It isn’t that I forgot to blog about “The Zen of 10,” Spa Magazine’s big, birthday bash at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York, it’s simply that I was figuring out how, in just a few words, to describe the fabulousness of it all.
For starters, this event, on Wednesday, October 4th was at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York, just a stone’s throw from Columbus Circle and the Time Warner Center (filled with gorgeous stores). As you exited the elevator, the friendly pr girls invited guests to take a bag–and the bag was a full-sized, expandable carry on with wheels. I should have realized, right then, that this was going to be something special. Directly in front of the check-in, there was a buffet table with “healthy” snacks, beautifully displayed. If you sat down in that lounge area you were offered a neck wrap pillow, and a hand massage. I did get one, later on. Inside the “exhibit” room were the several dozen booths of the event sponsors, each, laden with information and products–with generous samples being offered to take home in that large, wheeled bag. Half the sponors were spas with names you’d probably recognize such as the Greenbrier and Lake Ausin, the other half, cosmetics, beauty/wellness, and spa-fashion companies. At the far end of the room there was a large lunch/lounge area with sandwiches and so forth.
The sheer scope and quality of the exhibitors was simply overwhelmingly great. Every place I stopped there was a nicely-packaged gift that I was “urged” to take home and sample. Although the event fan from 11:30-3pm, spa cuisine was being served fro 12-1:30 and that’s when it was the most crowded.
Somehow, I missed Deborah Szekely, founder of Rancho La Puerta and the Golden Door (RLP had a booth with jars of yummy-looking sun-dried tomatoes) speaking about “Spas, Past, Present & Future.” but I did see some of my publicity contacts, and stopped to chat with the Pevonia Botanica folks, handing out Vital I Tea (really great, iced and hot) and offering guests beautiful holiday gift boxes of Pevonia products (we are reviewing Pevonia products in our current What Works column http://www.advicesisters.net/whatworkscol3.html ) and holiday products in our November and December What Works columns–so watch for them!
There were so many exhibitors and so many things to review, I can’t even mention them all. Some of the plces I stopped by were: Aromatherapy Associates; Bermuda Department of Tourism; Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa, B. Kamins Chemist, The Breakers Palm Beach, Celorscience, Donna Nadeau, Eblow Beach, Bermuda, The Greenbrier, Half Moon Inter-Continental Resort and Thalasso Spa in Bora Bora, June Jacobs Spa Collectoin, Jurlique, Kama Ayurveda, La Prairie, Lady Primrose, Lake Austin Spa Resort, Leading Hotel so fhte World, Ltd., Pevonia Botanica, Mandarin Oriental (NY and Miami(, Mohonk Moutain House, Pure Fiji, Ceasars Palace, Rancho la Peruta, Sea Island Resorts, Susan Posnick Cosmetics, and plenty more I can’t remember.
There were editors from the heavy-hitter magazines, primarily, and I realized that sometimes, being a writer has a few true perks. I’m not sure if the Editors from Trave & Leisure, or Brides, get to go to events like this every week, but for The Advice Sisters, this was a bit like Christmas in October! Note to Allure staffer in chic wrap dress–smile –you’ve got a great job!
In the middle of stuffing my SPA bag full of samples, I decided to wander back outside to sit down for a moment. I truly appreciated the neck wrap and hand massage I was offered. Even the Mandarin Oriental had a gift bag (with the fixings for lemongrass tea, and a nifty, green apron with the MO spa logo on it).
When I’d visited nearly every booth, and my spa bag was filled to the top with “goodies,” I decided it was time to leave. Reluctantly, I pulled my heavy bag out through the front door. A very nicely dressed man in a slick suit and a headset noticed I was dragged the bag, stopped me, bent down, picked up the bottom of the bag, tugged on the now-dirty wheels, and set them completely straight so my bag would glide, effortlessly.
Now that’s great hotel service!
It may be another 10 years before Spa Magazine hosts another event as grand as this one, but I hope, whenever it is, that there is an invitation with my name on it!!!