It's the Dog Days of Summer and sometimes the best way to escape the heat is to schedule a day at the spa. We're not talking about just any spa. This is a day at a spa like any other, a day at Spa Evangeline

As part of the culinary themed Epicurean Hotel, Evangeline tantalizes each of your senses with a unique food and wine centric twist that only the Epicurean can offer.  Treatments include massages, body scrubs and wraps, facials, makeup, waxing and natural nail care.  In keeping with the Epicurean's culinary theme, many of the treatments feature organic, natural ingredients in their body oils and scrubs.  They even have "spa sommeliers" who create custom blends for guests using fresh fruits, essential oils and herbs. 

Upon entering the doors of Evangeline, I was immediately overcome with a sense of relaxation.  The sound of pleasant music guided me through the check-in process and the sight of the mani/pedi room, nicknamed, "the cellar" had me in awe.  The cellar wall is covered with 20,000 corks and contains a live herb wall that therapists use to incorporate locally grown cilantro, mint and other fresh ingredients into their treatments.  This is truly a sight to be seen!

Shortly, I was whisked away into the locker room to prepare for my first treatment of the day, a 90 minute Divine Indulgence Massage. I changed into a fluffy white robe and took a seat in the Relaxation Room.  Dimly lit and decorated in a wine lover's dream with soft comfortable chairs and that same relaxing music, this is the perfect place to let go before a massage.

Soon I was relaxing into the touch of my Caudalie Divine Oil massage.  This massage features four plant-based oils and a host of scents "reminiscent of the French Riviera".  It started with the scent of eucalyptus as the therapist kneaded my knots and worked the oils into my skin.  She worked her magic in all the right places and the "little extras" like the hot towels, a lavender eye mask, scalp massage and the array of oils and scents made the 90 minutes fly by and turned my tense body into a calm sea of relaxation.

Barely able to get up off the table, I stopped by the Relaxation Room to come back to life.  Unfortunately, I had to pass on the complimentary glass of wine but had a glass of the Strawberry Basil infused water while enjoying a few treats from the seasonal homemade refreshment table. The pecan pralines tasted absolutely divine!

Now it was time to officially enter the "cellar" for my Bern’s Bourbon Bubbler pedicure.  I have to say, this was the best pedicure I've ever had! My therapist, Jessica, began by preparing a scrub of spiked molten bourbon, suncoast salts and some fresh basil from the living wall to start the show.  Here's a before and after shot of my foot cocktail:

I had to forgo the shot of bourbon but relaxed into the massage chair with a warm shoulder pad.  Jessica scrubbed away and then used a Clarisonic foot smoother to get my feet extra silky smooth.  Next, she painted a honey heel glaze filled with papaya enzymes on my legs! I thought the pampering was over but it was only beginning.  Soon I heard the sound of stones knocking together and I received a delightful warm agave nectar hot stone massage. So soothing! 

With my feet feeling a little like jelly, Jessica finished the show by surprising me and painting my toes a lovely shade of purple and pink. Just the splash of color I need to finish out the summer.

Sadly my day at Evangeline had come to an end. Evangeline creates a sensory spa experience like no other and we are lucky to have a spa of this caliber in Tampa. Next time, I'll be sure to stop by Chocolate Pi, the Epicurean's artisan bakery, for one of their famous macarons, or Élevage, the Epicurean's signature restaurant, for a bite to further elevate the day.  But for now, it was time to return to the real world, a lot more relaxed with very pretty toes.