Turkish delight in Istanbul – the Ritz-Carlton Spa


by Avril O’Connor

There really is no other city like Istanbul. Uniquely straddling both Asia and Europe, it is frenetic melting pot of cultures and peoples. It is architecturally breathtaking with the greatest examples of Byzantine and Ottoman art and architecture anywhere in the world today.

At the same time it is a city undergoing an economic revival with entrepreneurs opening up trendy shops, bars and restaurants. It has one of the youngest populations of any city. In the numerous cafes you are more likely to find yourself sitting next to Prada-clad locals than anyone wearing a Fez.

So whether you want to marvel at some of the world’s greatest buildings or shop till you drop, Istanbul will have something wonderful and enchanting for you. Another reason to visit now is that Istanbul has been named European City of Culture next year – so get there before the crowds!

One of the most luxurious and romantic places to stay is the Ritz-Carlton Hotel right in the centre of the city. There are not many hotels where you can watch a giant supertanker pass by your bedroom window! And don’t be fooled by the skyscraper exterior, inside this hotel is seriously sumptuous. It is decorated in Ottoman-style splendor with service to match. All rooms have flat screen TV, broadband Wi-Fi internet access, Bulgari toiletries, huge marble bathrooms and terry bathrobes.

The Laveda Spa, offering both Western and Eastern therapies using Carita of Paris products is the best in the city. There is a spacious pool surrounded by Byzantine columns and a painted ceiling to recreate the Istanbul sky. You can try a Turkish Haman – a traditional ritual of exfoliation and cleansing with a total body wash, followed by a massage.

In summer the open air spa allows you to feel the gentle breezes while indulging in a massage or other therapy as you gaze across the Bosphorus. One particular sumptuous and relaxing treatment is the Sultans Royal Six Hands Massage which is carried out by three therapists. Beware this spa is so relaxing that you may not want to leave –  but it does have a poolside bar!

Fact Box Ritz-Carlton Istanbul FROM $452, 290 £229, per room per night (+ 8%VAT) Breakfast: $43, €28, £22 (+VAT)

Traditional Hamam Treatment 30 mnts: $83, €53, £42
Laveda Signature Body Massage 60 mnts: $142, €91, £72
Sultan’s Royal Six-Hand Massage 50 mnts: $375, €240,£190 T: +90 (0) 212 334 44 44. www.ritzcarlton.com

Turkish Airlines: www.thy.com Reservations: 0844 800 6666 (from the UK)
Economy return to Istanbul from the UK (inc tax and charges prices may vary ): From Stansted $276, €177, £140; from Heathrow $393, €252,£199: Business return to Istanbul from (inc tax and charges) – from Stansted $889, €570, £450; from Heathrow $966, €619,£489

Don’t Miss

Visit the Blue Mosque is famous for its slender minarets and blue tiles made by craftsmen from the town of Iznik. Afterwards walk through the gardens to Haghia Sophia another of the city’s splendid mosques. Inside is a marvelous array of mosaics, friezes and more Isnik blue tile decorations. Spend the afternoon at Topkapi Palace which was home to Selim the Sot, who drowned in the bath after drinking too much champagne; Ibrahim the Mad, who lost his reason after being locked up for four years and Roxelana, consort of Süleyman the Magnificent. Must sees are the harem and the jewels.

The Spice Bazaar where you can buy all kinds of exotic foodstuffs including handmade Turkish Delight and the finest Persian saffron. Follow with lunch at Pandeli which is above the main waterside entrance to the market – fantastic mezze including caviar, followed by aubergine pastry and steamed sea bass. There are three salons covered in stunning turquoise glazed tiles and on the walls are the photos of celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, who have dined there over the years. Misir Çarşi 1, Eminönü, 36420. T: +90 (0)212 527 3909

The Grand Bazaar is a huge Ottoman shopping complex where you can buy everything from carpets, leather goods, to ceramics, jewellery and the finest pashminas.

There are bargains to be had but you must haggle. Buy beautiful diamonds and brown topaz earrings at Jewels Edel– Kapaliçarşi Kalpakçilar Cad no 73. T+ 90 212 527 9797. Email akurtulmus@edeljewels.com

Topaz Restaurant & Bar This is a new restaurant, with walls of glass, perched on a hill in the Gurnussuyu district with spectacular views, particularly at night, of the city and the Bosphorus. Sophistictated Mediterranean and Turkish menu. T + 90 (0)212 249 1001. www.topazistanbul.com

Kanyon Shopping Mall

The place to buy designer labels. A modern shopping emporium with a Harvey Nichols store, and boutiques such as Dolce & Gabanna, Gucci and Banana Republic, Mango, Next and Max Mara www.kanyon.com.tr

Ismail Acar’s Gallery

One of Istanbul’s most famous artists has a rather unusual gallery spread across several floors of a wooden house. Ismail works across several different mediums, incorporating traditional historical themes into contemporary works of art including portraits and even kaftans. He has exhibited in galleries in New York, London and Strasbourg. Karaköy, Lüleci Hendek Cad. No: 116/1 Beyoğlu. +90 (0) 212 252 03 88 Email: ismail@ismailacar.com.tr www.ismailacar.com.tr

Bosphorus cruise
– hire a motor yacht with butler to see the waterside summer residences of the Ottoman aristocracy and foreign ambassadors built in the 17th,18th and 19th century. The rates for private boat tour (min. 2 hrs) on an 18-metre motor yacht accommodating 12 passengers starts from $780, €500, £395 (+18% VAT). $390, €250, £197 (+18% VAT) for each additional hour. Arrange through your hotel concierge.

