Oasis in the City – A Luxury Wellness Weekend in LA

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America’s glamour capital is home to Hollywood’s superstars, the heart of the film industry, and forever tanned bodies. But there is more than glitz and glamour here. With beautiful parks, world-class museums, luxury spas and an organic restaurants, Los Angeles is a wellness mecca waiting to be discovered.

It’s entirely possible to spend a whole vacation in Los Angeles without even stepping foot downtown. But downtown Los Angeles is rich with historic architecture, cultural attractions, live entertainment, and opportunities for pampered perfection; let’s just say you are missing out if you don’t make downtown a priority.

I spent a weekend in downtown Los Angeles discovering that there is more than meets the eye in this vibrant town. Peel back the layers of concrete, traffic jams, and blazing sun, and you are welcomed into an oasis in the city. People seem exceedingly friendly; there is sophistication in their movements and proud energy beams from their faces.

I’ve just landed at LAX. It’s Friday morning, the air is crisp yet warm, and the sun is fast melting away the overcast sky.

I head straight to downtown, 16.5 miles. It takes me 45 minutes to get to the Ritz Carlton downtown, the only luxury property in downtown Los Angeles.

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Just steps away from STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theatre, The GRAMMY® Museum, and an abundant choice of downtown restaurants, entertainment venues, and nightlife, the Ritz Calrton LA is smack dab un the middle of it all. The architecture soars high into the sky, bringing a sleek, sophisticated atmosphere, refined service, and sweeping views at every turn. This urban downtown oasis fits comfortably in the city’s dynamic surroundings.

The property has plenty to offer guests, with 123 guest rooms, including 13 suites and The Ritz-Carlton Suite, an award-winning WP24 restaurant and lounge from celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, a rooftop swimming pool and Jacuzzi with panoramic city and mountain views, a fitness center, The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge, and, my destination of choice, The Ritz Carlton Spa.

The spa is located on the second floor; I arrive 20 minutes early for my treatments so I can pamper my mind in the beautiful relaxing room. My jaw drops as I step into a serenity-soaked replicate of heaven. Perhaps the most heavenly waiting lounge in the world, everything is designed to cater to your relaxation and peace of mind.

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Textured walls with geometric triangles and lines reflecting a gold sheer shimmer call attention to the mixed nuts and dried apricots accompanied by white lotus flowers sitting softly next to them. Large flat screens show scenes of ocean waves folding into white sand. The music is a soft piano—the room resembles a cloud where I am whisked away into a relaxing moment, reminded that true self-care is about taking pleasure in each moment. And The Ritz Carlton Spa has reminded me that this moment indeed matters.

The first treatment is the Champagne and Shimmer.

This signature treatment, inspired by Hollywood’s Golden Age, promises to leave me feeling like a superstar. I begin with a full-body exfoliation using organic scrub made from real seeds of champagne grapes. This helps firm my skin and fights free radicals. I’m gently massaged as my entire body falls deeper into the moment.

Then an application of luxurious hydrating soufflé leaves my skin soft and silky. The finishing touch: a décolleté dusting of 24-karat gold-infused shimmering powder for a lasting glow. I have my choice of browns, gold, or silver. I ask which is the most popular choice, and my spa therapist says the gold. I opt for the tried and true, and walk out of the room with a subtle glow from the inside and out.

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My next treatment is the Ritz-Carlton Signature Organic Facial.

The signature is a deep-cleansing, classic European facial tailored to meet my individual skincare needs. This facial features all organic products and includes steam and extractions to restore stressed skin. We start with the Moni Cleanser, a refreshing scent that opens my senses and cleanses my skin. Followed by a strawberry foliate, this scrub is divine. The moisturizer is an artic berry peel, and the final step is a facial recovery oil.
After my heavenly spa experience, my stomach tells me it is time to eat.

Luckily for me, The Ritz Carlton LA boasts some of the best eats in the city.

WP24 by Wolfgang Puck offers a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese fare.

Wine aficionados can appreciate an extensive list of more than 400 labels plus nearly one dozen brands of sake that have been selected to complement the complex flavor profiles of the menu. Specialty cocktails with an Asian twist are also available.

Speaking of Asian cuisine, if you’re craving a full meal, guests can visit Nest at WP24, located on the 24th floor, which offers a dedicated menu of Asian-inspired snacks, appetizers, sushi, and large plates. Culinary offerings include items exclusive to Nest, as well as signature favorites from the WP24 Restaurant’s modern Chinese menu, accompanied by seasonal cocktails and expansive wine list.

I make my way to the 23rd floor, The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge, with exclusive perks and a truly catered, customized experience.

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Guests who invest in club lounge access can enjoy a dedicated concierge staff, complimentary culinary offerings throughout the day, a personal executive boardroom, complimentary business services, computer workstation with MAC and PC options, and expansive, panoramic views of LA and the surrounding mountains. In the distance, I see the Hollywood sign.

The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge redefines the luxury hotel experience, combining intimacy, comfort, and exclusivity with personalized service, which I see are the hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton.

This lounge showcases wonderful food choices throughout the day: breakfast, light lunch, snacks, and desserts for hotel guests seeking a heightened level of luxury and exclusivity.

I refresh myself with coconut water and fresh prosciutto and goat cheese stuffed mushrooms. Handmade potato chips with an array of dipping sauces, including hot cheese, invite me to indulge.

Is sit comfortably in my lounge chair, taking in my time in LA. It’s been a beautiful experience that has soothed my soul. The Ritz-Carlton know how to cater to your every need, providing a true wellness adventures for your palate, mind, body and soul.

After my lunch I head to my room, I’m staying in the Executive Suite.

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This expansive 1,200-square-foot suite feels like a home away from home. The bathroom is full marble, featuring a large soaking tub, with green tea bath salt from San Francisco Salt Company. Defining luxury, every detail is taken care of—for starters, the 400-thread count linens for added comfort, the sleek, marble foyer and room accents along with beautiful views, and the custom-designed refreshment center with coffee maker and honor bar. My room also has a 42-inch, high-definition flat-panel TV with DVD player, iPod docking station, and wireless Internet access.

Want to go?

Visit: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/LosAngeles/Default.htm

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Healing Lifestyles & Spas Team
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