Review of The Spa at Encore, Las Vegas

••• The path to the treatment rooms at Encore Spa. Encore Spa: Barbara Kraft.

There are many beautiful spas, but few so fantastically breathtaking as The Spa at Encore, part of Wynn Las Vegas. It's both opulent and tasteful–something that Vegas has been perfecting through the efforts of the legendary Vegas hotelier Steve Wynn.

The spa lobby feels like a place where 18th century royalty might gather. Think Versailles, but more comfortable, with a touch of Asian calm. The whole room glows gold, with a huge Oriental carpet, Moroccan lamps, comfortable couches and chairs, and a vaulted ceiling that seems to let natural light warm the space.

You could just sit here a while, just quietly taking in all the beauty, and feel like you had a spa treatment. But things get even better once you check in. A large male and female torso, inspired by classical Roman art, sit on either side of the spa reception, to indicate the men and women's locker rooms. Very witty!

Spa Encore has a full menu of spa treatments, including basics like a fifty-minute custom massage, Ayurvedic treatments like Shirodhara, a range of facials, a 75-minute desert stone massage, and signature treatments called "Transforming Rituals."

Gold, Opulence and Luxury

There are 51 treatment rooms at Spa Encore, including 14 garden suites that can accommodate two people, in this 61,000 square-foot spa. Once inside, there is even more opulence and luxury, and the relaxation can really begin. There's a room where you can unwind, and either watch a fire that's literally built into the wall, or the flat screen TV above.

When you're ready to change into your robe, enter the actual locker room, where rich fabrics tied back with strands of shells line the doorways. Of course, there are private changing areas should you prefer that. Spa Encore has all the relaxing amenities you would expect: showers, steam room , sauna, experience showers, and a room with hot and cold plunges, all beautiful.

It's good to arrive early and make the most of your time here, because this is where you can really relax before your treatment even begins.

The area where you wait for your therapist is hung with Venetian glass chandeliers, and lined with blue, gold and white fabric that makes you feel like royalty in a robe. The therapist picks you up and leads you into an area that literally made me gasp because it was so beautiful. Usually you go back into a warren of hallways. This is a large room with two long pathways laid with oriental carpet, enormous urns overflowing with water on either side, large Moroccan lanterns lighting the way, and a large golden peacock at the end. I walking into a sacred space, or temple.

Escape With Heat Three Ways

Encore Escape is a 105 minutes) that takes place in a Garden Suite, which has a shower area with natural light that makes the room much nicer. (If you're having a couples treatments, it would be in one of these rooms.) The Encore Escape begins with compression movements, where the therapist presses on your skeletal structure to help your muscles stretch and relax. Then she applies a hot, herb-filled poultice along my body's energy pathways. This is another way of getting heat and therapeutic herbs into the body.

She then applies oil to your body and starts doing lomi-lomi moves, which is basically using your forearms for the massage. She also uses hot stones on the full length of your body, and put a heat pack on your back while she is working on your legs. 

At the end, she gives you a scalp massage with Ayurvedic oils, so expect to leave happy, but a bit greasy. Of course, you can always get that taken care of at the salon, which has ten stylists, four colorists, and plenty of people to give you manicures and pedicures.

The Spa at Encore also has two movement studios which offer spinning, yoga, Pilates, conditioning and meditation classes. You can also get personal training services in the gym, or stop off at organic juice and smoothie bar near The Spa.

The Spa at Encore is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Appointments are available from 8 am to 7 pm. Resort guests can make their appointments any day. Non-resort guests can pre-book Monday - Thursday and call for same-day availability on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tel. 702-770-3900 (spa).