In this series, spa directors and industry insiders share some of their most memorable experiences.
Whenever I'm visiting a new region, I like to experience the area as authentically as possible. Usually that includes a unique, local spa treatment. On a trip to Italy this year, I opted for a volcanic treatment. The service started with a full-body coating of volcanic mud and a cozy wrap, during which time I was extra toasty lying on the bed. I thought nothing of it until I lay back down after showering off the mud. The therapist had removed the extra linens from the wrap and cranked up the heat on the bed. Without the layers of towels, the bed was so hot I could barely stand it. I squirmed around, willing the therapist to return quickly. Once she came back, I tried to explain about the overheated bed. Her English was limited, so it took some gesturing and many synonyms for 'too hot,' but I finally got my point across and felt the bed begin to cool down. It may not have been the most relaxing treatment, but it certainly was an authentic volcanic experience.—Jennifer Nied