So you want to go on a healthy trip, but what and where? Well, there is a growing number of so called healthy hotels which specialize in weekend breaks that center around health. Most popular of these trips is the detox holiday. It’s not your typical holiday where you visit tourist attractions, drink lots of alcohol and eat nice foods. It’s quite the opposite unfortunately. Instead you don’t eat much or nothing at all. Instead of a nice cocktail, you drink water and herbal teas. On the plus side, these hotels tend to have a nice swimming pool, and a spa which most likely includes a relaxing jacuzzi and a sauna.

healthy detox holidayI recently went on a spa break myself and it was relaxing, and allowed my body and mind to completely rest like it has never done before. I really came back refreshed, and wanted to share my experience with my readers here. As nice as it was, I did get a little restless at the end, and couldn’t face drinking yet another herbal tea!

One of the things I did as part of my detox was a full body cleanse. It was an intensive experience. In fact, it’s one of the most intensive detoxes available. The treatment used was one of the best colon cleansers available. It flushes out all the toxins in your body and helps your body clean itself of all the stuff it’s not been able to get out of the body. I will spare you the details, but needless to say, this colon cleanser worked!

In combination with a colon cleanse, I also limited myself to a small salad each day combined with lots of herbal teas. This again allows your body to recover from the daily stuff we usually put in our bodies.

You’re slightly weak when doing a detox, so exercise is limited to a little bit of swimming and sitting in the steam room for a few hours a day.

So, would I recommend a detox hotel? I would, but make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s not that fun, but it does help you recover from daily life. I would recommend you find a hotel that beautiful and located in a great location. Arkansas has plenty of spa hotels which tick these boxes and offer spa packages. Just head to trip advisor to read the reviews to make sure your hotel is very good, as you won’t be leaving your room much when doing a detox! It’s also worth giving them a call and ask them to explain their cleansing program so you’re well informed.

I hope this post helped you decide on whether to go for a healthy holiday, or whether to go for a normal relaxing holiday where you stuff yourself full of lovely food. The choice is yours. Whatever you do, make sure you have a good holiday!

Read more

When someone mentions Arkansas, you don’t necessarily think about surgeries. But we noted a recent surge in people traveling to this state to undergo surgeries. Arkansas has a high number of highly respected doctors and well equipped hospitals, combined with a lower cost of treatment for many procedures. This makes it the perfect place to travel to if you’re looking to score a bargain on a cosmetic surgery procedure.

Traveling For Hair Transplants

hair loss in arkansasApart from the usual facelifts described below and dental surgery, we’ve recently seen an influx of people traveling here for hair transplants. Again, the reasons are the same. While you might not need quite the relaxing hotel stay to recover after a hair transplant, it’s still nice to spoil yourself. So why not save money on the procedure, while enjoying yourself in a luxury hotel?

We recently had a hotel guest who traveled to Arkansas not to have a hair transplant, but was here for a natural retreat to promote hair growth. It was an incredibly interesting concept. It was three days of seminars, natural treatments and some herbal remedies. They were shown the best home remedies for hair growth which included all kinds of different essential oils and head massages. If you’re interested, apparently the best home remedy is coconut oil for hair growth. This information might save you the trip over! I’m curious to see whether such retreats work, and whether this guy will have a full head of hair soon, but regardless they bring people over to our hotels, so we’re happy! Whether his hair grows back or not …

Cosmetic Surgery Tourism

An even bigger source of medical tourism are face lifts (also called a rhytidectomy). These are relatively simple and mainstream procedures to combat signs of aging. According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a facelift is around $6,550. That’s a hefty amount of money. But we found some evidence, that you can cut that amount by more than $1,500 by traveling to Arkansas. The good news is that you won’t sacrifice on quality. The reason for the lower cost is a combination of cost of living, and state taxes being lower.

Another main benefit is that you’ll be able to enjoy a holiday and recover elsewhere without the usual stress of being home. You could stay in a beautiful hotel in Arkansas overlooking mountains and recover in peace.

