Sin City Sanctuary


While the new Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is the place for living la viva Vegas, its spa is the perfect respite for those looking to recover from orprepare for the city’s celebrated nightlife. With a design worthy of Vegas’s sophisticated style, Sahra Spa & Hammampushes the envelope in delivering the ultimate experience. According to spa consultant Mindy Terry, president of Creative Spa Concepts, more than $1 million was spent on sandstone from a local quarry to dress the spa’s walls and serenity lounge, which is known as the Space Between. “The result is a very sexy, earthy-feeling space that gives the instant impression that you are removed from the outside world,” says Terry. The name Sahra, which means desert, couldn’t be more fitting for the desert-like oasis.

While the spa has much to entice guests, a few noteworthy areas help it stand out. “A unique aspect of the spa is the 1,200-square-foot authentic Turkish hammam, which is one of only three in the United States,” says spa director Mitch Jucha. “The stone hammam is the focal point of the main area with a separate alcove for steam and water plunge pools. It can be used individually or by up to four guests.” Believing that everything can be improved upon, Terry spent time in both Turkey and the Middle East experiencing various hammam treatments before coming up with a series of treatments for Sahra. It was only then she felt ready to design the space to fit the experiences she wanted the spa to deliver. “Most spas are designed first, and then the treatment menu is developed further along in the process,” says Terry. “I always start with a rough idea of the treatment menu in my mind and then develop the spaces to support the treatments in the most effective and comfortable manner for both guests and therapists.”

The same can be said of the creation of the Sahra Suite and Spa Suites, which were meant to deliver a crossover experience between the hotel and spa. With a three-person treatment area, the Sahra Suite also features a living room with TV, DVD player, stereo, wet bar, dining area, two side-by-side whirlpools, a steam room, two bathrooms, a three-person vanity area, and a butler’s pantry for back-of-the-house catering support. Although it was intended to accommodate treatments in a more social atmosphere, it’s in high demand with guests who want to spa like rock stars.

According to Terry, the three Spa Suites, which also serve as couple’s treatment rooms, were designed to offer guests a space where they could experience nearly any service and then kick back with a movie, enjoy room service, or take a nap. Allowing guests to bypass the locker areas, the Spa Suites include a treatment area, a steam shower, a soaking tub, a meditation and relaxation area, a vanity area, and a bathroom. A private elevator is also available to discreetly deliver guests to them. Booked for a specific time or treatment, the suites were intended to serve as the ideal location to deliver the spa’s Transformation Treatments, which address hangovers, jet lag, and more.

Terry worked with Sage Shetron, a massage therapist educated in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), to develop the treatments. “It took extensive research and testing over the course of several months for us to come up with the treatment protocols,” says Terry. “Our main priority was to make sure the treatments worked, but they also had to be easy to deliver in a mega-sized operation.” Guests can choose from three Transformations: Vitality & Vigor ($170, 50 minutes; $255, 80 minutes), Hydration & Restoration ($170, 50 minutes; $255, 80 minutes; $340, 1 hour 50 minutes), and Calm & Tranquil ($170, 50 minutes; $255, 80 minutes; $340, 1 hour 50 minutes). “We used both visual and audio-guided meditation, aromatherapy, oxygen therapy, a variety of body modalities, energy methods, and nutrient-laden beverages and supplements to create the treatments,” says Terry. “The result is a very holistic experience that has a remarkable impact on one’s state of being.”

Like its name implies, the Cosmopolitan appeals to a hip and trendy crew. Although the spa’s design was inspired by Nevada’s desert landscape with 420 tons of sandstone capturing the beauty of the Red Rock Canyon, it didn’t make sense to offer a menu chock-full of Sierra Nevada desert healing traditions.

“We wanted to offer unique brands, interesting experiences from desert cultures around the globe, and some level of customization, which would allow consumers to dictate their own experience,” says Terry. “Lastly, we wanted to be sure to effectively address Vegas spa-goers’ biggest needs, such as help with a hangover, relief from jet lag, and energy for an all-nighter.”

With 80 employees on staff, the spa is focused on doing just that. In fact, there are plans to increase that number to 105 in the next six months, so there will be even more help to respond to Vegas’s overindulging jetsetters. According to Jucha, the spa is equipped to handle approximately 500 services each day, although he prefers to keep it a bit below that in order to keep the experience relaxed and fluid for spa-goers. “Our biggest challenge is ensuring that each guest has a thoughtful experience,” says Jucha. “For example, the hammam is quite popular, so we try to make sure that each guest has the opportunity to experience it. Ultimately, we want all of our guests to be comfortable and relaxed.” Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be a problem with Sahra Spa & Hammam providing the perfect urban oasis.


OWNERS:The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas


OPENED:December 2010


60% female, 40% male

SPACE: 43,000 square feet; 30 treatment rooms

COST OF SPA: $33 million

OFFERINGS: body treatments, couples’ treatments, energy work, eyelash and brow tinting, eyelash extensions, facials, fitness, hair and scalp treatments, hammam, hand and foot treatments, hydrotherapy, makeup application, massage, nailcare, outdoor treatments, Pilates, prenatal services, reflexology, salon services, sunless tanning, waxing, yoga


Sahra Journey ($365, 2 hours 30 minutes) and Cor Luminous Silver Facial ($155, 50 minutes)


Sahra Journey ($365, 2 hours 30 minutes)

PRODUCT LINES: Aromapothecary, Basanti, Cor, David Kirsch Wellness, Elemental Herbology, iS Clinical, Kahina Giving Beauty, OKA b., Red Flower

EQUIPMENT: Espinner, Hydrafacial, Kinesis, SpaSoft, Technogym