There’s a difference between traveling and vacationing. One signals movement from one place to the next; the other suggests a pause in routine, a break from the rush of day-to-day life. All too often visitors forget to leave their baggage at home, carrying with them the stress and tension they had hoped to escape. What’s the weary traveler to do? Turn off your cell phone, shut down your laptop and head for the nearest spa. The question is: Which to choose in a town with dozens to offer? Relax…we’ve narrowed the field for you.
The Waldorf Astoria Spa
One of the newest entries to the New Orleans spa scene is also one of the city’s most opulent. The award-winning Waldorf Astoria Spa, in the refined Roosevelt Hotel, offers 10 private treatment rooms and unparalleled personalized pampering. Custom therapies, combining local ingredients and contemporary techniques, are crafted to clients’ specific needs. The sleek space, outfitted in warm woods, cool frosted glass and Venetian plaster, also features select hand and foot therapies, in addition to travel-specific treatments and salon services.
The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton
When searching for indulgence, it’s a safe bet you’ll find what you’re after at a Ritz-Carlton hotel. The elegant Canal Street location of the international chain doesn’t disappoint, especially its award-winning spa. The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton has raked up numerous accolades, including being named among Elle’s “Top 10 Spas in the U.S.,” and it’s easy to understand why. The two-tiered, 25,000 sq.-ft. space features 22 bamboo-floored rooms, couples’ suites and a café, along with experienced therapists and such signature services as the “Marie Laveau Voodoo Love Massage.” Something extra-special? The “Romantic Relaxation” package—a couples’ massage and bath with a bottle of bubbly and side-by-side pedicures—should do the trick.
Belladonna Day Spa
“We’re all so pushed and pulled from every side each day to ‘do,’ we forget the power of simply ‘Be-ing’” Such is the philosophy behind Belladonna Day Spa, an Uptown urban oasis where the services are focused on “being” rather than “doing.” Take the “Be Youthful” replenishing facial, for example, or the “Be Detoxed” seaweed treatment—better than any hair of the dog after a night out on Bourbon Street. Visitors will gravitate toward the “Be Bamboozled” body ritual, which incorporates herbal aromatherapy products designed to stave off travel tension. The hour-long treatment starts with a body scrub and green tea-milk bath, and culminates in a full-body massage.
Aidan Gill for Men
OK, so this is really more an old-fashioned barbershop than a hot-spot spa. As its name suggest, Gill’s is a manly retreat (no unisex salon here, thank you), a throwback to a time when gentlemen’s clubs were more about hanging with the guys than ogling girls. Imported shaving soaps and top-notch grooming accessories line the antique showcases; the walls are covered with vintage memorabilia; well-worn copies of Playboy (which named this the best barbershop in the nation) are tossed casually about. The trappings are secondary however to Gill’s global reputation as the modern master of the proper hot-towel shave, which incorporates seven hot towels (and one cold) along with a complimentary pint of Guinness.