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michael

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  1. Like
    michael got a reaction from Mablefuff in Review of Red Mountain Resort Spa in St George, Utah   
    Red Mountain is one of the best fitness retreats / spas in the United States. I have been there several times over the years from short time frames to longer time frames.

    I love the fact that the facility is directly at the entrance of Snow Canyon.  It makes for a multitude of wonderful hikes.  If you like riding your bike, it is also a fantastic bike train that goes one for miles and up and down the mountains and lands you right back at Red Mountain.

    The staff is on task and very alert to meeting the needs of clients.  Their facilities are top notch and keep clean and gorgeous. The pool is fantastic and their rooms are great.  You can choose a small hotel like room or a much larger suite with living room and bedrooms. This gives you the option to share the experience with a friend or friends.

    The massage / spa is fabulous. They offer a wide variety of massages and treatments.  They are not included in the cost of the stay but it all depends on the package you get.

    Some clients come in for a very short weekend stay while others are there for extended time.  If you are going to stay for a long time, you need to talk to the sales staff about a discount as they will negotiate with you a better rate for a long term stay.

    I have always enjoyed Red Mountain and think the experience is one of the best that the USA has to offer.  

    Gym/Fitness Facilities - 9
    Living Facilities - 9
    Classe Dynamics - 9
    Class Variety - 9
    Personal Attention - 9
    Food Taste - 10
    Food Variety - 10
    Staff/Management - 9
    Trainers/Coaches - 9
    Massage/Spa - 10

    Total 93 out of 100
     
  2. Like
    michael got a reaction from Mablefuff in Polar Loop Fitness Tracker Review   
    I am loving my Polar Loop. It is simply great.  It keeps track of my movements and activity throughout the day.  Together with the new Polar Heart Rate monitor, it also calculates my calories burned during work outs.  The Loop is very comfortable to wear and keeps track of sleeping time, sitting time, standing time, moving time and running time.  It does a really great job at all of these. 
     
    The flow is water resistant as well and I have worn mine in the pool and shower each day.  I take it off to charge and to calibrate with the Polar Flow site once per day for about 10 min.  It charges fast and lasts a long time.
     
    There is a great video on the Polar website that you should look at.
     
    The cost was 99.00 on Amazon and IMHO, well worth every penny.   I love Polar and the fact it works so well with all the Life Fitness equipment is an added bonus.
     
    I am a Mac guy and this syncs great with my Phone app and my Apple computer. 
     
    I have tried other fitness readers and watches over the years. But, this is by far the best I have used!
     
    http://www.polarloop.com/
     
    Below is a photo from my workout today on the Elliptical.  It kept up with all my heart rate info and immediately uploaded to my Polar account.
     


  3. Like
    michael got a reaction from JohnnyHor in Review of Chiva Som in Hua Hin, Thailand   
    First off, Chiva Som is in a class by itself.  I have been there 4 times over the past few years and I have enjoyed each time.  The place has magic attached to it.  The grounds are simply amazing and the spa services are second to none in the world.  You really feel like you are being pampered at Chiva Som Fitness Retreat.  It is not just a fitness resort but also perhaps the most relaxing spa I have ever been to. 
     
    The rooms are all great but I have always upgraded to an ocean view one bedroom.  The costs of this place is higher than most at near 1k USD per night but if that is in your budget, a week or a month here and you will come out feeling refreshed and invigorated. 
     
    They don't have a wide variety of hard core classes but they do offer personal training if you want to go more hard core.  The swimming pool is amazing and the views from all over the resort are great.  The place is a little bit of Heaven on Earth.
     
     
    Gym/Fitness Facilities - 8
    Living Facilities - 10
    Classe Dynamics - 8
    Class Variety - 9
    Personal Attention - 10
    Food Taste - 10
    Food Variety - 10
    Staff/Management - 9
    Trainers/Coaches - 9
    Massage/Spa - 10

    Total 93 out of 100
     
    http://www.chivasom.com/



  4. Like
    michael got a reaction from JohnnyHor in Chiva-Som Spa in Thailand   
    I have not posted my review of Chiva Som yet as I am going there again in 2 weeks and want the review to be as accurate as possible.  This place is amazing.  Has anyone else been there?
     
    http://www.chivasom.com/
  5. Like
    michael got a reaction from JohnnyHor in Polar Loop Fitness Tracker Review   
    I am loving my Polar Loop. It is simply great.  It keeps track of my movements and activity throughout the day.  Together with the new Polar Heart Rate monitor, it also calculates my calories burned during work outs.  The Loop is very comfortable to wear and keeps track of sleeping time, sitting time, standing time, moving time and running time.  It does a really great job at all of these. 
     
