The Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf-Astoria, which had a soft opening on Labor Day, is aiming to anticipate its guests’ every desire — before they even ask.
Located on the 19th floor in the Waldorf Towers area of the hotel, the 14,000-square-foot facility, being operated by Spa Chakra Inc., spans a city block. Upon arrival, guests are asked a series of questions and are asked to smell a variety of scents so that each treatment can be completely personalized for them, said Kimani Roquemore, spa director.
Next, after donning slippers (shoes are forbidden in the spa), clients move to the “decompression” area, where they are given a complimentary footbath as they are filling out the spa’s beauty and well-being questionnaire, which inquires about such things as medical conditions, water consumption and skin care concerns.
“There are no cookie-cutter services here,” said Roquemore. “Each service is completely customized to the client. Our spa menu is simply a jumping-off point for each service.”
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Each of the 16 treatment rooms — three are water treatment rooms for services like hydrotherapy and Vichy showers, and there are also rooms for couples and groups — are different. Each has a personal bathroom, grooming area and private locker with a personalized safe for valuables. Each room features a Manhattan view — sheer curtains to allow light in and blackout shades for those who prefer low light are both options. Music levels and temperatures are controllable in each room, and clutter is absolutely verboten — with even sinks in the treatment areas built into recessed areas that can be easily concealed. Elsewhere in the facility, there are steam rooms for men and women, as well as a private fitness area.
Custom touches include a handmade chandelier of cascading crystal in the entry area that took two days to assemble. Guerlain’s signature lotus motif adorns several doors and walls, while other walls are done in padded champagne silk.
Valet parking and a complimentary makeup touch-up are included in the prices of all services, and gratuities are forbidden. “How often are you enjoying your service, while simultaneously trying to figure out how much to leave for a tip?” said Paul Berman, general manager of sales and marketing for Spa Chakra. “We wanted to eliminate that worry.”
However, such pampering doesn’t come cheap. Massages start at $255 for one hour, while an entry-level, one-hour facial is $255. The spa’s signature Exceptional Orchidée Impériale Treatment — a two-hour facial with the brand’s signature skin care products — is available for $600.
Guerlain also operates a freestanding retail boutique on the main floor of the Waldorf-Astoria. It opened in December 2007, in a space previously held by jeweler H. Stern.