Diane Siskin: Spa Sensations

Visitors To Las Vegas Looking For New Attractions; Many Adding Spa Experiences

Monday, November 9, 2015 - by Diane Siskin

For the past several decades tourists heading to Las Vegas came to gamble and take in elaborate live entertainment shows. These diversions provided “the bread and butter” for this Nevada destination.

Today, not so much!

So far, in 2015, there have been 42 million visitors to city, who have filled the more than 155,000 hotel rooms. After all, Las Vegas was and is a convention capital. It was also the first location of the televised Republican political debates.

“We have easy access from our hotels to the airport and 200 direct flights available on the Internet each week,’ explained two-term Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, during a recent speech.

In fact, this writer was in the city just before the debates for another convention.

“There are many parallels between downtown Las Vegas  (where our convention was held at a series of renovated hotels and sites) and the theme of your meeting (Reinvention Convention), “ said Mayor Goodman. “Our city is in the midst of a renaissance, which is being fueled by significant investment, new and landmark buildings and the birth of a new cultural epicenter for the entire city.”

Still on Mayor Goodman’s wish list are major league sports, more museums (like the Mob and Neon), more great restaurants, boutiques and outdoor experiences.

To keep attracting tourists, conventioneers and weddings the city fathers had to look both inward and out.

Services provided by high-end hotels now feature all encompassing spas. Most of these businesses are open to non-hotel guests.

If you talk with frequent travelers, whether they are traveling for business or recreation, you will find at the top of their wish lists, are hotels which offer amenities such as free bottled water, comfortable and super clean bedding, updated bathrooms with high-end complimentary spa products.

In other words, these guests like to be pampered and enjoy on the road some facilities they may not have at home.

One of the ways Las Vegas is reinventing itself is the inclusion of  large scale spas within their new hotel complexes. A program which could easily be “labeled’ Spa Central.

To learn more about this vision I toured some of the city’s top spas and even had a chance to indulge in some of the experiences currently offered. Our guide was Sandy Zanella, who is the director of Public Relations for the MGM RESORTS International which includes under its umbrella all the properties we visited.

We started at ESPA at Vdara, an 18,000-square-foot two-level haven, which included an extensive work-out facility, along with beautifully decorated spa rooms where we learned the secrets behind some of the signature treatments inspired by the desert landscape that surrounds Las Vegas.

Vdara Hotel & Spa is a non-gaming, non-smoking elegant property providing a soothing oasis in the middle of the Las Vegas’ Strip. It is one of only three places in the U.S. where you can experience a highly accoladed ESPA-branded spa.

The products offered and tried are amazing. The total experience was quite sensory and relaxing. The staff not only is welcoming, but extremely informative and knowledgeable.

“We really try to only use and sell products which will be enhancing for our guests,’’ said Erin Feldman, the spa and salon’s assistant manager.

When you first arrive the ESPA therapist performs a sensory test with the spa’s specialty oils on the guest’s arm “to determine whether their body desires to revitalize or wind down.”

The therapist then chooses which oils to use for their spa experience.

Another special spa plus for me was an organic tea/wheatgrass station which included delicious and healthy gluten-free options. 

It was then onto ARIA, and its 80,000-square-foot-complex. Here we first saw a tranquil water garden (which portrays a sense of calmness and serenity). This garden is surrounded by large Japanese Aji stone boulders, (representing the magnitude of nature.)

Natural light shines on the water garden, reflecting patterns onto the ceiling.

Add to this background, peaceful music, pleasing scents wafting through the walkways and beautiful artwork and your immediately sense you are entering a different locale. 

Within this spa there is a balcony with an infinity-edge pool resembling a Japanese open-air hot bath.

In the Fireside Lounge and Ganibanyohu, spa guests can try heated stone beds.

Or maybe you might want to try a private spa suite designed for couple’s treatments, bachelorette parties or sports watching parties.

This large suite, complete with refrigerator, large screen TV and over-sized soaking/hot tub can be rented by the hour, (with a three-hour minimum of $150).

“We have had a group of guys rent the suite to watch a sporting event,’’ said Ms. Zanella. “They even ordered pizza in.”

Wedding parties have used the suite to relax and/or entertain bride/bridemaids and mother-daughter sessions.

Aria also featured one of the largest hair salons, (with 62 stylist stations and treatment rooms or areas) I have seen anywhere, let alone within a hotel. They could easily do a large wedding party, along with their regular clients all at the same time. They also do private manicure and pedicures in these treatment rooms.

The BATHHOUSE at the Delano LasVegas, is a new venue, like the hotel in which it is located.

This hotel is a sister to the Hotel Delano South Beach in Miami Beach, a boutique hotel which helped lead the way in hotel design trends 20 years ago. This brand is aimed at millennials and design-savvy travelers.

The hotel’s lobby (no casino) features large rock boulders reminiscence of the Mojave Desert. This hotel, according to its designers, hopes to bring a “breath of fresh air and a touch of South Beach (Miami) to the Strip.”

This Delano outpost has accomplished its mission.

The hotel is redefining what a Las Vegas hotel should look like (space and environment) and who should be its guests.

The hotel’s spa is named for the great bath suites it offers. If you want to “submerge yourself” figuratively with water, you can opt for  any number of options, including the Delano Las Vegas Signature Fizz Bath, a Milk and Honey bath, a Moor Mud bath, a total Body Detox Soak or just a plain ole Stress-Relieving Soak.

You can also partake of the “Global Journeys” sessions which feature the spa treatments of Asia, India, the Islands and Europe, in all inclusive packages.

I will personally vouch for the signature massage along with aromatherapy, which did what it proclaimed, revival after an action-packed day.

Spa treatments offer retreat for rest, relaxation and the renewal of mind, body and spirit. And when those treatments are in a setting with soothing sounds, sights and sometimes surrounding nature, what could be bad?

Las Vegas is rolling the dice on spa sensations and they seem to be winning!


For Your Information:

Vdara Hotel & Spa: 2600 W. Harmon Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada. vdara@vdara.com


ARIA: for inquiries, email:





Delano Las Vegas: 3940 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89119 or delanolasvegas.com




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