Las Vegas spas have no equal for sheer size and extravagance. The hotels are huge and flashy, and so are many of the spas. Recently opened spas in Las Vegas like Sahra Spa & Hammam at The Cosmopolitan, The Spa at ARIA and Qua at Ceasars Palace have exotic European technologies like laconiums, hammams, ice fountains and water circuits that make for a visually rich and relaxing experience. But it's not all about flash -- Vegas attracts great massage therapists and master estheticians. Here are the best spas in Las Vegas and what they offer.
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Encore is the newest and perhaps most beautiful hotel ever created by legendary Vegas hotelier Steve Wynn, who also built Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas. The Spa at Encore is truly stunning, combining opulence and good taste. The locker room area is hung with rich fabrics and Venetian glass chandeliers, and the walk to the treatment rooms feels like a journey into sacred space. (See photo.) The best rooms are beautiful garden suites with a shower and natural light. The menu includes "Transforming Rituals" like the Encore Escape, which incorporates hot poultices, lomi-lomi, hot stones and a scalp massage. Very relaxing.
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Spa Bellagio was the first truly extravagant spa to open in Vegas, and it still holds up. With 55,000 square feet and 56 treatment rooms, it's not just a massage, it's an experience. The extravagent hotel is styled after a Tuscan town, with the famous fountains out front. The salon is flashy with gold, but the spa upstairs is quieter and more earthy, with nice touches like the jade tiles in the floor that are lit from below. The therapists here are uniformly wonderful, and it's one of the few places in Vegas where you can get a watsu treatment.
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Part of CityCenter, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is probably the most intimate, opulent and expensive spa on The Strip. The sexy 27,000 sq. ft. spa on two floors was designed to evoke 1930s Shanghai. It combines intimacy with the latest spa technologies, including experience showers, a stunning hammam, and tile tepidarium chairs that keep your warm while you look out at Vegas. It caters to couples -- seven of its 17 treatment rooms are couples suites.
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This is one of the smaller, quieter spas on the Las Vegas Strip, and that's one reason I love it. Vdara is part of the $8.5 billion CityCenter complex of hotels that opened late 2009. This all-suite hotel and spa has no casino (ARIA casino is next door) and just one restaurant and one bar. The two-level, 18,000 square foot spa with 11 treatment rooms has lots of natural elements that are grounding, including a stone fountain in the relaxation lounge. I had one the of the best massages of my life here.Continue to 5 of 20 below.
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The Spa at ARIA, Las Vegas
The major hotel of the $8.5 billion City Center, ARIA Resort & Casino is one of the newest and most sophisticated properties in Las Vegas, with a tasteful (and surprisingly green) casion, restaurants, clubs, the "Viva Elvis" show. Its spa has set new records for size -- 80,000 square-foot spa, 62 treatment rooms and two innovative new relaxation rooms -- heated black mineral stone beds that emit infra-red heat (and feel great to lay on) and a salt meditation room with lounge chairs that vibrate to music. It also has spa suites for eight -- perfect for bridal parties.
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Caesars was the first of the mega-resorts and still one of the most popular -- its six towers over 80 acres! The theme of ancient Rome, with statuary, fountains and the odd centurion. Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars is one of the city's newer spas and large at 50,000 sq. feet. It features "Roman baths" (which honestly don't look so different from the regular wet facilities). Besides the usual steam and sauna, there's an Arctic Ice Room to cool off (though the man-made "snow" looks suspiciously like foam) and a tepid laconium that's pleasant for resting. They call all the therapists "artisans" here. Despite the Roman theme they have Native American treatments. I tried the Mohave Rain, which uses something like 13 essential oils on your spine.
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This is the biggest spa in Vegas, a 137,000 square-foot mega-spa with 82 treatment rooms, two spa cafes, a 40 foot rock-climbing wall, a full gym and cycling studio, a Bridal Studio, and European technology like a water circuit called Aquavana, Crystal Steam Rooms, Experiential Rains showers, Finnish Sauna, Herbal Laconium and indoor Igloo. Whew! You can still get nutritional counseling, but in Vegas the Strip Tease Fitness classes are popular. Expect the great massage therapists that Canyon Ranch is known for.
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The Cosmopolitan is the newest and hippest hotel on the Strip, with sophisticated electronic art like the four square columns at check-in with ever-changing projections. Stunning. The rooms have balconies and chairs that, if you're lucky, overlook the Bellagio water fountain show next door. The entrance to the Sahra Spa & Hammam on the 14th floor is lined with 420 tons of sandstone quarried nearby, which gives it an earthy Red Rock Canyon feel. Unusual amenities include a spectacular 1,200 square foot hammam where up to four people can get a treatment and enjoy the heated stone loungers. The spa has three Spa Suites with multiple treatment tables. The spa is on the same floor as the pool. Beware excited, wet kids in elevators.Continue to 9 of 20 below.
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The Spa at Wynn is not as glamourous The Spa at Encore next door, but it is comfortable and handsome. I especially like the fireplace in the locker room area, topped with a faux marble of a woman getting out of the bath. You could curl up on a sofa by that for a good long while. The walls are an earthy orange, and there's a Jacuzzi room decorated with green Majolica plates and a holy man in meditation posture. It has 45 treatment rooms, and its signature spa treatment is the Good Luck Ritual, an 80-minute long treatment based on the elements of Feng Shui.
