Tag Archives: spa day

The Spa at the Ivy Hotel

It was a brisk November day, and I was grateful to have quick and easy access to the front door by pulling up to the hotel’s valet area.  My car keys were retrieved and I was escorted inside the building which looked more like a large residence than a hotel.  I took a seat at one of the chairs within the hall, as there was no traditional hotel lobby area from what I could see.   Only a room with a small sign indicating it was the “reservation” area, and tucked in a corner to my left, an elevator was visible before me.    The elevator car took flight to the 2nd floor, and with a return shortly thereafter, I was greeted by Leslie Doroba, Spa Manager at the The Spa at the Ivy Hotel.

20171110_134115
Leslie Doroba, Spa Manager at The Spa at The Ivy Hotel

After a ride on the elevator, I was transported to the real jewel that was hidden from first sight.  Leslie took me on a tour of the repurposed mansion, which was built as a private residence in 1889, but converted to The Ivy Hotel in 2015. The project was jointly developed by Martin Azola, CEO, Azola Cos., and Eddie Brown, founder and CEO of Brown Capital Management, the second oldest African American owned investment management firm in the United States.

Each uniquely designed sitting room felt like every detail mattered.  A mix of old-world charm, with hints of sophisticated modern upgrades. Though the common spaces were mainly unoccupied during my visit, I could almost envision the lively conversations that take place at the billiards table or self-serve bar;  or perhaps the secret whispers and side-eye chuckles that the quaint living room areas seem to invoke. I imagine the solo traveler tucked away in the firelit library with a good book and a cup a tea.  Though you can tell no expense was spared to create a luxe environment, the feeling was warm and inviting, as opposed to stuffy and standoffish.  I wanted to take a seat and stay for a while, and though I didn’t get a chance to that day, I hope to in the near future.

Though you can tell no expense was spared to create a luxe environment, the feeling was warm and inviting, as opposed to stuffy and standoffish.

I took one last look at the historic photos of residents past, discovered the empty antique birdcage set high atop a signature furniture piece, and touched the wallpaper that felt like custom made flooring material before we took to the curved stairs for a quick peep inside of Suite Seven.

IVYSuiteSeven
Suite Seven – Photo Credit:  The Ivy Hotel

Oh My…. Suite Seven!  What Leslie described as her favorite suite at the exclusive Relais & Chateaux member boutique hotel, which consists of only Eighteen guests rooms and suites, identified by number accordingly.  Suite Seven housed a separate living room with fireplace, wall mounted flat screen tv, breakfast nook, and a bathroom fit for a Spa Bunny with deep soaking tub, Natura Bisse bath products, heated limestone floors,and a shower the size of a walk-in closet. The wheels of my mind turned as I thought how perfect a future “time-out” retreat would be in this very space, perhaps a slumber party, with complimentary spirits from the inclusive in-room mini bar as me and my besties lounge on the chaise lounges and four-poster bed in spa robes while having crucial conversations about life and love.

What more could be in store at this hidden gem located in the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, MD?  Well, the spa of course!   Located behind a secure door showcasing letters adorned with golden ivy vines spelling SPA, I inhaled the calming scent and entered the bright and airy petite retreat.  Day guests are escorted from valet directly to the spa, while hotel guests are picked up from their hotel room or suite prior to scheduled treatments.  Two well decorated treatments rooms can both accommodate doubles for simultaneous service with a loved one. The lounge area overlooks the hotel’s courtyard, and the Foot Sanctuary & Beauty Bar offers another space for customized pampering.

20171113_212459

I was treated to a mini service with massage therapist Ricquel, who started the session by allowing me to pick a custom scent from the Zents Aroma Journey options.  I opted for a blend of Ore (euphoric) and Oolong (energizing).   During a regular spa visit, I normally don’t book anything less than 75 minutes when it comes to massages, so I was honestly surprised at how relaxed and at peace I felt during the 30 minutes I spent in the treatment room.   Though short, it was more satisfying than anticipated, which simply confirms the skill level and natural rhythm of the therapist was impressive. In the words of the Terminator, “I’ll be back”.

