FX Excursions

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

Waldorf Astoria Chicago Spa & Health Club

by Kimberly Krol Inlander

Sep 1, 2016
September 2016

There’s nothing better to motivate a weary business traveler through a day of meetings than the promise of a late-afternoon massage. Thankfully, those were the circumstances facing me one Chicago day in May. After an early-morning flight and a full day of meetings, I found myself gleefully checking into Waldorf Astoria Spa & Health Club at Waldorf Astoria Chicago.

Pulling up to the 5-star property feels more like arriving at a private residence. Part of the property is, in fact, residences; however, driving into the tucked-away courtyard, looping around the fountain and arriving at the canopied hotel entrance set against a white stone façade feels exclusive and grand yet still secluded and intimate.

The hotel boasts 215 guestrooms and suites over 19 stories in Chicago’s toney Gold Coast neighborhood. The cozy yet elegant vibe continues in the lobby, spacious but not overwhelming, and follows throughout, including the darkened, relaxing bar, Bernard’s. Years prior to this visit, Bernard’s was my first taste of this Chicago luxury hotel, stopping by for pre-dinner cocktails with a colleague.

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Women’s relaxation lounge © WALDORF ASTORIA

On this afternoon, I visited Waldorf Astoria Chicago for a different reason — seeking a bit of a reprieve and a few moments of solace in the award-winning spa, well-known for boasting superior treatments, luxe facilities and a wide range of options.

Once inside, I checked in for my Waldorf Signature 60-minute massage, and the air of exclusivity and intimacy continued. The large locker room was quiet, without another patron in sight. After I changed into my comfortable robe, I relaxed for several minutes with a magazine on a heated stone recliner near the sauna.

I was then escorted to a different lounge area, with cushioned recliners arranged in a semi-circle. The green tea-infused water and assorted nuts were a perfect light snack as I finished an article and waited for a therapist to escort me back to my treatment room.

Massages represent only a handful of the myriad wellness offerings available to spa goers. Treatment options include facials, waxing, tinting, body treatments, manicures, pedicures and specialoccasion makeup. All, with the exception of body treatments, are available in-room for guests of the hotel. One treatment stood out to me as I perused the spa menu — the 60- or 90-minute Ashiatsu massage, which uses deep barefoot compressions over the body in a push-and-pull motion while the therapist uses overheard bars for balance — something not seen on most spa menus.

Additionally, the venue offers DREAMDRY, providing blowouts, updos and more, cofounded by Rachel Zoe and Robin Moraetes. The Health Club features up-to-date cardio and strength training equipment but mainly focuses on classes including Pilates, Gyrotonics, Total Body Blast, kickboxing, aqua aerobics and Hydro-Tone. The indoor lap pool also hosts water classes.

Elysian spa Jacuzzi © WALDORF ASTORIA

Elysian spa Jacuzzi © WALDORF ASTORIA

My 60-minute massage was nothing short of blissful. So blissful, in fact, I don’t remember many details. Within minutes of the treatment beginning, I found myself in a state of semi-conscious oblivion, just enjoying the immediate relief and relaxation that comes with a well-executed massage. Just the right amount of applied pressure aided in working out the knots and kinks in my right shoulder caused by carrying my laptop and pulling my suitcase. Soft music and dimmed lights helped put my mind, moving a mile a minute all day, at ease. And an aromatic oil filled the room with a calming scent.

The hallmark of the signature massage is it is fully customizable — therapists use varying techniques to address the individual needs of the patron. Searching for stress relief? Looking to eliminate pain in specific areas? Just seeking calm? This massage is perfectly suited to those spa goers.

The true test of any great experience is the service. And while the service experienced during my visit was certainly top-notch, it was only after I departed I realized how truly on point the spa staff is. In a rush to leave and get ready for a dinner appointment, I quickly dressed and gathered my belongings. (So much for long-lasting serenity!) Back at my hotel, I realized I’d left my ring — my grandmother’s wedding ring with a deep significance to me — in the locker. Within minutes of my phone call, the ring was located, marked and stored for safekeeping until I could return to pick it up the next day. A huge sense of relief washed over me the minute I knew the heirloom was safe, secure and in good hands.

In good hands — just as I was during my luxurious treatment.

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

11 E. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60611
tel 312 646 1300
waldorfastoriachicago hotel.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

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

#globility

Insta Feed
Mexico
Jun 24, 2021

Just for Laughs and Pollen Presents Bring Comedy to Cancún

Love to laugh and travel? Join Just For Laughs in Cancún presented by Pollen Presents Nov. 3–7. This festival event brings together the relaxing accommodations of a 5-star resort and laugh-out-loud funny comedy sets for a long, unforgettable escape.

SPIA 2021 Winners Crowned at Gala Ceremony at W Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.

eFlyer Reviews
Jun 23, 2021

Hoffman Haus Review

A handful of historic towns in Texas Hill Country reinvented themselves as upscale food, wine and culture destinations. Fredericksburg is the shining star among them, transcending its historic German underpinnings to the point where it’s drawing a more cosmopolitan group of visitors, including many from outside Texas.

eFlyer News
Jun 23, 2021

Lufthansa, Viking Cruises Partner to Offer Customers Direct Flights to Malta

In an exclusive partnership, Lufthansa Group teams with Viking Cruises to offer the cruise line’s travelers direct, non-stop flights from the New York City area to Malta (MLA), beginning June 30. Flights will operate three times weekly on Lufthansa’s Airbus A350-900, departing from Newark Liberty International Airport.

eFlyer News
Jun 23, 2021

Indianapolis International Airport Opens Art Gallery

Indianapolis International Airport officially opened its first-ever art gallery, The KIND Gallery, named after the airport’s international airport code. It is initially featuring artists from Harrison Center for the Arts.

Daily
Jun 22, 2021

6 Reasons to Put Panama City, Panama, on Your Travel List

As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.

Sports Industry Awards returns to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah for 8th Edition

The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.

Daily
Jun 22, 2021

Boca Raton Resort & Club Announces New Partnership

Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.