San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

To a Healthy New Year

INSTEAD of handing out the same oldpresents that may collect dust, try somethingnew and pamper your loved ones withmakeovers and spa treatments.A yearlong membership to a gym mightbe an excellent holiday gift and jump starton a New Year’s resolution.According to Alberto González, ownerof Curves, one out of every 20 women andone out of every 10 men work out at a gym.“This means only 5% of women go tothe gym in Costa Rica,” he said, adding thatshame, idleness or a feeling of discomfortat an average co-ed gym add to the reasonswomen tend to stay away.The concept of Curves is for womenonly and offers a 30-minute program, threetimes a week, where women rotate fromone machine or workout to the next as partof an effective weight-loss program.Throughout the holiday season, Curvesis offering a 66% discount off its registrationfee. Curves has gyms in Escazú,Parque de la Paz, Curridabat, Alajuela,Tibás and Plaza Rohrmoser. For more info,call 288-2480.SLIM and Tone, managed by CostaRican Olympic swimmer Sigrid Niehaus,offers a similar concept in its all-femalefocus and 30-minute workouts, but also hasa children’s playroom, where kids areentertained while their mothers work out.Slim and Tone also provides yogalessons, pilates, nutritional guidance, andpersonalized attention.The gym, which offers a week of freetrial sessions, is located in San Rafael deEscazú. Their membership fees range from¢14,000-17,000 ($31- 38). For additionalinfo, call 289-3696.But for those who would rather unwindthan work up a sweat, a soothing day at thespa might be the perfect treat.RANCHO Río Perlas Hotel and Spa,located on the highway to Orosi, in theprovince of Cartago, offers spa services suchas facials, waxing, manicures, massages,tanning, mud baths and aromatherapy.The hotel offers thermal waters and apool, while the spa offers several therapeutictreatment packages. For example, thereare one hour to two-and-a-half hour cellulite,toning, cleansing and relaxing treatmentsthat include exfoliation, peeling,hydrating and massage therapies.The hotel even offers a one-day, executivepackage with a Turkish bath, full-bodycleansing, partial massage, anti-stress“infrajet” technology, a mini-facial, andthermal bath, for $88 per person.For more information, call 533-3341.THE Beautyclub, at Country Plaza inSan Rafael de Escazú, offers a selection ofspa packages and specials.In tune with the season, the “HolidaySurprise” offers a skin freshener, manicure,shampoo, cut and style for ¢14,000 ($31).The Fresh Start package sounds like theultimate gift to start a refreshing new year.It consists of a custom facial, a manicurewith paraffin, and a body exfoliating treatmentworth ¢30,000 ($67).The Beautyclub offers many otherpackages, including an anti-aging, “just forher,” “just for him” and a sampler package.The spa and salon also does waxing,hair care, skin treatment and offers gift certificates.For more info, call 288-0059.FOR hair care only, British-ownedWendy’s Salon, in Plaza San Rafael,Escazú, has some great ideas for presents.During the holidays, the salon offerspackages ranging from ¢8,500-22,000 ($19-49), that include cuts, blow dries, manicures,deep conditioning or keratin treatments, haircoloring and spa pedicures. You can alsotake 10% off any package you design onyour own and get a free deep conditioning.For more info, call 228-9810.EUROSTYLE European salons, atCalle Real shopping center in San Pedro, orin Escazú, have excellent offers this season.For special prices ranging from ¢3,150-20,025 ($7-45) you can get various combinationsof highlights, waxing, keratinshineor glamour treatments, European washes,styling and waxing. Call 289-9511 for moreinfo.

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