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Spa visits have become a recognized activity on the island, and for some people they are as popular as golf and tennis. In fact, spas have become one of the top leisure-time destinations, particularly for golf "widows." And this popularity extends to the men as well; previously spa-shy guys have come around, enticed by couples massage, deep-tissue sports massage, and even the pleasures of the manicure and pedicure.
There are East Indian–influenced therapies, hot-stone massage, Hungarian organic facials—the treatments span the globe. Do your research, go online, and call or stop by the various spas and ask the locals their favorites. The quality of therapists island-wide is noteworthy for their training, certifications, and expertise.
Auberge Spa at Palmetto Bluff. Dubbed the "celebrity spa" by locals, this two-story facility is the ultimate pamper palace. It is as creative in its names, which often have a Southern accent, as it is in its treatments. There are Amazing Grace and High Cotton body therapies, sensual soaks and couples massage, special treatments for gentlemen and golfers, and Belles and Brides package. Nonguests are welcome. Palmetto Bluff, 1 Village Park Sq., Bluffton, SC, 29910. 843/706-6500. www.palmettobluffresort.com/spa.
Faces. Faces has been pampering loyal clients for more than 20 years, with body therapists and cosmetologists who do what they do well. It has a fine line of cosmetics and does makeovers or evening makeups. It is open seven days a week. Monday night is geared to guys, who get 15% off services. The Village at Wexford, 1000 William Hilton Pkwy., South End, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928. 843/785–3075. www.facesdayspa.com.
Heavenly Spa by Westin. This is the quintessential sensorial spa experience. Known internationally for its innovation and latest in therapies and decor, Westin's Heavenly Spa brand also brings the treatments home. Prior to a treatment, clients are told to put their worries in a Gullah (a sweetgrass burden-basket); de-stressing is a major component here. Unique is a collection of treatments based on the energy from the color indigo, once a cash crop in the Lowcountry. The full-service salon, the relax room with its teas and healthy snacks, and the adjacent retail area with products like sweetgrass scents are heavenly, too. In-room spa services are available as are romance packages. Major renovations to the spa and hotel should be complete by spring of 2013. Westin Resort Hilton Head Island, Port Royal Plantation, 2 Grasslawn Ave., North End, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928. 843/681–4000. www.westinhiltonhead.com.
Main Street Inn and Spa. The holistic massages will put you in another zone at this petite facility. It offers deep-muscle therapy, couples massage, and hydrotherapy soaks. In-room spa services are also available. 2200 Main St., North End, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29926. 843/681–3001. www.mainstreetinn.com.
Spa Soleil. Therapies and a wide variety of massages and spa services are offered at Spa Soleil. The colors, aromas, teas, and snacks make your treatment a soothing, therapeutic experience. This is an amazing island treasure. Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa, Palmetto Dunes, 1 Hotel Circle, Mid-Island, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928. 843/686–8420. www.csspagroup.com.
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