Everything about The Spa at The Ivy Hotel was in line with what I expect from a luxury boutique spa experience.

In addition to a newly launched spa membership program, noteworthy treatments on the spa menu includes a 2-hour Ultimate Zen body ritual (includes an exfoliation, wrap, hot oil scalp treatment, and massage) or the Perfect Petite Retreat (includes a custom 90min massage and 60 min facial). Spa boutique products range from the pure and organic ingredients with Zents, results-driven facial care of Natura Bisse, all-natural homeopathic oral sprays from Sprayology, and Knesko Skin Nanogold repair masks.  Everything about The Spa at The Ivy Hotel was in line with what I expect from a luxury boutique spa experience.

Take a sneak peek inside The Spa at The Ivy Hotel with this short video compilation from my visit below:

At The Ivy Hotel, good things truly come in small packages.   I close my eyes, and dream of restful nights in Suite Seven, enjoying the simple things and life’s little luxuries, as the days go by.

 

 

Advertisements

The Washington Spa Alliance Kicks Off 2017 at MGM National Harbor

They didn’t gather for the casino, upscale lounges, or signature restaurants.  No, this intimate gathering was all about spa, as the Washington Spa Alliance (WSPA) held its first member event of 2017 this past Wednesday at the new MGM National Harbor hotel.  Tucked within the fitness center, and past a hall of sheer white drapes, the yoga studio served host to this gathering of the wellness minded.  As the mix of spa professionals and resource partners convened, they gleamed with excitement in their conversations about new endeavors, partnerships, and the year ahead.

The new WSPA Board of Directors was announced by Chair, Penny Kriel, as well as the date and venue for the 7th Annual WSPA Symposium, which will move from being held previous years at the National Press Club to the newly renovated Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC on March 20, 2017.  The Watergate’s Argentta Spa launch party, led by Spa Director Stephanie Rest, will also coincide with the March WSPA Symposium.

16112864_10208318934279720_7980651376382284884_o

In between the hugs, hors d’oeuvres, and happy people, attendees had an opportunity to tour the MGM Spa & Salon.  Greeted by a waterfall backdrop, this modern 2-level oasis comes complete with a co-ed lounge housing sleek chaise lounges draped with blankets, a spacious couple’s suite with in-room soaking tub, full salon with hair, nail and make-up stations, and a dedicated man-cave of sorts, complete with barber chairs, a library of literature, and flat-screen tv for the gentlemen to indulge in grooming services tailored to them.

Though there was no official afterparty, many of the night’s attendees ended up at MGM’s restaurant Marcus to continue the positive vibes and end the night over dinner and cocktails.

The DC-MD-VA (DMV) luxury spa scene is on the rise, and with recent spa openings across the area, a new enthusiastic WSPA board, and Confessions of a Spa Bunny ready to cover it all, 2017 is sure to be an exciting year!

“Confessions of a Spa Bunny” – Mother’s Day Spa Deal Round-Up

SpaRoundupPic

Guess what I’ve worked on just for you? The spa bunny’s hand-picked round-up of some of the best “spa bunny approved” deals and specials for Mother’s Day in the DC Metro area, all in one handy list!  From spa days, spa getaways, and spa products, there’s surely something to please everyone!

Treat that special lady in your life: your mom, wife, sister, aunts, grandma, or book a pamper day for yourself!  Don’t worry if you haven’t picked up that special Mother’s Day gift yet, “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” is here to help.

