A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to enjoy a half day at The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC. This was my second spa experience at a Mandarin.  They have 42 hotels around the world, half have spas.  The hotels and spas pride themselves on being luxury properties linked to their oriental roots with local tastes and unique personalized service.

As a going away present from my job in Amsterdam, my team gave me a gift card to The Spa so I decided to splurge adding to it and go for a half day treatment.  The DC property is 6 years young, a beautiful place sitting in southwest Washington with fabulous views of the Jefferson Memorial, Tidal Basin and Washington Monument.

“Honoring eastern culture, our spa is an oasis of holistic therapy for the body, mind & spirit.” It truly delivers on their promise from their 8 treatment rooms to the zen relaxation room to their heat & water experience, made of the vitality pool, experience shower, steam room, sauna & ice fountain.

To keep with their theme I booked the Invigorating Ocean & Earth Ritual “designed to stimulate your body’s innate ability to purify and cleanse. Long-term relaxation is achieved by cleansing energy channels, releasing tensions and drawing out impurities from within, creating greater physical and emotional harmony.”  I arrived early to enjoy everything they have to offer, including a workout overlooking the Washington Monument, then my 3 hours of bliss with Thea.

Starting with their unique Foot Ritual, Thea asked ‘what I wanted to get out of today’s treatment/feel like at the end?’ Based on that, I had my Personalized Ocean and Earth Body Wrap and Essential Body Massage.  Then enjoyed a quiet nap in the zen room before one more journey through the heat & water experience to round out by 6 1/2 hours.

In December 2008, I enjoyed a half day at The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, London set in beautiful Hyde Park on Knightsbridge. It was Christmas and not only was the hotel divinely decked for the holidays but the spa with its amethyst crystal steam room, vitality pool and zen relaxation room delivered on its promise “where time stands still & tranquility reigns.”

My favorite thing about both spas is the special attention to detail and personalized service…from the greeting by Cole, to Thea tailoring my treatments to my needs, to enjoying all 3 hours in one treatment room with one therapist, to sitting down as you leave to pay (no standing in lines).  These details you don’t get at just any spa!

The Mandarin Spas are definitely worth a splurge for that next special occasion or your serious need for a getaway!