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Normally when we think of a luxurious spa experience, we think of Napa, Sonoma and places like Big Sur. Rolling hills, lush farmland and invigorating sea air seem synonymous with being blissed out on a massage table or enjoying an invigorating facial with natural botanicals. Imagine if you will an oasis of calm and pampering right in the fray of the semiconductor revolution.
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley opened a year ago under the supervision of Spa Director Derek Hofmann. Hofmann has worked diligently to keep the focus of the spa on slowing down, calming, and feeling the luxury of just being. Pleasing earth tones, wood, slate and natural fiber-infused glass panels are the landscape elements of this retreat from stress. In the spirit of the Four Seasons, every detail is attended to with thick robes, hot tea and the eucalyptus oil-infused steam room. One very unique amenity is the client’s lounge—a softy lit room with large plants, lounging chairs, hot and cold beverages and snacks such as dried dates and apricots. There is no television or large distracting art work, just a relaxing ambience enhanced by soft music. This is a resting place to focus within and to find your inner calm before being greeted for your spa treatments.
On my visit to this oasis, I indulged in three treatments in a row: Shiatsu massage, a men’s facial and an herbal foot treatment. As I entered the spa, I was struck immediately by the symphony of color and light. The warm greeting from the hostess immediately put me at ease. I was ushered into the men’s dressing room, slipped into my luxurious robe and settled into the client’s lounge to await my marathon of indulgence and pampering. My first treatment, Shiatsu massage, was accentuated with a selection of essential oils. My massage therapist instructed me “to smell and choose which essential oil combination felt most harmonious.” From that moment on, soft music, strong, competent hands and the melting of my tension was all I could remember.
Later I was escorted back to the client’s lounge and shortly thereafter greeted the esthetician for my facial. She explained to me that all the nonchemical, organic spa products used by the Four Seasons were from ESpa, a company based in England. I was then brought to another level of relaxation after only my face and neck had been massaged. My skin was left singing from being scrubbed, moisturized and steamed.
After a brief respite, it was time for my foot treatment, which included an herbal scrub, foaming warm bath and hypnotic foot massage. Upon exiting the spa and returning to my room, I pondered whether I’d ever felt this relaxed before and made a solemn promise to return and recapture this level of bliss, luxury and indulgence.
An oasis is a refuge from the harsh environment that surrounds it, and The Spa at the Four Seasons offers tranquility in the midst of a most unlikely place. Thank goodness all of us who are caught in the fray can easily quench our stress-filled bodies and calm our noisy minds without leaving the concrete jungle.