Gurney's Inn
January 03, 2007

New Year, New You A Pure Start To 2007

So you overdosed on eggnog. Pigged out on pfferneuse. Stayed up late decorating, wrapping and reveling. And now you feel anything but ready to face a new year. For most folks the onset of a new year also brings vows of self improvement — cleaning up that junk food diet, getting fit, losing fat and bringing a healthy luster to life. But where to begin?

A visit to Gurney's Inn Resort and Spa in Montauk for their signature ultimate detox treatment can kick start a year of taking care of you. Proving there is no sacrifice too big to make for loyal readers, recently this reporter spent a day at the inn sampling some of the best the world renowned facility has to offer.

With its muted earth and peach toned décor offering a warm and restful ambiance, the Sea Water Spa is the only authentic Thalasso Center in the continental United States. Gurney's founder Nick Monte made history in 1979 when he founded a spa that uses actual seawater, pumped in from their own Atlantic backyard, in therapies. The term Thalasso refers to the beneficial and curative effects of seawater. Since the opening of the spa, Gurney's has added dozens of rejuvenating, restorative and relaxing therapies to its extensive menu of services.

While many of the treatments could be called downright hedonism, the 110-minute ultimate detox, is not for your glamour girls, according to spa director Cheryl Hartsough. A brand new, customized therapy, the ultimate detox combines several of the spa's individual treatments to create an intensive cure. Geared toward stimulating the lymphatic system, the detox can boost metabolism, enhance circulation, diminish the appearance of cellulite, reduce fluid retention and firm skin.

"This is something for the girl or guy that wants to get rid of the bad and start the New Year with clean and healthy skin. When you're finished, you feel so pure," Hartsough effused.

Body therapy specialist Martha Herrera greeted me softly, explaining the multiple steps to the treatment. Her slight demeanor belies a strength I would soon experience. The first phase of the treatment is not for the feint of heart. An intensive exfoliation using special brushes imported from France "gets every last piece of dead skin off you," Hartsough said. Herrera put her back into brushing my skin in a way that called to mind the kind of elbow grease used to scour the racks of a barbecue. When she was finished, my skin thrummed.

From the dimly lit treatment room, we moved to the Thalasso therapy tub for a seawater hydro massage. Into a tub resembling a bubbling cauldron of hot ocean water I stepped, with Herrera poised to up the therapy ante. In addition to the tub's jets that provide a full body underwater massage, the ultimate detox includes an extra massage performed with a high-pressure hose. When she finished using the big hose, Herrera brought me a special herbal tea to sip while I soaked.

Next up, the name of the game was mud. Warm mineral rich Argilite mud infused with bioactive herbal extracts was slathered over every inch. Coated in the delicately scented ablution, I was wrapped in a soft cocoon of sheets to allow the herbs and mud to work. A cool cloth across the brow and eyes, played counterpoint to the heat of the mud wrap.

About 20 minutes later, I was pronounced ready for the Swiss shower. Needle-like streams of warm water washed away the mud and prepped my skin for the next level, a second wrap using re-mineralizing gel. While that application "cooked" Herrera vigorously massaged my scalp using frankincense oil. Then it was back to the Swiss shower again and one last step.

The ultimate therapy concludes with an application of Gurney's signature seaweed body lotion. Created in France by Algues Essential, "This is a customized product we have made for us; it's the real deal," Hartsough explained.

And what was the result? Significantly softer and smoother skin, plus an almost dreamlike sense of relaxation. Overall, Hartsough touted the healing traits of the treatment, noting, "Detoxing is so appropriate for January. Everybody needs it after New Year's."

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