Introduce your bridal party to ‘social spa-ing’
Qua Baths & spa
Forget the gaming tables — treatment tables are the new Vegas lure. Yup. It’s now a “city of spa.” The collection of luxury spas on this six-mile strip is the largest you’ll find within any other comparable contained space on the planet. The only two destinations that come close are Scottsdale and Dubai.
Need another opinion? Ask the 3,000 or so spa owners and therapists who descended on the city last November for the International Spa Association Conference (ISPA). It was the largest attendance in the association’s 16-year history, and many credit the destination.
One of the Strip’s newest and largest palaces of pampering — the Royal Flush of spas if you will — is Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace. Qua is pronounced Qwa and comes from the Italian word for “here.” Give the word a spa spin and you get “living in the moment.”
In keeping with the new-to-North America concept of “social spa-ing,” Qua’s focal point is the luxurious bath area, inspired by ancient Rome. Now, instead of meeting friends at the slots you can meet in the bath. Yes, you do need to wear a bathing suit.
While the spa wasn’t officially opened the day I visited, they did bend to serious pleading and gave me a day pass. I relaxed in the tea lounge where a tea sommelier makes and serves hot and cold teas according to the treatment you are about to receive.
Next, I checked out the cozy mosaic-tiled Laconium Room. This is the place to hang out with other spa-goers (more of that social spa thing) to get toasty warm before a treatment. Nearby, the Arctic Ice Room lets you chill out — literally. Here, you sit on heated benches wrapped in chilly air while real snowflakes fall down around you. It’s kind of magical.
The extensive spa menu offers the usual spa treatments plus the more novel — the Crystal Body Art Treatment, for instance. At a cost of $130 US you get a customized “tattoo” created with tiny Swarovski crystals. It’s the new personal fashion accessory.
anne dimon/for metro toronto
Another winning hand in the spa category is Wynn. While Caesars is a combo of sleek lines and golden-hued brick walls, the Spa at Wynn, with its rich fabrics and tapestries is more “lush parlour.” It has 45 treatment rooms (Qua has 51), but you’d never know it; the design, colour, furnishings and layout make it seem quite warm and intimate. The ladies lounge, for instance, is almost boudoir-like .
As with Qua there’s a wet area —with whirlpools, dipping pools at various temperatures, steam room and sauna — very nice but not much of a wow factor as the Qua baths. There’s a handsome coed-lounge, four wet rooms for Vichy and hydrotherapy treatments, an esthetics room with a built-in sea salt aquarium and a couple’s suite with a fireplace. One of the signature treatments is the Good Luck Ritual. If may not help you at the gaming tables but you definitely leave the treatment table feeling like a winner.
And, as for those spas that have been around for a while, many of them are getting facelifts.
Take Wet. The new spa at TI (the new moniker for Treasure Island) has just undergone a major rejuvenation, and the result places guests in an embrace of aqua tones and wave motifs.
Wet is themed right down to the turquoise sandals and turquoise packaged amenities in locker room vanity areas. I snacked on mini muffins and sipped a tonic-of-the-day, then headed into the water-hued pedicure room for the “full-house” treatment. Who needs poker when you have pedicures?
Anne Dimon is a spa and wellness travel writer and editor of traveltowellness.com. Sign up for the free newsletter and you could win a spa visit. www.traveltowellness.com/winaspavisit
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