The JW Marriott Downtown Houston recently unveiled the new Spa by JW concept—which will roll out to 20 more properties in the coming year. Designed for both the hesitant spa novice and the time-strapped guest, the idea is to “de-mystify the spa experience, make it more accessible, and make it easier for guests to enjoy on their own schedule,” explains Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President & Global Brand Manager for JW Marriott.
When they need to recover from stress, smog, or something stronger, West Coasters head for arid climes. A detox taxonomy.
Two Bunch Palms, Desert Hot Springs, California
The vibe: Ultra-private, 1920’s-era romantic weekender’s hideaway (first revealed to noncelebs in Robert Altman’s 1992 satire The Player). Everything has been recently redone, from the tree-shaded grotto to the yoga dome, gym, and glass-walled restaurant.
The draw: Midnight soaks in heated mineral pools; discreet bungalows with patios or yards.
In the adjacent mud bath: Famous friends of the Hollywood movie producer owners—not that you’d recognize them after their lithium-rich mud baths.
With seemingly endless outdoor activities and sunny days, Boulder, Colorado, is a mecca for healthy living (just ask the Olympians who live there). Four ways to get a Rocky Mountain high.
Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks maintains more than 146 miles of trails, many in view of the city’s beloved Flatiron rock formations. On a naturalist-led night hike, you might encounter mule deer and even wide-eyed great horned owls in the glow of the moon.
Book a holistic treatment at downtown’s Sensorielle Day Spa(1801 13th St.). The product ingredients—from lavender to Saint-John’s-wort—are sourced locally by Austrian expat Helena Meyer, whose naturopathic ancestors treated the Hapsburg court.
Gastón Acurio dishes on his favorite places to enjoy the big blue’s bounty.
With 30 restaurants worldwide, 20 books, and a weekly TV show to his name, celeb chef Gastón Acurio has become something of a seafood hero. Fresh off the opening of New York’s La Mar Cebicheria Peruana(11 Madison Ave.; 212/612-3388; dinner for two $100)—the seventh outpost of his hit Lima restaurant—he filled us in on his favorite seafood spots around the globe.
Lima, Peru “At Chez Wong, a tiny ten-table dining room by the side of his own house, chef Javier Wong uses just two ingredients, flounder and octopus, and one knife and one wok.” Don’t Miss: “Everyone gets a flounder ceviche starter; then he will talk to you about your life, and prepare the main course especially for you. He never repeats a recipe.”
New York City “Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin is a reference point when you talk about excellence in fish. He’s about elegant simplicity and coaxing out different flavors within the same ingredient.” Don’t Miss: “The fluke ceviche sampler, which moves from light to complex flavors. It was such an experience to have one kind of fish presented in a variety of ways.”
Getaria, Spain “At Elkano, a family-run place on the Basque coast about an hour’s boat ride from San Sebastián, they work with the catch of the day and respect it so much they serve every part of the fish, from the muscles in the mouth to the belly.” Don’t Miss: “The specialty is turbot. You might get the head in white wine, then the tail grilled.”