a little before seven in the morning, a bit early to be out and about on the tourist
magnet of Las Vegas Boulevard. The fantastically bright lights of night have given
way to the sun's rays, causing the mirrored windows of The Mirage to a glow a
cheery tangerine. It's relatively quiet -- throngs of sightseers are gone, replaced
by fitness junkies on morning runs and casino employees rinsing sidewalks.
solid twenty minutes of speed walking brings me to New York-New York Hotel &
Casino, its trademark 300-foot replica of the Brooklyn Bridge glinting in the
morning sunlight. I arrive at the spa, huffing and puffing, ready to be pampered.
Luckily for me, one of the first faces I see belongs to Josie -- a spa employee
with an upbeat attitude and a wide, genuine smile.
gives me a tour of the spa, from the locker facilities to the steam room and dry
sauna. She shows me the waiting area, where complimentary fruit, juices and water
are provided to guests while they relax before being called in to one of the treatment
spa is virtually empty at this early hour and I'm excited to have the steam room
all to myself for a few minutes, letting my cares just evaporate away.
roam lazily to the dry sauna next, feeling as if I've been transported to the
Far East as I close my eyes and lean against the warm wood. Sighing blissfully,
I'm thankful I have the extra time to unwind and enjoy the facilities
before my treatment.
discovering the spa's large showers and trying out the complimentary products
(mmmm...tropical scent body wash), I make my way to the waiting area. I grab an
apple juice and find myself chatting away with Josie.
to Josie, who is extremely helpful in offering suggestions on Vegas nightlife,
I feel comfortable and almost like a spa regular by the time I'm called in to
the treatment room.
the menu today is a New York-New York specialty: dessert-inspired body scrubs.
Yes, you read that right. Choose from a number of delicious-smelling exfoliating
treatments like Lemon Meringue Pie, Peach Cobbler, Blueberry Tart, Rainbow Sherbet,
Tiramisu, Green Apple Torte or Raspberry Truffle.
treated to a sweet-and-sour mix, which smells like a sugary chocolate cookie...in
other words, heavenly. My skin tingles as the therapist rubs the sea salt combination
from head to toe, explaining that
the sea salts, rich in minerals and vitamins, help unveil the glowing skin hiding
just beneath the surface.
treatment is also supposed to purify my skin and help it absorb lotions and nutrients.
What it also does, I realize, is make me feel special, carefree and completely
at ease. All in the space of 30 minutes.
the end of my treatment, my therapist wraps me -- still covered in salt scrub
residue -- in a soft white sheet and leads me to the steam room. "I'll come
back in a few minutes," she promises with a smile. "The steam, combined
with the scrub, will do wonders for your skin."
nod happily, inhaling the intoxicating scent of the sweet-and-sour scrub. Aromatherapy
at its best.
showering, I'm given a shea butter "topping" to rub into my skin. It's
a summery citrus scent and my skin practically sighs as I smooth it over my body.
the time I leave the spa, giving Jose a final wave goodbye, my skin -- now glowing
and luxuriating in the lemony shea butter lotion -- is silky soft. And my smile,
from having spent my morning in such a relaxing and healthy manner, is a mile
wide. I meet my friend for a late breakfast on the terrace at New York-New York's
Il Fornaio...and beam when she says, "You look great."
"I feel great," I reply with a laugh.
may seem like a hotel named after one of the world's busiest cities is the last
place coming to mind when you think of relaxation. But as I describe my spa experience
to my envious friend and we lean back in our chairs to people watch, I realize
it's the first time in months that the jagged edge of stress in my mind is completely
gone. Although themed after the bustling Big Apple, the spa at the New York-New
York Hotel & Casino takes you to a luxurious oasis in the middle of the
$75 Skin Cuisine body scrub is a delectable 25-minute treat for the skin and the
more information: http://www.nynyhotelcasino.com or call (800) 693-6763.