The Ultimate Spa Book

Pam Martin Sarnoff, Author, Sarnoff P. Martin, Author Warner Books $24.95 (276p) ISBN 978-0-446-51520-7
First-time author Sarnoff exhorts would-be spa-goers to ``go with the flow, squelching feelings of skepticism, impatience, superiority, or inferiority.'' She has obviously taken her own advice in conducting this survey of 72 North American, European, Mexican and Caribbean spas--and occasionally one wishes Sarnoff had exercised more healthy skepticism about such treatments as Canyon Ranch's pearl body polishing beauty program (``using crushed pearls'') in Tucson, Ariz.; body and face lymph drainage therapy at Brenner's Park-Hotel and Spa in Baden-Baden, Germany; and the ``cellular living therapy'' of Clinic La Prairie in Montreux, Switzerland--said to slow aging with injections to the buttocks of cells taken from ``specially reared black sheep fetuses'' (and not yet approved by the FDA). Yet within Sarnoff's bubbly prose lurks a truly helpful guide. She frankly points out which spas have intimidating staff, overly chi-chi clientele, unimpressive food or tacky rooms, and each entry concludes with a succinct list of the spa's pros and cons. For women of means, Sarnoff's book could become indispensable--and for others, fascinating escapist literature. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. Advertising. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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