The Spa at the Mandarin is a dream; from the first steps into the reception area, a smiling knowing face greets your weary soul with a most gentle and calming disposition, collects your shoes and replaces them with slippers. It is at that moment you have decided to leave the tracks of the hustle and bustle of the city streets behind and enter a realm of ultimate bliss.
You are lead into a female or male changing room, shown a locker to store your worldly possessions, again shedding the weights of urban stress behind a keyless lock, replaced by a cocoon of a most soft and luxurious bath robe. Then you move into the waiting area to enjoy cleansing vitamin rich water infused with grapefruit, orange and lemon.
Your therapist greets you at the waiting area with a folder, ie your very own signature path to wellness. Led into an all-inclusive treatment room, you fill out a questionnaire of your current moods, what it feels like on a typical morning, any aches and pains. Then a series of scent tests. Based on your yin and yang measurements and responses, a specialized treatment is customized to restore you to optimum condition and balance.
Each treatment has a different focus depending on your state. For me, my therapist Aaron R, who I highly recommend, found I had a metal imbalance and prescribed a program focused on release. The specialized treatment included inhaling aromas of eucalyptus, clary sage and frankincense to clear my lungs, boost immune system and lift my emotions. Then I received what may be the best salt scrub of my life, followed by a cleansing shower, and a muscle melting massage.
With each inhale and exhale you begin to let go of the stress and pent up energy, whether it be from starting a new business, a new job or working towards a promotion, maintaining a relationship with your significant other, money worries, concerns about the health of your parents, the state of the BP oil crisis, the homeless man you may have passed this morning on the street corner and every other thought that enters your head on a daily basis manifesting itself in tiny knots on your neck and shoulders. In an hour and a half let go of the fears, release the worries, and begin to accept all that we can and cannot change.
After the massage, you receive a bottle of water to hydrate. Led into a relaxation area, different than the waiting area, you lay down on a curved lounge chaise. Tucked beneath a soft blanket, warm tea is delivered to your hands and you can observe the city world through the glass panels while your mind drifts among thoughts and imaginations.
When you are ready, continue the journey to the heat lounge. Due to my always oversubscribed appointment book, I arrived just moments before my spa treatment (a near cardinal rule sin of the spa world, though not an eyelash was batted by the most accommodating Mandarin Spa therapists), so I enjoyed the heat lounge post treatment. However I do recommend arriving about 30 minutes early to enjoy the vitality pool before and then the amethyst steam room after.
Mandarin’s therapist Aaron told me that although the amethyst steam room can be enjoyed and compliments the massage oils of the treatment, there is a slight hint of chlorine in the vitality pool which would counteract. Never one to miss an opportunity of experience; however, I did sneak a quick 2 minutes in the vitality pool.
There is nothing quite like the way the bubbles wrap bursting and flowing around your skin. The steam room takes it to another level. An amethest sits high in the room and the steam drips off your forehead and limbs you can sigh with detoxing relief. Just outside the steam room is a most fun and playful experience shower.
If you are there late on a Saturday, you can enjoy this alone as it is a bare all experience, no curtains or doors. For about 5 minutes transform to the age of about eight, switching between tropical mist, rainfall and storm, laughing and enjoying one of the best views in the city. After a series of treatments to encourage release, it is simply bliss to be enjoying a moment of joyous youth in the comfort of sincere luxury.
The Mandarin is an experience to let go of the world beyond those glass panels and embrace not only a pampering experience, but one of ultimate wellness and soul cleansing vitality. It is the must have treatment for the executive, the mom, the overachiever, and all those in search of the ultimate spa luxury, where it’s ok to take time to be all about you.
To book the Mandarin Oriental Signature Spa Therapy or one of their many wonderful treatments contact The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, 80 Columbus Circle New York, NY 10023, 212.805.8880, www.mandarinoriental.com.