Spa

By Candice Sabatini

When it comes to “old world” style, class and elegance in hotels, New York’s famed Waldorf Astoria comes to mind, and in beauty, the House of Guerlain will be at the top of the list. So when I heard that the venerable French House of Guerlain had opened the Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf, my expectations were high that this would be a special retreat. My recent facial there indeed proves that to be true.

Immediately upon entering the spa’s elegant reception area, the hustle and bustle of the street and busy hotel lobby is instantly forgotten. The pale marble desk and cream colored furniture are neutral backdrops to the incredibly beautiful and exotic floral arrangements placed all around.

Upon being welcomed, I was asked if I would prefer fragrance that relaxes or revitalizes me. Being that it was in the middle of a busy day with lots more to do after the facial I chose to be revitalized. Presented to me were three little satin “pillows” all infused with a different revitalizing scent and I was to choose one. All were nice, but I found a favorite, and was then brought to the treatment room and given a spa robe and slippers. One of the lavish touches at this spa is that every one of the 16 treatment rooms has its own private bathroom. Guests never have to change clothes or shower in a communal locker room. I was brought to an ethereal looking and airy lounge with couches and square cut-aways on the wood floor. As I sat comfortably, my esthetician Lynda slid open the floor panel which revealed a foot bath. While my legs and feet were being exfoliated and massaged with scrubs and lotions infused with the scent I selected at the front desk, I learned that on everyone’s first visit, they’re treated to this while completing the usual questionnaire that we all fill out when we go to spas.

After the footbath, it was back to the treatment room where the linens on the spa bed had been sprayed with the same revitalizing scent. The treatment rooms are large, and though mine had one bed, it could have easily held two for a couple’s massage, which is one of their offerings as well. Lynda and I discussed my skin care needs and she told me which Guerlain products she recommended for my skin. The next hour was pure bliss with Lynda’s perfect touch and soothing voice as she cleansed, masked, plumped, serum’ed, hydrated and massaged my skin in the most heavenly way. I felt fantastic and my skin looked wonderfully radiant. All guests are offered a complimentary makeup application after any spa treatment, but I declined the offer as I had another appointment to hurry off to.

The spa offers an array of services for both men and women, such as various massage therapies, spa manicures and pedicures, vichy showers, hydrotherapy, and makeup application including bridal looks. There is a Guerlain Boutique carrying a full range of skin care, beauty and fragrance products. Spa guests have complimentary access to the fitness center. I was offered tea or water throughout my visit, though I was a little surprised that there were no little nibbles like fruit or nuts available. The spa has a no-gratuity policy, and for those that drive to the hotel, there is complimentary valet parking for spa guests.

Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria
301 Park Ave – 19th Floor
212-872-7209
http://www.guerlainspa.com http://www.waldorfastoria.com

Originally published February 2009
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