Girly getaway: Affordable hotels for a weekend spa retreat
We could all use a weekend of senseless pampering from time to time, but finding a reasonably priced hotel that offers great spa facilities can be hard to come by. Below is a list of wallet-friendly hotels that have standout spas and are sure to be a hit with your girlfriends. And there’s something for everyone – from casino hotels on the Las Vegas Strip to urban retreats in New York City.
Vdara Hotel & Spa, Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ upscale City Center is a complex of hotels and shops that opened in December 2009, and its all-suite Vdara Hotel & Spa is a great option for a classy escape, removed from the casinos and gaudy lights of the nearby Strip. Spread out over two floors of this brand new hotel is a gorgeous spa outfitted in dark woods and fresh orchids, plus a small champagne bar for sipping some bubbly. Each locker room has a sauna, eucalyptus steam room, and hot plunge pools. Besides top-notch pampering, the hotel also has a bar, restaurant, pool and lounge, and shopping mall to explore.
W New York
The flagship location of the incredibly stylish, sexy W hotel brand is home to the original Bliss Spa, a chain that now boasts more than 20 locations around the world. The hotel’s lobby is cozy (fireplace and all!), the staff bends over backwards to fill any request as part of the Whatever/Whenever concierge program, and the bar – Whiskey Blue – is one of the hippest in town. The spa menu is extensive, including oxygen-centric facials, seaweed face masks, and shoulder and scalp massages. Before a night on the town, try one of 15 mani/pedi options, like the hot milk and almond pedicure or the tropical piña colada version.
Hotel Victor, Miami
With eccentric furniture, a jellyfish aquarium and a funky pool, the Victor packs sexy glamour into a small South Beach boutique that’s just across the street from the sand. Spa V has earned itself a sexy reputation for its much-talked-about coed, clothing-optional hammam, a steamy (literally and figuratively) version of a traditional Turkish bathhouse. For those not willing to bare all in public, the spa’s signature treatment is the Hammam V, during which you lie on a heated marble bed in a private steam chamber and have your skin cleansed, exfoliated, and hydrated.
The Standard Miami
The Standard is designed to be a gratuitously sexy spa hotel, with parties every week and a 24-hour saltwater pool overlooking the bay. Guests here embrace sexiness but bliss as well, perhaps by lounging in the waterfall hot tub or gaining focus with daily yoga and meditation. The famous Lido Spa offers guests a coed Turkish hammam (though unlike at Hotel Victor, above, bathing suits must stay on) and treatments like the “rub and scrub,” during which they’re bathed, exfoliated, stretched, and massaged from head to toe on a heated marble table. For just $20, guests can experience the Mud Lounge – get a cup of mud to spread on yourself, sit in the sun for 15 minutes, then hop in a tub of water to rinse off – or have a friend hose you down.
Dream, New York
Dream is a quintessentially stylish hotel in the heart of Manhattan with loud, mismatched décor like naked women painted on the walls, an aquarium in the lobby and peculiar statues. The hotel is home to the Chopra Center & Spa, an ayurvedic spa facility spun off from celebrity guru Deepak Chopra's original California location. Originated in India, ayurveda is a system that uses herbs, massage and yoga for healing. At Chopra, therapists tailor the mix of oils, herbs, and aromas they used for each patient during facials, massages, and chakra balancing treatments.
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
“Over the top” is no doubt an appropriate mantra for Las Vegas, and Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars fits the bill with its 50,000 square feet, 51 treatment rooms, and 31 massage studios. Try the signature "hourglass treatment," a combination of facials, hot stones, aromatherapy, and energy work, or opt for the signature stone massage, during which warm stones are used to realign the bodies energy centers. The pride and joy, though, is the Roman Rituals: Roman baths (three pools of varying temps), a heated Laconium room, Vichy showers, a steam room, cedar sauna and arctic spa room. The tea sommelier will prepare you drinks that match your spa treatments.
Langham Hotel Boston
Regal, old-fashioned elegance pervades the Langham Hotel, an affordable luxury hotel in a former Federal Reserve bank. Spa goers who fancy old-world charm will be glad they landed here: the stellar Chuan Body + Soul spa gives the spas at fancier Boston hotels a run for their money and offers an extensive menu of treatments, most influenced by traditional Chinese medicine and the balance of the five natural elements (metal, wood, water, earth, and fire). Try the Tao of Detox (a combo of exfoliation, algae wrap, acupressure massage, and oxygen-infused facial). The spa is home to a heated lap pool, Jacuzzi, locker rooms with saunas, and a sparkling 24-hour gym that overlooks the pool and offers personal training.
The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, Las Vegas
The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino is a top Las Vegas hotel, from plush rooms, to endless restaurants, to a classy casino. The spa, too, is one of Vegas’ best. The world-renowned Canyon Ranch SpaClub offers a huge list of massages, energy therapies, ritual baths, body wraps, and more. Everything here centers around Aquavana, an aquathermal complex including an herbal laconium (a warm, ceramic-tiled room with individual thrones), the Hydro Spa (a fancy name for a Jacuzzi), a Finnish sauna, the Igloo (opposite of a sauna), rain showers, and other highfalutin features. The fitness center includes a 40-foot rock climbing wall. (Note: The Palazzo shares its spa with sister hotel the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, which is a good option as well).
The Huntington Hotel, San Francisco
The Huntington Hotel is an affordable luxury hotel, with stately décor and intimate service. The hotel is home to the serene Nob Hill Spa, one of San Fran’s best. The spa includes 10 treatment rooms (three with fireplaces; one for couples), an outdoor patio overlooking the city, and a tranquil spa pool complete with lounge and fireplace. Many treatments focus on detox, like the seaweed leaf body ritual and the cowry shell facial. A stay here includes free access to the whirlpool, sauna, and steam room. Groups should consider staying in the Premier Spa Suite, which has private treatment rooms – let the masseuses come to you!
Sofitel Los Angeles
This 295-room outlet of a French chain sits on the border of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills and combines elegance and trendiness, with luxurious rooms, a trendy bar and restaurant, and a gorgeous spa and fitness center. LeSpa pampers guests with luxury products from Decléor and Carita, as well as products made from local California botanicals. In addition to its full range of facials, massages and manicures, LeSpa offers nanotechnology immersion treatments, which use hyper-oxygenated water to de-clog pores and hydrate the skin. All hotel guests can use the sauna, steam room, 20-jet shower, and snazzy SO Fit gym for free.
JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa at Ko Olina, Hawaii
A 40-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, the JW Marriott Ihilani sits along one of the four man-made lagoons in Ko Olina. The long treatment menu at the 35,000-square-foot Ihilani Spa here includes classic Hawaiian treatments utilizing local ingredients like a Maui ginger sugar scrub, the Hawaiian ti leaf, and seawater. The spa’s lovely relaxation areas have hot Roman pools, steam rooms, saunas, and a needle shower; the adjacent terrace serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks. If they'd like, guests can opt for a half- or full-day spa program that combines multiple treatments.
Moana Surfrider, Hawaii
Moana Surfrider is the oldest hotel on Waikiki Beach, and its plantation-style design gives it a unique historic feel (think rocking chairs on the front porch and stately white columns). The Moana Lani spa is the only oceanfront spa in the area and is also the biggest, boasting 16 treatment rooms (including two couples treatment suites with private balconies). Treatments include Hawaii’s traditional Lomi Lomi massage as well as Rollerssage, in which heated crystals are rolled over the body. Other spa amenities include a hydrotherapy room with Vichy showers, dry saunas, steam rooms and a salon for manicures and pedicures.
This Oyster.com article first appeared on Stylecaster.com in June 2010