WHEN I STEPPED OFF MY FLIGHT at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport in October, I noticed something obviously different about the air. It was probably just the warmth and humidity, as the 80-degree temperature was a far cry from the chill I left in Philadelphia.
My stay in the city was short, with a schedule packed with cocktail hours and Aston Martin driving experiences. I settled into my room at the Waldorf Astoria and set out to explore the hotel. First of all, the name “Waldorf Astoria” denotes luxury for a reason. The Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas is the only hotel on the Strip with no casino. Instead of a focus on drinking and gambling, the focus sits squarely on health and living well.
Inside every guestroom, visitors find a spa-inspired bathroom featuring a huge soaking tub and complimentary bath salts, soaps and lotions to make even routine soaks more luxurious.
Outside the room, the property bursts with luxury. The 23rd-floor SkyBar and Tea Lounge afford guests breathtaking views of the city, especially at night. On my first day at the property I had plenty of time to explore before my appointment to drive an Aston Martin.
The driving experience is the result of a four-year partnership between Waldorf Astoria and Aston Martin. Hotel guests, local dealers and interested locals have the chance to sign up for a one-hour experience with a professional driver. For hotel guests the experience is complimentary, and I drove the DBS Superleggera for nearly an hour. The experience was just the icing on the cake of an already refreshing day. The next morning I explored the rest of the hotel and the surrounding areas, returning to my room to rest for a bit before my appointment at the Waldorf Astoria Spa. I was nervous before the 1 p.m. appointment. I had never had a massage before and didn’t know quite what to expect.
I took the elevator to the eighth floor, which houses the fitness center, outdoor rooftop pools and spa. After checking me in, the spa attendant ushered me to the waiting area. Within a few minutes another spa attendant greeted me and took my shoes, replacing them with a pair of slides. She offered several options for tea, and I decided peppermint sounded best, perhaps because she mentioned its anxiety-assuaging qualities.
I sat on the plush couch for less than 10 minutes, sipping the tea and contemplating the imminent massage. After a few minutes, my therapist greeted me and escorted me down an atmospheric hall to one of the nine single treatment rooms. The spa also has seven private couple’s suites available.
My massage therapist was aware this was my first spa treatment of any kind and walked me through the entire experience. Before the treatment started, I selected an aromatherapy for the treatment. I picked a spicy, Christmasy- type scent on my therapist’s insistence it boosted immune health.
I had ample time to get comfortable on the table before my therapist knocked and asked to start the treatment. I don’t have much to compare, but by the end of the treatment I was totally relaxed. The full-body massage lasted just under an hour, and my therapist made sure I was comfortable throughout, changing the pressure to help me get the most out of the experience. I had her use as much pressure as possible, and by the end my muscles felt more relaxed than they have been in years.
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas guests have access to all the spa facilities, and the staff made sure I knew that before I departed. The 27,000-square-foot spa has separate men’s and women’s facilities which include steam rooms, a hammam, laconium and vitality pool. Women have access to a rhassoul and relaxation lounge, while men have access to a sauna, ice fountain and relaxation room. There is also a foot spa and nail salon.
I didn’t get a chance to experience much of the auxiliary facilities; my time was tight, and I needed to catch an early flight the next morning. But I could imagine decompressing in the lounge, watching the sun set over the Strip. If I am ever back in Las Vegas, I will definitely return to the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas. And the massage is inspiring me to seek out spas wherever I travel.
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