Thursday, June 12, 2014

REVIEW ~ Spa@theWit

Despite a continuing economic downturn in 2009, especially in the hospitality segment, Chicago welcomed theWit Hotel (A DoubleTree By Hilton) and its boutique Spa@theWit.  Located in the heart of Chicago’s bustling downtown area at State and Lake Streets, I was invited to review the Spa shortly after its opening.  Since that time, both the Hotel and Spa have remained a preferred destination for the discerning business and casual traveler, as well as for locals.

Fast forward five years - I was invited to return and review the Spa and experience their new theDetox Body Treatment, which was inspired by SPE Certified.  This healthy all-things food approach has more and more restaurants, resorts and hotels embracing the comprehensive concept, including the Hotel’s State and Lake Tavern.  Earlier this year, the restaurant earned the coveted SPE Certification, and to commemorate the distinction, the Spa developed theDetox Treatment to compliment the healthy dining experience and the Hotel's commitment to clean eating.  You can read my article about SPE Certified at

~ theDetox Body Treatment ~

Nyree, my massage therapist, would be administering this seventy-five minute therapeutic treatment.  Lying on a heated treatment bed that’s lined with plastic sheeting, Nyree begins with a dry exfoliation of the body using nubby exfoliating gloves (which the client gets to keep).  Dry exfoliation is beneficial in priming the skin and stimulating circulation.  It also helps to slough off any surface dry skin, which enables product application to adhere to the skin better, which improves the product’s efficacy.  Next, my body is further exfoliated with a full body application of Eminence Cucumber Mint Scrub.  Following this step, a solution of black tea is applied all over the body.  Black tea, high in antioxidants is also a natural diuretic due to its caffeine content, which aids in the detox.  After this step, the entire body is then massaged with the Eminence Organic Blueberry Soy Slimming Body Wrap product.  After this step, I’m completely wrapped in the plastic sheeting and covered blankets so my body can sweat.  My body’s heat activates the product’s properties, which allows for the pores to open up, while the product begins penetrating the skin. While all wrapped up in my cocoon, Nyree begins to gently massage my face, neck and scalp.  After twenty-minutes or so, I’m instructed to go into the luxurious in-room Kohler multi-jet shower and rinse off any traces of the product.  After the shower, I towel dry and get back onto the heated treatment table.  The culmination of this extraordinary treatment is a body massage and application of a moisturizer.  As with any well-executed treatment, like this one, it always, always ends too soon.  Nyree had worked her magic and I felt fabulous after the treatment.  Post-treatment, it would be important to drink plenty of water to rehydrate throughout the day, since detoxification dehydrates the body.

~ Eminence Organic Skin Care ~

Blueberry Soy Slimming Body Wrap
Profile ~ Recommended for all skin types.  Product can only be used by licensed professionals.
Properties ~ Aids in firming and hydrating.
Key Ingredients and Attributes ~
Blueberry ~ an antioxidant
Guava Leaf Extract ~ an antioxidant
Ground Poppy Seeds ~ a gentle exfoliant
Fucus Vesiculosis Extract (derived from seaweed) ~ stimulates the detoxification process
Bupleurum Falcatum Extract ~ a Chinese plant extract with anti-inflammatory attributes
Bilberry Leaf Extract ~ an antioxidant and source of flavonoids
Biocomplex™ ~ a proprietary formula of antioxidants, vitamins, Coenzyme Q10, and Alpha Lipoic Acid; diminishes the appearance of wrinkles, while improving the skin’s appearance

Cucumber Mint Sugar Scrub
Profile ~ Recommended for all skin types.
Properties ~ Gentle and effective skin polisher.
Key Ingredients and Attributes ~
Cucumber Purée ~ tones and revitalizes
Raw Sugar Cane Granules ~ a natural Alpha Hydroxy Acid, ideal for exfoliating
Sweet Almond Oil ~ hydrates and nourishes
Sunflower Oil ~ an antioxidant rich in vitamin E
Green Tea ~ an antioxidant rich in phenol and vitamin C
Comfrey ~ soothing and calming
Mint ~ restorative and stimulating
Parsley ~ an antioxidant with brightening attributes
Marjoram Leaf ~ a stimulant and toner
Basil ~ rich in beta carotene
Peppermint Oil ~ soothing and rich in vitamin A
Vitamin E ~ an antioxidant

Coconut Body Firming Lotion
Profile ~ Recommended for all skin types, especially mature.
Properties ~ Increases hydration, while rejuvenates.
Key Ingredients and Attributes ~
Bamboo ~ a soluble and insoluble fiber and antioxidants, rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals
Coconut Milk ~ softens, moisturizes and nourishes skin
Coconut Water ~ tones and moisturizes, contains electrolytes, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus,
Natural Retinol Alternative Complex ~ contains chicory root oligosaccharides and Tara tree, collagen boosting, firms and smoothes the appearance of skin
PhytoCellTec™ Swiss Green Apple Stem Cells ~ rejuvenating plant stem cell concentrate
Hyaluronic Acid (derived from Marshmallow Plant) ~ deeply hydrating; natural substance that smooths and plumps the skin to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Biocomplex™ ~ a booster of antioxidants, vitamins, Coenzyme Q10 and Alpha Lipoic Acid to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve the appearance of skin

~ In Closing ~

I found this treatment both relaxing and revitalizing.  I especially noticed an improvement to my slightly swollen feet; post-treatment, there weren’t any traces of edema.  The texture of my skin was also silky, firm and exquisitely hydrated.  For my at-home adaptation of this treatment, I used the Eminence Cucumber Mint Scrub and Eminence Coconut Firming Body Lotion.  All products used in-treatment and at-home, were gentle and non-irritating; the subtle aromas were also aromatherapeutic.
That’s it for this edition.  Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.

By Terry Herman

TERRY HERMAN is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In the 1990s, she authored an extensive "Glossary of Spa Terminologies" and holds two copyright registrations.  Consumer and trade publications have also interviewed her as an expert.  She also conducted an extensive nationally broadcasted interview tour on aspects of creating an at-home spa, interior design, music, stress and time management.  Her work has been published extensively in print and digital in both consumer and trade publications.  In addition to writing, reviewing and being interviewed as an expert, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.  She also served on the International Advisory Board for the former EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness; the Advisory Board was comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa.  She also served as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz.  Her social media outreach includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Cision Seek or Shout, Plaxo, Red Room, Pinterest, and Tripatini.  Be sure to read her food, wine and culinary digital magazine, TERRY’S SECOND HELPINGS.  You can email her at


(Photo credits as represented by the specific brand.)