Read more

There’s nothing quite like a steam. The peacefulness. The feeling that you’re away from everything. It’s one of the best ways for me to clear my mind and completely relax. That’s why I always try to pick a hotel with a spa. Most spa hotels will have either a sauna or a steam room; which tend to have similar benefits.

health benefits steam roomBut I always wonder whether it has other health benefits other than me enjoying myself and feeling more relaxed. I suspect it’s good for the skin and have heard people speak of many other health benefits. So I decided to investigate and here’s what I found.

Steam rooms can provide the following health benefits:

  • Remove toxins and other impurities from the body through sweat
  • Increase the metabolism and heart rate aiding weight loss (there is some debate on this one though)
  • Feeling relaxed helps reduce anxiety
  • The heat and sweating opens up pores and cleanses the skin at a deeper level resulting in healthier skin
  • Some skin conditions such as acne might improve resulting from the detoxifying effects of sweating
  • The heat can help open airways and help you breathe easier which has many health benefits. For one it offers sinus relief if this is something you suffer from.
  • Boost immune system
  • Promotes blood flow
  • Opens up mucous membranes and prevents excessive drying of mucous membranes

The only issue with this list is that it lacks scientific research. I was surprised to find a lack of research on this topic, as saunas and steam rooms have been around for some time! According to this article from the Harvard Medical School, there is some research to support the fact that saunas lower blood pressure and are therefore good for heart health.

Don’t like reading, here’s a great summary of all the benefits of a steam room:

I’ve been told, but cannot find much evidence of this, that a cold shower straight after a steaming session can be very beneficial as well. It helps flush out toxins and will help you cool down. It should result in looking better skin.

Do be careful though. For example, while sweating helps detoxify your body, you need to ensure you replace the water your body loses during a steaming session. Also, some people should not e pose themselves to extreme heat. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor if you have any doubts about whether a steam room is suitable for you. Certain conditions might make this an unsafe activity.

As always, I’m happy to hear your thoughts? What benefit do you get from steaming? Do yo tend to pick a hotel with steaming facilities or do you not mind at all?

Read more

Arkansas might not be the tourist capital of the world, but it’s still a pretty amazing place to visit. If you’re scheduled to visit in the next few months, here’s out top 3 things you absolutely must visit

1. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art named this the top thing to do in Bentonville and it was awarded a Certificate of Excellence. Crystal Bridges Museum has a collection of American masterworks from way back in the day to modern art. It’s an absolute must see and it will take your breath away!Crystal-Bridges-Museum-American-Art

Find out more here (opening times and book your tickets)

2. Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

This is one of our favorites. Not exactly a zoo, which can be a sad place if you think about animals being locked up in cages. This is a 459-acre wildlife refuge for tigers and lions. The guests here are all abused, abandoned, and neglected exotic cats; which makes it an absolutely amazing place.

3. Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame

This one is hilarious to us, but if you’re a music fan you probably love it.For example, when entering, a life size statue of Johnny Cash will greet you singing some of his best songs. Incredible! This hall of fame is located in Pine Bluff and if Johnny Cash isn’t enough for you, they feature stars like Billy Bob Thornton and John Grisham.

Why visit Arkansas? This video will give you a quick overview of why you must visit!

Read more

health benefits of a massageWe’re crazy about massages. In fact, we are so crazy about them, we hardly ever recommend a hotel without a good spa. Massages truly are the highlight of any hotel stay, so for those who aren;t yet convinced, we wanted to summarize some of the main health benefits of massages to hopefully convert you in a massage fan as well!

What is a massage?

