Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spa Slut: Goddess for a Day (or two) at the Spa Palazzo at the Boca Raton Resort & Spa

Leave your stress and reality at the door of the Spa Palazzo in Boca Raton, Florida. This place  literally transports you to an imaginary world.  Picture yourself as a hedonistic Fitzgerald character in the roaring twenties (the hotel was built in 1926), or become a Spanish queen bathing in your decadent private quarters (the spa was  modeled after Spain’s Alhambra Palace).

The locker room area is equipped with showers, a steam room, sauna, and an inhalation room (a sauna at room temperature deeply fragranced with eucalyptus), and a relaxation area with multiple comfy couches, chairs, teas and such.  The locker rooms are nice but would be even nicer if they had skincare available (the mark of a truly luxurious spa) and were still rich with the smell of Honey Coco Mango, which used to be the signature scent of the hotel and spa.  I’m not sure if Lucifer himself made the decision to replace the Honey Coco Mango with an awful musky generic line that is given away at every Hilton (ewww), but whomever made that decision should be shot.  Hey hotel manager, yeah, I’m talking to you. This has you written all over it.  Last time I stayed at this hotel I tipped the housekeeper twenties so she would line up the Honey Coco Mango products in my bathroom.  Now, I have to bring my own product.

I quickly got over my Honey Coco Mango heartbreak when I started my “bathing ritual”.  The ritual began with me lying down in the inhalation room, where the technician covered my eyes with cucumbers and an iced towel.  I spent about ten minutes deeply breathing and then I sampled some of the delicious pink grapefruit and orange wedges  that were displayed on a table with cucumber slices and ice water.  I was escorted into the “bathing area” (see photo) which is simply breathtaking (It’s a couple Moorish accents away from being Vegas, but I loved every decadent inch of it).

My attendant led me to a huge marble bath filled with thick bubbles, helped me in, and then slid over  my little platter of goodies: Honey CocoMango Bath Salts to exfoliate my body, the gentle, hydrating Eminence Stone Crop Masque for my face (such a classy touch), cucumbers for my eyes, and the piece de resistance… wait for it… wait for it… grapefruit sorbet. YUM! After soaking for a good while it was time for the deluge shower, which was definitely my favorite segment of the ritual.  For those of you who have not experience a deluge, it’s like your own private little massaging hot tub. You climb down the ladder into waist deep warm water.  There is a little bench for you to sit, and you are literally surrounded by strong jets coming from the floor and the walls.  Then (this is what makes the deluge the most genius invention ever since retinol) you push a magic button and a stream of water comes from the ceiling and pounds on your back.  Honestly, the deluge did more for my back than any massage therapist. I could have stayed there all day. In fact, when the attendant wanted me to get out to try the Swedish Shower (100-head shower) I said I’d rather stay in the deluge.  Fifteen minutes went by (and two more sorbets) and the attendant came back to tell me it was time to get into the hot tub where she had arranged citrus slices and cucumber water.  She motioned. I held my ground.  She went and got the other attendant and they both motioned to the hot tub. I said, “No! You can’t make me!” And they watched in slow motion as I pushed the Deluge button again to let the water pound on my back.  Ten minutes later they both came back and explained I would be late for my facial if I didn’t get out.  I reluctantly exited and went to the Cloister Room (a two-story wood-paneled room with a grand staircase that looks like it was Rockefeller’s living room) to be picked up for my service.

I’m not going to have room to describe all my services since this is already over 700 words, but I can tell you I did a lot of research for you by having several services throughout my stay.  The Eminence Custom Organic Facial with Sherry should not be missed.  It was decadent (as Eminence facials always are) and and a true treat.  Skip the oxygen facial. It was barely enough oxygen to warrant the name.  You can’t go wrong with any of the massages or body treatments. The therapists are all amazing and the products are delicious.

This is the kind of spa where you can spend the day (or several, in my case).  Outside the Cloister room is a private pool area that looks like it’s right out of the backyard of an old Beverly Hills mansion.  Oh, and did I mention they pipe classical music under the water?

The spa itself is obviously  special, but the staff makes it world-class.  I’m telling you that I would eat a grapefruit slice and it would be replaced like magic.  Even more than the impeccable service, every single person I interacted with at the spa was incredibly friendly and helpful.  The one pitfall (this of course I saved for the end) is you have to be a hotel guest or club member to visit the spa.  Awww… I guess your boyfriend or husband will just have to spring for the weekend.  I’m still working on mine.

Janna Posted by Tags , ,

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