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Located not far off the Strip, Hard Rock Hotel has an unusual but beautiful spa. The entrance has a gothic look, with black wood, brass studs and gorgeous clay tiles on the ceiling. There's a coed lounge or "library" with crystal chandeliers and a black and white piece of art that has the lyrics to "Stairway to Heaven". The locker rooms are lined with stark white subway tiles that look very cool, and Reliquary is one of the few Vegas spas with a large co-ed bath house where you can hang out. It looks like there is natural light, a very pleasant illusion. For exercise, there's a pole dancing studio. Outside, the pool scene is big -- they can fit as many as 7,000 people into their three pool areas.
11 of 20Mandalay Bay has an opulent Eastern theme inspired by the ancient city of Mandalay in Burma. The 30,000 square foot Spa Mandalay has all the indoor amenities you could want, including a lavish lounge area with spouting fish. Spa Mandalay specializes in Ayurvedic body treatments like Shirodhara. But you can also get all your favorites like Swedish, hot stone, and salt glows. Outside is an 11-acre beach with 2,700 tons of real sand, where you can enjoy a wave pool, lazy river and three different pools and regular concerts in season. The Shark Reef Acquarium sounds scary, but it's really about helping you get to know, love and protect sharks.
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The Bathhouse at Delano Las Vegas
Delano Las Vegas is a sister boutique property next to to Mandalay Bay, and is as streamlined and contemporary as Mandalay Bay is opulent. The Bathhouse is quite unusual -- the wet lounging areas are all black, with textured slate walls, and smooth slate floors. There are four private baths in this area, where you can be served tea while you soak. Things lighten up upstairs, where you can get the usual array of massages, body treatments and facials in one of the 12 treatment rooms. It also has a full salon and gymContinue to 13 of 20 below.
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Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
The Four Seasons is an elegant oasis on the 35th-39th floors of the Mandalay Bay building, with a separate entrance and non-gaming environment. The spa is small by Vegas standards, but has a sense of intimacy and the first-rate service you expect from Four Seasons. It's best when you want a quiet environment and lots of personal attention, not a big, splashy spectacle. Its specialty is JAMU, a meditative massage that combines Hindu, Chinese and European techniques. Choose your own exotic oils – Island Fruits, Island Spice or Island Flowers.
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This 30,000 square foot spa is not as big and showy as some of the newer spas on the Strip, but that’s not necessarily bad! MGM Grand Spa was state of the art and huge when it opened in 1998. Now it has a downright “cozy” feel compared to newer Las Vegas spas. And that human scale can be comforting. On the other hand the hotel is big -- it has four 30-story towers with 5,044 guest rooms, including 751 suites.
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The Spa at Trump, Las Vegas
Trump Hotel Las Vegas is more serene than you might expect. Located off the Strip, it's one of the few hotels without a casino. The Spa is suitably over-the-top, with diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald body treatments using the Dubai-based Shiffa line. But even here, Trump's ego knows no bounds. You select a "Trump Personal Intention" to calm, balance, purify, heal or revitalize, which determines the choice of essential oils, colors and music that will be incorporated into your experience. Guest who book at Trump Signature Gemstone Service receive a selection of spa products called Trump Essentials.
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Red Rock Resort is about 20 minutes off The Strip, but that has its advantages, including three nearby championship golf coursesand adventure spa activities in the beautiful Red Rock Canyon, a Federal park. Red Rock Spa can arrange great hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, and river-rafting trips. Come back and work out the kinks in modern red and white 35,000 square-foot spa has 20 treatment rooms, a salon, fitness area, movement studio, boxing ring, and a spa lap pool with three cabanas. There's lots of bars, restaurants and concerts, but Red Rock caters to families with movies, bowling and Kids Quest, the ultimate playroom with 35 challenging activities and supervision.Continue to 17 of 20 below.
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JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa
Located in the wealthy Vegas suburb of Summerlin twenty minutes west of The Strip, JW Marriott Las Vegas has a casino, fine dining, access to eight golf courses nearby, and the 40,000 square foot Aquae Sulis Spa. It's built around water-based facilities, including waterfall showers in the locker room that dump buckets of water on your shoulders. The showpiece is a beautifully landscaped warm-water outdoor pool. It's large enough to swim in, but has hydrotherapy stations you can recline in. The fitness studio is huge. Classes include yoga, spin, Pilates mat abs, and bellydancing.
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Spa Moulay at Loews Lake Las Vegas
Set on Lake Las Vegas about a half-hour east of the Strip, this is a pleasantly low-key hotel on the same lake where Celine Dion and other celebrities have homes. The Moroccan-inspired Spa Moulay is small by Vegas standards (9,000 square feet) but in good taste and uses Aveda products in its salon services, skin care, massages and body treatments. Enjoy a poolside massage in cabanas. Activities include children's camp, two swimmming pools and golf. It's a non-gaming hotel, but casinos are at the Tuscan-inspired "village" nearby.
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Planet Hollywood Spa by Mandara, Las Vegas
This Moroccan-inspired spa dates from the time the hotel was The Aladdin, torn down to make room for Planet Hollywood right in the center of The Strip. The 32,000 square-foot spa has its charms, with Middle-Eastern doorways and Morrocan lamps, but is dated. It's scheduled for a complete overhaul to bring it more into line with the Planet Hollywood personality.
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The theme here is, you guessed it, French, but it's looking a little tired and is slated for a facelift -- the sooner the better! Check out the hotel's reproductions of the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower, as well as in-house parfumerie. The 25,500 square foot Paris Spa specializes in treatments based on Balinese therapies. In warm weather you can have a massage in one of the cabanas by the hotel’s huge rooftop pool. The French caviar facial is a signature treatment here.