Boozy bliss from coast to coast: Spa treatments with alcohol, perfect for St. Patrick’s Day

It doesn’t matter if it’s five o’clock or not because it’s always happy hour when you’re at the spa. In recognition of St. Patrick’s Day, many spas are incorporating alcohol into their treatment menus. It might sound odd, but wine, beer and whiskey spa treatments all have proven therapeutic benefits for your skin.

“Spas with local vineyards or nearby distilleries are taking advantage of what’s around them to create memorable experiences for their guests,” said International SPA Association President Lynne McNees. “Many people might not equate the spa with alcohol, but 23% of spas are incorporating local or indigenous elements into their treatment menu.”

You may not even have to travel to enjoy these unique treatments. Check out a list of our favorite unique treatments from coast to coast. Use them to celebrate that next week’s holiday-o-booze (um, we mean St. Patrick’s Day) or simply to unwind after a long work week:

The Atlantic Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, FL
The Citrus Suds Body Treatment includes a full citrus beer scrub, scalp massage, hair treatment that utilizes a beer extract, six-pack beer bath and an application of citrus lotion. Beer yeast is rich in elements that increase skin elasticity, improves acne by suppressing sebum and has been shown to have antibacterial properties. An 80-minute is $222 through March 31, 2011.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Sonoma, CA
When you’re surrounded by wine country it’s hard not to incorporate a little vino into your spa menu. The Chardonnay Olive Oil Sugar Scrub offers stimulating exfoliation that moisturizes while promoting new skin growth. The invigorating products used in the treatment are all hand made in the Sonoma Valley and incorporate olive oil, sea salt and lavender to awaken the mind, body and senses. A 45-minute treatment is $129.

The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, Washington, DC
Book this “ritzy” hotel’s signature Champagne package for a bit of boozy bliss that will simultaneously infuse your skin with antioxidant-rich Champagne and Chardonnay extracts. Our favorites? The Champagne Indulgence Manicure & Pedicure, an extended spa service that includes a rich scrub and soothing body butter. The 50-minute treatments range from $65 to $95.

The Spa at Chateau Elan, Braselton, GA
The 55-minute Chateau Antioxidant Winery Facial is offered for $90, and uses grapes loaded with antioxidants to replenish the skin by smoothing the tissue and stimulating the circulatory system. Their signature treatment the 110-minute Chateau Winery Ritual offered at $250 features a wine bath that infuses the body with grape seed antioxidants and a De-Vine Mudwrap. The wrap combines crushed grapes and French clay to pull out toxins while moisturizing the skin with vitamins E and C.

VH Spa for Vitality + Health at Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, AZ
The 90-minute Chardonnay Antioxidant Body Treatment features products made from wine grapes, grape peel and grape seed. The ingredients are full of natural antioxidants that restore vitality to your skin. The treatment begins with a full body Chardonnay sugar scrub followed by a customized massage and finishes with a Chardonnay body butter application all for $185. The spa also offers a Whiskey and Black Pepper Facial for $100 through May 2011. The 60-minute facial features phytomalt, a malt extract from Scotch whiskey, that’s full of sugars, minerals and vitamin B6 giving it excellent hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties.

Abroad in Prague?
We covered this great beer treatment at a The Augustine in Prague earlier this year.

Can’t travel? Recreate the Kentucky Bourbon Trail or French wine county at home:
FarmHouse Fresh® recently introduced their Bourbon Bubbler professional body scrub. The scrub contains coarse brown sugar, Kentucky whiskey and rice bran oil. A 12 oz. jar of the scrub retails for $34 and can be found at spas around the country. Caudalie Paris’ Vinothérapie® Spa in a Bag limited edition kit includes a Merlot Friction Scrub, Vine Peach Shower Gel and a Vine Body Butter. When used together this regimen will help you regain a toned and firmed body. The kit retails for $56 and can be found online and at spas.

[Image via Flickr user e_calamar]

St. Patricks Day in Dublin – 10 spectacular events

With St. Patrick’s Day less than a month away, it may be time to start making some serious plans. If you have tired of drinking stale green beer and attending arbitrary parades that rarely coincide with the real St. Patty’s Day, then maybe it is time to celebrate the Irish festival in the land where it all began – Ireland.

In a country with pubs older than the Magna Carta, history abounds. You come to Ireland for this history, and perhaps the Guinness. Beyond these draws though, the kindness, spirit, and wit of the Irish is what truly sets Ireland apart. What better way to take in St. Patrick’s Day than with some gregarious locals in the Irish capital of Dublin?

Since Ireland was hit with a particularly nasty strain of the financial crisis, great deals are to be had. You can rent a car and take to the countryside for less than 10 Euros per day. Posh hotels like the Merrion that used to cost fortunes can now be had for just a hair over one-hundred US dollars per night. Round-trip flights from major U.S. travel hubs hover around $600. If ever a time existed to visit the Emerald Isle, that time is now.Dublin throws an amazing party for St. Patricks Day with events catering to both the boozy crowd and culture seeking revelers. The festivities last from March 16 to March 20, with the big parade on March 17. You can view the events program at the St. Patrick’s Festival website, but ten of the highlights include:

1. In the footsteps of St. Patrick walking tour – walking tour of Dublin based on St. Patrick, with the tour comes discounted entry into the Guinness Storehouse – free if your name is Patrick

2. Kilfenora Ceili Band – a 100 year old traveling Irish dance band

3. CEOL St. Patrick’s Day Eve – several well known Irish musicians perform on Vicar Street

4. Ganon Cup University Boat Race – a 60 year old tradition pits University College Dublin against Trinity College Dublin on a boat race down the River Liffey

5. St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Ireland’s top performance acts line the streets in an unforgettable parade

6. City at Play Funfairs – parts of Dublin are turned into Carnival fairgrounds

7. Text in the city – the audience texts topics to the Irish comedians onstage that perform hilarious skits similar to “Whose Line is it Anyways”

8. Between the Canals Premiere – movie premiere for a “gritty energetic urban tale”

9. Sharon Shannon – One of Ireland’s top musicians performs at the National Concert Hall

10. The Commitments 20th Anniversary Reunion Concert – the stars of the 1991 Irish film – The Commitments, will be performing a full concert together for the first time ever, at the O2.

flickr images via Infomatique