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Thursday 13th January 2011

When you hear the words ‘Sugar Bliss’ you think of sweet things, don’t you? Ecstasy, peace, with a delicious topping of happy; something often aspired to, rarely achieved.

Well, we can attest that the ‘Sugar Bliss’ package at Aveda Spa at Sugar Ridge delivers the goods for a good three hours or so. In fact, the only thing that could make this package more complete is if they would bring the entire thing to your home, green hillside view and all, so that you wouldn’t have to interrupt your bliss dodging irate drivers and potholes afterwards. Alas, not even ‘Bliss’ is that perfect; but it comes as close as anything possibly could.

The ‘Sugar Bliss’ package includes the Elemental Nature Massage, Manicure, Pedicure, at your leisure with beverages for sipping and two course lunch at the upstairs restaurant providing all the ingredients for a day away from the push and pull of life. It is the ultimate time-out.

Before she begins the massage, your therapist will ask about any problem areas, but the massage itself is about discovering and responding to what the body needs – even if you don’t quite know or can’t vocalize what that is. When she digs deep into the tension between your neck and shoulder, when she rubs the ache out of your sore feet, when warm towels ‘burn’ out the tension in your back, when you lie there – swaddled and pampered – cocooned in a world of ethereal music and heady herbal aromas, at once stimulated and relaxed, you’ll feel yourself melt so deeply into the table you won’t want to move…ever again.

“When you’re ready,” she’ll say, precursor to the next stage, and you know that you’ll never be ready – not of your own volition – because to lie there feeling paradoxically awake and asleep…is bliss.

Of course, the manicure and attendant hand massage, the pedicure and accompanying foot massage – especially for this most overworked and under-cared-for part of the body is icing, but that full body, slow and thorough, relaxing and invigorating massage will be the sugary sweet cake without guilt-inducing calories.

You’ll wiggle your purple toe nails later, as you wait for them to dry, sipping coffee – one of many options afforded to you – and you’ll think how you need to do this more often (really, wish you could afford to do it more often); but then maybe if you did it would lose its specialness.
You don’t think so though; there’s a sense that they make it special, each time, for every person that walks through the door. And not just in the spa below but in the restaurant above.
As you reflect later on the leisurely lunch, you’ll think not just of the delicious Spring Onion Fish Cakes, lush view and soothing sounds of falling water, via the pool below, but on how attendant, solicitous even, the service staff was.
And, as you reflect, you’ll consider that stories of poor service levels in Antigua have been grossly exaggerated; because there was nothing, absolutely nothing, to disrupt the ‘Bliss’ of your stay.
There was, rather, a faint smile on your face throughout the day.
As for you, reader, you’ll be happy to know that at Aveda, there are a multitude of other services available – a full range of hair services, various pedicures, manicures, facials, skin treatments, massages, acupressure, reflexology, plus the gym.

See the full range here; but for our part, if you want to treat that special person in your life, or, better yet, treat yourself, take a time out, sip a cosmopolitan, and get Bliss’d.

Written by Joanne C. Hillhouse

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