This might seem obvious, but when you get a list of massages in front of you at a spa, it can get confusing very fast. So here’s a summary of the main types:

  • Swedish massage: gentle long stokes, combined with deep circular movements to help you relax (our favorite)
  • Trigger point massage: frequently used by athletes as it concentrates on tight muscle after exercise
  • Deep massage: This is much like a Swedish massage, but it goes deeper. It’s still relaxing, but can be slightly uncomfortable on tight muscles.
  • Sports massage: pretty self explanatory! For people who do lots of sports.

Health Benefits of a massage

It’s obvious there are benefits to a massage, as you tend to feel relaxed, and energized after one. But let’s look at the science behind it. According to MayoClinic, scientific studies show that massages are an effective treatment for reduced stress, pain and muscle tension. They can help with anxiety, digestive disorders, sports injuries, headaches and so on.

It’s an alternative therapy for a lot of health issues, and has limited side effects. What’s more, it can be very enjoyable.

The problem is of course the cost. You’ll have to shop around to find the best massage therapist for you, and find the best deal. Most spa hotels will charge a premium, so it’s not always the best choice.

An alternative is to learn massage techniques and allowing your partner to massage you and take turns. This could be a cost-effective long term solution. But it is of course nice to get out of the house and spoil yourself with a professional massage. What’s more, if you need a real deep tissue massage, a professional will be able to do it more effective and there training and experience will avoid worsening the injuries.

If you do want to try a massage at home, I recommend closing the blinds, creating a peaceful environment with candles and some relaxing music. Avoid all distractions, so lock the door and turn off the phones. Here’s a great video with three hours of relaxation music which will help you fully relax during the massage. Obviously you don’t have to massage your partner for three full hours. Half an hour to an hour is enough!

As a warning, some massages can leave you feeling sore afterwards. If you have any concerns, consult your medical professional who will be able to explain the risks of massages to your circumstances. It’s obviously not for everyone.

Read more

We love a great spa. Many hotels are incorporating spa days into their offering, but sometimes more choice can be though. This article should help you decide which hotel to choose based on the best spa experience.

Decide what your budget is

This is critical, as many spa’s are very high-end, and will cost quite a bit of money. But the good news is that there are lots of spa’s in Arkansas and all with a different end user in mind. So whatever your budget, you’re sure to find the right one for you. Keep in mind, that a spa day will never be cheap. Spa experiences are after all a luxurious offering.

spa hotelDecide what you want

Do you want treatments, and what kind of treatments do you want? Or do you just want to enjoy a nice pool, lounge around in the sun with a cocktail? Check the facilities at the hotel to make sure they have a steam room, a sauna, showers, jacuzzi, or whatever it is that you’re looking for. This will avoid disappointment when you get there.

If it’s massages, hair, nails or facials you’re after, double check with the hotel that they offer that, and whether it’s included in the price of your package. Usually, a massage will be an additional expense and will depend on the duration and type. Knowing the prices upfront is important, as they can be very expensive.

Read online review

Unless you know someone who’s been, do your homework. While word of mouth is the best, websites like ours or tripadvisor for example can help you find the best spa days. Online user reviews will be honest and unbiased and will give you a feel of what to expect and whether the hotel is good or not.

Do you want to travel?

Location is always important. Do you want to get away from your daily routine and travel somewhere else? Maybe you just want to get away for a few hours without traveling anywhere. Most hotel comparison websites will let you sort by location, so you can choose where to look. Personally, we always choose far away. Getting away from it all can be a great experience on its own.

Do you have kids?

Spa’s are not really suitable for younger kids, and many hotels will not even allow kids entry on the premises. So check beforehand or you risk being turned away when you arrive at the hotel. If you want to bring your kids, you’ll have a hard time finding a high quality spa that will accept them. So it might be best to find someone to watch them for the day so you can go out and pamper yourself. It’s not a water park and most guests will appreciate the peace and quite of adult only hotels.

Find the best deal

Once you find the right spa hotel, you’ll need to shop around a little to make sure you get the best deal. There are plenty of spa deals online, so look around and you probably will save quite a bit of money. Hotel comparison websites are the best way to find good deals.

Read more