Have you ever stepped inside a Vegas spa? It’s as if your nagging obligations melt away the second you walk through that door. Your everyday clothes come off and are stuffed out of sight as you slip into the unofficial wardrobe of zen masters everywhere: a fluffy robe and slippers.
Within this plush oasis of comfy couches, fresh fruit juices, steam rooms, saunas, hot plunges and heavenly body treatments, there’s nary a thing to harsh your mellow. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the bounty of serenity set before you.
On second thought, there are some things you can do in order to improve your nearly perfect experience.
Uh oh, are we stressing you out? We didn’t mean that you actually have to do anything. We’ve done all the work for you by compiling the below tips from Vegas spa professionals to enhance your time at a Vegas spa.
No, there won’t be a test. Geez, you really do need to relax.
1. Arrive early
You’ll have plenty of chances to arrive fashionably late in the course of your lifetime. Your spa appointment isn’t one of them.
“There is nothing relaxing about running late for an appointment and trying to beat traffic,” says Katherine Wind, manager of Spa Mio at M Resort. “Allow plenty of time to get to the spa to relax before the treatment begins.”
Sue Harmsworth, founder and CEO of the global luxury spa ESPA, which includes ESPA at Vdara, agrees. She describes a cultural gap between the United States and other countries that translates to our spa experience.
“Your culture here is very speedy and everyone wants everything instantly,” explains the UK native. “But if you rush in 10 minutes before and you’re trying to get changed and you can’t shower and you can’t steam and you feel rushed you won’t get the same benefit of the treatment as when you calmed your mind, calmed your body, warmed all the muscles and joints up.”
Most spas recommend arriving 30 to 45 minutes early if possible.
“If you take heat (a steam or sauna or hot pool) then cold, and rest 15 minutes, you’ve already done 30 minutes of work before your massage, preparing your body to take advantage of the treatment,” she adds.
2. Stay late
Good news. You don’t have leave right away, says Michelle Wilkos, director of The Spa & Salon at Aria.
“Stay later to take advantage of the many amenities pre- or post-treatment,” she says. “Guests can unwind prior to their service or continue their relaxation upon completion in the wet areas.”
Wet areas include steam rooms, saunas, hot and cold plunges. Spas also often feature relaxation lounges, meditation rooms and other special amenities. For instance, Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace has tea lounges and an Arctic Ice Room with falling snow. Canyon Ranch Spa at The Venetian | The Palazzo offers a Middle East-inspired Rasul chamber. The beehive-shaped tiled chamber has heated seats for one or two people that are coated in therapeutic muds.
This “stay late” tip also applies to those who book multiple treatments. Book smart: “Request time in between services to allow for additional relaxation time,” says Wind of Spa Mio.
3. Wear a bathing suit
You’ve come to the spa to let go of your worldly cares, not to obsess over body issues. So if you’re concerned about flaunting your birthday suit, wear your bathing suit instead. It will come in handy in the wet spa plunges, the steam room and the sauna.
There’s another advantage to wearing your swimsuit, according to Aria’s Wilos. “Doing so will allow guests to enjoy the co-ed areas of the spa.”
Aria has several co-ed areas, including a Shio salt room, a pool lounge on the spa’s balcony and Japanese stone sauna beds. Other co-ed areas at spas include a co-ed laconium room at Qua Baths & Spa and the co-ed Hammam at Drift Spa at Palms Place.
If you don’t have a bathing suit, you could always wear your robe in the co-ed area … just be careful that it doesn’t come untied!
4. Shut off your cell phone
Contrary to popular belief, smartphones don’t actually make you smarter. And even if they did, it doesn’t take a genius to know that being massaged from head to toe with aromatic oils by a highly trained professional is pretty much the bees knees.
You came to the spa to relax and forget about your everyday worries. Not to check Facebook. Not to snap selfies in the wet spa. Not to play Candy Crush Saga (no matter how addicting it may be).
Some spas have even started posting signs requesting that you not use your cell phones inside the spa facilities. Remember, there may be people walking around naked or barely clothed. The last thing they want is to see their bum plastered across Twitter.
So put that phone in your locker where it belongs. And for the love of all things serene, leave it there.
5. Sweat it out
Many spas have a fitness center that is open to its guests. In addition to fitness equipment and traditional fitness classes, many of these spas also offer some only-in-Vegas classes.
The Spa & Salon at Mirage for instance offers Yoga Among the Dolphins. Your practice takes place in an indoor viewing area underneath the water. While you stretch and flow from pose to pose, the dolphins watch and play from the other side of a window. The practice is followed up by a smoothie.
Another unique class is the Aria Spa’s Hotel Hike though CityCenter. There’s a full-sized boxing ring at the fitness center at The Cosmopolitan. And the Canyon Ranch Spa offers a power walk past the Venetian’s canal.
You’ve heard the phrase, “Location, location, location.” Well “Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate” is the Vegas spa equivalent.
“Las Vegas is already dry enough,” explains the staff at the Spa at Encore. “A spa experience will heighten the need for drinking a lot of water.”
Drinking water aides the detoxifying process of a spa treatment. Spas always have water available to you and sometimes even infuse it with additions like cucumber and lemon. So refreshing!
Many spas in Vegas also offer hydrating treatments such as the Oxygen Infused Facial at the Spa at Encore, which combats the dry desert climate of Vegas with ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. The Spa at Trump offers a Recovery Bar treatment, including a 10 minute chair massage, pure oxygen inhalation and vitamin based recovery drink to increase oxygen intake, circulation and energy levels.
If you don’t mind needles, REVIV at MGM Grand offers a variety of hydration therapies through IV infusion. The Royal Flush Infusion contains vitamins to help aid in wellness and recovery, including multivitamins, antioxidants, immunity support, Vitamin B12, anti-nausea medication and anti-inflammatory medications, plus a dose of Glutathione, which is the body’s natural detoxifying agent.
7. Double trouble
Spend some extra time with your significant other by booking dual services at the spa. Most Vegas spas offer special rooms for couples massages as well as co-ed areas. You can even turn your intimate couple’s getaway into a evening on the town.
“Start with a relaxing spa treatment and then get ready for a night out with a salon service,” says Aria’s Wilkos. “This provides a full and comprehensive experience.”
The Spa & Salon at The Mirage has a private barbershop area, so he can enjoy a hot shave while she has her eyebrows waxed. Spa Bellagio and Spa Mio also offer barbershop services for men, in addition to their salon services.
8. Bring a budget for retail
Perhaps there was a scent that you fell in love with during your massage or a lotion from your facial you just need to own. Fortunately, most spas offer retail areas, often allowing you to purchase some of the same products used in your treatment.
ESPA develops its skin care line and oils in the UK from fine organic ingredients derived exclusively from herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables and oils. You can buy most of these products in the ESPA at Vdara boutique.
Spa Mio, meanwhile, carries an array of products from Moroccan Oil, Kimberly Parry, glo Therapeutics and more. “It is so nice to take home a piece of wellness to enjoy at home,” concludes Wind.
For additional spa tips and terminology, click here.