IMG_0088

Salamander Resort & Spa – Middleburg, VA

Pamper mom with a Salamander Experience!  By far my favorite resort to retreat to in the area, is offering a Mother’s Day Weekend Getaway package—starting at just $425/night—includes a free spa gift and $200 credit* to spend how you like around the resort. It may be hard to choose with so many activities and events happening all weekend—from brunch to afternoon tea, mini-makeovers to Mother-Daughter yoga and spa specials to pasta making.

http://www.salamanderresort.com/experiences/seasonal-happenings/all-about-moms#mothers-day-getaway

Four Seasons Georgetown – Washington, DC

With a great offer from The Capitol Deal, that special lady can pick a day to enjoy a massage or facial with a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne, and access to the spa amenities, including the sauna, whirlpool, steam room, and relaxation areas, plus complimentary three-hour parking with prices starting at $119.  Details at: http://us2.nmb.ly/1f8ayy

IMG_1577

Fountains Day Spa – Alexandria, VA

Starting as low as $215, a variety of Mother’s Day Specials include a Sweet Beginnings package for expecting mom’s, a Day of Lavender package with includes a lavender body polish, mini massage, and facial.  Or go all out with the 4.5 hour Mother’s Day Retreat package which includes a mud wrap, combination massage, Ultra Hydradermie facial, and a catered lunch for a special price of $399Mother’s Day Gifts Certificates for these specials can be purchased anytime from now until May 17, 2015 at: http://fountainsdayspa.com/index.php/mothers-day-gifts/

Lorien Spa – Alexandria, VA

Located inside of the Lorien Hotel and Spa, for $219 enjoy an 80 min Cavier Dreams Facial, 50 min Lava Shell Massage with hot stone therapy, and access to the fitness center and complimentary valet parking. Details at: http://us2.nmb.ly/1f40xd

Spa Minerale at Lansdowne Resort – Leesburg, VA

A variety of spa specials and packages are being offered during the entire month of May for services Monday – Friday.  Highlights include an Antioxidant Manicure and Pedicure (105 Minutes for $100), a Luxury Spa Day Retreat which includes a Swedish Massage, Facial, Mani/Pedi, and Glass of Champagne (190 Minutes for $249).  More packages listed at: http://www.lansdowneresort.com/vacations/virginia-day-spa-packages

_DSC0020

Boutiques and Spa Products

Maybe she’s not into spa treatments, but loves those body creams, bath soaks, essential oils, teas, warm neck wraps, and other luxury spa products.   You can find a great selection of “pamper me” products at most spa boutiques and can freely browse and shop without having to book services. Some of my favorite locations, which have a wide variety of unique items to tickle anybody’s shopping preferences, include The Pearl Spa in Maple Lawn, MD (http://www.thepearlspa.com), tuanh boutique in Old Town Alexandria, VA (http://www.tu-anhboutique.com), The Still Point at Haven on the Lake (http://www.havenonthelake.org) in Columbia, MD, and Progressions Salon Spa Store (http://progressions.com) in Rockville, MD, and to my most recent discovery, local Marshall’s and TJ Maxx stores have a great selection of high-end discounted beauty and bath products!

Gift Certificates

Not sure which treatments that special lady will like best?  You can never go wrong with a spa gift certificate which will give allow them to pick their own treatments, and most gift certificates can also be utilized for spa boutique purchases so she can continue to reap the benefits of her spa benefit at home!

connectwithbunny

Connect with the Spa Bunny

Rather have the “spa bunny” provide specialized concierge and spa buddy services for your mom or the next girl’s (or guys) spa day or getaway? No need trying to figure it out yourself,  get the most out of your spa adventures and email me at:  spabunny@hisincorporated.com for more details.

For more recommendations and information on spa gift ideas, spa education, spa getaways, and all things spa-related, connect with Confessions of a Spa Bunny on Facebook www.facebook.com/confessionsofaspabunny and Twitter @confessspabunny.  Also, be sure to check out and subscribe to the spa bunny “confessions” which include “Confession 101: Losing Your Virginity”, “Confession 102: Butt Naked or Nah”, and much more at: www.confessionsofaspabunny.com.