Taking it Easy in the Big Easy

Pamper yourself this summer

Photographed by jeffrey johnston

With all the things to see and do (and eat!) in the Big Easy, we need a little down time. Luckily, the city is abundant with not only five-star attractions but also world-class getaways that allow for plenty of rest and relaxation. This summer, take the opportunity to experience what New Orleans has to offer in spas and resorts and discover what it means to take it easy in the Big Easy!

If you’re looking for that perfect weekend getaway, look no further than Stone Creek Spa (1201 Ochsner Blvd., Covington, (985) 801-7120, TheSpaAtStoneCreek.com), a lush getaway where you can spend the day in the lap of luxury or simply book a 30-minute express session. The spa’s party service is a prime feature. Perfect for ladies’ night, family gatherings or bridal parties, you can create and fully customize a luxurious party package, which includes decadent dining fare by Creekside Catering, for any special occasion or even just a Monday.

When you visit Stone Creek, you can’t help feeling like a celebrity. Enjoy the feel of Kashwere robes as you sip hot tea or chilled citrus water. Indulge your eyes and visit the spa’s exquisite private gardens, ideal for a few minutes of quiet meditation. Looking for a total spa experience? Try one of the two-hour Stone Creek Ceremonies, unique treatments that draw upon the elements to restore and relax you.

The “Ceremony of Earth” features an exfoliation with a warm Vichy shower, a body mask with organic lotion, swaddle and a scalp treatment. The “Ceremony of Sea” includes body brushing, a hydrating body masque, swaddle and a refreshing algae facial application. You can also book a half-day retreat, which includes your choice of a Stone Creek manicure or pedicure and two additional 60-minute services, such as facials or body treatments. A spa lunch and all gratuities are included, so all you have to do is relax.

An oasis in the center of the city, the luxurious day spa at Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans (921 Canal St., 670-2929, RitzCarlton.com/en/Propertie/NewOrleans/Spa) was named the “Top Hotel Spa” in the country by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2011. While great for weary travelers, the spa at Ritz-Carlton provides a welcome retreat for locals as well, offering Louisiana residents a 20 percent discount on spa services Monday through Thursday. Exercise your body before resting your mind and take the opportunity to restore your natural energy and visit the spa’s 24-hour fitness center, where classes by Romney Pilates are held two to three times a day, before you indulge in one of the Ritz-Carlton’s many luxurious spa treatments.

While the menu features all of the well-established spa amenities, such as decadent facials and nail services, the spa at Ritz-Carlton also offers unique treatments that add a New Orleans flavor to your visit. With the “Marie Laveau Voodoo Love Massage and Bath,” soak in the “rich earthy oils that the most powerful Voodoo queen in the world once gave to her clients” while listening to themed music, as the intoxicating aroma of incense and candles fills the room. If love isn’t on your mind, try the “Cafe au Lait Detox Slimming Body Wrap.” Using signature coffee grounds to exfoliate dead skin, enhance circulation and enrich your body with natural antioxidants, the Slimming Wrap releases toxins and activates fat dissolution, so you can visit Cafe du Monde as many times as you want!

The New Orleans Hotel Collection:
Audubon Cottages,
509 Dauphine St., 561-5858, AudubonCottages.com
Bourbon Orleans Hotel,
717 Orleans St., 523-2222, BourbonOrleans.com
Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport Hotel,
2829 Williams Blvd, 467-5611, NewOrleansAirportHotel.com
Dauphine Orleans Hotel,
415 Dauphine St., 586-1800, DauphineOrleans.com
Hotel Le Marais,
717 Conti St., 525-2300, HotelLeMarais.com
Hotel Mazarin,
730 Bienville St., 581-7300, HotelMazarin.com
Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans,
701 Convention Center Blvd, 524-8200, Wyndham.com
is an exclusive collection of luxury hotels that offers top-rated services with a distinctly New Orleans charm. Partnered with Le Jardin Spa, each hotel offers spectacular spa services right in the comfort of your own hotel room to ensure your maximum relaxation.

The “In-Your-Space” spa menu features an array of traditional treatments “Southern style.” Heal yourself with the “Big Easy,” a classic Swedish massage that relieves tension, fatigue and restores mental clarity; the “Creole Queen,” a therapeutic massage designed especially for expectant mothers or the “NOLA,” a deep tissue massage that’s more intense than a traditional Swedish, and helps release toxins and relieve overworked muscles. The “Mint Julep” is another popular treatment. Featuring relaxing aromatherapy, exfoliation and a hand and foot treatment, this total spa experience nourishes and restores both your body and soul. If you’re looking to celebrate Mother’s Day or host a bridal shower in style, take advantage of custom spa packages available for any event.

A “beauty bar for beauty buffs,” Buff Beauty Bar (720 Carondelet St., 522-BUFF (2833), BuffBeautyBar.com) is a must-visit for beauty lovers who appreciate high quality and efficient spa services. Open since New Year’s Eve 2012, co-owners Sarah Duffy and Catherine Alford’s primary focus is to combine upscale salon services with convenience and accessibility. To this end, they chose to establish the salon in a premier CBD location along the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line. Take advantage of Buff’s online booking service, which allows you to schedule spa sessions from your home, the office or your smartphone. But don’t worry, Buff is open seven days a week!

Spend time in a fun and relaxing environment while sipping complimentary champagne and choose from any of Buff’s many deluxe head-to-toe services, which includes: manicures, pedicures, facial peels, waxing and eyelash extensions and tinting. Also, check out Buff’s newly debuted blowout bar and show your tresses how much you care. The salon features only five-star brands in both its services and retail products, such as Moroccan Oil, Julie Hewett and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare.
The Woodhouse Day Spa (4030 Canal St., 482-6652, NewOrleans.WoodhouseSpas.com) is a full-service spa retreat that caters to both men and women and has been named “America’s Favorite Day Spa” as part of the American Spa Magazine’s “Professional Choice Awards.”

Husband and wife co-owners Stuart and Siobhan Rome opened the spa last April and have already enjoyed overwhelming success. Woodhouse features locker rooms with rainfall showers, relaxation rooms – where you can kick back both before or after your spa treatment and sip complimentary tea and wine – and a retail store, where you can shop for award-winning products, such as Clarisonic and NuFace, to create your very own spa at home. When you visit Woodhouse, you aren’t just treated like a client; you’re treated like a guest. Whether you’re there for a quick facial or an all-day renewal session, the Woodhouse staff encourage you to take your time and stay a while after your treatment is over, making Woodhouse truly your home away from home.

A few of Woodhouse’s signature services include the 80-minute “Minkyti Facial,” implementing massage techniques that re-generate and stimulate the skin for maximum absorption of rejuvenating products; the 80-minute “Rest and Renewal” treatment, which takes place in the exquisite “Tub Room,” equipped with a clawfoot tub and massage table, and the 110-minute “Woodhouse Escape.” The “Escape” is the ultimate in head-to-toe healing and begins with an invigorating bamboo body scrub, followed by a volcanic stone massage, a neck, shoulder and scalp massage that awakens your senses with wild lime oil – perfect for releasing upper body tension – and closes with the ancient practice of a restorative reflexology treatment performed on the feet. Woodhouse also offers “real-time” online booking, ensuring your next reservation is exactly when you wish it.
 

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