Red Door Lifestyle Spa

Relaxation and more at the Red Door Lifestyle Spa

Spa Girl heads for warmth and relaxation at Red Door Lifestyle Spa, Elizabeth Arden in Florida

I am surrounded by palm trees, tropical flowers, and cascading waterfalls. Just beyond the swimming pool, a friendly bartender under a thatched roof cabana serves fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas. I stroll over a picturesque bridge and spot a swan gently gliding down a stream. Ahead of me is a large, red door flanked by tall, green bamboo stalks. As I enter, I find a glass wall of water serenely trickling behind comfortable, pillow-laden couches. Just as I think I must be dreaming, a woman dressed in black asks me if I need to check in for my services. I’m not dreaming! I am at the Red Door Lifestyle Spa, Elizabeth Arden, just outside of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Located on the lush, 20-acre property of the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure, this destination spa offers visitors everything from traditional manicures, pedicures, massages, and makeup lessons to cooking demonstrations and lifestyle and fitness classes designed to help guests on their way to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Of the vast and varied treatments they offer, I was fortunate enough to experience the mineral therapy body glow exfoliation ($95) that buffed away my dead winter skin, a warm cream manicure ($26) that moisturized my dry cuticles, and the sun-soother seaweed body wrap ($120) that cleansed my skin of impurities and moisturized my body just in time for swimsuit season.

My pampering continued as I attended a group makeup lesson led by Red Door Makeup Artists Amy Allison and Kristine Villalobos. The group lessons, offered at a reasonable $25 per person, challenge each person to try a new way of applying her makeup while also introducing guests to the Elizabeth Arden makeup and skin-care lines that the spa carries. I decided that this class would be the perfect activity for a girl’s night out or bridal party.

During my stay at the Red Door Lifestyle Spa, I also participated in Pilates and power yoga classes that were so relaxed and focused, my brain barely registered that I was working out-until the soreness set in. But Spa Girl is not complaining about a few aching muscles, because my soreness was a great reason to relax in the spa’s steam room and whirlpool.

To further my quest to experience all that the spa had to offer, I also attended a cooking demonstration at the Bamboo Spa Café. The class was led by Hyatt Regency Bonaventure’s Executive Chef Bob Axenfeld, whose restaurant, Ireland’s Steakhouse, recently received 3½ stars out of 4 by The Miami Herald. Chef Axenfeld is changing the notion that healthy food has to be tasteless by introducing spa and hotel guests alike to delicious, good-for-you dishes. I enjoyed the delectable Moroccan Salmon with Broccolini for lunch, followed by the Banana Caramel-Topped Brownie-my taste buds are still celebrating. Try Chef Axenfeld’s Moroccan Salmon recipe (above, right) and see for yourself that good food doesn’t have to be bad for the waistline.

Moroccan Salmon With Broccolini
1 (4-ounce) salmon filet
Salt and pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
1¾ ounces Moroccan Spice Rub (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon broccolini, blanched
½ teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon minced shallots
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chili oil (optional)

Season fish with salt and pepper, and lightly spray bottom of filet with cooking spray. Place fish on a sizzle plate or oven-safe skillet, and top with Moroccan Spice Rub. Place fish in a preheated 350-degree oven, and bake until desired temperature. Sauté broccolini in olive oil, garlic, and shallots; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place broccolini and salmon on a plate, and drizzle chili oil around the fish, if desired.

Moroccan Spice Rub
4 ounces brown sugar
5 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons lemon zest
4 teaspoons orange zest
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon chili oil

Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
Visit us online at for more of Chef Axenfeld’s delightfully good-for-you dishes.

Finding Balance

Of all my wonderful experiences at the hands of the talented and friendly staff at the Red Door Lifestyle Spa, the Abhyanga Massage was the most interest-ing and enjoyable. Abhyanga Massage is based on Ayurvedic concepts that originated in India more than 5000 years ago. “Like a thumbprint, each person has his or her own unique personal energy or dosha,” explains Rowena Tautigian, the in-house massage educator at the spa. “Both your physical and emotional characteristics make up your constitution.” Before my massage, I filled out a constitutional analysis questionnaire to determine which of the three constitutional groups-Vata, Pitta or Kapha-I am a member of. The Ayurveda philosophy teaches that each person has a relationship with elements in nature. Vata individuals are related to ether and air and are typically thin, tall or short, small-boned, and have dry, thin skin. They have active and restless minds that lead to sometimes changeable, fearful, and nervous emotions. Pitta people relate to fire and water, and are of a medium, well-proportioned build with oily and sensitive skin. They are assertive and quick to anger and have intelligent, focused minds. Kapha individuals are predominantly earth and water and have stocky, well-developed physiques with large bones. Their minds are calm and slow with a tendency to waves of emotions.

The Abhyanga Massage is tailored to meet the different needs of each person’s dosha. “For example, Vatas need warm oil with long, calming strokes, while Kaphas need short, energetic strokes to bring them into balance,” explains Red Door Life-style Spa Massage Therapist Daisy Ortiz.

If you are interested in experiencing Abhyanga Massage for yourself, plan a visit to the Red Door Lifestyle Spa, Elizabeth Arden, or check with your local lifestyle spa to see if it is offered. Keep in mind that you are not likely to find this type of massage at a day spa.

To discover your dosha, take the Ayurveda constitutional analysis.

Constitutional Analysis courtesy of the Red Door Lifestyle Spa, Elizabeth Arden. Written by Tara® Spa Therapy, Inc. Reference: Ayurveda, The Science of Self Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad Red Door Lifestyle Spa, Elizabeth Arden spa packages start around $191, with weekend packages including hotel stay beginning at $693. Visit or call 954-349-5500 for additional information about the spa or to book services. Tell them Southern Beauty’s spa girl sent you! [Sb]