    The flow is water resistant as well and I have worn mine in the pool and shower each day.  I take it off to charge and to calibrate with the Polar Flow site once per day for about 10 min.  It charges fast and lasts a long time.
     
    There is a great video on the Polar website that you should look at.
     
    The cost was 99.00 on Amazon and IMHO, well worth every penny.   I love Polar and the fact it works so well with all the Life Fitness equipment is an added bonus.
     
    I am a Mac guy and this syncs great with my Phone app and my Apple computer. 
     
    I have tried other fitness readers and watches over the years. But, this is by far the best I have used!
     
    http://www.polarloop.com/
     
    Below is a photo from my workout today on the Elliptical.  It kept up with all my heart rate info and immediately uploaded to my Polar account.
     


  6. Like
    michael got a reaction from Ekbergbum in Low Cal Vegetable Chili   
    This is my favorite chili recipe.  I love it as it is low calorie and no meat at all.  I cook up a triple batch and then I portion size it out and put into containers and put in the freezer and heat up when hungry.
     
    I have made this at leaat 40 times and I simply love it.   Give it a try and see if you like the taste.
     
    Vegetable Chili

    INGREDIENTS | SERVES 8
    2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
    1 large sweet onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    1 15-ounce can cannellini or white beans, rinsed and drained
    1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
    2 cups zucchini, diced
    1½ cups corn
    1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
    2 cups Vegetable Stock (page 29)
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    Salt, to taste
    8 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese, or vegan Monterey jack cheese

    Bring the oil to temperature in the pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the onion; sauté for 3 minutes or until it begins to soften. Stir in the garlic; sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the canned beans, green bell pepper, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, stock, chili powder, cumin, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to mix.

    Lock the lid into place and bring to high pressure; maintain pressure for 5 minutes.

    Remove from the heat and allow pressure to release naturally. Remove the lid, stir, and taste for seasoning.

    Add salt if desired. Serve topped with grated cheese. PER

    SERVING Calories: 370 | Fat: 14g | Protein: 20g | Sodium: 690mg | Carbohydrates: 47g | Fiber: 12g
     
    My sister makes the same recipe and does not use a pressure cooker.  I like them as they cook things fast.
     
    Also, if you use fresh beans as opposed to canned beans, the taste and the nutrition is even better!
     
  7. Like
    michael got a reaction from Ekbergbum in Welcome to Spa Critic!   
    Thank you for visiting Spa Critic.  We are thrilled you are here.  We are the site where you can get in touch with others who have attended the spa/fitness retreat/fitness camp/etc that you are considering.  We are an information site only.  We accept no money from spas or facilities.  We are totally independent of any spa. We are here to give accurate information on fitness centers around the globe.  In order to do this, we ask that members submit reviews of places they have been to.  

    We ask that you are honest and forthright.  We ask that everyone place their review only in the review forums.  Reviews are invisible until an admin approves them and then they are visible and any discussions can take place about the review.

    We also that you rate your spa on a scale of 1-10 in each of the following areas:

    Gym/Fitness Facilities
    Living Facilities
    Classe Dynamics
    Class Variety
    Personal Attention
    Food Taste
    Food Variety
    Staff/Management
    Trainers/Coaches
    Massage/Spa

    It is best to copy the list above and paste it into your review and then elaborate on the review.  If a review is below a 70, we may ask for proof that you attended the spa as we want to ensure all reviews are legit and for information only.

    If you would like to see good examples of the reviews, please see the ones that are currently live on the site.  If you follow that format, you will be fine.  All reviews that are approved are posted within 24 hours. 
     
  8. Like
    michael got a reaction from Ekbergbum in Polar Loop Fitness Tracker Review   
    I am loving my Polar Loop. It is simply great.  It keeps track of my movements and activity throughout the day.  Together with the new Polar Heart Rate monitor, it also calculates my calories burned during work outs.  The Loop is very comfortable to wear and keeps track of sleeping time, sitting time, standing time, moving time and running time.  It does a really great job at all of these. 
     
    The flow is water resistant as well and I have worn mine in the pool and shower each day.  I take it off to charge and to calibrate with the Polar Flow site once per day for about 10 min.  It charges fast and lasts a long time.
     
    There is a great video on the Polar website that you should look at.
     
    The cost was 99.00 on Amazon and IMHO, well worth every penny.   I love Polar and the fact it works so well with all the Life Fitness equipment is an added bonus.
     
    I am a Mac guy and this syncs great with my Phone app and my Apple computer. 
     
    I have tried other fitness readers and watches over the years. But, this is by far the best I have used!
     
    http://www.polarloop.com/
     
    Below is a photo from my workout today on the Elliptical.  It kept up with all my heart rate info and immediately uploaded to my Polar account.
     


