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August 30, 2013

Not just for mani-pedis anymore

Spas going from farm to facial, welcoming more guys

NEW YORK — The farm-to-table movement has become farm to facial for some in the spa industry, with more locations offering fresh herbs and flowers from their own gardens for treatments.

And guys are being treated to pampering tweaked just for them as the number of men turning up at spas increases, according to a new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the International Spa Association.

Overall, the industry has made gains in revenue, visits and locations, according to the survey, released at the spa group’s recent trade show.

A look at what’s new and interesting in the spa industry:

Plants and flowers

Spas have long made use of local ingredients. Now, some are clipping and crushing Mother Nature’s booty right from the ground.

The Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire’s White Mountains allows guests to stroll the grounds and choose their own plants as part of the full body, 75-minute “Herbal Garden Treatment” for $175. “As you’re walking through the garden your therapist is talking about the herbs and what the benefits are so you can really customize it to your needs,” said Jaime MacKillop, spa supervisor at that Omni Hotels & Resorts location in Bretton Woods.

Aspira Spa at The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wis., has about two acres under cultivation, said the general manager, Lola Roeh. The latest treatment offering, for $390, is 150-minute “Trilogy of Linden” using honey and blossoms from the indigenous trees for facials, a body mask and a massage. “For centuries, linden has been used for calming and relaxation,” she said.

Travaasa Austin in Texas has a working farm from which to pluck spa ingredients.

The men

The spa association has tracked male guests for about 10 years, said Lynne McNees, the group’s president. Their ranks had been steady, between 30 percent and 33 percent, but rose last year to 47 percent, according to the latest survey.

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