When considering a spa-cation, Vegas may not be the first destination that comes to mind—in fact, it might be the last. Yet with the same gusto for gambling (and debauchery), Vegas is approaching nirvana with more than 45 spas on the Strip. These spas have started to draw high rollers and beauty buffs from around the globe with a jackpot of exotic treatments and ancient healing techniques; Vegas has officially opened the vault to world-class cocoons of calm.
Insider Tip: Looking to spa and sunbathe without a brood of one-armed bandits? Check out our non-gambler's guide to Vegas.
Close your eyes and picture 80,000 square feet of pampering. The design and treatments at the Aria Spa focus on the elements—salt, stone, earth, fire, and water—to harmonize the mind, body, and soul. Far from a one-hour, in-and-out experience, plan for an all-day escape lounging by the city's first co-ed infinity-edge pool—shaded for ultimate relaxation—followed by a health retreat inside. Packed with illuminated salt bricks that aid respiration and reveal radiant skin, slip into a lounger that vibrates in sync with a soundtrack of pan flutes in the Shio Salt Room. Next door in the dimly lit Ganbanyoku Room, heated stone slabs emanate infrared rays to soothe muscles, eliminate toxins, improve circulation, and increase the metabolism.
Insider Tip: If you want to spend the day at the spa without indulging in a treatment, day passes are $30.
The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
Perched high above the Strip, The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas features floor-to-ceiling natural light and a "detoxifying" view over the desert landscape. At this edited Eastern enclave, vintage Shanghai and Art Deco dance in a routine that's quintessentially Mandarin Oriental: luxurious, discreet, and seductive. Try the lemongrass foot bath—a signature health treatment—and spend the rest of the day floating between the vitality pools, the heat-controlled Tepidarium chairs, and the ice fountain.
QUA Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace
Embodying the definition of a destination spa, QUA Baths & Spa transport Ancient Rome's bathing rituals to modern-day. Cascading waterfalls and 'social' mineral pools of varying temperatures invite escapists into an aqua escape that's a treatment unto itself. And yet, the pools are only part of the draw, short bursts of hot and cold therapy await. Following a hot-cold-relax sequence, start in the "ultra-heat therapy" Laconium Room, and cool down under a snowflake shower in the Arctic Ice Room. Completing the sequence, don your robe, take a sip of tea (paired with your treatment by a tea sommelier), and revel in your Romanesque relaxation.
A far-flung escape for all five senses, the Encore Spa whisks guests away from Vegas's flash with soothing Middle Eastern desert hues. Walking in, it feels like you're in a scene from Sex and The City 2 (except better) lounging in the Arab Sheikh's palace in Abu Dhabi. Every detail evokes the exotic: golden lanterns (big enough to hold 30 pairs of Jimmy Choo pumps) lead into the treatment rooms, plush fabrics line the walls, and mirrors hinting at Versailles' opulence frost the space.
One of the smallest spas on the Strip, the Vdara Spa is the most boutique of the bunch, as well as Vegas's inaugural entrant into Green Spa Network. Using every inch of available space for wow-factor, a glossy white marble changing room stocked with après-treatment beauty fixes leads into an intimate steam, sauna, and whirlpool retreat lit by a bevy of flickering (faux) candles. Once called for your treatment, contoured hallways flanked with cherry-hued wood set the stage for your body's holistic therapy derived from organic herbs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Insider Tip: For a posh, post-spa meal, don't miss our round-up of the hottest restaurants in Vegas now (and soon).
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Photo credits: Aria Spa courtesy of Aria Resort & Casino; The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas courtesy of The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas; QUA Baths & Spa courtesy of Caesars Palace; Encore Spa courtesy of Encore Resort and Casino; Vdara Spa courtesy of Vdara Resort