Zen in the City

PA spa, Philadelphia spa, new spa opening, Rittenhouse, The Rittenhouse Spa & Club - Hair by Paul Labrecque, skincare servicesIn the heart of downtown Philadelphia, The Rittenhouse is giving spa-goers a place to satisfy their beauty and wellness needs with the recent introduction of The Rittenhouse Spa & Club - Hair by Paul Labrecque. A vast improvement over its predecessor, the new spa is a long-awaited addition to the luxury hotel. According to opening spa director Kelly Gasspari, the spa’s location in the only five-diamond boutique hotel in Rittenhouse Square only adds to its appeal. “Expectations were very high when this project was in development, and we have exceeded most of those expectations with the level of service we deliver to each and every guest,” she says. And current spa director Laura Lambert concurs that the location amid some of the most desirable addresses in Philadelphia functions as a perfect backdrop for the luxury spa.

A variety of offerings serve as a point of differentiation that help the spa to truly stand out from the competition. Guests can schedule everything from personal training and wellness coaching to massages, facials, blowouts, hot shaves, and manicures and pedicures. “The full-service facility sets the stage for a sensory experience with chic interiors inspired by the haute couture collections of designers Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen,” says Lambert. “Amenities like our Unity suite, innovative workout classes, the atrium pool with outdoor terrace, the barber shop, and advanced spa and salon services allow us to customize each guest’s visit.” Guests can also enjoy fresh-pressed juices, which are made daily, and a custom spa menu that changes with the seasons.

Because many of the guests are familiar with a luxury lifestyle, they come to the spa expecting a certain level of service each and every time they visit. As a result, it’s necessary for Lambert and her team to anticipate their needs. “The spa industry is always evolving, and our focus is to always tailor our services to guests’ needs, allowing us to stay one step ahead.” According to her, most come looking for a place to relax, renew, and rejuvenate.

PA spa, Philadelphia spa, new spa opening, Rittenhouse, The Rittenhouse Spa & Club - Hair by Paul Labrecque, skincare servicesIn creating the menu, the goal was to create a selection of treatments not found anywhere else in Philadelphia. The luxe factor came into play with the product selection. Brands such as Natura Bissé, Paul Labrecque, and Tata Harper were chosen for their exclusivity and ability to exemplify a luxury wellness lifestyle. The Rittenhouse ($130, 60 minutes; $190, 90 minutes), the spa’s signature massage, is a specially created customized treatment that uses a variety of aromatherapy oils and relaxing techniques. It is also the spa’s most popular service. The spa offers five facials, each with a promise to deliver exceptional results. Spa-goers can combat the signs of premature aging with the Vitamin C ($140, 60 minutes), a facial relying on a highly concentrated vitamin C serum to nourish sun-damaged skin, while those who are pressed for time can opt for the Express ($125, 30 minutes), which refreshes skin with a brisk pick-me-up facial.

Men also have a special place at the spa with their own grooming area. A master barber, part of the Paul Labrecque team, is on-hand to deliver hot shaves and more. A men’s menu includes offerings such as the Jet Lag Recovery & Recharge ($130, 60 minutes), which blends Western physiological massage with Asian energy stimulation; the Black Diamond Exfoliation ($110, 60 minutes), a procedure using cultured black diamonds and nutrient-rich silver spheres in a special cleanser; and the Back Sculpture ($90, 60 minutes), a cleansing of the entire back.

While the variety of treatments are certainly enticing, the spa’s indoor heated pool and state-of-the-art fitness facility also attract their fair share of guests. Not surprisingly, the spa offers a club membership, which includes access to the facilities, including an outside sun deck; personalized training packages; one complimentary spa service and option of a blowout or hot shave; a complimentary personal training session; 12 guest passes; priority access to all exclusive wellness events and special programming; discounts on spa and salon services and in the boutique; and more.

With 35 part-time and 10 full-time employees, the 10-treatment-room spa is able to accommodate up to 100 guests and members each day. According to Lambert, her greatest challenge is also a blessing in that she and her team are seeing the business increase to where they are presented with the task of meeting all guests’ service requests. “We pride ourselves in providing luxury service, and we always want to exceed our guests’ expectations,” says Lambert. “Our goal is to be a key player in setting luxury standards.”

Owner: Hersha Hospitality Trust

Spa Director: Laura Lambert

Opened: September 2014


70% female

30% male


15,000 square feet; 10 treatment rooms


Aquiesse, Clarisonic, Deborah Lippmann, Infinity Sun, Inovacure, HydraFacial, Kevyn Aucoin, Kimiko, Lemongrass, Mansfield Robe Company, Naked Princess, Natura Bissé, Paul Labrecque, Tata Harper, Zents


Peloton, Booker, Technogym


Bower, Lewis, Thrower Architects (BLTA) (Philadelphia)