Monday, June 27, 2022

Calling all Moms: Get Pampered with a Spa Day at the Marriott

Is there anything moms crave more than some peaceful, luxurious me-time under the care of a skilled esthetician or masseuse? I think not. Throw in a visit to the steam room, some scented oils and a glass of bubbly, and you’ve got a recipe for relaxation. Mother’s Day is coming up at the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa, and you’re invited.

The Mother’s Day Specials are quite enticing: first, there’s the Me Time for Mama Massage, custom-designed to bring you to your most Zen, happy place. Then, there’s the Strawberry Splendor Facial, specially designed to be ultra-hydrating with the added benefit of hyaluronic acid that leaves skin feeling dewy-fresh.

I got to experience the facial.

Now, I’ve got two daughters; a wicked smart and sassy teenager and an unpredictably rogue and festive ten-year-old. They’re both fun and fresh but they keep me on my toes. I’m pretty good about making time for myself to workout and chill with friends, but I haven’t indulged in a facial or a massage since pre-COVID.

It was time.

I arrived for my treatment about 45 minutes early because I really wanted to enjoy all the facilities. I was glad I did. Although I live a mere five minute drive from the Marriott, once I walked into the spa I felt like I was worlds away.

The spa area was inviting and tranquil, and Magda Korczynski, the spa manager, was there to greet me and usher me into the women’s locker room. I got my own locker stuffed with a plush robe and spa slippers, and was shown where the showers and steam room were located. It wasn’t a large space, but that was part of the charm. It felt more intimate than some of the larger spas that I’ve been to. Very quiet and peaceful.

“We are a smaller boutique spa, but I like it because it’s not as overwhelming like some of the larger spas,” said Magda. “It’s very quiet and Zen here. All of our therapists and estheticians are so skilled and knowledgeable and passionate about their craft. It’s a small but mighty team.”

But first, the steam room. I could have sat in there for much longer than I did. The eucalyptus spray was refreshing and invigorating, and I soon felt my worries drip away. (Magda advised that I use the steam room before my facial, as I wouldn’t want to sweat out all the amazing, hydrating products after they soaked into my skin.)

I took a quick shower, luxuriating in the lavender peppermint shower gel and the Elemis brand shampoo and conditioner. I draped myself in the robe and slipped on my spa sandals and headed to the relaxation room where I sipped on water and waited for my facial.

Sarah, my esthetician, arrived to walk me back into the treatment room. There, I placed my robe onto a heated rack and cozied up on in the pre-warmed bed. Sarah asked me about any allergies or sensitivities (just rosacea) and the treatment got started.

After a bit of steam, Sarah cleansed and exfoliated my skin with a divine smelling solution containing mangosteen and lactic acid, which helps break up the dry skin so the other ingredients can penetrate and hydrate. This is to help optimize the plumping and hydrating ingredients later. She said it’s like raking the leaves before you fertilize…you can always put a bunch of moisturizer on top, but the skin has about 15-20 layers of skin cells on the surface to get through.

Sarah did a few extractions, and gave me an amazing head and neck and shoulder massage, and I almost drifted off to sleep. She used a botanical hyaluronic acid made from marshmallow extract, which helps soothe irritation and boost moisture. It’s great even for sensitive skin rosacea types, like me! And the strawberry rhubarb treatment was decadent, almost like having a milkshake on my skin!

She explained that hyaluronic acid actually occurs naturally in between the skin cells that you already have. But as the skin ages, the environment can decrease it. She said it’s actually a humectant which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, so it helps to plump the skin cells.

“If you use it daily, you’ll see noticeable results. Your skin will look fuller and plumper and more hydrated,” said Sarah.

She said that for moms like me in their 40s, it’s key to figure out what works in my busy schedule. She says you don’t necessarily need a complicated skincare regime to make improvements. Simply starting with a good cleanser, a moisturizer and a sunscreen is a good way to go.

“Find short cuts that work for you,” said Sarah. “Vitamin C serums are always good. Set up a cute basket next to your bed. Or smooth on a hydrating face mask while you pick up the house.”

It sounded reasonable to me, and I promised myself to level up my skincare regime.

At the end of my hour-long treatment, Sarah was waiting outside with a glass of champagne. She said that normally alcohol isn’t good for the skin, but joy is! (And joyful I was.) With a glowing complexion and a new, super-chill attitude, I skipped out of the relaxation room, grabbing a couple of cookies for my girls from the snack basket along the way.

Will I come back? Absolutely. In fact, I booked two facials: one for myself, and one for my mom the Friday before Mother’s Day. And this time…I added the massage.

Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa



Christine Van Tuyl
Christine Van Tuyl
Christine was born and raised in Texas, but moved to Coronado with her family as a teen in 1993. Although initially horrified by surfers, flannels and skateboards, she ultimately grew to love all things So-Cal. A graduate of UCSD, Christine got her first writing job on the KUSI ten o’clock news while simultaneously juggling a reporter position at the San Diego Community News Group. She worked as a public relations professional, a book editor, real estate professional, and a freelance writer before eventually succumbing to motherhood in 2008.A decade later, Christine resurfaced to start the Island Girl Blog, a Coronado lifestyle blog. In addition, she writes a monthly page for Crown City Magazine. Christine loves hanging out with her husband, Ian, and their two spirited daughters, Holland and Marley, who attend Village Elementary and Coronado Middle School. When she’s not working, you’ll find her practicing yoga, spilling coffee at school drop off, meeting friends for sushi, or sailing the Bay with her family and English Bulldog, Moshi. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]