THE GLOBAL TRAVELER TEAM often finds itself in Los Angeles, as the city hosts two of our awards events annually, but only recently did Katie Skrzek, digital director, and I start to take better advantage of our visits. In December we escaped on a girls’ weekend pre-event, and in May, while we celebrated our 2017 Leisure Lifestyle Awards at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, we extended our stay by one day to partake in some of the city’s activities we’d been remiss in visiting prior. Of course, that included a morning visit to SoSPA.
We started our morning with an arduous hike in L.A.’s famed Runyon Canyon. Novices to the trails, we ended up taking the more difficult dirt path directly up, watching and wondering how our counterparts ended up on the larger, nicely paved path to our left. Nevertheless, as we made our way down that same path and noticed the turn-off we missed on our way up, we were pleased we conquered the harder trail, feeling we truly earned our spa time and the leisurely day ahead.
This was my third time at Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. And while I’d passed through the spa lobby many times on my way to the ample, on-site fitness center, this was my first opportunity to walk through the spa doors into the dark wood, Zen oasis of the spa. Katie was scheduled for the 60-minute So Rejuvenating Facial, while I was slated for the 90-minute So Detox.
The So Rejuvenating Facial is an aromatic treatment and one of the spa’s signatures, known for hydrating and restoring a supple, radiant complexion. My So Detox treatment included a full-body exfoliation with nourishing oil followed by a massage to release tension and restore vitality. Other available treatments include massages, such as the So-On-The-Go, So Jet Lag, So Powerful and So Hot Stone; body scrubs; facials, like So Red Carpet and So Got Your Back; enhancements, with options including a chemical peel, retinol booster and bio-cellulose restorative mask; and waxing. A salon is on site as well. SoSPA utilizes products from French brands Carita and Declour.
The SoSPA experience begins even before you enter the doors. Once I made my appointment, I received regular communication from the spa, confirming and reminding me of my appointment and welcoming me to the spa. The gentle reminders weren’t overbearing but rather a nice way to let me know they were expecting me. The thank you email I received post-treatment also proved a nice touch, and one that left a lasting impression beyond the benefits of my treatment.
After a brief tour of the facilities, we changed into our lush robes and headed to the relaxation area, where my therapist found me. Katie and I separated, and she filled me in later on the details of her spa experience. She described her therapist as detailed about her recommendations, both for products and for skincare in general, and Katie enjoyed the moisturizing products used during the treatment. A neck/scalp and arm massage as the facial mask set was doubly appreciated. An added bonus: Katie’s skin felt hydrated for our evening flight, a red-eye through Detroit that left us both a little sleep deprived. You couldn’t tell by looking at Katie’s skin!
I started my treatment by selecting an essential oil to be used in the scrub and massage. Of the three options, I chose peppermint, known for its invigorating qualities. I wanted an oil that would energize me for the day while still relaxing and mellowing my muscles. A quick shower to wash all the granules away followed my 30-minute scrub. The shower was amazing; I didn’t take advantage of all of them, but there was a large overhead showerhead, and multiple showerheads covered two of the walls.
After rinsing off, I drifted into a state of bliss during a 60-minute massage. I’d noted a few problem areas prior to starting and noticed my therapist paying extra attention to those spots. She also discovered other areas in need of some work, and I felt my muscles respond to the pressure and movement. I enjoyed the scalp massage portion and appreciated that my therapist had checked in prior to ensure I was okay with oils being used in my hair.
It all ended far too quickly, as massages always seem to do. It was back to reality, but luckily we had more planned on our perfect L.A. afternoon, and we were now, thanks to SoSPA, in the perfect mindset for it.
Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
8555 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
tel 310 278 5444
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.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
The addition of 50 high-end Explorer Cabins upped Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite’s game in the rustic-luxury market by attracting those who want upscale amenities but desire an outdoorsy mountain experience — “cabineering,” as Tenaya calls it, or roughing it in the woods without the rough part.
The Boeing 737 MAX cancellations will continue through the new year and at least one airline is keeping them grounded even longer to avoid disruptions down the line.
Get to know Mexico with ONE FREE NIGHT With Fiesta Americana Get to know Mexico with the largest hotel company in the country, offering more than 185 options in the best city and resort destinations. Book at any of our hotels with the best available rate at the time of booking and get one night free.
Holland America’s Club Orange premium amenities program is available on all ships as of this month. Previously only available on nine, Club Orange provides guests with stateroom upgrades, access to onboard events and extra privileges such as a dedicated concierge hotline. Newly available through Club Orange is the upgrade guests receive to the best available stateroom at the time of purchase. Guests also now enjoy a surprise event during the cruise, ranging from a behind-the-scenes tour to a private meet-and-greet with onboard entertainers.