First, we had the most amazing facial of our life there -- The Advanced Hydrafacial. So good that we continue to rave about it more than a year after the fact. It was a multi-step service that involved a lot of applying, removing, zapping, poking and some wincing, or, for those more well-versed in the art of spa, the use of liquid exfoliants, antioxidants, microdermabrasion, and LED light therapy. A 50-minute service where we weren't so much concerned with keeping up with our technician's gentle explanations than we were with how amazing our skin felt when it was over. Dewy, soft, glowing. And, where the sheen of the many other facials we've experienced wore off pretty much the next day, this one was visibly noticeable almost a full week afterwards.
At $250 for 50 minutes, this treatment isn't for the light of wallet, though. But, if you have $30 you can have the next best thing -- full access to the spa itself via a day pass. The public spaces of Aria's spa really shine as well as our service, mainly because there are so many of them and also because they are almost entirely co-ed. There's a comfy lounge with a huge fireplace (we know, a fireplace in a desert, but it works), a huge workout room with views of the pool and another
not-so-relaxing co-ed lounge on the second floor (yes, we said second floor).
Our absolute favorite areas, though, are the Shio room (pictured above and featuring walls lined with glowing bricks of salt for improved respiration and clearer skin), the Ganbanyoku room (with heated stone beds that sound extremely uncomfortably but did wonders for our tense back) and, the creme de la creme, an outdoor co-ed infinity pool on the balcony (for which we'll forgive the occasional sounds of the nearby freeway for the humorous bird's eye view of Liquid antics in the summertime). You'll find them all on the second floor as well.
And, of course, there are the standard whirlpools, saunas and steam rooms, too, but those are for same sex only. Perhaps, that's what the jacuzzi in your room is for, though.
The Spa at Aria is open daily, 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Non-guests are welcome but may find it difficult to gain access on Fridays and Saturdays when more space is reserved for the hotel's own guests. For reservations or more information, dial 877.312.2742. The real value with the day pass is that you can enjoy all of these areas as much as you want for a full day, from open to close. Leaving and returning, at will.
(Photo: LBC-Construction.com, Aria)