A team of Oyster reporters spent weeks exploring 59 top hotels in and around Los Angeles. We slept in the beds, lounged by the pools, ate in the restaurants, and even sampled the nightlife, all with an eye toward selecting the most distinguished properties. Here’s a list of our favorite hotel spas.
The Beverly Wilshire's sleek 8,000-square-foot spa stands out for its day facilities, which hotel guests can use for free. There's an aromatherapy-crystal steam room, a tranquility lounge, and "experience showers," which use colored lights, scents, and different water pressures to create the sensation of a "Cool Mist," an "Atlantic Storm," or "Caribbean Rain." A full range of massages, facials, body treatments and waxing are available as well.
The Beverly Hills Hotel's elegant and intimate La Prarie Spa specializes in anti-aging treatments, a smart choice in image-conscious Beverly Hills. The spa's unique "cellular" skin therapies, like the Cellular Resurfacing Facial, incorporate products from the pricey Swiss La Prarie anti-aging line. The 1,916-square-foot facility features six treatment rooms, including two couples suites, and also offers treatments in poolside cabanas or guest rooms.
The Casa del Mar Sea Wellness Spa prides itself on its holistic remedies, and rightly so: Its "Focus" spa menu targets the mind rather than the body. Hypnotherapy treatments are guided by experts from the Moonview Sanctuary, an Eastern-religion-influenced wellness center made famous when former Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin became its director. For those in search of a more typical spa experience, the Relax menu offers treatments inspired by the hotel's oceanfront location, like the Sea Days Seaweed Wrap and Touch of the Sea Massage.
This celeb favorite has been featured in magazines from US Weekly to Allure to Lucky. It's popular with high-profile customers because of its supreme level of privacy; treatments take place in luxurious, personal spa suites with 98-gallon tubs, flat-screen TVs, and showers. Private use of the marble Turkish-style steam bath can be purchased for 25 minutes, during which guests can exfoliate with the spa's signature sugar scrub and keep their legs cool in the waterfall under the marble bench.
Like everything else at the hotel, the spa is both phenomenal and expensive. A basic one-hour massage — creatively called the "Peninsula Signature Custom Massage" — will run you upwards of $150. One-hour facials, manicures, and pedicures are as excellent and pricey.
Spa Luce is such an integral aspect of the Renaissance that it has been incorporated into the full name of the hotel: Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa. TV shows like Millionaire Matchmaker and The Bachelorette have filmed there. Even if you don't plan to drop the big bucks on an 80-minute "Hammam Ritual," it's worth visiting just for the sleek Moroccan-influenced design and mind-blowing acoustics in the lobby.
No other Los Angeles spa can compete with the Terranea's size or features, precisely because, well, it's not really in L.A. — it's in Ranchos Palos Verdes, a ruggedly beautiful coastal enclave at L.A. County's southwestern tip. The facility encompasses a whopping 50,000 square feet and has 25 treatment rooms as well as its own pool and outdoor hot tubs. The three serene private treatment rooms, called VIP suites, are themed after the elements; the earth suite has a redwood sauna and shower, the fire suite has a fireplace, and the water suite has a copper tub and views of the Pacific.
Only a few years old, LeSpa at the Sofitel is a contemporary urban sanctuary accented with dark woods and candlelight. (The designer, Yabu Pushelberg, is also responsible for the décor at some of the W hotels.) This is the place on the West Coast to get "nanotechnology immersion treatment," a popular Japanese therapy in which you soak in hyper-oxygenated water; it's said to combat aging and improve sports performance, among other things.