Each vacation season, the identical query looms: What to get somebody fastidious about her look however troublesome to buy? Lingerie is simply too intimate, grooming aids too sensible, fragrance too predictable. Right here’s a suggestion from the Don CeSar resort on St. Pete Seaside: a membership to its luxurious gulf-front spa.
The legendary “pink palace,” opened in 1928 and host to numerous luminaries by the years, lately underwent a significant inside renovation. (The skin stays the identical distinctive pink.) The three-story Spa Oceana, in its personal area close to the pool, now presents a variety of discounted magnificence and spa therapies for a $99 month-to-month membership payment.
On the Don’s invitation, a pal and I lately visited the spa to test it out and get pedicures. I often have my toes completed at a giant, overly shiny purchasing heart salon that has about the identical ambiance as that of a close-by Publix. On the Oceana, shoppers are greeted with mushy lighting and music in a chandeliered foyer. A window appears out over the seaside and palm timber.
I opted for the hour-long Bali Breeze pedicure. Settling into an adjustable therapeutic massage chair, I set the controls to softly knead my again. The pedicurist draped a heat wrap round my neck and eased my toes into what appeared like a big crystal bowl full of heat water and scented salts.
It was a bit early for Champagne ($12 a glass) so I sipped coconut water and nibbled from a bit cup of nuts and dried fruits — the flavored water, fruit and nuts have been complimentary — because the pedicurist clipped, filed and scrubbed. Then she smoothed a wealthy cream known as marshmallow soften over my legs and lined my toes with a masks of shea, mango seed and cocoa butters.
The ultimate step was making use of coats of a glittery deep pink polish. My toes appeared like little gems. It was the perfect — and most enjoyable — pedicure I’ve ever had.
For the month-to-month payment, members obtain a 25 p.c low cost on hair providers, a 15 p.c low cost on retail objects and spa providers (the pedicure was a reduced $72 together with tip) in addition to complimentary valet parking with a scheduled spa therapy. And that is particularly engaging: Members get one 60-minute Swedish therapeutic massage or natural facial a month, and people might be rolled over to the subsequent month if not used.
The Oceana additionally has steam rooms, aroma-infused whirlpools and lockers for member use.
Whereas ready for my pal’s appointment, we walked over to the principle a part of the Don and had lunch within the Society Desk restaurant — peach Bellinis and Caesar salads with grilled shrimp. We browsed the present retailers and boutiques, noting that the ice cream counters that have been on the entrance aspect of the Don earlier than the renovation at the moment are within the again at Uncle Andy’s Market, a full-service sundries store new to the resort.
By early afternoon, morning clouds had cleared and the solar was popping out. I took the elevator as much as the third degree of the spa and went out on its expansive rooftop terrace. From there, the view over the gulf and up the seaside was gorgeous.
That view alone virtually appeared price $99 a month.
The Don CeSar, 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Seaside. 844-338-1501. doncesar.com/spa.