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Luxury Travel: To Spree or Not to Spree

Blonde woman taking a bath with rose petals

Sometimes we want to indulge on a special vacation. We read "Zen-like ambience." How peaceful. "Oasis." Ah, yes. "Holistic therapy for body, mind and spirit." How rejuvenating. But how do those eat-your-heart-out amenities really stack up?

Couples massage? A butler-drawn bubble bath strewed with rose petals? An elegant seaside dinner served at a table right in the sand? Some luxuries are sure to please, and others ... not so much.

As a travel-show host I've been treated to just about every form of vacation decadence ever dreamed up by a PR department.

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I've had a fabulous meal of lobster at an exquisitely set table - on a beach. Maybe this is just me, but when I lift a bite of butter-poached lobster off a plate of fine china, I feel that I should be wearing shoes. If I want an extra slice of lemon, I don't want to have to send a formally dressed server trudging off through the sand.

A bubble bath with a fragrant layer of rose petals has to be glorious, right? Well, those wet petals stick like glue. You have to scrape them off with your fingernails. And you never get all of them. Finding a rose petal stuck to your back two days later is, well, not so sweet.

No offense to the jet set, but I find that the simple basics are luxury enough for me. A hot bath is just as good without the color and scent of roses, and a picnic of deli sandwiches on the beach washed down by an inexpensive pinot grigio served in plastic cups is still one of the best dining experiences there is.

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As for that couples massage? My husband and I get along much better when we have our massages separately, thank you very much!


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Blonde woman taking a bath with rose petals

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