Learn the secrets of the world’s top spa destinations at Anti-Ageing Conference London 2006

London: Sarah Noble is responsible for the creation of some of the most prestigious spas around the globe. Most recently she opened award-winning spas in Qatar for Four Seasons, in Mauritius and India for the Taj group, consulted for Mandara spas and The Ritz Hotel, London.

She is now an independent consultant; helping clincs and spas to maximise revenue and client loyalty by working directly with spas & clinic managers and training their teams. She was previously the Group Health & Wellness Director for Chiva Som destination Spa, recently voted again: ‘Best Spa in The World’.

Initially trained as an acupuncturist (a degree level training), Sarah is also qualified in massage counselling, nutrition, herbal medicine and allergy detection. With 15 years experience of hands-on client care, and of managing her own large multidisciplinary clinic, she has since then been a consultant advising on treatment and training standards and management strategy for clinics and spas. She recently completed a three-year term as Chairwoman of the British Complementary Medicine Association, (a 25,000 practitioner member organisation), with a seat on the Executive committee of the Parliamentary Advisory Group for Complementary Medicine,

At Anti-Ageing Conference London, Sarah, will advise on the latest developments for medical and aesthetics practitioners, as well as spa and salon owners who want to add value in their business. In her lecture “The Art & science of Spa Success – How to open a holistic Spa; Integrating spa services into your clinic for profitability” she will discuss how spa medicine is becoming a dynamic force with the power to change the healthcare landscape and how you can incorporate this knowledge into your business.

Participants will gain an understanding of what is known as integral spa medicine which will give them an insight into:
• Enhancing their ability to see the whole, the parts and self as a whole and a part deepening the physician/patient/client relationship
• Increase their options to communicate and act with colleagues, clients and others at multiple levels simultaneously with deeper impact
• Strategically plan and move significantly beyond even current attempts in the medical spa arena variously known as “cosmetic centers,” “wellness centers,” and “integrative medical facilities”, operating from a platform much wider in its reach, more grounded in empirical research, and more effectively related to comprehensive models of advanced healing of body, mind and spirit
• Become leaders in global healthcare transformation

Dr Deepak Chopra MD, founder of The Chopra Center in California, is acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine.

Dr Chopra, the author of over 43 books, has transformed the understanding of the meaning of health, through his creation of The Chopra Center for Well Being in 1995, which established a formal vehicle for the expansion of his healing approach using the integration of the best of western medicine with natural healing traditions.
Chopra’s work is changing the way the world views physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellness. Formerly the Chief of Staff at Boston Regional Medical Center, Dr Chopra built a successful endocrinology practice in Boston in the 1980’s.
Chopra realised in his medical practice that there was potential in western medicine for the establishment of a new life-giving paradigm, one which encompassed the fundamental principle that perfect health is more than just the absence of disease. He began to envisage a medical system based upon the premise that health is a lively state of balance and integration of body, mind and spirit. He is widely credited with melding modern theories of quantum physics with the timeless wisdom of ancient cultures. In 1992, he served on the National Institutes of Health Ad Hoc Panel on Alternative Medicine.

The 3rd AACL, which is being held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London from the 15-17 September 2006 is the only forum in the UK where both professionals and lay persons can learn about the latest advances in medicine and science.

At AACL delegates will hear from scientists and physicians on the latest medical advances, including what some may consider controversial, to the proven and new treatments for the diseases of ageing, as well as cosmetic and dental health, optimum nutrition, skin health, hormones, mind/body health and the latest developments in stem cell treatments.

Among our international panel of speakers are Dr Jennifer Krup MD ABAAM, a hormone specialist who is HB Health’s medical advisor; Dentist Brian Halvorsen BDS. LDS. RCS. FRSH, renowned for his work on toxicity problems in dentistry and holistic dental care; nutritionist and author Patrick Holford, who has examined the role diet plays in ageing; and Dr Bill Cham PhD, whose research into the use of plant extracts in skin cancer remission has produced new treatments for this disease.

Other speakers who have driven the global debate on anti-ageing medicine include Dr Robert Goldman, Chairman, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and Dr Ronald Klatz, Founding President, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine; Professor Imre Zs-Nagy, Professor John Ionescu and Dr Michael Klentze.

