By Debra Bokur
Planning any group gathering takes time and energy—two resources that are constantly short in supply. Regardless of whether the event is a bachelorette party, birthday, anniversary, “babymoon” or gentlemen’s gathering, managing the logistics of a celebration can leave the party planner frazzled and beat. That stress can be enough to drive savvy hosts to skip the traditional get-together, and instead grab a few close friends and head to the spa. With options for pre-treatment group activities, large spa suites, Champagne toasts and pre-wedding planning, Loews spas can host a personalized party to relax and refresh groups of all sizes.
At his Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa at Loews Regency New York Hotel, celebrity hairstylist Julien Farel has created the 12-Week Ultimate Bridal Countdown, completely customized for each individual client. This comprehensive, head-to-toe skincare plan includes fitness and nutrition strategies courtesy of the spa’s master trainer, Christine de Almeida, personal training and “tress rehearsals” (test-runs of the bride’s wedding-day hairstyle with veil in place). The all-important prep is intermingled with soothing massages and pampering spa therapies.
“This [Ultimate Bridal] Countdown incorporates our holistic philosophy of incorporating hair, skin, face, mind and body,” Farel says. “After all, your wedding day is about the magical moment of looking and feeling your absolute best. Our bridal countdown experience is as luxurious as it is transforming, and truly catered to the bride-to-be.”
Farel and his team have also designed a fabulous selection of JF Men treatments that cater to the gentlemen spa-goers, including a Power Menu with salon treatments, the JF Signature Shave, JF Signature Facial and men’s hand and foot restorative therapies that can be enjoyed individually or as part of a group outing, such as a bachelor party. And for couples who want to celebrate together, the Power Couple offering includes a massage and facial for both parties, with the option for a manicure and pedicure.
In San Diego County, a world away from New York’s big city bustle, Sea Spa at Loews Coronado Bay Resort makes balance both a theme and a goal with ocean-inspired treatments and luxurious products. Groups can reserve the private garden patio for outdoor massages, and enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries and Champagne between services.
Bianca Vasilescu, director of spa operations at Sea Spa, says bridal parties or other groups can start the day with a private beach yoga session on the resort’s seaside sands. Then it’s back to the spa for a round of indulgent facials and therapies, such as the Gifts of the Sea body treatment that uses certified organic coconut oil.
Group gatherings and pre-wedding rendezvous for couples at Sea Spa can be fully customized, from the choice of treatments to the catered luncheon served on the outdoor terrace. Bridal parties can prepare for their event with professional hair, nail and makeup services, or reserve the entire salon for a more private experience.
“Parties can even begin with an aerobics class or a game of tennis,” Vasilescu says. “Guests can take a dip in our Watsu pool or Jacuzzi, and melt away the tension in our dry saunas and steam rooms before beginning their customized treatments.”
Additionally, duos on a romantic retreat can make use of the couple’s suite—bedecked in rose petals and candlelight—and relax with a Signature Champagne Spa Manicure and Pedicure before concluding with a sparkling toast.
Back on the East Coast, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando arranges intimate soirees and larger group gatherings at the oasis-like Mandara Spa. In addition, Mandara makes mixed-gender gatherings much easier with their coed lounge and hydrotherapy pool, where men and women can socialize before heading to individual treatments.
Professional makeup and styling services are available for weddings and other occasions, while a bespoke selection of treatments can be arranged for partygoers. These themed Spa Ceremonies include the multi-hour Sunrise Awakening with body polish, massage, facial and optional manicure and pedicure; and the five-and-a-half-hour Nirvana … Bliss for a Day, which includes all the Sunrise Awakening treatments plus a Mandara Hand and Foot Ritual, lunch in the relaxation room, personalized makeup session and a shampoo and style.
For gentlemen, the Mandara Deep Tissue Massage launches the two- to three-hour Men’s Spa Escape, followed by an Elemis Urban Cleanse for Men Facial and a Men’s Sports Manicure and Pedicure. The spa staff can customize a special lineup for the day that includes selections from the Time for Men spa menu, creating a truly personal experience with each member of the group in mind.
Whether commemorating upcoming nuptials or an amazing round of golf, a memorable celebration aims to take everyone’s breath away. By reveling at a Loews Hotels & Resorts spa, hosts and guests alike will experience multisensory escapes that will leave a lasting impression—long after the Champagne stops flowing.