Visiting Ciel Spa at SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, you embark on an ethereal, fantastical space akin to floating on a canopy of clouds. This is probably what designer Philippe Starck had in mind by opting for white as the sole color in this unconventional yet charming spa. Upon entering the 5,000 sq.-ft. area you are struck by the purity and originality of the white on white, which is a refreshing change–one atypical of traditional spa decors. Undulating white ceiling drapes separate white chaise lounges against a backdrop of gleaming white floors and white postmodern furniture.
The actual Ciel Spa experience begins way before your massage treatment. As soon as you exit your car, a valet presents you with an envelope directing you to your destination. It’s these little things like a hand written welcome on hotel stationary that accentuate the hospitality shown to spa guests at every step of their journey. At check-in, you are approached like royalty and served with a crisp, mouth-watering shot of “agua fresca” in either watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple or honeydew flavors. The co-ed lounge is private, pristine and playful for individuals or couples. Make sure you sample some appetizing chocolates and yes, you are allowed to eat the melon berry skewers that look like pieces of artwork.
State of the Art Technology really makes Ciel Spa stand out. The majority of spas have saunas, steam rooms or jacuzzi’s, however Ciel Spa houses a “eucalyptus steam room” in both locker rooms. This is perhaps the most pleasant of the wet room options, as nothing awakens the pores and breathing passages like a good eucalyptus steam after your massage. These are an absolute treat when you can find a spa with one, not to mention the one at Ciel Spa also has a stereo sound system enriching your steam with relaxing music.
You will also notice the cutting-edge technology during any treatment that requires a rinse in the “experience shower,” which I was astonished to find has a total of 18 shower heads. During my premiere “Nirvana Renewal” treatment, two therapists (four hands) took me into a deep state of utter tranquility with a coconut/vanilla scrub followed by a Macadamia & Kukui oil massage. A good scrub can feel like thousands of fingers scratching you all at the same time, and this one was no exception. In between the scrub and the massage I experienced the famed “experience shower” firsthand and my stressed body was drenched into gentle capitulation with a flurry of warm water in every direction possible from the 18 shower heads.
When locals book their Ciel Spa treatment Monday-Friday, they also gain access to the fitness center, Altitude Pool and complimentary parking.
465 South La Cienega Blvd., L.A., 310.246.5560. www.cielatsls.com