I was not paid or perked for these thoughts. I paid for all of my treatments myself.
I am a spa kinda girl. The smell, the soft music, the nudity (okay, not the nudity) send me into an instant happy place. I have come up with some of my very best ideas while on the treatment table. Also, I have recurring tension problems in my neck and shoulders that make deep tissue massage a necessity, but that's a whole different idea, really. 'Cause that type of massage can be equally effective in a clinical facility. But when you're able to get a stellar massage in a glorious spa: well, it's the perfect marriage.
Whenever I travel, I like to try out a local spa. I have been to spas all over the world. In the last several months, I've gone to two spas of note. And then, entirely on accident, I went to the best spa I've ever been to, EVER.
It's quite a claim, I know. And what's more, it was in Las Vegas. Vegas! I'm not so much a fan. Only now I am, because if it means I can go to the Encore Spa, I will endure every other element of Sin City. The top picture and the picture below are both from the Encore Spa. My head feels floaty just looking.
I went to Vegas with a childhood friend for a quickie last-minute getaway back in February. Vegas is great for a quickie, last-minute getaway. There are always flights and hotels available. So off we went because she wanted to re-visit a spa she had loved previously. It was not the Encore. But while getting her (admittedly, lovely) treatment at the spa she liked, she asked about other spas in town. We heard about the Encore Spa. We shrugged our shoulders and decided it was worth the cab ride over. (We were in town strictly to relax. Neither of us gamble or do other Vegas-y things. Spas are our vice. I'm stating this freely.)
So off we went and our lives were changed.
The Encore Spa is breathtaking. It smells like what I can only hope heaven can achieve. The bathroom area, the hot tub area, the lounge area, I think we giggled nonstop for an hour. And we are not spa virgins.
Now, it's pricey. Pricey because it's Vegas and pricey because you gotta pay for all those smells and piped-in oxygen. But if you have the time to spend there, the price is worth it. My friend and I each only got one treatment, but we lounged around the hot tub area talking and reading for a long time. So factor that into your costs.
My actual massage at the Encore was good, but not the best I've ever received. I mean, it was good. It was very relaxing and there were all these special aromatherapy touches. But it was not as technically sound as I prefer my deep tissue.
Still, I am highly recommending the Encore Spa in Las Vegas as the best spa I've ever been to.
Completely switch gears with me for a second and put your fantasies in Palm Springs. They're both desert, but Palm Springs and Vegas are a lesson in opposites. One is loud and new and shouting! The other is sleepy and old and humming soft jazz.
When I was in Palm Springs with my college girlfriends a few weeks ago, I popped over to the Parker Palm Springs to check it out. I'd never been there, but had heard nothing but good things about the style. And it's true, the Parker has some great Palm Springs style.
The Parker Spa had a really nice feeling and I got a great massage there. The staff was also very, very nice. But be warned that it is co-ed. So the hot tubs and pool are community, which means you need a swim suit. I didn't know this in advance, so I was only able to dip my feet in the water. This is not a plus for me, as I really think that it helps to warm up and soften the muscles before a massage.
But the Parker Spa made up for it with iPads at every lounge chair. So I was able to sit in my robe and read a little before my treatment. Which isn't quite the same as a jacuzzi, but isn't too shabby, either.
I felt deeply relaxed at the Parker Spa, even though it wasn't totally what I pictured. I definitely want to make it back and maybe next time stay in the hotel.
Are you a spa person? I want to hear your best experience.