A Perfect Match

The Roosevelt New Orleans and Guerlain Spa—two iconic brands—are a match made in heaven in the Crescent City. The luxe hotel has been calling Baronne Street its home since 1893 and has long been a luxe escape for those who appreciate the finer things in life. The Guerlain name has a prestigious 180-year history in the beauty biz. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the Roosevelt underwent a $170 million renovation and re-opened its doors in 2009 as part of the Waldorf Astoria brand. That extensive update also included the debut of the spa, one of only three Guerlain Spas in the U.S. Today, it is still making headlines as one of the splashiest and largest spas in New Orleans, featuring 10 spacious treatment rooms and 10,000 square feet of space. But it is the service, with the majority of treatments performed by local therapists with an average of eight to 12 years of experience, that truly sets the spa apart, according to spa director Debra Oakley. “Our therapists are the best in the city,” she says. “They are the most talented group I have ever worked with.”

Also distinctive is the space itself, which is divided into two pods—the wet pod and the dry pod. The wet pod area features a couples’ room with a private area that includes a dual-headed rain shower, a vanity area, and a restroom; a VIP room with a private changing area, a rain shower, a private bath, and a hydrotherapy room; a Vichy shower room; two massage rooms; and two full bathrooms with showers. The dry pod has five multipurpose massage and facial rooms and two full bathrooms with showers. Other highlights include a full-service salon and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Like at most spas, the most requested services are the massages. However, the expansive hydrotherapy facilities make wet treatments a true treat for spa-goers and invite opportunities for growth. “We are actually looking at adding new hydrotherapy and body treatments to increase room utilization,” says Oakley. “We promote these services as a means to detox—something that is greatly needed when you are visiting New Orleans.”

Indeed, the city itself is a boon to the spa. Since Katrina, NOLA has made great strides in recovery. While longtime festivals like Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest consistently garner high hotel and spa occupancies, other events, such as the recent Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four, also help boost business. As such, the spa often creates special offers and treatments to help celebrate. During the Super Bowl, for example, the spa offered a series of gridiron specials, such as Unnecessary Roughness ($195, 50 minutes), a deep-tissue massage; the Double Coverage ($195, 50 minutes) Swedish massage; the Face Mask ($195, 50 minutes) facial; and more. “We are so lucky to be located in a city that is on the upswing,” says Oakley. “There have been so many positive developments since Katrina, and New Orleans is back in the spotlight.”

To keep the spa in the spotlight, signage is found throughout the hotel and in the elevators. A table in the lobby features spa brochures, Guerlain fragrance testers, and candles, and hotel guests are offered a 20 percent spa discount during slower times. Local clients receive monthly e-blasts, as well as a 20 percent discount on spa services from Sunday to Thursday, along with complimentary valet parking and Champagne. In the summer, locals can beat the heat and score free access to the rooftop pool with the purchase of a 50-minute spa service via the Rooftop at the Roosevelt special. The future also looks bright with plans for the addition of a retail boutique in the spa lobby, a steam room, and a private relaxation room, as well as new product lines to enhance the menu and boost retail sales.

According to Oakley, all of this and more will keep spa-goers flocking to Guerlain Spa. After all, she says, “Whether they have been in meetings all day, or on Bourbon Street all night, there is a definite need to seek relaxation and serenity.”

Owner: The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel


Spa Director: Debra Oakley


Opened: October 2009


Client Base

70% female, 30% male



10,000 square feet, 10 treatment rooms


Cost of Spa

$3.75 million



aromatherapy, body treatments, couples‚ treatments, eyelash and brow tinting, facials, fitness, hair and scalp treatments, hand and foot treatments, hydrotherapy, LED therapy, makeup application, massage, microdermabrasion, nailcare, prenatal services, reflexology, salon services, waxing


Signature Service

Exceptional Orchidée Imperiale Treatment ($170, 50 minutes; $325, 110 minutes), a comprehensive anti-aging facial designed to detoxify and invigorate the skin


Most Expensive Offering

Blissful Radiance ($540, 4 hours 30 minutes), which includes a body polish, a facial, a pedicure, and a massage


Product Lines

Blinc, Crystal Peel, Guerlain, NuFACE, René Furterer, Sonoma Lavender, SpaRitual, Wrinkle MD



Boca Terry Robes, Oakworks, OKA b., Precor, Silhouet-Tone, SpaBooker



Steven J. Finegan Architects (New Orleans)

Boca Terry Robes, Oakworks, OKA b., Precor, Silhouet-Tone, SpaBooker



Steven J. Finegan Architects (New Orleans)