It was an innocent invitation issued to my mother - a little
mother-daughter bonding and relaxation at a health spa.
While the invitation was genuine, I did have an ulterior
real motivation was that I was worried about my mom's
health. The stress of her job had taken its toll on her
and I was worried about her many stress-related ailments
and the medications she was taking as a result.
firm believer in the importance of an overall healthy,
active lifestyle, I wanted to introduce her to some good
lifestyle habits I've adopted that have helped me to lose
and maintain my weight over the years and have made me
a healthier and happier person.
I offered my mom a vacation with sun, massages and a beachfront
location. And I did make full disclosure of the Regency
Health Spa's focus on health, including an entirely vegetarian
menu. She was free to enjoy as many or as few of the activities
as she wished, and if she merely chose to lie in the sun
and indulge in a few spa services, that was fine by me.
Of course, I secretly hoped the Regency's focus on health
education would have a lasting impact on her long after
our 5-day trip was over.
researching spas around the country, I chose the Regency
Health Spa, located on the beach in Hallandale, Florida
(near Ft. Lauderdale). A member of the Destination Spa
Group, the Regency Health Spa's mission is to encourage
healthier lifestyles through education about wellness
and self-improvement and to provide guests with an optimal
spa vacation experience with lasting benefits. It was
exactly what I was looking for.
spent our first day enjoying the abundant sunshine and
beachfront pool. After soaking in the hot tub under the
stars after dinner, we retired to our oceanfront room
early, falling asleep to the sound of the crashing waves
right outside our window.
guests receive a free introductory consultation with the
spa's onsite physician, Dr. Sabatino, to review current
health status and any health issues or concerns. While
my visit with Dr. Sabatino was brief, he spent quite a
bit of time with my mom reviewing her ailments and lifestyle
and offered excellent suggestions for
her diet to help her medical conditions.
She was impressed
with the information and seemed genuinely interested in
making some of the changes he suggested.
at the Regency Health Spa are creative affairs, made fresh
daily and focusing on fruits, vegetables, pastas, grains,
nuts, seeds and assorted soy-based products. Organic foods
are served whenever possible. As a vegetarian myself,
it was a real treat to have such wonderful, healthy, homemade
vegetarian meals. To my surprise, my meat-eating mom enjoyed
the majority of the foods and as a result of our trip
made many modifications to her diet.
can also participate in the physician-supervised juice
fast program, an interesting option for those looking
to lose a lot of weight or just looking to "cleanse"
of the highlights of our visit to the Regency was Dr.
Sabatino's daily health lecture. Knowledgeable and passionate
about the healthy living lifestyle, he looks far younger
than his age and is in tip-top shape. The health lectures
had the most significant impact on my mom. Not only did
she enjoy them, but she also learned a lot about the impact
that the things we eat (or don't) or our activities (or
inactive lifestyles) have on our health.
Regency's fitness classes provide a variety of activities
to suit just about anybody. They gave my mom a great opportunity
to try some new things she wouldn't be exposed to at home.
Some she liked (water aerobics) and others she didn't
(yoga). The classes were fun and the instructors were
competent and professional. While geared more toward beginners,
the classes are a great way for someone just getting started
on their fitness journey to sample a variety of exercises.
ease our tired muscles from all that exercise, we sampled
many treatments in the full-service spa, including Swedish
and deep-tissue massages (provided in a palapa by the
pool so you can listen to the sounds of the ocean), manicures,
pedicures, and reflexology. All were excellent and reasonably
we tired of all the activities and healthy eating, we
snuck away for an afternoon in Miami's South Beach and
after people watching and sunbathing on the beach, treated
ourselves to shopping and lunch.
I felt good about the time my mom and I spent together
during our visit at the Regency Health Spa, I wasn't sure
it had the long-term effect on her I was hoping. However,
within days of returning home, I was thrilled when she
called and excitedly told me that she lost 4 pounds during
our visit and her blood pressure was down significantly.
Since then, with a concerted effort to eat more healthy
foods like the ones we were severed at the spa, she has
lost additional weight and her blood pressure continues
to hover at a normal rate.
guess my plan worked after all.
Health Spa is a good value for the quality of
the food and activities. In addition to the oceanfront
setting, included in the room price are three
gourmet vegetarian meals per day, use of the pool
and hot tub, and classes and fitness activities
ranging from aerobics to yoga to weight training
to stretching and meditation. There are also several
planned activities such as shopping excursions
and a movie shown on the big-screen TV in the
lobby each night. Cooking classes teach guests
how to cook healthy meals at home. For additional
fees, guests can schedule personal training sessions
and an assessment with a trainer to learn a personalized
workout program to take home.
South Ocean Drive
Hallandale Beach, Florida 33009
Regency Health Spa is located directly on Hallandale
Beach, approximately 10 miles from the Ft. Lauderdale
airport. There's not much to do within walking
distance of the spa, but Wal-Mart and Walgreen's
are within walking distance for necessities. A
car is needed if you choose to venture off-site
for shopping or other activities.
Approximately 30 minutes to Miami/South Beach
and 15 minutes to downtown Ft. Lauderdale.
rates include room, 3 meals a day, fitness activities
and consultations with the spa's onsite physician.
Packages are available for 4 or more nights starting
at $799 per person (double occupancy) and typically
include a certificate for $60 toward a spa service
or two. Single rates are available.