The spa’s minimalist and modern treatment room.

One of my favorite things to do when I’m away on vacation is to book a massage in my hotel room. I am my mother’s daughter. There’s nothing like it, they come in to your room set everything up and give the massage. Before and after you’ve been relaxing, had a shower and sit back in your robe and just glow. There’s the privacy and the sense of luxury. Too bad you can’t have that with a facial…or can you?

I went to the Guerlain Spa at the historic and lush Waldorf Astoria in New York to have a facial, and decided on the Abeille Royale Expert Treatment  – a firming and lifting facial. The facial is listed at 80 minutes, and like every other spa they tell you to come early to take advantage of the relaxing atmosphere and take advantage of the amenities

What I found was that this experience and the beautiful environment in which it took place was like a trip to heaven.

I always love walking into the Waldorf Astoria. This is a New York landmark with a signature of grand elegance. It is the living embodiment of a well-heeled New York of nearly a century ago. The destination for presidents, film stars and dignitaries.  As I took the elevator up to the spa I drank in my beautiful surroundings and was instantly transported to those graceful days. I was eager to enjoy the kind of treatment that a wonderful place like this could provide.

As I stepped off the elevator I entered a sleek, sophisticated, and state-of-the-art environment, which provided a serene contrast to the rest of the historic hotel. I was immediately struck by the clean and modern lines of the environment which was both, quiet and extremely peaceful.


Guerlain’s facial treatments are unparalleled in New York.

Checking in, I was warmly greeted and escorted to a sitting area and offered refreshment. This was the kind of treatment that you would only expect from a Five-Star destination like The Waldorf.

A lovely and inviting woman named Maria came over and introduced herself as my esthetician and whisked me away, telling me to relax and get comfortable—even to have a shower if I’d like. She led me into the light, airy and soothing room, showed me the cupboard with my robe, slippers, a safe and a charging pad! It was my ultimate facial fantasy!

Beyond that was a sink and a nice chair with more water, and to the right a massage table. I turn back as Maria shows me the beautiful, large, fully stocked bathroom. This is no locker room with a private or semi-private (read ‘curtain’) shower here… no nervous moments walking around a crowded lounge, looking for the shower in your robe and slippers, or avoiding the gaze of other guests wondering if my toes were perfectly polished. Like a giddy schoolgirl I was in heaven…and I get a facial too!

The table was pre-heated to perfection. As I climbed under the covers and immediately relaxed, Maria took my hands and put them in warm wax treatment gloves. She evaluated my skin thoroughly and saw a few extractions that were needed and then proceeded to do the microdermabrasion with what looked like two sachets of herbs offering a wonderful aroma, but not too heavily perfumed or medicinal smelling. She gently massaged my face and I felt the stress fall away as if I were having a full body massage. There was just one problem…I was blissfully slipping away. As a writer, I’m supposed to be paying attention to every detail, touch, scent, the feel of the wonderful Abielle Royal Youth Serum, and making sure she is targeting every wrinkle that screams at me in the mirror.

But it’s too late—I’m gone. I’m in that truly zen-like space that is usually reserved for those that study the art of meditation.

This is the most rejuvenating experience one can have. I have no idea what happened next, but my mind and body were not in New York. My skin was happily still at Guerlain and felt so alive and fresh. As I lay there she worked her magic, gently adding the moisture my face so desperately needed, teasing the stress lines until they disappeared.

This is a must-destination for anyone who wishes to experience heaven on earth. It is after all Guerlain, and the French know how to treat a lady.

Deborah Dragon

The Guerlain Spa is located at 301 Park Avenue, between 49th and 50th Streets in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. For more information, call 212-872-7200, or visit: guerlainspas.com