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Aaah – spa treatments, yoga, entertainment, and chef-prepared meals. They’re all part of the pampering experience resorts offer families. No wonder it’s hard to return home to the daily routine. While the post-trip blues are a drag, there are many ways to create that resort feeling at home. Read on for ideas for creating an at home spa day (easy scrub recipes included), signature virgin tropical drinks and more ways to recreate that luxury resort feeling for the whole family when you’re between vacations.
Interesting, isn’t it, how quickly we get used to spa treatments, yummy meals, and resort activities on family vacations? No wonder it takes a while to settle back into a routine at home. However, from at-home spa days for parents to kids’ activities and signature virgin tropical drinks, there are many ways to recreate that resort feeling in your own home.
At-Home Spa Days
What’s a resort without a spa?
“When you think about a spa, the most common elements are candlelight, soft music, plush robes and slippers, and aromatherapy. If you have access to these items at home, it will be a great way to set the tone,” says Christina Stephens, Spa Director at Wymara Resort & Villas in Turks & Caicos.
At-Home Spa Scrubs
Scrubs are easy to make and you can mix and match the type of exfoliant and essential oils to suit your taste. Keep the mixtures in glass containers to preserve the oils. Among Stephen’s favorites are a cinnamon vanilla latte scrub, Tropical Citrus Sugar Scrub, and Detox + Refresh Salt Scrub. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for her scrub recipes.
DIY Chocolate Spa Treatments (Better than a Mud Mask!)
Located in St. Lucia, the Anse Chastanet Resort makes its own signature line of chocolate, including a DIY Chocolate Facial Mask. Rich dark chocolate is a mood booster and has a soothing effect when consumed or applied directly to the skin.
Here’s how to make Anse’s chocolate facial recipe at home: Cleanse with cocoa powder and aloe vera gel mix (1 tbsp. of cocoa powder with 2 tbsp. of aloe vera gel). Next, scrub away dead skin cells with a mixture of sugar, cocoa, and coconut oil. Mix chocolate and honey to make a face mask, apply liberally to skin. After 15 minutes, rinse with warm water. Repeat as desired.
At-Home Spa DIY Rosewater Toner
Chocolate and roses go hand-in-hand, right? Make your own rosewater for an aromatherapy experience. You’ll need 20 grams of rinsed rosebuds, 300 ml distilled pure water (boiled), a strainer, funnel and spray bottle. Place rosebuds in a teapot. Pour boiling water over the rosebuds, cover teapot with a lid and let the tea infuse for one to two hours. Strain the tea and transfer rose water to a spray bottle. Voila! DIY rosewater toner for all skin types. Store in the fridge for about one week.
Coconut and Honey Hair Mask
Coconut oil is a great hydrating and conditioning treatment. It’s good for your skin too. For this easy hair mask, you’ll need one to two teaspoons virgin coconut oil, and one teaspoon honey. Add about five drops of peppermint essential oil.
Combine the oil with honey in a small dish. Mix the ingredients until you get a smooth paste. Smooth it through damp hair and keep the mask on for about 20-30 minutes. Shampoo.
At-Home Spa Manicure
Set up a spa environment with essential oils, a diffuser, and calming music. Use cuticle oil to heal cracked nails and soften cuticles.
Recreate Favorite Resort Experiences at Home
Virgin Pina Coladas for a DIY Spa Day
Channel Puerto Rican tropical island vibes with Caribe Hilton’s original virgin Piña Colada recipe. Caribe bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero created the drink in 1954 as a refreshing welcome drink for hotel guests. Using the recipe below, make your own Piña Colada (hold the rum for the kids) and visualize sunshine, sand, and palm trees.
At-Home Spa: Caribe Hilton’s Original Piña Colada
1 oz. coconut cream
1 oz. heavy cream
6 oz. pineapple juice
½ cup crushed ice.
Directions: Mix cream of coconut, heavy cream and pineapple juice in a blender. Add ice and mix for 15 seconds. Serve in a 12-oz. glass and garnish with fresh pineapple and a cherry. Parents can add 2 oz. of rum to create the signature libation.
Club Med at Home
Club Med at Home for Kids
For a low-key activity, download coloring pages of beachscapes. But nothing says Club Med like Mini Club, known for energetic GOs (guest organizers) and creative activities. For example, kids can create their own Club Med show. Give kids a box filled with clothes, fun accessories and props. Encourage them to use their imagination to bring a show to life, such as a musical performance, a special dance, or acting out their favorite movie.
While they’re practicing, mix a tropical drink (pina colada anyone?) and transport yourself to over 30 Club Med resorts around the globe on 360-degree virtual resort tours.
If you’ve been to Club Med, you probably crave some of that delictable resort food. For example, consisting of just four ingredients, the white chocolate bread is among favorite Club Med recipes. And there’s no better way to end the evening than with a “Crazy Signs” virtual dance party jamming to Club Med’s“Crazy Signs” Spotify playlist.
