Body and Soul

By Toby Main

Journeying in Europe in the late 19th century, American physician Douglas Graham MD complained that he “could find no-one in Amsterdam to give me general massage to rest me from the fatigue of traveling”. How times have changed. It may be easy to indulge here but it’s increasingly possible to rejuvenate, too. Amsterdam is a wonderful city in which to leave your cares behind and devote yourself to health and wellness. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick workout, an entire day of relaxing treatments or several days of secluded pampering, Amsterdam has a center for it. With so much choice, you’re bound to leave the city with a healthy glow and spring in your step.

Kazem Aesthetica
A specialist in breast enhancement, eyelid correction and tummy tucks, Doctor Farid Kazem is one of the Netherlands’ leading cosmetic surgeons. He’s also an expert in the kind of non-surgical treatments that can be effectively and discreetly administered during a client’s vacation. It’s been almost a decade since he introduced the CoolSculpting by Zeltiq method to the Netherlands – a “fat-freezing” technique for areas that healthy diet and exercise cannot reach, such as the back, arms, and specific portions of the thighs and stomach.

Tea ’n’ Treatment at the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
The Spa at this quirky, Alice in Wonderland-inspired hotel conceived by Amsterdam’s “Lady Gaga of Design”, Marcel Wanders, offers an ultimate afternoon of relaxation that will help you feel as if you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of pure pampering. Indulge in sweet treats and tasty finger sandwiches and special blended teas in the Bluespoon Restaurant & Bar, followed by a 90-minute spa treatment of your choice. There’s unrestricted access to spa and gym facilities, including sauna, rain showers and relaxation areas.

One-Hour Turnaround at the Guerlain Spa
Originating, of course, from New York’s Park Avenue, the iconic Waldorf Astoria brand has given the world a signature salad. The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, spread across an impressive cluster of Golden Age mansions, has a recipe for success for modern men at its intimate Guerlain Spa. Effectively, the One-Hour Turnaround is a top-to-toe overhaul comprised of a 60-minute facial during which your shirt is meticulously pressed and your shoes polished. How’s that for efficiency?

Spa and Swim at Akasha
A haven of absolute tranquility beneath the Piero Lissoni-designed atrium of the Conservatorium Hotel, the Akasha spa comprises seven treatment rooms, including a double treatment suite, where innovative Western practices are coupled with ancient Eastern traditions. There is a private hammam for purifying scrubs and massages and a Vichy shower for cleansing hydrotherapy rituals. Akasha also has Amsterdam’s only Watsu pool for tailored hydro-treatments and guided meditation. Book any weekday treatment and access to the pool is included.

Body Toning at SoSPA
Like pretty much everything at Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam – the palatial location for the wedding of Princesss Beatrix and Claus von Amsberg in 1966 – the SoSPA wellness facilities are fit for royalty. Of particular note is its body toning treatment, a red clay body masque followed by a massage with the exotic prickly pear oil and toning gel. Spa products at the SoSPA are from the Soin Sublime beauty range created especially for Sofitel by Marisa Berenson, the mythical actress, model and muse to none other than Yves St Laurent.

Five-Star Wellbeing Package at the Amstel Hotel
For many years, the Amstel Hotel has been associated with health and vitality. In 1870, Dr. Johann George Mezger pioneered medical gym exercises and massage here. His fame reached as far as the aristocracy and royal families of Europe, who visited the hotel specifically for his services. Nowadays, the Amstel Health & Fitness club offers an all-inclusive afternoon package that Dr. Mezger would be proud of. Swim laps in the pool overlooking the river that gives the hotel its name, enjoy a healthy three-course lunch and enjoy a 50-minute massage, too.

Footwork at De L’Europe
The first branch of Dutch niche cosmetics firm Skins opened in 2000 and earned the company not only Amsterdam’s Entrepreneur of the Year award, but a stellar reputation for its impressive selection of the best products from around the world. Who better then, to partner with the five-star De L’Europe Amsterdam hotel for its spa offering? Giving your feet an overhaul and addressing all aspects of foot health, the Skins treatment is for those who want to achieve the perfect sole. The pedicure is carried out with specially selected Margaret Dabbs products, exclusive to the Netherlands but respected globally by those in the know.

This article is part of the magazine Amsterdam Luxury Selection dd September 2017.

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