Delegates receive the following:
• A high-quality bound conference manual including speaker presentations and biographical materials
• Buffet lunch on all three days
• Refreshments including cocktail reception
• The opportunity to see the latest anti-ageing products in the exhibition area

This prestigious scientific event will be introduced by Heather Bird-Tchenguiz MBA, Chairperson, AACL; Founder and President of HB Health; Director of the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine; Board Member, European Society of Anti-Aging Medicine and Director, British Society of Anti-Ageing Medicine.
The speaker programme for Anti-Ageing London 2006 is as follows:
Friday, 15 September – Regenerative and Preventative Medicine
Heather Bird-Tchenguiz MBA – Welcome
Dr Marco Traub PhD / Ms Rosie Graham – Introduction
Prof Shimon Slavin – Stem cells for treatment of malignant and non-malignant diseases and for tissue repair
Prof Larry Benowitz – Prospectives on stem cell differentiation in neuro surgery
Prof Geoffrey Raisman – Clinical application of olfactory cells in spinal cord injury
Prof David Naor PhD – Involvement of CD 44 in stem cell differentiation
Prof Stefan Krauss PhD – Forbrain development and neural stem cells
Dr Antigoni Ekonomou – Stem Cell Applications for Nervous System Repair
Prof Dame Julia Polak – Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
Prof Michal Schwartz – Autoimmunity, microglia, adult stem cells, neurogenesis, and neurodegenerative diseases
Prof Tomas Ekstrom – Epigentics principles
Dr Miomir Knecevic – Commercialisation of stem cell research
Dr Ralf R. Tönjes – Stem Cell signatures as a tool for quality control of Innovative medical products
Andreas Junge MBA – Medical Knowledge on the Internet – Patient-Related Information-Major Mistakes and Recent Problems
EU Politics –
Dr Marco Traub PhD – Stem cell application, affordable medicine or break down for the public health care system -Concluding Remarks
Saturday, 16 September
Heather Bird-Tchenguiz MBA – Welcome
Professor Dr Imre Zs-Nazy: Theoretical Relationships Between the Human Growth Hormone (hGH) Replacement Therapy and the Membrane Hypothesis of Aging (MHA)
Dr Ben Pfeifer MD Ph.D: Phytonutrient-Therapy and Immune System Support for Patients with Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer
Dr Mark A Babizayev PhD : Human Cataracts – the role of Lipid Peroxidation and the efficacy of N-acetylcarnosine as a treatment
Dr Alex Collie PhD : Measuring your cognitive age.
Dr Jennifer Krup MD ABAAM: HRT in Women : Questions. answers and more questions
Dr Brian Halvosen BDS LDS, RCS. FRSH: Holistic Dentistry with emphasis on Chelation and Preventative Health.
Dr Robert Goldman MD PhD FAASP DO FAOASM: Maximum Human Performance with Anti-Aging Therapeutics
Prof Dr Alfred Wolf: Chronic stress,burn-out and CFS, A new insight and preventive options
Sarah Noble Lic.Ac, MBAcC, MIMgt, MInstD: The Art & science of Spa Success – How to open a holistic Spa; Integrating spa services into your clinic for profitability
Patrick Holford BSc DipION FBant- 5 Proven Alzheimer’s Prevention Steps
Prof Giovanni Scapagnini MD PhD – Wine Road to Longevity:all the anti-ageing properties of red wine
Sunday, 17 September
Dr Deepak Chopra – The Soul of Healing
Dr Julian Kenyon MD :Photodynamic and Sonodynamic Therapy – An Important adjunct to Anti-Ageing Strategies
Dr John G Ionescu PhD: New Strategies to Slow Down the Photoaging of Human Skin
Dr Paul Clayton: Alzheimer’s Disease: Pharmaco-nutritional strategies to maintain the ageing brain
Dr Bill Cham PhD :Advances in the eradication of skin cancer
Dr Michael Klentze MD PhD ABAAM: New approaches for safe male hormone therapy.
Dr Eric Braverman, MD: Subclinical Hyperparathyroidism: A precursor of Osteoporosis and Dementia
Dr Ron Klatz MD: Closing remarks including ‘New horizons for the clinical specialty of Anti-Aging Medicine: The Future with Biomedical Technologies.
The programme may be subject to change
Full details of the speaker programme and speaker biographies can be viewed at < a href="http://www.antiageingconference.com">www.antiageingconference.com

There are various categories of registration for this event:
Full registration £350;
Day 1 £200;
Day 2 £200;
Day 3 £200.
Book on-line on the registration page at www.antiageingconference Membership of certain medical societies may qualify for a discount. Further information may also be requested from conference@antiageingconference.com
Telephone: +44 (0)20 75816962
The events sponsors and supporters include HB Health, the British Society of Anti-Ageing Medicine; the European Society of Anti-Aging Medicine; the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and The Trans European Stem Cell Therapy Consortium.

Anti Ageing Conference London
PO Box 50622
London SW6 2YP
United Kingdom
Tel : +44 (0) 20 7581 6962
Fax : +44 (0) 20 7589 1273

Gran Hotel La Florida – Barcelona

Ctra. Vallvidrera al Tibidabo, 83-93, 08035

T: +34 93 259 30 00 www.hotellaflorida.com

Sitting above the City this hotel has glorious views across the Mediterranean and some rooms have private terraces and whirlpools. Built in 1925 it has a huge 37 metre indoor/outdoor pool. The spa offers a full range of treatments inlcuding massages, facials and manicures using Natura Bisse, Thalgo and Kanebo products. The restaurant, L’Orangerie, offers five star Med food.