Ritz Carlton Orlando RelaxationA quick elevator ride whisks you to the second floor of the Ritz Carlton Orlando and the spa reception area, where you’ll immediately feel pampered. I recently had an appointment for a manicure and pedicure as part of a trip without the kids, but that didn’t stop me from changing into the flip flops and cushy robe they offered at check in and taking advantage of the amenities.

I arrived a little earlier than the customary 30-60 minutes prior to my appointment due to a scheduling and flight snafu. However, as soon as I arrived they were able to move my appointment up a bit and I was invited to relax in the spa until they were ready for me.

Saunas and Whirlpools and Showers

Ritz Carlton Orlando flowerMy first stop was the whirlpool and sauna, where the stress of my two-and-a-half-hour flight south melted away with the warm water. Following that, I hit the showers and used the lavender scrub that had just been put out, which filled the shower area with a wonderfully relaxing fragrance and sloughed off my rough elbows and hands.


Savoring Relaxation and a Healthy Lunch

Back in my cushy robe, I parked myself in a comfy chair in the relaxation area. With my feet propped up, I did something I hadn’t done in a while: nothing. I flipped through fashion magazines and enjoyed the time to myself without having a toddler or pre-kindergartener making demands of me. The only requests I had to deal with were what to order for lunch.

Forget the typical spa food, which might include a piece of fruit or other small bits of food; the menu at the Ritz Carlton spa had salads, sandwiches and wraps, and even a cheeseburger. Not wanting to ruin my relaxed feeling, I tried to eat healthy with the chicken salad wrap, which included grilled chicken, avocado and tomato and came with a fruit salad.

Indulging in a Manicure and Pedicure

Finally, it was time for my appointment. After selecting my nail colors, I sat down for my manicure. About forty minutes of hand massages, soaks, masks and even a treatment for the dark circles under my eyes left my hands feeling younger (and, yes, my dark circles gone).

Ritz Carlton Orlando Pool spaMy feet had it even better. After soaking in the water bath, my feet and legs were scrubbed, then covered with a hot honey mixture made from honey that was harvested from beehives in an on-site apiary. It smelled good enough to eat. Then my feet and legs were wrapped in hot towels to steam for about 10 minutes while I sat back and gazed out the window at the blue Florida skies.

After a buff, rub and scrub, it was time to apply my nail polish and put up my feet once again – this time, in the sake of letting the polish dry completely.

Spa Time for Stressed Out Moms

With reluctance I shed my robe and put my street clothes back on. My spa experience was an indulgence of time, which many moms have difficulty finding. I also felt like every detail was taken care of, down to the little flowers they placed among the rolled-up towels in the whirlpool area and the fresh scrub by the showers. As I left, I vowed to myself that I would make more time for me and try to schedule a spa treatment for myself a little more often.

Teresa J. Shaw is editor of the Free in 50 States section and writes about traveling as a working mom for Traveling Mom. Follow her on Twitter at @TeresaShaw