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The Spa Experience Makes the Perfect Gift

By LINDA COMINS

Staff Writer

For many people, the holidays are synonymous with spa days — either as gifts or as a personal getaway to escape the stress of the season.

At the West Spa, located on the lower level of Wilson Lodge in Oglebay Park, even the holiday decorations are serene, muted and in “spa colors” of silver and aqua — and that choice is deliberate. Jennifer Johnston, manager of the West Spa, said, “It’s very gently decorated in the spa. We don’t want them (guests) to be overwhelmed by it … They come in here to relax because of the stress of the holidays.”

Presenting a gift of a spa treatment or a spa day is a popular option for shoppers during the holiday season. Johnston said, “We sell roughly in December about $50,000 of gift cards just in the spa. It’s a huge part of what we do.”

Area residents and “regular” visitors who travel three to four hours to the West Spa make up the bulk of gift card recipients. “It is consistently the gift they get every year,” the manager said. “We do a lot with gift cards. This is a nice escape even for the local community as well.”

Alicia Derrow, the West Spa’s assistant manager, agreed that gift cards are popular, especially during the holiday season. She said, “Once the holidays start, people are purchasing gift cards.”

Guests can build their own spa day based on any of the services offered at the facility, Johnston said. The Eminence line of products features sets designed specifically for the holidays; these products also “make really nice gifts,” she added.

Derrow said the spa features 15 different massages as well as body treatments, pedicures and manicures. Spa visits also are popular for bridal showers and wedding parties.

For the spa staff, Johnston said, “Every day is based on how we help our clients relax and step away from day-to-day life … We’re all very customized when it comes to relaxing and getting the appropriate services based on your needs.”

One of the most popular spots in the West Spa is the hideaway-relaxation area where clients can sit before or after receiving services and enjoy light refreshments. A fireplace is a focal point in this quiet room.

The spa’s seven treatment rooms include three equipped with showers. One of the three “wet” rooms is a couple’s room that is popular, particularly for Valentine’s Day, Johnston said.

Each treatment room has a waterfall fountain with trickling water to offer a relaxing effect. Soft lighting and floral pictures create a calming atmosphere in these rooms, where massages and facials are given.

Another large room contains several comfortable chairs where manicures and pedicures are performed. All of the product lines used on the service side of the spa also are sold in its retail shop, the manager said.

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Gift packages are available at Tony’s Spa, located at The Highlands in Ohio County.

Manager Tony Tran said, “We work with the client. Whenever they come in, we can put together a package for them. Everybody is different. You don’t have to have a set package.”

At Tony’s Spa, he said, “We do nails; we do feet; we do whole surfaces, massages, facials, eyelash extension and spray tanning.”

Tran explained that eyelash extension is similar to hair extension. “We can do eyelash eyelash individually or a whole strip. For individually, it is one hour; the other (applying a whole strip of lashes) takes about five minutes.”

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Secret Serenity MedSpa, located at 187 W. Main St. in St. Clairsville, is designed to provide a luxury or destination spa experience.

It offers a holiday gift card special with a one-hour massage plus a one-hour facial at a reduced price. During November, guests receive a free pumpkin spiced coffee at the spa’s coffee bar with any treatment purchase.

Other specials available this month include a reduced price for a Himalayan salt stone massage. On Saturdays in November, clients can get a one-hour Swedish massage plus a free 30-minute facial.

Secret Serenity offers several different spa packages, in addition to medical spa services performed within a spa atmosphere.

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