There’s a lot of sun in Los Angeles – sun that warrants Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses and Kate Somervale SPF 50 in Beverly Hills. It’s L.A. luxury, it’s a business, and a lucrative one at that – and it’s what draws hundreds of millions of people from all over the world to its bottomless glow.
So there are luxury hotels to accommodate these opulent vacationers and business trippers, and in every luxury hotel is an equally luxurious spa, because there’s always money to be made on beauty treatments for a special occasion, and also because important business people need to have their backs rubbed once in a while. But it is sportive, the way these spas keep their visitors happy, with complimentary champagne, mineral pools, immaculate facilities – they become veritable oases in the second most populated city in the country, an escape from the concrete but also from the self. Suddenly a place one goes for a simple manicure becomes resplendent. While we live in a culture of "Go ahead, why not splurge a little", and while Los Angeles still glows outside, well…. why not?
One must consider the company one is keeping at Hotel Bel-Air. Opened in 1946, the hotel bears a gilded legacy: the home of Grace Kelly, the set of Marilyn Monroe’s last photoshoot, the oasis and destination for Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth and a whole sparkling promenade of celebrities over the next 70 years. The Spa by La Prairie, to their continued credit, certainly keeps up with Hotel Bel-Air’s standards of luxury and privilege by providing the customized anti-aging facials (care of their namesake company of beauty products) and unique body treatments, as well as a wide variety of professional massages from all over the world.
This impeccably designed 9th-century Andalusian-inspired sanctuary in the otherwise bustling Golden Triangle in Beverly Hills offers the ideal atmosphere for relaxation and well-trained therapists to ease any aches. The two-story spa area includes a beautiful mineral pool, guest lounges, 17 treatment rooms, a fitness center, yoga and movement studio and a full-service salon. Their treatments are finely tuned and non-invasive, using organic products and customized aromatic oils.
Minutes from the city is a gorgeous 102-acre private resort at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Nestled in this secluded coastal paradise is a 50,000 square foot spa complex that offers 25 treatment rooms, an adult pool with private cabanas, a fitness center, a full salon, spa café and boutique. Those booking treatments should do so early, because they fill up fast. For the massage-weary, it’s worth it just to spend the whole day melting in the eucalyptus steam room and sauna, lounging in the pool and grabbing a bento box and a glass of champagne at the cafe – after all, it’s hard to beat the ocean breeze.
Residents of the Ritz and visitors can get away from the bustle of downtown Los Angeles and all of the excitement of LA Live and instead, find refuge at the 8,000 square foot all-service Ritz-Carlton Spa. The de-stress session begins with a champagne welcome in their relaxing white and lavender Sanctuary and the rest is a relaxing procession of calming aromas and delicious skin treatments. All their seasonal specials incorporate herbs and produce from the Ritz’s rooftop garden for an organic and fresh feel, but their leading edge beauty enhancements offer the best in micro-current and LED light therapy technology. Afterwards, guests can hit the rooftop pool for a refreshing dip.
Voted "Best Luxury Spa" and one of the "Top 10 Spas Worldwide" by the SpaFinder community, the Peninsula Beverly Hills Spa has developed a loyal following of both visitors to Los Angeles and locals. It’s in the details, like the waft of violet candles at the entrance, the eucalyptus steam room, and easy access to the fitness center and rooftop pool. Its also in the assortment of treatments, from teen facials, jet-lag recovery packages, detoxifying body wraps, chai soy mud masks, paraffin hand and foot treatments, microdermabrasion facials, and more, using state of the art massage methods and the best ingredients gleaned from all over the world. Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but it can definitely bring serenity for at least 60 minutes.