I am such a big advocate for self-care - not just the concept of it, but also its execution. Sometimes, I see a lot of people who consider "treating yourself" as an extra drink at happy hour or indulging in a sweet treat on the weekend. But personally, I like to take it a step further with a mani/pedi, an hour-and-a-half massage, and/or a full day of no checking emails. A lot of people will scoff and rhetorically ask about who has time for that - the reality of it is, you always have time. You just have to make yourself a priority in order to be willing to make the time for it.
Last weekend, pH and I had the opportunity to visit The Grand Beauty Spa in Tampa to learn "how to Grand Spa," and the experience really swept us off of our feet. After checking in with the receptionist and being provided hot towels to freshen up with, along with citrus-infused water, we were given our subsequent service forms to fill out and led to the locker areas to change into robes. I took a moment to relish in the steam room and rinse off with cold water, then headed out to the Buddha Garden to meet the owner of The Grand Beauty Spa, Carmen.
Carmen is very much herself an advocate of people taking care of themselves, which is why she offers membership programs at The Grand Beauty Spa - to encourage a consistent beauty regimen and teach members "how to Grand Spa." To put it into perspective - people will typically purchase a gym membership as motivation for getting fit. Because, on the days when you're feeling a lack of motivation and saying you don't have time to work out, the credit card that's paying for your monthly membership reminds you that you do have the time, and is the kick in the butt that you need to get to the gym.
So why don't we think of the spa in the same way? Because the spa is a luxury and we should only treat ourselves once in a blue moon? That's silly. In addition to a guaranteed service per month, you also receive unlimited uses of the spa facility, membership pricing on select spa services, and even more, with a membership.
After speaking with Carmen, my massage therapist, Emalee, led me upstairs to my room and went through my massage preferences. I have scoliosis, and often suffer from lower back pain - Emalee explained that we'd work through some deep-breathing exercises that would assist with the 80-minute massage and greatly impact its effects.
I am thrilled with my massage experience from The Grand Beauty Spa and I will definitely return to see Emalee - she is amazing! I have never had a massage before that had noticeably lasting effects - typically, I simply experience a sense of relaxation, but in this particular case, there was a significant difference in my quality of sleep that evening. No matter what I do, the lower back pain always seems to return. I also left my service with tips from Emalee for reducing my back pain, including using cold to treat it, and not warmth.
pH, on the other hand, was treated to a Grand Spa facial from Rita - knowing that spa time is a bit rare for the typical male, I've asked him to share his experience in his own words:
To be honest, getting a facial wasn't a regular thing in my life. As a man, it never really crossed my mind to go seek out and get one. I figured it was a female thing, and that women enjoyed them in order to look prettier or something. Little did I know, The Grand Beauty Spa would flip my world upside-down and show me it has a lot more to do with a personal feeling of comfort, relaxation and overall cleansing, rather than exclusively for the sake of beauty and vanity.
Rita showed me the amenities and prepared me for the experience after handing me a freshly-brewed coffee. She explained to me that this experience is more about detoxification of both physical and mental states, paired equally to provide a holistically pampered procedure. She asked me to dress to my liking and told me she would enter the room when I was ready.
The music playing was melodically ambient and the decor made for a very serene and nocturnal setting. Relaxing by most standards. I got into the chair which was pre-warmed with a heating blanket and got comfy. She entered and began the facial. I was taken through layers and layers of cleaning procedures which I could only explain as a re-occurring massage to my face. You wouldn't think that would be nice, but given the "way" she was doing it, I could have mistaken the procedure for just that. She always prefaced what she was doing and why she was doing it, as to educate her clients and set their minds at ease. It worked.
The procedure was broken up with little nuances that I could tell were purely for relaxation, like a warm towel nesting my face while she was prepping the next step. She never left me unattended for very long. After the cleansing, she walked me through a series of moisturizing and skin-soothing procedures that I can only explain as a fragrant masking. Everything felt fresh and organic with senses of citrus and sweetness intertwining the experience with feeling and smell.
I have to say it was an experience I will never forget. The misconception I had was totally obliterated, as I was shown at The Grand Beauty Spa that a facial is more about an experience and less about "just looking clean". It totally makes sense now, as to why women do this regularly and I have to say, I may be joining the league of men that partake regularly as well. To any man on the fence about joining their lovely lady at the spa, just do it. Try it once and you'll totally "get it". Trust me. You'll love it enough to tell your guy friend about it.
After our services were complete, we explored the spa's grounds and enjoyed a variety of yummy bites from Pane Rustica for lunch, out in the calm and relaxing Buddha Garden. We winded down even further from this fantastic spa experience with a little bit of bubbly.
Now, it's time to treat yourself at The Grand Beauty Spa - book your appointment online and enter the code TAMPABLOGGER, as well as reference my name, in the comments portion of the appointment details to receive 10% off of your services!
Additionally, you can enter to win a spa day for two, just in time for Mother's Day! Presented by Tampa Bay Parenting, The Grand Beauty Spa is hosting a contest in an effort to help us celebrate our hero moms. For a chance to win a grand spa day for two, nominate your #MYHEROMOM beginning Monday, 4/17 - the contest ends on at 10 p.m. ET on Monday, 5/1. For more information and to enter, click here.
The Grand Beauty Spa is located at 2717 West Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. The spa is open on Mondays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can view the menu of spa services here. To stay updated on the latest happenings at The Grand Beauty Spa, follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
pH and I were each provided with a free service at The Grand Beauty Spa in exchange for social support and a review. Opinions expressed here are out own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of The Grand Beauty Spa.