Florida Spa Escapes


One Ocean Resort Spa
The marine life theme at One Ocean Resort’s spa extends from the decor to the treatments themselves.


When the winter doldrums hit, there’s no place like the Sunshine State to lift your clients’ spirits. For relaxation and pampering in a sunny clime, suggest they spend time at one of these luxury resorts in north Florida, all within a short drive from Jacksonville International Airport.

A half hour from the airport, in charming Atlantic Beach, is One Ocean Resort Hotel & Spa, an upscale 193-room property that overlooks the beach and is just a stroll from the town’s restaurants, shops and nightlife.

Here, in the eight treatment rooms (plus a four-station nail salon) of the region’s only oceanfront spa, Manager Sarah Stanton and her staff perform their magic on couples, girlfriend groups, bridal parties and even teenagers. The Total Teen Package gives teenage girls an afternoon of skin treatment, analysis and instructions on how to care for their skin at home. It also includes an Ice Cream Mani/Pedi Combo, milkshake of her choice and makeup application and lesson.

Milkshake aside, the spa’s most popular treatment is the sea shell massage featuring warm, oiled shells that glide over and soothe tight muscles. Going along with the sea theme, Spa staff use marine-based Phytomer skincare products and treatment rooms are named for the life cycles of the sea turtle. Cassandra LeDonne is the most in-demand massage therapist, while esthetician Judi Welch is the most requested for skin care. (Tip: She’s known for her anti-aging facials.)

For couples and groups, there are oceanfront spa suites ideal for One Ocean’s Couples Heart & Sole massage, side-by-side pedicures with a refreshing fruit plate and mimosas. Stanton recommends reserving spa appointments at least two weeks in advance; contact her at [email protected] or call 904-853-2340.

Amelia Island Resort Spas

Only about a half hour away from the two-year-old One Ocean is the venerable resort town of Amelia Island, where two sprawling luxury resorts have been offering up rejuvenating massages and spa treatments to their guests for decades.

The Spa at Amelia Island Plantation (www.spaamelia.com; 877-843-7722), set in several buildings amidst the lush greenery of the 1,350-acre property, provides a long menu of enticing massage and body treatments for adults and couples. It also has a Teen Spa & Salon (for ages 13-17) that has everything from makeup lessons to boy’s haircuts to the Prom Queen package(mini mani and pedi, updo and makeup for $164). The Little Spa for ages 4-12 features such precious offerings as the Princess Mani or Pedi.

The nearby Ritz-Carlton Spa, Amelia Island (www.ritzcarlton.com; or contact spa reservations at 904-277-1087) is all about tranquility and relaxation.

Spa Director Tina Crawford tells us treatments run the gamut from 30-minute Surrender massages to overnight Reconnect packages for groups and families to the intimate Couples Wrap, a two-and-a-half-hour experience that includes a honey vanilla milk bath, chocolate-pomegranate wrap, a warm scalp oil massage and a body massage. Guests are cocooned during the wrap to allow the chocolate to penetrate the skin. The result is smooth skin with a hint of chocolate aroma.

If clients really want to relax, we suggest Heaven in a Hammock, where zero gravity and massage treatment combine to give a body greater flexibility and range of motion.

Now that sounds like a great way to beat the winter blues.


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