A Splendid Spa Experience in New Orleans

By  April 20, 2010

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Yesterday I told you all about my gastronomical adventures in New Orleans. It was absolutely delicious, but admittedly disgusting. After three straight days of gratuitous eating and drinking, I was feeling sluggish and sleepy. I needed a pick me up — and fast. It was time to stop splurging in calories and start indulging in some serious “me” time. So I did a bit of research and discovered that the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans has a world-class, award-winning spa. Now, if you’re familiar with GlamNest, you know I have an affinity for any and all Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts. And after my transcendent experience at the Eau Spa at the Ritz in Palm Beach a few months back, I was completely confident that a rejuvenating treatment was exactly what I needed to get me out of this food-induced funk.

Located on bustling Canal Street on the edge of the French Quarter, the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans combines classic Southern style with a contemporary twist. While I wanted to take the time to tour the posh property, I was running late and didn’t want to miss out on any of the pre-treatment perks. So I did a quick little race around the maze-like layout and eventually found my way to the spa’s elegant entrance. With 22 beautifully appointed treatment rooms; separate relaxation lounges for men and women; a Spa Café; salon; and fitness center, the spa at the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is a sprawling sanctuary for tourists, hotel guests, and local patrons. There are over 100 treatments offered from a classic manicure to Thai massage to a paraffin facial to a café au lait body scrub. Friendly staff members and spa technicians epitomize Southern hospitality, and make the luxurious experience even more memorable.

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I knew I would enjoy my time at the spa upon being greeted with a warm smile and a glass of champagne. I changed  into the silky robe in my locker and was escorted to the lovely relaxation lounge where I rested on a plush daybed and enjoyed a little peaceful reading. I probably could have spent all day there. But after a few minutes, my technician came to introduce herself and talk about what my treatment would entail.

After a long winter in New York City, my skin was feeling dry and thirsty, so I wanted  to get exfoliated, polished, and moisturized. The Apothecary Scrub, a new option on the spa menu, allowed me to choose certain key herbs and essential oils for my treatment. The technician walked me through the benefits of using salt or sugar; lavender or roses; and citrus or mint. Together, we created an ambrosial potion that revived my skin and awakened my senses.

For fifty minutes I was rubbed, scrubbed, and buffed… and it felt amazing. A Vichy shower rained warm water all over my body, soothing my skin and calming my nerves. When my treatment was over, I retired back to the relaxation lounge for, well, nap time. I was lulled into such a serene state that I couldn’t imagine putting on real clothes and facing reality outside the spa walls.

While eating great food is always a blast (again, see previous post!), taking off my bib was by far the highlight of a trip originally devoted to being gluttonous. I emerged feeling fabulous on the inside and outside. (And not having a tummy ache for once was refreshing.) I also have to give kudos to the spa director and technicians… Days later, my skin still feels soft to the touch.

If you ever find yourself in The Big Easy, take a break from slurping down those frozen hurricanes (or gorging on Creole classics), and do something that’s actually good for you.Take it from me… A trip to the spa at the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans will work wonders.