  9. Like
    michael got a reaction from Ekbergbum in Review of The Cascase Club at The Ascott Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand   
    The Cascade Club is located in Bangkok, Thailand and while not a full live in facility, it is inside a great 5 star hotel that will allow you to get everything you need.

    The Hotel
    The Ascott is a great hotel. You can get studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedroom or even three-bedroom apartments. The apartments are fully furnished. They are furnished with full kitchens and everything you need to cook your own meals.  

    The front desk staff is qualified and efficient. They are helpful and professional. They will help make sure your stay is great and you get everything you need.

    The concierge staff is fantastic. They will help you with anything you ask and make arrangements for making your stay in Bangkok as comfortable as possible. They will make other bookings for you if you need.  I even had them find me a cook for 2 months on one stay.  The cost was less than 1k per months or a cook that did all the shopping and cooking 6 days per week.  

    The restaurants in the hotel are good quality and easy to find something good to eat. The one that serves food by the pool has the best tasting hamburger in Bangkok and is worth a visit to Aldo's just for the burger. However, they also have a 3 course lunch special each day that includes an appetizer, main course and desert. It always gives us a wide variety of options to choose from and we ate there at least 3 times every week for the lunch specials. There is always something healthy on the menu and they specialize in seafood and greek cuisine.

    The Ascott is located in the business area of the city and if often hard to get a taxi during the day time as the traffic surrounding the hotel is horrendous. There is a sky train a few minutes walk away and that is easy to use but traffic in Bangkok is notorious for being horrible but the Sathorn area is one of the worst areas.

    Staff wise, the Ascott is amazing. From the doormen to the housekeepers to the management, you can't ask for a better staff.

    Having stayed in many executive apartments in Bangkok, the Ascott ranks high and is the best option for a businessman who loves high end service and has high expectations.

    The Cascade Club Gym
    The Cascade Club gym is the best gym in Bangkok. There is not a gym that even comes close. The place is clean and has every choice of cardio and strength training machine one would need. They offer great classes and you can easily fill your day with activities that keep you healthy. The personal trainers are fantastic. I hired 2 personal trainers for the entire 4 months and they were both top notch. They were never late and always trying to ensure I pushed myself. Their English was excellent and as someone who has hired personal trainers in over 60 gyms around the world, I will say that these 2 were two of my top 5 of all time.

    The Spa at the Ascott
    The spa at the Ascott is great. I had bi-monthly manicures and pedicures as well as tons of massages and haircuts over the 4 months. I felt pampered and well taken care of.

    There are also 3 restaurants in the hotel.

    The costs
    The Cascade Club is free if you are staying in The Ascott.  You will pay for personal training.  The cost is about 35 USD per hour.  I negotiated a long stay rate with them and paid for 100 sessions in advance and got the rate down to 20 USD.

    You can take all the class at The Cascade Club. They cost about 10 USD per class. You can buy a package of 10 for for discounts.

    The Ascott costs depend on your length of stay. If you want to stay 2-4 months, you should contact the sales staff and negotiate a stay. I stayed in a very large 2 bedroom 2 bathroom for 3,000 USD per month.  It had a balcony and was very spacious.  I was with friends so the cost for my room was 1500 USD. That included Internet, electricity, ect.

    Food costs vary but we did our own cooking as the apartment came fully furnished and we spent about 200 USD per week on food for the entire week.

    Cost breakdown for one month:
    Room 1,500
    Personal Training 5 sessions per week: 400 USD
    Classes: 2 per day 240 USD
    Food: 800 USD
    Gym: Free
    Pool: Free

    For one month in a great hotel with a great gym, I spent less than 3,000 for a great experience.

    I lost 24 pounds the first month alone. I worked out doing a lot of Cardio and I went swimming 2x per day.


    Gym/Fitness Facilities - 9
    Living Facilities - 10
    Classe Dynamics - 8
    Class Variety - 9
    Personal Attention - 8
    Food Taste - 10
    Food Variety - 10
    Staff/Management - 10
    Trainers/Coaches - 9
    Massage/Spa - 10

    Total 93 out of 100

    https://www.facebook.com/CascadeClub

    http://www.cascadeclubandspa.com/en/home

    http://www.the-ascott.com/en/thailand/bangkok/ascott_sathorn_bangkok.html



  10. Like
    michael got a reaction from Ekbergbum in Review of Red Mountain Resort Spa in St George, Utah   
    Red Mountain is one of the best fitness retreats / spas in the United States. I have been there several times over the years from short time frames to longer time frames.

    I love the fact that the facility is directly at the entrance of Snow Canyon.  It makes for a multitude of wonderful hikes.  If you like riding your bike, it is also a fantastic bike train that goes one for miles and up and down the mountains and lands you right back at Red Mountain.

