Tag Archives | the Grotto Spa

Heal and Hydrate with Certified Organic Seaflora Skincare

I love a good story. The best stories come from companies that are closing the loop by producing environmentally safe and effective products without chemicals or damage to human health. Enter the main character of this story…Diane Bernard who is also known internationally as ‘the seaweed lady”.  Diane’s story came to me while visiting The Grotto Spa this summer when I learned of ‘the seaweed lady’ a special environmentalist that lives on BC’s West Coast that harvests seaweed and has produced a one-of-a-kind certified organic skincare line called Seaflora.  It is unique because Diane hand harvests the main ingredient <seaweed> and with her method of using clean cuts there is no damage to the reproductive parts of the seaweed so it continues to grow and flourish. Diane’s ocean ‘garden’ of 250 assorted species of seaweed reflect her strong commitment to sustainable marine environments. Her harvesting techniques and the wild seaweed is 100% USDA and OCIA certified organic.  The story only gets better because the Seaflora skincare line is packed with vitamins and minerals – you don’t need to worry about toxic ingredients that pollute so many products in the beauty industry today. Diane knew the health benefits of using wild seaweed as the Seaflora core ingredient as it’s been known for centuries to heal and hydrate skin. The surprising twist in this story is how sustainable and fast growing seaweed is in nature – making it a wonderful and truly organic ingredient in a skincare line.

An example of the sustainable nature of seaweed is bull kelp. It is the fastest growing plant on the planet. It can grow three to four feet a day during peak time and 120 feet in a season. The beauty industry needs to harness this amazing resource much like the clothing and bedding industry did with bamboo last year.  Diane’s example of how to cultivate and harvest her ingredients with such environmental integrity is amazing with it’s authentic purpose from start to finish.  Picture below from the Seaflora site of Diane pulling bull kelp along the beach.

diane pulling bull kelp

For a consumer, the certified organic line Seaflora is simply wonderful. I’ve been trying this line for months and love the ‘glow’ my skin has after using the mud mask. You can feel the difference between a paraben, phthalate, and formaldehyde -free product because your skin is instantly moisturized and clean without the slippery feeling afterwards. My favorite Sea Flora products are Iridaea exfoliator which is a facial masque combined with ocean mud that makes my skin feel amazing and Laminaria Body Lotionfor the eczema patches on my ankles.  The Seaflora facial cleanser line contains certified organic seaweeds, Vitamins A, C, and E to cleanse skin.   Did you know that wild seaweeds contain anti-septic and healing properties?  So many products in the Seaflora line are recommended for rosacea, eczema, sensitive skin types. 

For woman trying to conceive or already pregnant – the Sea Flora line is an amazing organic solution to avoid synthetic chemicals that effect developing babies.  Seaflora contains no artificial colours or fragrances, GM ingredients, dioxins, petrochemicals, mineral oils, parabens, imidazolidinyl urea, propylene glycol, hexane, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, aluminium or animal derived ingredients. Seaflora skincare is perfect for people committed to an organic lifestyle and looking for a truly natural way to rejuvenate and sooth their skin. The line is certified organic in both the US and Canada and this is not as common as you might think. Diane warns that consumers need to be careful as skincare lines claim to be organic or natural can still contain petrochemical, synthetic, and other harmful ingredients. You need to look for USDA or OCIA seals for your assurance before purchasing organic skincare.

You can find Seaflora available to purchase in many high-end spas across North America or visit the Seaflora store and discover a new way to pamper yourself …sadly without the spa, but happily without the toxic ingredients.

sea flora larger pic

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Grotto Spa and Treetop Tapas ~ Best Destination Spa

We’ve been back at home for a full week and I’m still enjoying the relaxation my spirit and body desperately needed and received from our Parksville vacation.  We kept very busy with the kids for the first half of our trip, but thanks to the family friendly amenities offered from the Tigh-Na-Mara resort, we spent most of the second half of our trip relaxing and spending time with our kids. 

