While many spa-goers want to channel a healthful, Zen vibe, there’s an entirely different group – group being the operative word – looking to turn up the volume a bit and raise more than just a glass of lemon water as they enjoy some pampering. Hence, the rise of the “social spa,” with public and/or private areas designed for pre- and post-treatment lounging, soaking, chitchatting, and sipping. They are ideal for girlfriends’ getaways and bachelorette parties, and here’s a small sampling:
Spa Solage at Solage Calistoga in Napa Valley: What’s better than a sloppy, skin-rejuvenating signature Mudslide treatment with your friends, plus free access to the Bathhouse with its geo-thermal pools and convivial ambience (shown above at left and at right) at the chic and eco-friendly Solage Calistoga resort tucked into Napa Valley’s northern end? How about a welcome round of drinks at Solbar and breakfast daily. Two-night Girls’ Getaway Package starts at $755 (rooms sleep two).
Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas: What happens in Vegas these days is social spa-ing, especially at the 50,000-square-foot Qua Baths & Spa in Caesars Palace (with 51 treatment rooms), where the signature Roman Baths hark back to the days when bathing was a social ritual where people connected while sharing the healing powers of thermal waters. You can bond with your girlfriends even more during the application of Swarovski crystal body art. Rooms start at $139; treatments from $140.
Eau Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Palm, Beach Resort: Touted as a “42,000-square-foot water playground and spa fantasy land,” the Eau Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach in Florida features a Bath Lounge with large soaking pools (shown at left), a Scrub and Polish Bar where guests can mix their own personalized scrub blend, and the Self-Centered Garden, where hanging chairs dangle over a reflecting pool and the spa holds Moonlight Parties with a resident DJ, wine, and relaxation under the stars. Rooms start at $239; treatments from $125.
Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at The Plaza in New York City: A spa that revolves around vinotherapy (grape products and wine used in treatments) is bound to have a social component, too. And the New York outpost of the famed French Caudalie wine spa doesn’t disappoint, offering the French Paradox Wine Lounge, complete with a sommelier, where guests can relax and drink up red wine’s health benefits after their skin has soaked them up. Treatments from $75.
Sahra Spa at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: Book the Sahra Suite (shown at right), with its living and entertaining area (complete with wet bar and DVD-TV combo) in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, one of the Strip's newest design hotels, and you can lounge, steam, or soak in two side-by-side whirlpools with a group of up to eight friends – while enjoying the spa’s complete selection of treatments. Rooms start at $190; suite is $95 per hour (four-hour minimum) plus at least $300 in treatments.
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