    The staff is on task and very alert to meeting the needs of clients.  Their facilities are top notch and keep clean and gorgeous. The pool is fantastic and their rooms are great.  You can choose a small hotel like room or a much larger suite with living room and bedrooms. This gives you the option to share the experience with a friend or friends.

    The massage / spa is fabulous. They offer a wide variety of massages and treatments.  They are not included in the cost of the stay but it all depends on the package you get.

    Some clients come in for a very short weekend stay while others are there for extended time.  If you are going to stay for a long time, you need to talk to the sales staff about a discount as they will negotiate with you a better rate for a long term stay.

    I have always enjoyed Red Mountain and think the experience is one of the best that the USA has to offer.  

    Gym/Fitness Facilities - 9
    Living Facilities - 9
    Classe Dynamics - 9
    Class Variety - 9
    Personal Attention - 9
    Food Taste - 10
    Food Variety - 10
    Staff/Management - 9
    Trainers/Coaches - 9
    Massage/Spa - 10

    Total 93 out of 100
     
  11. Like
    michael got a reaction from Ekbergbum in Review of Live In Fitness, Hilton Head Island South Carolina 89/100   
    I have been to Live In Fitness several times as a client and always had a great experience.  I started out with them many years back when they were a much smaller facility with only about 8 campers and 4 or 5 staff. They have grew tremendously over the years and changed locations several times but the program stays in tact.
     
    When they were in Los Angeles, I loved the ability to see LA and the city and have some fun adventures on the weekends (but rarely had the time).  I had many amazing experiences at LIFE and perhaps some of my most memorable ones are bike-hike-bike with a group and my special run-hike-run with fitness trainer and manager Nicola. The runs were special for me as I was training for my first marathon and they did a great job at getting me ready for that event.  Nicola, in particular was amazing at helping me to get in shape as the run-hike-run was nearly 20 miles and we spent hours doing this every Wednesday just the 2 of us.  It was this one on one personal attention that made things so amazing.
     
    Gym/Fitness Facilities - 9
    Living Facilities - 8
    Classe Dynamics - 8
    Class Variety - 8
    Personal Attention - 10
    Food Taste - 10
    Food Variety - 10
    Staff/Management - 7
    Trainers/Coaches - 9
    Massage/Spa - 10
     
    Total 89 out of 100
     
    The fitness facilities have changed a great deal over the years and I was able to visit their new location in Hilton Head Island.  I was not a camper in that location but I was able to spend a month in the area when they first opened to help them set up the facility.  It looks great and I think a perfect choice for loosing weight.
     
    The living facilities all depend on where you are placed.  They rent different apartments, condos and homes and they all are close to the facility.  When I was in LA at one point the walk to the facility was almost one mile and it was a long walk at the end of a hard day.  But, since their move to Hilton Head, the rooms are closer to the facility.
     
    I always liked their classes especially the ones they held outdoors.  Bootcamps and flag football were 2 of my favorites.
     
    I always felt that a great deal of personal attention went into my instruction.  They monitored me very closely and each of my coaches over the years were excellent.
     
    The food has always been good. I was a camper here when they served take away bags and I never minded that.  Now, they have dine in experiences and I have eated the food, and it was great.
     
    The trainers are the life of the program. They are the ones the keep the place running and provide a great experience to all.
     
    I have had massages here and they are great.  They do not have the vast variety that many places have but the massages I have gotten have always been a true sports massage which is what is often needed when you work out 6-7 hours per day.
     
    The program is tough but anyone can do it.  They work you hard every day and you loose weight. 
  12. Like
    michael reacted to michael in Welcome to Spa Critic!   
    Thank you for visiting Spa Critic.  We are thrilled you are here.  We are the site where you can get in touch with others who have attended the spa/fitness retreat/fitness camp/etc that you are considering.  We are an information site only.  We accept no money from spas or facilities.  We are totally independent of any spa. We are here to give accurate information on fitness centers around the globe.  In order to do this, we ask that members submit reviews of places they have been to.  

    We ask that you are honest and forthright.  We ask that everyone place their review only in the review forums.  Reviews are invisible until an admin approves them and then they are visible and any discussions can take place about the review.

    We also that you rate your spa on a scale of 1-10 in each of the following areas:

    Gym/Fitness Facilities
    Living Facilities
    Classe Dynamics
    Class Variety
    Personal Attention
    Food Taste
    Food Variety
    Staff/Management
    Trainers/Coaches
    Massage/Spa

    It is best to copy the list above and paste it into your review and then elaborate on the review.  If a review is below a 70, we may ask for proof that you attended the spa as we want to ensure all reviews are legit and for information only.

    If you would like to see good examples of the reviews, please see the ones that are currently live on the site.  If you follow that format, you will be fine.  All reviews that are approved are posted within 24 hours. 
     
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