Relax. Refresh. Repeat: The Ritz-Carlton Launch “Cultural Experiences for Purposeful Moments” with New, Indivdualized Spa Concepts

With a brand name synonymous for exceptionally high levels of service and care, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has now extended its talent for crafting tasteful and personalized journeys into the realm of spas. A new concept for The Ritz-Carlton Spa is being implemented around the world beginning with 20 hotels and resorts that include New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale, Amelia Island, Moscow, Vienna, Cairo and Budapest. Tailored experiences that artfully integrate individual guest needs into treatments will be anchored in local culture, employing natural and organic solutions.

THE RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL COMPANY, L.L.C. LOGO

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC logo. (PRNewsFoto/The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC.)

The Ritz-Carlton Spa concept is designed to extend even more of the unique and personal opportunities for wellness and indigenous experiences that our guests and global travelers seek,” stated Hervé Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

(A selection of the artful moments brought to life can be seen on this newly released piece of film.)

Guests in the Middle East were among the first to experience the newly launched concept at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre. Drawing on the quintessential Dubai experience, The Desert Reviver treatment takes inspiration from the city’s desert landscape and climate. A stimulating sand-based exfoliation is followed by a hot-stone massage that evokes Dubai’s sunny climes. The journey comes to a close with a cooling ritual that brings to mind a dip in the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf.Spa-1

Treatments at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain are steeped in Middle Eastern traditions. Using regional ingredients such as Argan, Rose and Dead Sea salts, the spa pays homage to the sands of the East Arabian Peninsula, “the land where the sun rises” and the mystical, rugged ranges of North West Africa, “the land where the sun sets”, to create a selection of Arabian rituals that hark back to ancient beauty rituals and natural methods. Her Secret Sanctuary, features a series of age-old traditions, including the rose steam bath and black olive and lavender soap cleanse, to deeply cleanse, exfoliate and nourish the body whilst easing the mind. For a treatment that brings the sheen back to the skin, On The Banks of the Dead Sea, harnesses the highly re-mineralizing and detoxifying properties of Dead Sea salts to repair and restore.

Five new Russian treatments were developed for The Ritz-Carton, Moscow, with organic Siberian honey being used as the basis for the nourishing, signature experience. Utilizing its calming and moisturizing benefits, the Moscow Honey Treatment combines age-old Russian massage techniques, in a gentle body exfoliation, followed by a therapeutic full body massage using the golden honey itself, and finishing with an express facial and invigorating head massage.

Inspired by Vienna’s rose gardens and ‘Sisi’, the Empress Elizabeth of Austria who was renowned for her beauty, the Imperial Rose Ritual is available exclusively in The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna. Fragrant rose geranium and sweet orange oils are used to both calm and harmonize the mind, while moisturizing the skin. A salt and oil scrub is first applied to cleanse and exfoliate, followed by a hot stone massage.

Allowing guests to connect to their surroundings is a focus on the spa menus across North America. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami offers the Tequesta Ritual, a Native American detoxifying ceremony to purify and balance the body and mind with a cleansing algae wrap followed by a relaxing massage ritual. The Citrus Scrub offered at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota offers a full body exfoliation featuring apricot and orange oils and a sumptuous application of orange infused cream to complete the Florida journey – and in Half Moon Bay California, the Pumpkin Facial utilizes a nourishing pumpkin enzyme masque from a 100% natural plant-based line high in beta carotene and vitamins A and C.

There is an innovative new location outside of the traditional treatment room at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Amelia Island where guests can relax under the therapeutic benefits of zero gravity with a Heaven in Hammock massage. Time is the Essence at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples spa where a therapist will consult prior to the treatment and utilize a combination of services and locations to meet the guests’ needs and enhance physical and mental wellbeing. In Louisiana, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans’s Voodoo Massage evokes the magical and mystical soul of New Orleans by using aromas of incense and voodoo chants to set the mood. Experienced therapists perform more than 100 treatments, including indigenous therapies such as the Marie Laveau Voodoo Love Bath and the Essence of Lavender Mint and Massage. At The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Georgia, spa treatments are inspired by the natural surroundings. The Oconee Rain Vichy shower treatment uses the therapeutic benefits of water which the Creek Indians from the region believe, “washes everything new again”.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa experience should be exceptional and memorable. Each and every treatment has been designed to give our guests an experience that is suited to their needs and yet employs time-tested methods. We have packaged tradition, location and culture into the experience to map out a spa journey that helps our guests relax, unwind and truly enjoy The Ritz-Carlton experience,” said Michelle Kelthy, Spa Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Florida.

The Academy Focuses A “SPOTLIGHT On Screenwriting” In New York City

Screenwriting Series to Feature Films by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, An Evening with Walter Bernstein, and a Special Sneak Preview of “Ghostbusters”


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present “Spotlight on Screenwriting,” a summer series illuminating the art of writing for motion pictures, beginning May 15 at various venues in New York City. The programs include onstage conversations and screenings of acclaimed films spanning nine decades.

Hollywood’s Happiest Couple: Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett
May 15 and 16 at Film Forum, 209 W. Houston Street
The series launches with a two-day celebration one of Hollywood’s most famous creative partnerships. 
Jim Moore, biographer and grandson of writer, producer and former Academy President Charles Brackett, will introduce three films co-written by the legendary team: “Ninotchka,” “The Lost Weekend” and “Sunset Blvd.,” all of which won or were nominated for multiple Oscars®.

