Guest Author - Chris McBeath
Canyon Ranch Spa Club at The Venetian/The Palazzo
Covering a staggering 134,000 sq ft of treatment areas, this is the mother of all spas complete with a separate gym filled to the gunnels with treadmills, moving stairs, arm flexors and weight machines. There’s even a climbing wall that rises 40 ft in the middle of the cavernous reception area. If you enter from The Palazzo side, bring along a GPS. It’s a long walk down faceless corridors through expansion space that because of the economic downtown is taking forever to finish and finesse. Don’t be dissuaded, though. This is a top notch spa exemplifies the venerable and much-heralded Canyon Ranch ethos of promoting lifestyle wellness, and was the spa that forced the other casino resorts to get serious about their facials. The rather aloof front desk staff doesn’t always convey the care you’ll receive once you’re in the spa’s inner sanctum.
Canyon Ranch is often described as an up-market (celebrity) spa, and since there are no easy-to-buy packages, spa-ing can add up to a chunk of change when stringing together different services which include everything from 18-carat facials and Aghyanga massage from India to vibrational therapy. If money’s tight, buy a SpaClubPassport ($40/day) that lets you into the fitness center and all its classes and wellness presentations as well as the spa’s extensive amenities that are nothing short of fabulous.
Aquavana is a myriad of high-tech water experiences including clothing optional experiential rains that mimic a Caribbean storm, a tropical downpour or a cool fog. There’s even a cool-down igloo. There is a lot of ‘shared experience’ space so share this spa with your honey. Co-Ed environments (bring your swimsuit) include a salt grotto and a multi-sensory wave room that simulates the look and feel of breaking waves under a domed canopy.
Recommend: Rasul Ceremony. Slather your skin, or your partner’s, with purifying mud and relax in a gently warmed, tiled chair for a 50-minute private, and ornately tiled steam chamber.
Love: pre treatment, mix your own oils, scrubs and body butters at the spa’s Living Essentials boutique
No sooner had Bellagio opened its exclusive spa, than its popularity initiated plans to double its size. As a result, what started as a guest-only amenity is now a 56-room classic spa.
While the bright and airy entrance bespeaks ‘spa’, the rest of the décor misses the mark. Because it doesn’t have the techno-wizardry of some of its competitors, it would have done well to carry on some of Dale Chihuly’s glass art that has made the Bellagio lobby such a landmark but alas, the long corridors are rather non-descript and dimly lit so the water wall and illuminated aqua colored glass features lose their impact. The elemental theme needs more than granite walls and votive candles though for many guests, this very simplicity has a peace.
When all is said and done, however, this is a classy spa with an exceptionally high standard of treatments, especially in skincare.
In-the-know spa goers would choose nowhere else for their facials. In fact, the service menu does a better job than most in delivering what Bellagio terms as world treatments – therapies from different continents that appeal to Bellagio’s international guest set.
Thai Yoga Massage, Indian Head Massage and Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy run alongside energy-experiences such as a Chakra Balancing Treatment, a combination of energy and massage after which your body artist will gift you a special stone charm chakra necklace. It’s a nice touch and reflective of the attention to detail this spa delivers, including (on request) magnetic mattress pads to help stabilize your energy system, warmed neck wraps and value-added extras that make every treatment a five-sensory affair.
Recommend: Bellagio’s signature Watsu® Massage, an aquatic experience in which you float, cradled in the arms of a therapist who combines gentle Shiatsu stretches with movements in, out, under and over the 94 degree warm water. The sensations are almost sensual.
Love: Ultimate HydraFacial. Unlike its competitors, Bellagio includes all five specialty treatment steps in the service, including a crystal-free microdermabrasion. It’s pricey but it works --two weeks hence and you’ll still see the difference.
Tip:Spa amenities are complimentary with any spa service over $50; spa pass is $25/day without services.