As the go-to spa for the elite 2-a.m.-and-just-getting-started entourage, Finca Cortesin is no stranger to party-animal skin. Having battled the BAFTAs and the Brit Awards back to back, I opt for Finca Cortesin's variation on lymphatic drainage massage - my answer for puffy eyes and swollen ankles. The main lymph nodes are in the neck, armpits and groin; this massage is a "nooks and crannies" affair - all the bits that never see the light of day get a real workout. Lymphatic drainage massage uses light pressure, as well as long, gentle, rhythmic strokes and soft pumping movements along legs and arms. (But, expect some friction: There's not a whole lot of lubrication in a proper lymphatic drainage.) At one point, my therapist got so up in my back thigh that I think a groan might have escaped.
Manual lymphatic drainage is a massage technique that promotes movement of lymph - a constituent of blood that bathes all cells - around the body. Lymphatic drainage is believed to quicken elimination of toxins, promoting vitality in circulatory, respiratory and endocrine systems.
Luxurious without being precious, this is by far the finest new hotel on Spain's south coast. Even the most jaded jet setter stands in awe of this sprawling pinnacle of Costa Del Sol poshness, high in the hills of Casares. Upon arrival, your bags are taken care of and each guest is offered a welcome cocktail at the chic house bar, complete with tapas of Iberian ham, olives, almonds and manchego cheese. A walk outside reveals hushed courtyards, sparkling pools and heirloom roses, while the contemporary fortress itself is all soaring ceilings and vast chandeliers. With an all-suite concept, every one of the 67 accommodations is a residential jewel. The stunning Finca Cortesin Spa delivers a succinct and substantial cleanse - beyond the mere physical aftermath of overindulgence. Staff make it seem the most natural thing in the world to get every little nuance of your stay just right. Standards are universally high - with concierges like walking Wikipedias and kitchen staff doing pirouettes to please. Noted chef Schilo van Coevorden is a major draw.
The Spa at Finca Cortesin at Carretera Casares, Spain; 34-952-93-78; fincacortesin.com; $218 for 80 minutes.
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