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Safety Harbor Resort & Spa

by Kathryn Lemmon, Wedding Zone Staff Writer

One of the great joys of a honeymoon is stepping out of your ordinary life and experiencing new adventures, especially if they are extravagant and indulgent. Have you considered a spa honeymoon? A spa is perhaps the purist form of vacation. Rather than rushing around to see sights, you can enjoy the three "R's" Rejuvenate, Relax and Renew. A few days of total body rejuvenation might be just the way to begin your new life together.

A "spa" is a facility offering life enhancing experiences, catering to toning the body and soul through a variety of treatments, many utilizing water. A spa offers the ultimate in pampering. In fact, ancient Romans believed the only way to unwind from the vigors of everyday life (not to mention months of wedding planning...!) was a trip to the baths. They felt true wellness could only be achieved through Solus per Aqua (health by water). Many in this century would still agree with that theory.

It doesn't hurt if the spa is surrounded by palm trees and sits on 22 waterfront acres on Tampa Bay in Florida. Safety Harbor Resort & Spa, fifteen minutes from the Tampa International Airport, will provide an unforgettable honeymoon experience. It's the only Florida resort featuring natural mineral springs and the water has been drawing visitors for decades.

The spa was built over five natural mineral springs, which continue to produce nearly two million gallons of water a month. Originally discovered in 1539 by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, the springs serve as the primary water source throughout the resort, including the guest rooms, pools, and of course, the spa treatments. The mineral water has been found to contain twenty naturally occurring minerals, all deemed beneficial to the body. At one time, this water was so popular it was bottled and shipped around the world.

At Safety Harbor, you decide which body treatments to try. You might go for something out-of-the-ordinary, like a Shiatsu, or a fango mask. Shiatsu, based on Oriental healing, is a pressure point treatment using palms, fingers and thumbs to release tension and increase circulation. A fango mask uses special Italian mud in a centuries old beauty ritual as effective today, as it was back then. The mud is applied to your entire body to cleanse and remove impurities...definitely not part of my everyday routine.

But, there's so much more! A fifty minute Swedish massage or a soothing herbal body wrap will leave you more relaxed than you can imagine. These few options are just the tip of the iceberg. Alternatives include: skin care, nail care, hair care and fitness programs. Their list of services is extensive, but the goal remains the same, reconditioning of the body and cleansing the mind.

I had my first professional massage at Safety Harbor, but it won't be my last! The thirty minutes ended all too soon and I only wished I had more time to sample other treatments.

If you find a bit of exercise sounds appealing, golf and tennis are both options. Nine tennis courts are available and their golf academy has a practice range overlooking Tampa Bay.

Near by, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, can provide a full day of attractions. Upon arrival, be sure to make arrangements for the Serengeti Safari truck tour where guests can hand-feed the extremely friendly giraffes. The safari goes out several times per day, but you must sign up in advance. Talk about close encounters, you'll have a very up close and personal experience with a giraffe tongue or maybe two! Currently, another highlight on "safari" is a rare baby black rhino. Silverback gorillas, also on the endangered list, can be seen in the Myombe Reserve section of the park, along with a new, adorable baby chimp.

Safety Harbor is an award-winning resort with 193 guest rooms. Their spa and fitness facilities cover 50,000-square feet. You can select from a variety of overnight packages including a three night, four day introductory spa package. Or, you can choose treatments a la carte from their list. For more information click on www.safetyharborspa.com.


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