Travel to Turkey (for a couple of hours)

Part of the appeal of a massage, or any spa treatment, is the opportunity to momentarily transcend the frenetic pace of our daily lives. An herb-scented body scrub or eucalyptus steam room tap into the same yearnings that find many of us at our desks, dreaming of aquamarine beaches and exotic flavors and blossoms.

The trouble is, most of these fantasies involve purchasing an international ticket and wrangling for time off. This month there’s an easy way to get a dose of exotic escape without finding your passport.

Since its inception Hiatus Spa + Retreat (1611 W 5th St, 512/362-5777) has offered a “Monthly Retreat” for customers to indulge in unique body treatments tied to a specific destination that end with an appropriately themed specialty cocktail (massages + boozy vacation elixir, what more do you need to know?). In April, the spa celebrated Earth Day with “Stone Unturned” treatments (think heated stones and a potent rhum agricocle punch). Last month they offered Summer in Paris, which included a massage scented with Lavender Blossom and Juniper and a Vichy rainfall shower.

June kicks off Turkish Delight, their most exotic Monthly Retreat yet. For the entire month, Hiatus is transforming their hydrotherapy suite into a Turkish Hammam, and offers guests their take on a traditional Turkish bath ritual. The luxurious treatment begins with alternating copper bowls of warm water poured over your entire body, a soothing sensation that immediately makes you forget your current “to do” list. Then guests are covered in a mountain of mint-infused suds, and scrubbed with a customary woven Kese. As the room fills with steam, a full-body clay mask cleanses even deeper. A drizzle of warm oil is the gentle beginning of a head-to-toe massage, all to the soothing sound of gentle trickling water. Finally, when you emerge with an entirely new sense of calm, a Turkish Haze, an anise-scented cocktail, completes the Hammam experience. After such a transporting couple of hours, you might feel a bit of culture shock when you emerge to the bustle of West 5th street. But aren’t you glad you got away for a couple of hours?

  • The Details:
  • All Monthly Retreats are 80 minutes in length
  • H-Circle Founding $108; Platinum $118; Gold $128; Non-members $195
  • www.hiatusspa.com
  • Facebook @HiatusSpa
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