Expensive Tastes

swimming poolConsidering that spas are supposed to be about pampering, it’s odd that so many of them deal in unalluring stuff like mud facials and seaweed wraps. How about something more in keeping with the luxurious surroundings and sky-high prices? Realizing that not everyone wants to be smeared in algae or scoured with salt, some spas are offering therapies featuring caviar, chocolate, even champagne. If you want to put the aah back in spa, skip the kelp masks and go straight for these top-dollar treatments.

BEVERLY HILLS:
You’re not about to squander your precious appointment at the Beverly Hills Hotel Spa, tel: (1-310) 887 2505, on a quick massage.  Instead, book the caviar firming facial – a favorite of the spa’s celebrity-studded clientele, and a bargain at $270. Caviar extract is used: save the actual roe for the evening’s hors d’oeuvres.

PARIS:
The spa at the fashionable Le Meurice Hotel, tel: (33-1) 4458 1010, is stocked with products by Caudalie – the skin-care range based on grape-seed extract (a powerful antioxidant). Book the Vinosource Riche facial ($160) and you’ll also get rubbed down with freshly squeezed grapes, leaving your skin as soft as a vintage merlot.

HERSHEY:
Visitors to the chocolate-making town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, can enjoy (what else?) an array of chocolate-based treatments at the spa of the plush Hotel Hershey, tel: (1-717) 520 5888. Jump into a cocoa bath ($45) or try a chocolate fondue wrap ($105). The best part?  No calories.

TOKYO:
The ultimate in spa indulgence may be the Celeb Champagne Gold Course at Tokyo’s Ci:z Labo, tel: (81-3) 5766 4200. You’ll bathe in a Jacuzzi filled with 22 bottles of champagne before having a body peel with diamond dust. Just five customers have experienced the therapy since it was introduced last October – something to do with the $2,800 price tag, perhaps?