By Susan Romero

The new Red Door Spa at Elizabeth Arden is a fraction of the size of the previous space, but it is large on style and modern amenities. As a customer of the old Red Door Spa that was located in a mammoth space on Fifth Avenue, I was curious to see how the new salon differed. Like most businesses this spa has downsized but it has also made an effort to update its image, and maintain or exceed the quality of service.

The mantra of the Red Door is the “Wow” policy, a philosophy that clients should say “Wow” at least three times during their spa visit, says Global Chief Creative Officer, Cornelia Zicu. If this does not happen, Zicu says that the Red Door Spa employee must find out what can be done to improve the guest’s experience.

I was scheduled for an Oxygen Infusion Facial during my visit to the Red Door Spa, and looked forward to my “Wow” experience. When I arrived I was struck by how different the spa looked, with a much more condensed waiting area. The new space has two floors, including a rooftop terrace with adjoining space that can be used for events. The décor in the dressing room was impressive, with black and white marble finishes and painted white lockers that were long and deep. The Relaxation Room, as it is now called, was cozy and warm, a departure from the previously very bright and somewhat noisy waiting area.

The spa was busy, but mainly with people waiting to have their eyebrows done, so they sat in coats while I was in a robe and slippers. As I recall at the previous location clients were separated by service so they waited with others who also wore robes. Still, the new waiting area was more intimate and comfortable than the old space.

When my esthetician, Greta met me, she ushered in me into a very comfortable, warm treatment room. The new treatment rooms are an improvement over the previous rooms, which were sometimes cramped, and I could hear street noise through the windows. There was music piped into the new room, and the spa table was extremely comfortable. My first “Wow” came here.

Greta examined my skin and proclaimed that my pores were clogged, which is a chronic problem of mine. She went to work cleansing and massaging my face, décolleté and shoulders. My face was steamed and then Greta applied a mask and proceeded to massage and moisturize my hands and place them in warm mitts. Somewhere during this process my second “Wow” emerged as I practically fell asleep I was so relaxed.

Greta’s extractions were gentle and thorough, so my level of relaxation was never broken. After the extractions, my face was cleansed again and another mask placed on it. Finally I received bursts of oxygen on my face and neck, which felt soothing and hydrating. It was kind of like a vacuum cleaner on my face.

When my mitts were off and the facial was over, I was definitely relaxed, having forgotten the stresses of the day. My skin looked a definite “Wow.” Greta went over some recommended products with me, but there was no hard sell at the end, which I appreciated.

After the facial, I had light make-up applied. My make-up artist, David, instantly transformed me into a sexy version of myself. He did an amazing and fast job! My fourth “Wow.”

The new Red Door Spa is not your mother or grandmother’s hot spot. It is a modern day spa with quality service that doesn’t feel like an assembly line. It is worth putting the “Wow” philosophy to the test.

Red Door Spas
663 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Originally published March 2012
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