Beverly Hills is known to have the best of the best, from hotels to dining to celebrities of the silver screen. I was looking forward to being a part of this posh elite, if only for a few hours during my time at Spa Montage. Nestled in the stunning Montage Beverly Hills — a beautiful hideaway where the décor is decidely Old World Spain — Spa Montage offers an oasis of calm for anyone looking to escape the stress of a hectic day.
Featuring a décor inspired by the shapes and colors of 9th-century Andalucían design, Spa Montage combines the Old World with the New. The spa has 17 luxurious treatment rooms, including 12 massage and facial rooms, five wet treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy tub, a double Vichy shower and signature mud ritual suite, with eye-catching mosaics throughout the facility.
I was running late from a meeting, as usual. When I arrived for treatment, the attendant noticed I was agitated. She encouraged me to relax and assured me I was in for a wonderful experience. She was being modest. Just walking through the spa, I felt the tension in my shoulders release. Even though I was in the middle of a major city, I had a sense of being in an oasis far away from real-world pressures.
The 20,000-square-foot Spa Montage helps guests discover connections to optimal overall health, wellbeing and strength that they can integrate into their everyday lives. Treatments focus on hydrotherapy, holistic wellness and anti-aging; facilities also include a complete fitness, yoga and Pilates studio and a full-service Kim Vo salon.
I opted for the Surrender Experience. The word “surrender” is not one of my favorites, but in this setting, as I readied for a treatment involving hydrotherapy, a salt scrub and a mud wrap, it seemed somehow appropriate.
The deluxe female boudoir is nothing like a traditional locker room. It features a Swiss shower, an herbal steam room, a sauna, a whirlpool and a deluge shower. I changed in a private dressing room and met my spa therapist in the relaxation room for a brief consultation, where we went over my general health, daily routine and diet. I had recently undergone surgery and was wary of lying on my stomach. She said we would adapt the course of the treatment as we went along to address my concerns.
In the hydrotherapy room, as I encountered what looked like a bathtub on steroids, my surroundings felt more clinical than Zen. My opinion quickly changed. I confirmed the temperature of the water was suitable and submerged. The therapist started the whirlpool and adjusted the pressure of the jets to my liking. She then showed me a water pressure hose and explained the massage would be conducted through water pressure, using the underwater hose to work my muscles at a much deeper level than if we were out of the water. She also explained that combining heat with the water softens the tissue, and the hydrostatic pressure pushes extra fluid to draining areas. This is a popular treatment for elite athletes, but I didn’t fully fathom its benefits until I emerged from the tub and felt a sense of lightness.
I donned my bathrobe and moved across the way into a treatment room with a strange-looking contraption called a Vichy shower. The therapist showed me various scrub ingredients and helped me select the best combination to suit my needs: a mixture of modified Dead Sea salts, almond oil and rosehips, high in nutrients and good for women.
This was my first scrub, and I could feel my body starting to surrender to the ritual. I learned that this treatment is good for people who need to surrender their minds as much as their muscles. For the uninitiated, a Vichy shower is a network of adjustable nozzles mounted on a track over a treatment table. The therapist moves the shower and adjusts the pressure to rinse the scrub mixture. I didn’t have to move a muscle.
With the tension and stress I felt on arrival now a distant memory, I moved on to the wrap. The therapist chose green sea mud wrap versus a Dead Sea mud wrap because of my allergy to shellfish. The mud felt refreshing on my skin. As she covered my legs and arms I felt like I was being transformed into a mermaid. Once wrapped, I happily surrendered to the hypnotic effects of a phenomenal head and foot massage. The Vichy shower was put to use one more time, and any anxiety I felt going into the treatment was officially washed from both mind and body. I came out of the wrap feeling lighter and, if possible, thinner. Whatever thoughts were left in my head seemed much more organized.
I headed to the relaxation room feeling refreshed and renewed. Following previous spa treatments, I had a tendency to rush through the relaxation finale. This time, I savored the wonderful atmosphere and gave myself time to absorb the enlightening ritual I had just experienced.
When I finally dressed and headed out for the rest of the day, every person that worked at the spa said I looked like a new woman. All I could do was smile and accept their compliments. I could feel myself glowing! I’ve always wondered how it felt to be a Hollywood celebrity, and the Spa Montage confirmed my belief that the pampering would be my favorite part. From the moment I stepped into the spa, I was treated like a star — and I was happy to surrender to the pampering.
Montage Beverly Hills
225 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
tel 310 860 7800
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2004 / April 2004Sep 1, 2010
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