More At Home Resort Activities for Kids
The JW Marriott Cancun and Marriott Cancun Resorts offer classes on making mini pinatas that celebrate the vibrant Mexican culture. You can, too, from home:
Grab a pair of scissors, glue, paperboard, colorful tissue paper, and some candy. First, cut two equal parts from the paperboard in the shape of a cactus, as well as a 1.5-inch long strip. Next, attach front and back together with a strip of tape. Then cut another strip of tape from the paperboard and paste it at the top. Cut additional tissue paper in small strips, and cut small slits along them. Glue the strips around your pinata until it’s covered. The last step, make a trap door for the candy.
If you need visual aids,here’s the video.
Resort-Style Cooking Lessons
Gnocchi from Italy
Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa chef Alessandro Manfredini takes guests on a walking tour through his hometown. The Barga-born and bred chef shares stories and makes several stops at local shops to buy ingredients for a cooking lesson back on the property. There, families learn to make pasta from scratch from cheesy ravioli to pillowy gnocchi. In the meantime, you can make his tasty gnocchi from home. Recipe (see below) courtesy of Chef Alessandro.
Yodo Cookies and Lightsabers
Take the kids on a Galactic Getaway, courtesy of Cape Cod’s Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club.
This Baby Yoda cookie is easy to make and fun for the kids to decorates. You’ll need an angle cookie-cutter, parchment paper, colored icing, sugar cookie dough, M&Ms, and utensils. Roll out the dough, create the Yoda shape by using an angel cookie cutter minus the head, bake, and let the kids decorate with the icing and M&Ms.
The resort’s DIY pretzel rod lightsaber is even easier. For this, you’ll need pretzel rods, melted red, blue or green colored chocolate and parchment paper. Dip the pretzels three-quarters of the way into the melted colored chocolate & rotate to get full coverage. next, place in the fridge to harden for a tad. Add sprinkles for a finishing touch (optional).
At-Home Spa Resort Recipes
Chef Alessandro’s Tuscan Gnocchi
- 2 pounds of potatoes
- 1 egg
- 10 oz of flour
- Salt to taste
- In a large pot with just enough water to cover them, boil potatoes with their skins on. Boil for about 20 minutes or until fork-tender.
- Once cooked and cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and mash them. Mix in the egg and salt, followed by the flour. Mix until you reach a dough-like consistency.
- Shape small portions of the dough into long “snakes”. On a floured surface, cut snakes into cube pieces. Use a fork to gently imprint lines (TIP: this helps the gnocchi hold more sauce).
- Gently shake away any excess flour and place gnocchi in a large pot of salted, boiling water. Cook gnocchi until they float to the top, about 2-4 minutes. Gently remove them with a slotted spoon, drain very well. Toss them in a saucepan with your favorite Italian sauce and cook together for about 2 minutes. Buon appetito!
At-Home Spa Scrubs
Cinnamon Vanilla Latte Scrub (boosts circulation)
- 1 cup natural raw sugar cane, and 1 cup unrefined extra virgin coconut oil or almond oil.
- 1 cup coffee grinds
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Dash of cinnamon
- A few drops of vitamin E oil
Detox + Refresh Salt Scrub (naturally detox & purify the skin)
- 1 cup coarse sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup of unrefined extra virgin coconut oil
- For an uplifting scent – add 5-10 drops of grapefruit essential oil
- For a calming scent – add 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil
- Lime zest/lime juice optional
Tropical Citrus Sugar Scrub (refines pores, smooths and firms skin)
- 1 cup natural raw sugar cane
- (or brown sugar)
- ½ cup unrefined extra virgin coconut oil
- 5 drops of Tangerine essential oil
- 5 drops of Lime essential oil
- (You can also use the Zest & juice of 1 lime if you don’t have essential oils)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 14 grams yeast (2 packets)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup water
- 6 ounces white chocolate chips
1. Place the flour, salt, & yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium-low or first speed for 1 minute.
2. Add 2/3 of the water at first, then add the rest as needed and mix for 10 minutes. If the dough needs more water, add as needed. The dough should be smooth, homogenous, and should not stick to your fingers when you touch it. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the chips and mix for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the chips are well distributed throughout the dough.
4. Take the dough out of the bowl and lightly knead into a ball. Let rest for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
5. After the 5 minutes of resting, pound the dough flat and then form the dough into the desired shape of the loaf you want. This can be done by folding the dough into the middle and sealing it with your palm. Repeat this procedure until you have formed a loaf shape. Place the loaf on a lined sheet pan with silpat or parchment paper and let rest for approximately 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size. If you are in a dry environment, place a damp cloth over the loaf.
6. Once the dough has doubled, place in the oven make sure to place 1/2 cup of water in a pan or directly on the oven bottom to create vapor) and
bake approximately 20 minutes at 400°F or until nicely browned on top. Don’t be alarmed if the white chocolate chips exposed are burned, this is normal.
7. Once the bread is baked, remove from the oven and let rest on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
8. Serve warm.
More At Home Resort Experiences
Here’s how to experience a Disney vacation at home.