Hollywood’s Darkest Moment: “The Front” Screening and Q&A
June 7 at the SVA Theater, 333 W. 23rd Street

A 40th anniversary screening of “The Front” will be followed by an onstage conversation with screenwriter Walter Bernstein, who received a 1976 Oscar® nomination for his original screenplay.  Bernstein, who was among dozens of screenwriters blacklisted during the 1940s and ’50s, will discuss his personal experiences and the lasting legacy of one of Hollywood’s darkest periods with Michael Barker, co-president and co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics.

Ghostbusters: A Sneak Preview
July TBA at the 
SVA Theater, 333 W. 23rd Street

The series will conclude in July with a preview screening of this year’s much-anticipated summer release “Ghostbusters.”  Screenwriter Katie Dippold will discuss the process of adapting the screenplay from the 1984 film of the same name.

For more information on “Spotlight on Screenwriting” and to purchase tickets, please visit the Academy’s event pages at www.oscars.org/events 

National Park Service and National Geographic Society to host BioBlitz and Biodiversity Festival in Greater Washington National Parks

Explore the Wild Side of Your National Parks!

From northern leopard frogs to eastern red bats, Greater Washington’s national parks are home to incredible biodiversity. Join the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society on May 20-21 for BioBlitz, a fast-paced expedition to discover and document the species that thrive in 13 nearby national parks. This free public event, nationally sponsored by American Express, will bring together more than 200 leading scientists and naturalists, more than 2,600 students and even more friends, families and future scientists to explore and celebrate biodiversity.Print

The 2016 National Parks BioBlitz is the culmination of a 10-year series of BioBlitzes co-hosted by the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society at different national parks across the country, leading up the centennial of the National Park Service. The first in the series took place at Rock Creek Park in 2007. Other BioBlitz locations have included Biscayne National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. This year, 13 parks in Greater Washington and more than 100 national parks across the country will host BioBlitz events. A longtime partner of the National Park Service, the National Geographic Society helped draft legislation to establish the NPS in 1916. The Society has given many grants to create and sustain national parks across the United States, and has extensively covered the parks in its media for nearly a century.

The National Parks BioBlitz—Washington, D.C., is the cornerstone event for more than 100 BioBlitzes taking place across the country. The National Parks BioBlitz is the culmination of a 10-year partnership between the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society, in the run-up to the National Park Service centennial August 25, 2016.

At the first National Parks BioBlitz in 2007, 1,000 BioBlitz participants recorded species findings with pen and paper. Today, thanks to the iNaturalist app, thousands of BioBlitz participants can share their observations and crowdsource identifications of flora and fauna at the press of a button. Whether you’re a curious kid or an expert botanist, iNaturalist allows you to share information with citizen-scientists around the world and to directly contribute data to national park species inventories. Past BioBlitz participants have added dozens of species to park inventories and even discovered one species new to science!

Because most people associate D.C. with memorials and museums, it may be surprising to learn that this area provides important habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals—the biodiversity here is unexpectedly rich,National Park Service Regional Director Bob Vogel said. “BioBlitz is a great opportunity for people of all interests and skills to discover these species and to contribute valuable information to national park scientists. We invite the Greater Washington community to join us in this exciting adventure.

More than 3,000 students from across our nation’s capital will participate in BioBlitz during their school day! Students ages eight and above will work alongside leading scientists to discover and document the biodiversity of our region’s national parks. BioBlitz provides classes with an opportunity to experience national parks, to learn about the wide biodiversity of species that inhabit our world and to gain first-hand exposure to the work of scientists.

Nine years ago at the first National Parks BioBlitz in Rock Creek Park, we had about 1,000 people documenting species on paper,” said National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary Knell. “This year, for the National Park Service centennial, tens of thousands of people will join forces at more than 100 parks for the first nationwide BioBlitz. This massive effort to uncover the amazing natural resources in our parks dovetails with National Geographic’s longtime commitment to exploring and protecting our planet.”

To be part of a scientist-led inventory team, register online at www.natgeo.org/bioblitz-dc. Examples of species inventories include:

Early morning birding adventures on Theodore Roosevelt Island

Pollinator surveys in Piscataway Park

Meadow exploration and fish counts in Rock Creek Park

Wetland exploration in Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Spider surveys at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve

Butterfly surveys in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Discovery of stream insects at Manassas National Battlefield Park

Acoustic bat inventory at Constitution Gardens on the National Mall

A concurrent two-day Biodiversity Festival will be held at Constitution Gardens on the National Mall (17th and Constitution Avenue NW). The festival will feature hands-on science exhibits, food and art, yoga classes and family-friendly entertainment and activities. Constitution Gardens will also serve as base camp for the National Parks BioBlitz-Washington, D.C., and a connection to more than 100 BioBlitz and biodiversity events taking place at national parks across the country that weekend. The festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 20-21, 2016, with a special evening of science fun planned for Friday night.

American Express is committed to serving and preserving our nation’s parks and public lands,” said American Express Foundation President Timothy J. McClimon.As we gear up for the 2016 National Park Service centennial, we are excited to sponsor BioBlitz and empower volunteers across the country to discover and celebrate the wealth of biodiversity in our national parks.

American Express is a national sponsor of the National Parks BioBlitz and a premier partner of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial. To learn more, visit www.amex.co/goparks. Verizon, Southwest Airlines Co. and the Harold M. and Adeline S. Morrison Family Foundation are also providing support for the National Parks BioBlitz–Washington, D.C.

To learn more about BioBlitz and the festival, visit www.natgeo.org/bioblitz-dc.