By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet
Flashback: By 10:00 A.M., both Seth and Simon, my Brittanys, are dropped off at my vet-kennel for the day while Mom gets to enjoy a four-star, all day chocolate birthday treat. My sibling and I are driving from South Lake Tahoe (there aren't any chocolate spa treatments around the lake) to Reno--a chocolate lover's haven...
First stop: Siena Hotel Spa Casino. Adverstised as "The Magic of Tuscany," the Mediterranean-style hotel is modeled after its Italian name. Next to the Truckee River, Siena is meant to mimic the Tuscany countryside, complete with a full-service day spa. I have no clue as to what this chocolate bath and chocolate manicure will be like, but I am both anxious and excited.
One hour later: Spa director Jamie Bell is waiting for me--and immediately I feel like royalty. I am led inside a cozy private room. Ah, the chocolate aroma. As Jamie opens the door I am greeted by an oversized bear claw Jacuzzi-style bathtub of bubblling water (140 jets!), with organic Bella Lucce Chocolate Silk Bath Bubbles with a chocolate scent. I am here for the Chocolate Silk Bath Hyerotherapy Bath. The lights are dim (the way I like it, since I am light sensitive). Scented chocolate candles perfume the air. Soft New Age music permeates the air as I'm shown chilled towels, bottled water, and two handmade truffles by the hotel's chef. I am given a white robe, thongs, and told to enjoy for 30 minutes. Yes, there is a chocolate heaven.
Like an excited kid I dip my foot into the warm, swirling water and am elated by the ambiance of it all. I inch my body into the chocolate bath and am flooded with images of famous bathtub scenes (complete with lit candles) like in my favorite romantic movies, including City of Angels (Meg Ryan). I cannot believe I am soaking in a bubbly tub (the white bubbles literally overflowing onto the floor) with a chocolate smell that seems to be making my skin feel soft, silky, and alive. I eat one truffle, and the other--light and chocolatey. I never want to leave this place of chocolate bliss...
Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington, 2010).