DISPATCH FROM THE SWEETEST PLACE ON EARTH
For a Chocolate High, All You Have to Do Is Breathe
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
HERSHEY, Pa. -- Last night you skipped dinner and ate six mini Snickers bars. This morning, the trick-or-treat bag triggered waves of Halloween hangover.
What to do with leftover chocolate -- other than to eat it?
Lots, in fact. At the Chocolate Spa in Hershey, clients bathe in whipped cocoa, bask in the glow of Tootsie Roll-flavored candles and breathe brownie-batter-scented steam.
"Yummy," Mary Gunn said in the spa locker room, sniffing the crook of her arm.
"You smell like chocolate," said her mother, Nancy Gunn, inhaling.
Mary had just indulged in a "chocolate fondue wrap." She ran her fingers up her ribs and said, "They paint chocolate all over you."
For $105, a spa technician brushes warm cocoa oil mixed with mud onto your skin. The technician seals your body in plastic and covers you with foil. The effect: You're a Hershey bar, melting in the sun. If you move, your wrapper crinkles.
"It looks like chocolate, smells like chocolate, but it's mud," Joann Bowers, a spa technician, said as she massaged a client with the fudgy muck.
"Don't lick it," Bowers said.
The fondue is a top menu choice at the spa, located at the Hotel Hershey. But the most popular treat is the whipped cocoa bath. Clients soak in a tub of foaming cocoa, their body parts bobbing like mini-marshmallows. Candles flicker, powdered milk froths, and jets gush with 100-degree sweetness.
"Do I have to call security to get you out?" an attendant, Lindsay Mancine, teased Teri Kolaskey, who was lingering in her milk bath. Kolaskey was late for a chocolate sugar scrub.
She chuckled as she toweled dry. Other clients were giggling, lifting chocolate muffins from silver trays and nibbling Kisses from crystal bowls.