Monday, September 7, 2009


Avani Spa at Abbey Resort (Fontana, WI)

The Abbey Resort is a favorite destination for Midwesterners; it’s due North of Chicago; although it rests on the shores of glacial Lake Geneva, Fontana, where the property is located, is a neighboring city of Lake Geneva; this area has always been the home for wealthy Chicago-area industrialists and continues to be referred to as the Hamptons of the Midwest. Avani Spa is the new and improved version of what had been known as Fontana Spa; when Fontana opened in 1989, it was the area’s largest (35,000sf) and it’s first European-style spa, offering traditional European-style treatment therapies. The resort and spa are a preferred escape and rejuvenate destination for many Midwesterners, especially Chicago-area folks.

Treatment Experiences: Aromatherapy Retreat Wrap, Café Trio and Avani Relaxation Massage

Products used: Aromatherapy Treatment Wrap uses Trilium Organic Oils ( The treatment began with a gentle dry brushing and then an application of wonderfully aromatic organic grapefruit infused essential oil was applied; I was then wrapped in herb infused linens and allowed to rest and sweat away those terrible toxins; it had been some years since I had had an herbal wrap and I had forgotten how wonderfully relaxing and restorative an herbal wrap could be; in the final stages of the wrap, I had a delightful scalp and neck massage, although I would’ve preferred a facial massage, which is what the menu lists (my therapist informed me that I’d get this as part of my massage).

The Café Trio uses Body Coffee (
products. This multi-phase treatment began with a body exfoliation using the Body Polish, which contains ground Arabica coffee beans, Dead Sea salt and essential oils, and Body Coffee’s trademarked Coffee Blossom Essence delicately fills the treatment area. I’m led to the in-room whirlpool bath, which is filled with the Cleansing Body Wash; as I soaked away the Body Polish, I noticed the water was silky to the touch, as was my skin. I then returned to the treatment table where I was covered with a professional formulation of kaolin clay, herbal powders, green coffee extract, caffeine and sea algae; this formulation helped to open, cleanse and detox after being wrapped. I also noticed that the concoction made me sweat quite a bit, which was the object of this treatment phase; as a component of the treatment, my very capable therapist also massaged my face. After this phase, I was led to the Swiss Shower to wash and rinse away any product residue; this shower was exhilarating with its sixteen high-powered jets. The treatment ended with a thorough application of the Moisturizing Body Lotion. Plenty of water to rehydrate following my experience was another focal point of this treatment.

An incredible Relaxation Massage was the icing on the proverbial spa cake. The therapist used Biotone Organic Massage Cream ( My outstanding therapist also has a clientele list that includes a number of professional athletes, including the Chicago Bears. Impressive, yes, but it was her thorough and highly effective massage technique that was remarkable; she reacquainted me with many body parts I had almost forgotten about. The treatment was highly relaxing, but especially therapeutic with its targeted focus. An incredible, albeit abbreviated foot reflexology was also included.

The sequence of these treatments was an ideal way to maximize restoration and relaxation. For more information, visit

By Terry Herman

Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the spa industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In addition to writing and reviewing, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker. You can email her at


(Image: Spa atrium pool; copyright, Abbey/Avani)

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