By Liz Bekesz

Think Long Island is all big malls, big cars, and big hair? Think again – and while you’re at it, think green.

Westbury’s new Viana Hotel & Spa is an innovative, eco-friendly luxury “green” property, and will be Long Island’s first and only LEED-certified hotel (LEED is an internationally-recognized green building certification system; the letters stand for “Leaders in Energy Efficient Design”). LEED-certified buildings are designed to reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, be healthier and safer for occupants, and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. To that end, the refuse from the prior structure that stood where the Viana stands now – a bowling alley – was recycled and reborn into new material for the current structure: the steel, roof, and concrete are all made of recycled materials. The “icing on the cake?” A rooftop 10kw solar panel system.

Designed to promote joy, harmony, and restorative balance, the Viana uses Feng Shui to help support its soothing environment. But if that’s not enough to relax you, just head downstairs to the Zen-inspired Spa for a massage, facial, or beautifying treatment – I did, and can definitely recommend it!

After completing a brief intake form and sipping on chilled lemon water, I was taken to a changing room and provided with towels, slippers, and an ultra-comfy, super-fluffy robe made (naturally) of bamboo, a sustainable, strong material. My massage therapist Stephanie Smith met me in the softly-lit Zen Room; the ambiance and soothing music helped me unwind instantly, and Stephanie helped with the rest: her Swedish Massage used lots of long strokes and kneading to help break up the knots that had taken up seemingly permanent residence in my back, neck, and shoulders. Skilled hands generated natural therapeutic heat that helped melt away my muscle tension. An intuitive therapist, Stephanie commented, “I just can’t stay away from this neck!” Clearly, this stressed neck needed it.

In addition to Swedish Massage, The Viana Spa offers Hot Stone Massage, Pre-Natal Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage, and Couples massage (also available in the privacy of your hotel room, for an extra charge). Body scrubs and mud wraps are also available, as is something called the Pure Bliss Journey, featuring BodyCoffee ™ (sounds particularly, deliciously indulgent and yummy…perhaps we need further research, wink-wink). Skincare, make-up, and hair styling are conveniently yours at the full-service salon (ask about the wedding packages or “Spa-jama Party” events for Girls’ Night fun). I was sent home with the Viana’s own private label Limu Facial Cleanser and Ginseng Mineral Toner, both highly recommended by Stephanie – someone who definitely knows what’s good at the spa!

The Viana Hotel & Spa is located at 3998 Brush Hollow Road, 
Westbury, NY 11590
 Call 516-338-7777 or visit for more information.

Originally published April 2011
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