal pouches, combined with warm-oil massage to increase energy flow, relax muscles, soothe soreness and increase flexibility. The masseause stretches you while applying pressure to muscles, allowing better circulation before you step into a personal steam treatment, meant to uplift and detoxify. Called the “time machine” by those at the spa, you’ll steam the space-age looking capsule for 20 minutes before enjoying a 50-minute massage. Thanks to Canyon Ranch’s Aquavana, a European-inspired aquathermal oasis that offers everything from igloo capsules to personal rainshowers, you can continue on with your bliss following the treatment.

The price for this pampering: $330

Want more? Get your daily dose of pampering right here.

SkyMall Monday: Body Back Buddy

Portability has been the driving force behind most technological innovations in the last few decades. Phones became mobile. Those mobile phones became smaller. Computers begat laptops which begat netbooks which could possibly become antiquated if tablets have anything to say about it. Not all tools have been made portable, though. Sadly, coat racks remain stationary devices despite the fact that our jackets exist solely to be taken places. Yet, when the time comes to take a coat off in a car, plane or any other warm/indoor place, there’s no rack on which to hang those coats.

How is this possible? How are we not taking coat racks with us to handle our removed jackets? Why are we still tying our outerwear around our waists as if we’re Joey Lawrence? Finally, we can stop asking those philosophical questions because our long nightmare is over. The coat rack has gone portable and we have SkyMall to thank for bringing this technology into the 21st century. This week, SkyMall Monday is beyond excited to feature an invention that will forever change how you hang your coats when you leave the house. Feast your eyes on the Body Back Buddy.While it may seem strange to name a portable coat rack the “Body Back Buddy,” it’s pretty logical when you think about it. I mean, you wear coats on your body so that they cover your back. Something that holds those precious coats once they’ve been removed is clearly your buddy. So, yeah, the name isn’t odd at all. It’s fantastic.

Think that a portable coat rack is an idiotic idea? Think that people should just wear their coats all the time? If that’s the case, why do they make malls so hot in the winter? Think about that while you’re reading the product description:

Our most popular design reflects years of feedback from massage therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapists. With 11 therapy knobs, the Body Back Buddy stimulates in between muscles and pinpoints trigger points for a more finely-tuned treatment.

The Body Back Buddy is engineered to be lightweight, strong and easy to use. This portable massager combines the best of the Body Back Buddy features for those who want the ultimate self massage tool.

Wait. It’s a personal massager? Then why does it look like a coat rack*? What the hell’s a therapy knob? I’m so confused.

Well, whatever this thing does, it does it well. And it’s portable. Portability is key. That’s why you need the Body Back Buddy.

* I know you’re thinking, “Mike, it looks like a dildo tree. Why didn’t you make more jokes about that?” I couldn’t disagree with you more. It looks like a dildo vine. Believe me, I wanted to write this whole post about how the Body Back Buddy is clearly a sex toy sent from the future to protect me from the other sex toys that will one day become sentient and destroy us all. Sadly, though, the last time I made SkyMall Monday that sexual, the internet threw up in the comments section. So, instead you got this coat rack post. Hope you’re happy, prudes!

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Make your trip more luxurious with balls. Aromatherapy massage balls.

There was a time when you could bring whatever pampering cosmetic you wanted with you on your travels, but now, in the days baggage fees, bringing along a little luxury for yourself isn’t so easy. One thing you can bring with you: balls. Aromatherapy massage balls, that is.

T spheres, or “tranquility spheres,” makes little aromatherapy balls you can throw in your carry-on to ensure you have a relaxing, rejuvenating massage on your trip — the catch is, you have to give it to yourself. Some t spheres techniques include:

  • Place a ball between your shoulderblades and lean back into a chair. Take deep breaths to trigger the pressure point for a mild to intense sensation.
  • Roll yourself up and down the ball a little bit. This will provide more relief for you.
  • Place the ball on the side of your spine. Breathe a few times. Then move it to the other side. Breathe.
  • Place the ball behind your sacrum.
  • Roll the ball under your foot to alleviate arch, heel and ball-of-the-foot pain.

These are just a few examples of the things you can do with a little scented t sphere. The goal is to increase circulation and help you relax. Scents include Rose Geranium for Inner Beauty and Peppermint Perk Up, and tiny Pep Up Mint balls for feet. In theory, you could use these right on the plane, but it would probably freak your neighbor out, and it’s not really fair to impose a scent on a closed-in space like that.

I haven’t tried the balls myself, but they’ve got Rita Wilson, Coldplay and Brooke Shields singing their praises, so for people who travel a lot, these little balls just might be worth it to have on-hand for emergency self-massage. Or something. They cost $20 to $35 plus shipping and handling and can be purchased here.