Southern Calif., Ritz Carlton Marina Del Rey

Jan 1, 2008
2008 / January 2008

How much more “Southern California” can you get than a relaxed, elegant spa fronted by a king-size pool filled with sparkling turquoise water rimmed by swaying palm trees, the Pacific Ocean just feet away? The weather was perfect, sunny with balmy breezes, and I was off for an indulgent morning.

The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey is a glitzy Southern California waterfront property with a harbor view. Luxury sailboats and yachts bob in the breeze outside the lobby doors, and the renowned beach towns of Venice and Santa Monica are just minutes away. The $4 million spa opened in September 2007 and is the latest addition to the hotel’s 6,960 square feet of space dedicated to the physical well-being of its guests, which also includes a cardio/weight fitness center that opens out onto the pool area. The 3,200-square-foot heated outdoor waterfront pool is not only beautiful and big, but also environmentally friendly, with a saline purification system using only pure, natural salt from the ocean.

The spa offers a wide range of massage treatments from the traditional to the esoteric. If you’re not too ticklish, the reflexology massage amounts to having pressure applied to parts of the foot that correspond to specific regions, glands and organs of the body. Interesting herbs and spices are used in some of the treatments, such as Get the Skinny, which claims to reduce cellulite and stretch marks through sugar exfoliation, pure Vitamin C massage to hips and thighs, and a mixture of cayenne pepper and horse chestnut rubbed into the skin to minimize imperfections. Sounding like a specialty hot drink from a designer coffee emporium, the Chai Soy Mud Wrap includes a ground ginger scrub.

Mama Mio treatments are specially designed for the mother-to-be, and include The Yummy Tummy, 4th Trimester Healing Hour and Mellow Mama. And, of course, you can get a manicure, pedicure or bikini wax.

The spa is open to anyone, not just hotel guests, and, if you have the time, you can make a day out of a visit here. Work out on the equipment in the fitness center, indulge in a spa treatment or two, and then top off the day by chilling out on a padded teak lounge by the pool and ordering a light lunch off the spa menu, which will be served to you poolside.

Frankly I was never much for massages, but facials, now that’s another story. So, for my first visit to the Ritz-Carlton’s new spa, I signed up for something called Urban Rejuvenation, a 60-minute treatment that promised to “restore clarity, elasticity and firmness, creating a clear, brighter look.”

Sounded good to me.

I arrived at the spa’s front desk, as instructed, 30 minutes prior to my appointment. After a quick tour of the facility, I was led to the women’s changing room where I was assigned a locker and given a lavish white terry bathrobe, a fluffy towel and a pair of plastic slippers. The attendant told me to change at my leisure, then head to the comfortable lounge where I could relax until my therapist came to collect me.

Plopped on a couch in the lounge, I was lulled into serenity by soothing music as I watched ocean images displayed on the flat-screen TV. I was feeling pretty tranquil by the time a tiny woman with black hair, enviable eyelashes and porcelain skin arrived, introduced herself as Vanessa, and announced that she would be giving me my facial.

In the dimly lit treatment room I lay under a cool sheet and waited for Vanessa to work her magic while a humidifier surrounded me in moisturizing steam — I could almost feel my skin drinking it in.

Vanessa quickly analyzed my skin — dry and sun-damaged from way too many hours on Southern California tennis courts sans sunscreen — and proclaimed the Urban Rejuvenation treatment to be just the thing to make my skin glow.

For the next half-hour or so I relaxed while Vanessa slathered my face in creams and oils, wrapped it in hot towels, covered my eyes with soothing moist pads, and massaged my shoulders and face. She e ven massaged and moisturized my hands before encasing them in terrycloth gloves.

Luscious as all this was, I’ve had enough facials to know a pore cleansing was on the horizon. I winced through the squeezes and pinches, knowing the discomfort would pay off in the long run. Needless to say, I was pleased when Vanessa finished cleaning my pores and returned to massaging my face. Subtle aromas wafted from the lotions, including one that had me yearning for spice cookies or gingersnaps.

By the time the treatment ended, my skin tingled and felt moisturized and supple. Though I knew I hadn’t reclaimed the complexion I had at age 30, I was sure Vanessa’s magic had erased at least a couple of years. As I eased myself back into the real world, I tried to figure out how I could manage one of these indulgent treatments on a weekly basis.

Would that I had had time to luxuriate around the pool for an hour or so, indulge in a petite lobster club off the spa menu, spend a while in the sauna and finish the visit off with a pedicure. Maybe next time.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Sep 21, 2019

Movie Night at The Logan, Philadelphia

What’s better than an open-air movie night in the summer? A free one hosted just blocks away from fun nightlife, restaurants and swanky activities around every corner, maybe?

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

Feature
Sep 21, 2019

Southwest Adds 2020 Hawai’i Flights

Southwest Airlines is adding new flights to, from and within Hawai’i, beginning mid-January 2020. The airline will add a new daily service between Sacramento International Airport and Honolulu (HON), plus new non-stop flights between Oakland (OAK) and San Jose (SJC) and both Kauai (LIH) and the Island of Hawai’i (KOA).

News
Sep 21, 2019

The Luxury Collection Welcomes Eighth Property in China

The Luxury Collection welcomes its eighth property in China with the opening of Na Lotus Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nanning. The property is situated in the capital of the Guangxi Province, in a high-rise landmark building in the business district.

TAP Air Portugal Adds 15 Flights Each Week From U.S., Canada

TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020,  a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.

Daily
Sep 21, 2019

New Luxury Residence Hotel Opens in Tribeca

AKA, the luxury hotel residence brand, opened its sixth property last month, AKA Tribeca —formerly the Smyth Hotel.

News
Sep 19, 2019

Best U.S. Cities for Oktoberfest Celebrations

WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

Feature
Sep 19, 2019

Qantas Will Start Using a Dreamliner on Santiago–Sydney Route

Qantas will start using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Sydney–Santiago route starting in late June 2020.