All posts by Melisse Gelula

Melisse Gelula is a spa, beauty, and travel writer based in New York. She is the cofounder of, a new website that covers New York City's most interesting well-being experiences, a contributing editor to Organic Spa Magazine, and the former editor in chief of, spa beauty editor of Luxury SpaFinder Magazine, and travel editor at Fodor's travel guides. Her work has been published in Departures, the Robb Report, Budget Travel, and more. Melisse has appeared as a spa and travel expert on the Travel Channel and E! News, and quoted in the New York Times,,, and more.
Beach Cabanas at The Palms Miami Beach

Throw a hot stone in Miami Beach and you’ll hit a spa with cool factor. What’s harder to find is a little low-key spa gem on the beach whose pool area doesn’t look like a hip-hop video in progress. The Palms Hotel & Spa is such a place. It’s just... Read More

Bahamas Kamaleme Spa

This is the time of year that nearly every spa resort set on a sunny Caribbean island begins to charge 30 percent more for the pleasure of helping you fend off seasonal affective disorder. Not Kamalame Cay, a private island resort in the Bahamas, with just with 19 suites and... Read More

San Francisco Spa

International Orange isn’t just the name of the paint color on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, it’s also the moniker of one of the city’s best day spas. You can tell a lot about a spa by the products used in treatments – just like you can tell a... Read More

Body scrubs are a spa menu staple—a trickle down from cultures that used abrasive towels (Japan), mitts (Korea, as well as Turkey and Morocco), and others tools to smooth skin and promote not just hygiene, but, it is believed, overall health. At spas today, a treatment with exfoliating granules is... Read More

Ritz Carlton Central Park Resize

If you ask spas in the U.S. what their most popular spa treatment is, nine times out of ten they’ll say a Swedish massage. (Runner up: a deep tissue or sports massage.) Why, when spa menus offer a half dozen or so amazing massage styles like Thai and Shiatsu, do... Read More

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Elena Bowers Resize

At these five-star yoga retreats, the focus may be on your yoga practice and your inner life, but you won’t do without creature comforts. WEEKLONG YOGA RETREAT ELENA BROWER AT PARROT CAY, TURKS & CAICOS OCTOBER 24-30, 2010 Elena Brower (pictured above; photo courtesy of Art of Attention) is one of New York... Read More

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Pumpkin Jason Nuttle Ritz Carlton Palm Beach Resize

Pumpkin is not just great in a pie. It’s also great in a skin-care product or in a facial. Particularly pumpkin enzymes, which literally digest dead skin cells, helping along the skin’s exfoliation process. By clearing these surface skin cells, pumpkin peels help prevent pore congestion and pimples, and... Read More

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Spa Power Tool Photoscom Resize

There are dainty toe-polishing spas services. And then there are these no-holds-barred approaches to finessing the feet with tools worthy of a general contractor or a samurai or Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill.” Would you dare to bare your feet for one of these treatments? Pedicure with a Power Tool... Read More

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All kinds of beauty products bill themselves as travel-worthy. But that often just means they’re packaged in small enough jars to not get confiscated by TSA. Or they include what you need once you arrive in your destination (shampoo, etc.) rather than what you need in flight to keep... Read More

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A season of heat, humidity, and sunning yourself (even if it’s inadvertently) can leave skin looking lackluster. That’s why facial peels – the best way to brighten and improve your skin, in my expert opinion – are a popular facial treatment come fall. I’m not talking about a deep chemical... Read More

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Oxygen facials can plump fine lines, making them less noticeable, and can famously give skin a red-carpet glow with one treatment. But they might also be giving you free-radical damage. That’s the not-so glamorous possible side effect of the popular facial, which is used in many spas from Bliss Spa... Read More

New York City is well known as a trendsetting metropolis for fashion and food. But the city’s also a big influence on fitness. That’s thanks to a pool of talented NYC teachers who create new, smart workouts that make breaking a sweat an interesting undertaking, and not just a... Read More

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I don’t usually like to mix spa treatments with alcohol. I’m already woozy after a massage, it defeats the purpose of detoxifying scrub and body wrap, and my skin during a facial usually gets way more antioxidants than a glass or two of pinot noir. But I might change... Read More


Spas are in the health and wellness business, not just in the pampering business. So I find it super irritating when they overlook something as crucial as sun protection. I’m not talking poolside umbrellas, although those are vital. I’m referring to sunscreen. The risk of skin cancer is enormous: 1... Read More


England has the town of Bath. Germany has Baden-Baden. And in France it’s Vichy. What is Spa Town, USA? Kohler, Wisconsin. That’s if you’re being literal about the term salus per aquam, which means health through water and gives us the origins of the word “spa.” Kohler, of course, is the maker... Read More