Saving the best for last, Ray and I enjoyed an evening of pampering from the Grotto Spato celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary on July 17th. Thanks to the babysitting services offered from the Tigh-Na-Mara, we skipped away to enjoy 4 hours of heavenly relaxation at the Grotto Spa and Treetop Tapas & Grill. We were supplied with 2 babysitters that our children were already comfortable with because of getting to know them earlier in the week during activities like “kids club” & “dinner and a movie”.  It was just so lovely to leave our bungalow without any kids upset because they were already engaged by Kelly and Leah. As a mom – getting to enjoy my massage and time alone with Ray, knowing our kids were happy, content and well taken care of was wonderful. I was so incredibly relaxed after my massage, I couldn’t even remember I was a mother of 4 <grin>.  We had no idea Grotto Spa was one of the top spa facilities in Western Canada when we booked our vacation.  It was an absolutely wonderful and magical discovery once we walked through the doors.

We were delighted with the 5 star level of pampering we received at Grotto Spaand like the rest of the Tigh-Na-Mara resort, the customer service was simply amazing.  My hour long massage flew by because I was chatting with my Spa angel who was an Island local. It was so good to chat with someone who has lived their whole life on Vancouver Island. The business model of sourcing and supporting everything local is well demonstrated throughout the Tigh-Na-Mara and Spa. The Grotto Spa features an amazing organic seaweed skin line made by an Island local.  The Tigh-Na-Mara gift shop is also loaded with local artisans, soaps and bath balms made by a local Sydney company, and candles from Granville Island. Even the art work on display throughout the Spa is locally crafted wood burl art and it’s a special detail that I noticed right away.

Back to our spa escape…. I enjoyed my 60 minute massage, then met Ray in the mineral pool where we spent the next 45 minutes de-toxing in the 2,500 square foot mineral pool, having fun moving between the ‘cool splash cascading waterfall’  and whirlpool in between mineral pool treatments. From there, still in our bath robes, we took the elevator up to the 3rd floor and enjoyed a bottle of wine and endless tapas at the Treetop Tapas & Grill. Our server Richard, was extremely friendly, efficient and knowledgeable about the 20+ different plates of tapas that were brought to our table (our favorites being the cod with shitakee mushroom and the prawn and scallop dish).  We managed to work our way through the entire menu…plus some, finished our bottle of wine, toasted our 10 years together, and mused about the old days as we held hands across the table. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our anniversary, just the two of us…thank you “Grotto Spa”…we’ll be back.

When we got back to the bungalow, we were greeted with hugs and kisses and heard about the great time our kids had thanks to Leah and Kelly. The kids couldn’t wait to tell us about their evening. They ate pizza, read books, went on a nature walk and had fun at the playground…sounds like they had almost as much fun as we did. What a way to spend our final day in paradise. It couldn’t have gone better.

I also wanted to mention how Eco-minded the resort is. I can’t help but notice this aspect of a company and the Tigh-Na-Mara is leading the way in all regards. I’ve mentioned their local footprint, but they also offer guests recycling amenities, have greened up their off-site events ~ when dishes cannot be used they use earth-friendly tableware, they don’t use paper towels in the Spa or restaurant bathrooms (cloth towels are washed and reused) and green cleaning supplies for each cabin are on-route to the resort. There are also ‘protected’ arbutus trees that bend and reach into the beautiful Island skies ~ the resort is very respectful of even pruning these beautiful protected trees. End-to-end this resort has it all with family, child, and earth friendly services and attention to details that brought on the WOW factor to guests looking for a resort dedicated to keeping their guests happy and returning year after year.

Ray and I would like to thank all the great staff at the Tigh-Na-Mara resort for making our stay an extremely memorable and enjoyable one. We would especially like to thank Kelly, the marketing coordinator for all her special attention and commitment to ensuring that our stay was top notch. Mission accomplished Kelly.  We can’t wait to return next year – all 4 kids are already asking when are we going back!

Family rating – Parksville and Tigh-Na-Mara get a unanimous 12 thumbs up. 

 

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