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4 Favorite Treatments off Sunset Key Cottages’ Spa Menu

Simply spending time on Sunset Key has a rejuvenating effect on both mind and body. The sea, the sand, the balmy breezes, the warm air scented with bougainvillea, the freedom of having absolutely nothing on your to-do list … It doesn’t take long for all that natural beauty and ease to shift your nervous system into “rest and digest” mode. But when you add an immersive treatment experience at the Spa at Sunset Key, the benefits multiply a thousandfold.


“We want to create memories with the types of therapy we’re doing and with all the signature touches we’re implementing into each treatment — from the equipment we choose, to our product line, to the way our therapists practice,” says Trina Jefferson, Opal’s Vice President of Spa & Wellness. “The minute you lie down on one of our custom sensory massage tables, the therapy begins.” 

That’s because the cushioned treatment tables have a built-in vibrational and sound therapy system that quickly takes your brainwave frequency from a beta — the state of alertness, focus, and reasoning — to a theta, a dream-like, meditative place of deep relaxation. That’s the optimal state in which to receive a customized treatment designed to nourish and heal as well as reduce stress and tension. 

The Spa’s therapeutic treatment offerings for face and body utilize the methodology and philosophy, as well as the extensive product line, developed by the 45-year-old Swedish skincare company Kerstin Florian, named for its founder. Informed by traditional European therapy, which sees spa treatments as essential to health maintenance, the company’s holistic approach encompasses tailored treatments, take-home kits to continue the healing process, and botanically based products that are 100 percent paraben free. Inspired by Florian’s childhood exploration of the Swedish countryside, her skin and body care lines are made from ingredients like mud, mineral water, algae, plant extracts, and essential oils; she made her first facial masque from fresh raspberries.

“Kerstin was at the forefront of bringing natural ingredients to skincare, especially in the United States,” says Jefferson, who has been integrating the company’s approach and products into the spas at all Opal Collection properties over the past year, and ensuring that all spa therapists are certified in the Kerstin Florian method. “They know how to ask the right questions and how to customize the treatments based on guests’ needs, and included in that is an expert recommendation and education, so the guest can continue their spa therapy at home to maximize the benefits they received,” she explains.  

Here Jefferson breaks down the elements of four of the most popular treatments at the Spa at Sunset Key. 

The Quenching Aloe Wrap

The star ingredients in this hydrating body wrap, designed to soothe and heal the skin, are organic aloe vera, with its healing, moisturizing properties; algae, which has multiple nourishing benefits; and chamomile, known for its calming qualities. The treatment also includes the application of a lavender “dry oil” — a lightweight oil that is quickly absorbed into the skin. Signature touches enhance the experience, including a 16-point acupressure on the face, a luxurious scalp and neck massage, and a foot massage using cooling alpine foot balm.

“This treatment is great for all skin types, and it’s perfect if you’ve been spending lots of time in the sun, or if you’re wind-burned from sailing,” Jefferson says. “Besides being incredibly hydrating, aloe is also loaded with amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and lavender is excellent for healing sunburn and dry patches.”

The Signature Bliss Journey

This head-to-toe treatment starts with the application of a creamy exfoliating mineral scrub made with wild lavender, basil, and eucalyptus. After the scrub, the therapist uses a special rinse technique that’s done while the guest is on the table, so they can continue to sink into deep relaxation without having to get up, shower, and come back. That’s followed by a massage with warm lavender oil that includes a soothing stone application designed to relieve muscle tension.

“We use warm rose porfyr stones handcrafted in Sweden, which have a beautiful, grounding energy,” Jefferson says. The bliss continues with a wrap, a hot oil scalp treatment and pressure point massage, and finally an invigorating foot massage.

The Advanced Brighten + Repair 

Designed to target specific skin concerns, this tailored treatment includes a deep-cleansing massage; exfoliation of face, neck, décolleté, and hands; and an intensive masque and serum. “It can be customized using clean cosmeceuticals for any type of skin condition — problem skin, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, aging — and you get to see immediate, amazing results,” Jefferson says. 

Body: Customized by Wellness Benefit

In general, she explains, guests can choose an area of focus for their experience: pain and inflammation, detox and slimming, nourish and hydrate, or sleep and relax. Their selection informs the types of oils used in the treatment — ginger for pain, grapefruit and black pepper for detox, lavender for relaxation, and neroli for nourishment. Treatments can also be customized with the addition of body enhancements, such as CBD oil for pain, a pressure point massage for the feet or scalp to target specific points related to stress and tension, percussion therapy, and even “jet boots” — compression boots that support the health of the lymphatic system. 

Bonus: The Replenish Journey

This nourishing, detoxifying experience, which Jefferson calls “the ultimate treatment,” helps replenish one of the most essential and often deficient minerals in the body: magnesium. “Our body can create antioxidants and vitamins, but it does not produce minerals, which are responsible for so many processes in the human body,” Jefferson explains. “Magnesium alone is responsible for 300 enzymatic processes — sleep, brain chemistry, muscle function, energy levels, and so much more. Replenishing the body with minerals is crucial to overall health, and the number-one way to take them in is transdermal, through the skin.”

A dry brush to stimulate the lymph is followed by a therapeutic full-body massage using a blend of mineral cream and a warming oil made from organic ginger. Next comes a mineral-infused wrap and targeted acupressure rituals. Guests also take home the ingredients and directions for a mineral bath to extend the benefits of the treatment.

“One reason people sometimes choose not to do body treatments is because they don’t want to lose any massage time,” Jefferson says. “We honor that by adding therapeutic steps to the massage to make it a full-body treatment.” 

Each guest’s time on the table ends with a refreshing spritz of neroli water, an essential oil made from the blossoms of bitter orange trees. The bright, uplifting citrus aroma brings them back to the present moment and to the next replenishing experience awaiting them on Sunset Key. 

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