A Breath of Fresh Air
Located in the much-hyped metropolis on Vegas’s Strip known as CityCenter, ARIA Resort & Casino has clearly embraced the notion that bigger really is better. The 4,004-room hotel includes more than 150,000 square feet of gaming space, 300,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, three pools with 50 cabanas, 16 restaurants, 10 bars, and a 1,800-seat theater where Cirque du Soleil’s Viva ELVIS is performed. And after an exhausting day of experiencing all the hotel has to offer, guests are encouraged to pay a visit to the equally expansive The Spa at ARIA, an 80,000-square-foot, two-story respite.
In keeping with the resort’s name (aria, means air in Italian), the spa was designed to give guests a taste of nature’s healing properties in wide-open spaces. Upon entering, guests are welcomed by a water garden surrounded by boulders featuring sacred Aji stones that were blessed in Japan to inspire calmness. “The stone boulders represent the magnitude of nature,” says spa director Michelle Wilkos. “The water garden represents a sense of tranquility. Natural light enters the water garden, and the water patterns are reflected onto the ceiling while peaceful music, a signature scent, and a view of the beautifully landscaped pool and mountain ranges set the scene for the overall experience.”
Influences of nature continue throughout the entire spa, including the 62 treatment rooms, all of which feature walls made from soil to provide an indigenous feel. Unique to the spa is the Shio Salt Room, a meditation area containing illuminated salt bricks that are especially beneficial for clients with skin irritations or upper respiratory issues. There, guests can relax in lounge chairs that provide vibrational therapy while inhaling the salt-infused air. The Ganbanyoku Stone Bed Room allows spa-goers to rest upon a bed of heated black mineral stones that emit negative ions and far-infrared rays to help soothe muscles, improve circulation, increase metabolism, and eliminate toxins. Guests are also invited to unwind in the Fire Lounge, which features a stone fireplace, as well as the Spa Balcony, which resembles an outdoor Japanese hot bath. “The unique spaces for relaxation really set us apart,” says Wilkos. “The diverse and endless options for our guests and for our employees to provide is my favorite aspect of the spa.”
At maximum capacity, the spa can service up to 640 visitors a day with a staff of 280 full- and part-timers. The majority of visitors are hotel guests, but the spa is open to the public Monday through Thursday. To attract locals, they are offered services at 25 percent off the regular rates. To drive business even further, the spa will be offering seasonal promotions during holidays and on special occasions.
Although the spa has only been open since December, a favorite treatment among clients has already emerged, according to Wilkos. The Thai Poultice Massage ($190, 50 minutes; $275, 80 minutes) is based on centuries-old Thai healing practices and includes a massage using steamed poultices infused with ginger, lemongrass, and prai extract to ease muscle tension. “Our clients are sophisticated spa-goers who know what they want,” says Wilkos. “But they are also guests who are interested in trying out anything new that can give them the most updated treatments.”
Above all, Wilkos says, guests just want to have a pleasurable experience. “Outstanding customer service is required, and ultimately, our guests want to feel relaxed and look their best,” she says. “Although keeping up with the fast pace of the spa competition is a challenge, we think we have a plentiful space to work with, and we will maintain our competitive edge.”
|THE SPA AT ARIA (Las Vegas)|
OWNER: ARIA Resort & Casino
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