INSIDE & OUT : Water Works

When it comes to relieving the stresses of the day, the total relaxation hydrotherapy spa beats a Calgon bath hands down.

The spa, designed by Peter Panelli and Bill Larsen of Aqua Int'l in Southfield, Mich., is also an ideal environment in which to reduce muscular pain because the warm water (98 degrees) and Epsom salts create a "Dead Sea" effect, where you float weightlessly.

The spa also has climate controls at your fingertips and Jacuzzi jets that massage you from head to toe. It uses 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts, and the filled spa, which has about 11 to 12 inches of water, weighs about 3,000 pounds.

A multimedia entertainment theater includes a 20-inch, cable-ready color television built into the ceiling and four sealed speakers set into the tub below the waterline.

"It's like being on a raft without the raft," said Panelli. "You're reclining on your back, floating like a cork."

Panelli, a former football player at Central Michigan University, was always looking for a way to ease the pain of game injuries. "I didn't want to use pills, and that led me to designing the spa," said Panelli, whose father, John, played for Notre Dame and the Detroit Lions.

Two people can fit comfortably into the spa (10 feet long, 6 feet wide and 5 1/2 feet tall), which has a two-way communication system. It also can be used with the door open--for claustrophobic floaters or those who live with practical jokers.

Calgon, of course, can take you away for a lot fewer pennies than the spa, which costs $20,000.

For more information or to order through the Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue, call (800) 543-3366.

More than a Shower

Jacuzzi's J-Dream II is no ordinary shower stall. With sculpted seating and hydrotherapy jets for two, getting squeaky clean takes on another dimension.

The J-Dream jets, 16 for each person, can be programmed for an individualized massage. There's also a cascade waterfall and a setting for a steam bath.

"People go ya-ya over the steam setting," said Michelle Peterson, spokesperson for the Walnut Creek-based company. "You don't need a separate room or window; all the features are in one unit."

The hand-held nozzles are dual adjustable and have eight settings--from gentle to robust. And you can add a built-in stereo sound system with CD player, AM/FM tuner and four speakers, ideal for those who like to sing or rap in the shower.

The J-Dream II (60 inches long, 42 inches wide, 85 inches tall) is designed to fit in existing bathrooms--it is the size of a standard bathtub.

Said Peterson, "You can pop one in real easy."

Especially if you have $9,600 to spend.

To locate the Orange County dealer nearest you, call (800) 678-6889.


For a truly unique--and expensive--tub faucet, Harrington Brass of France delivers.

The Bouquet Royal, which can be used as a tub filler, a fountain or whatever strikes your fancy, exemplifies the company's attention to quality engineering and one-of-a-kind design.

The gold leaves on the spout conceal the tubes where the water comes out.

The faucet (about $5,366 for top of the line) is available in satin and polished nickel and gold finishes.

It can be purchased in Orange County at West End West, 2133 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. For more information, call (714) 494-2264.

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