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For Bath and Body Beautiful
By Amy Sherman (Aug 10, 2007)
Freshening up Union Square and the 100-year-old Beaux Arts style Hammersmith Building is the newly opened Fresh boutique. Built in the year after the 1906 earthquake, the San Francisco historic landmark building is a pretty setting for a pretty store filled with pretty things to make one feel, well, you get the idea. More
The Perfect Out-of-Town Recharge
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jul 19, 2007)
Mendocino County has become one of the most vaunted areas in California for romantic weekend expeditions, and for good reason. Take Heritage House Inn -- a beautiful cliffside hamlet in the diminutive borough of Little River, California, that offers 37 acres of majestic solitude from the riff-raff of city life. More
Summer Away from the City
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jun 29, 2007)
Summers in the city are always hit or miss. Weather reports often augur gorgeous weather after a day or two of unexpected sunshine, but we all know that just because itís June, it doesnít mean diddly-squat. A few hours of balminess might give you gleeful intimations of the French Riviera, but I dare you to drive to the other side of the city, and the banks of fog will make you feel like youíre marooned on a Scandinavian fjord. And donít even get me started on the necessity of dressing in layers. More
Wellness Beckons
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jun 1, 2007)
For harried city-dwellers, Oaklandís Piedmont Avenue is like a sojourn to another time -- one where residents stop to greet each other to chat about the weather, and itís safe enough to keep your doors unlocked. But the quaint, small-town feel is assuaged quite a bit by the spattering of chicness: hip yoga studios, used book stores, antique shops, and stylish fine dining populate the area with a relaxed elegance that make Piedmont Avenue an apt backdrop for a place like Meditrina World Healing Spa. More
Forget About the Wine-Tasting
By Nirmala Nataraj (May 10, 2007)
Evidently, spring is in the air, romance is upon us, and throwbacks to the tried and true dinner-n-a-movie combination just wonít make the cut anymore. Thatís no secret to jet-setting young urbanites and seasoned weekend lovebirds who flock to Gaige House, a cozy Sonoma County hamlet that canít help but inspire its inhabitants to turn their cell phones off and their taste for the finer things in life on. More
Exotic Indulgences
By Nirmala Nataraj (Apr 20, 2007)
Novella Spa and Imports is one of those places -- you know the kind. As soon as you step in, youíre immediately smacked with an urge to buy the entire store, particularly if your tastes tend toward the exotic and rare. Itís also one of the prime spots in San Francisco for decadent beauty rites to make you feel like a sultana of yore. More
Put Your Load Down
By Nirmala Nataraj (Mar 23, 2007)
Rest and relaxation. Sounds ideal, doesnít it? Given our societyís terrible penchant for scheduling everything from requisite weekend getaways to quality time with loved ones, the time-honored idea of a little R&R has become little more than a bromidic gesture towards a removed, future indulgence, the lowest task on our collective to-do list, it would seem. But try to imagine a world in which time for silence -- a literal ďwaking up to smell the rosesĒ -- is way more than a hypothetical priority. More
Treatments for a Charmed Life
By Nirmala Nataraj (Mar 8, 2007)
Ever since I was old enough to appreciate those 80s Calgon commercials and young enough to have only a meager comprehension of the word ďstressĒ I was wholly entranced by the concept of pampering. I got my first manicure at age 16 and was 21 when I got my first facial (and the rest is, as they say, history), but the delayed gratification was out of this world. After all, I grew up daydreaming about perfume bottles with glass stoppers, mysterious fragrant potions that lay beyond reach in my motherís armoire, and tubs fitted with frothy beds of bubbles. More
Spa Skin Care in A Doctorís Hands
By Michelle Sieling (Feb 23, 2007)
Some people donít like being touched by strangers. Well, that would include me. Iím not particularly fond of being accosted by lecherous men on a bus. But, when it comes to spa treatments, Iíll make an exception. Not the lecherous men part, but the touching part. You must trust the person giving you your spa facial, and after my first one about eight years ago, I put my faith in skin care specialists. My skin was clearer and softer than it had been in years, not to mention how relaxed the whole process made me feel. More
A Refuge for the Old-Fashioned Romantic
By Nirmala Nataraj (Feb 16, 2007)
Weekends away from the city are too often tailored for the harried professionals. Wagering a guess that there are loads of you out there who feel the same, Iím about to let you in on a little secret: there is, indeed, a place where you can momentarily shelve your stresses, breathe deep some blessed ďthereís no one around for milesĒ air, and take comfort in the fact that your mobile phones are completely useless here. Itís a little cul-de-sac tucked just off Highway One, and they call it Elk Cove Inn. More
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