Want a luxurious spa getaway that’s a quick commute from LA? The Spa at the Island Hotel Newport Beach fills the bill. The Island Hotel Newport Beach is a luxury 20-story, 295-room property set amidst five acres of landscaped gardens. Offering esoteric, multicultural and sometimes organic spa treatments in a 4,000 square foot space, this spa is a gem on the face of Orange County. Pioneering a transpacific, multicultural, “beachy” yet refined aesthetic, the Island and its spa offer more than a few surprises.
Whereas most SoCal spas are insipidly decorated in generic pastels and burdened with forgettable art, treatment rooms here are adorned with color-saturated photo collages of ocean scenes that create nature-based calm. The earth-toned, Asian themed unisex spa lounge helps guests zone out in a jiffy. By all means, hang out here for a half hour before treatment time and switch into relax mode. This is a great room for reading, snoozing, drinking herbal tea or conversing in; something about the lustrous low lighting allows guests to connect.
Spa director Jim Croghan should be commended for his programming, staffing and product smarts. Featuring several organic and Asian-influenced treatments, the spa and its therapists are world class. Hint: if deep tissue massage is your fave, ask for Saiko. This sweet Japanese lady with the name that is pronounced “psycho” gives the most penetrating deep tissue (one hour for $140) and reflexology (30 minutes for $90) this writer has ever experienced. You many also choose Hawaiian lomi lomi massage or pregnancy massage.
If you’re in the mood for totally organic and earthy massage and body treatment, then try the Boreh Spice Remedy. Based on Indonesian spa rituals, this treatment blends clove, ginger and various Indonesian spices in a paste. This is applied to the body to increase circulation and relieve tension, and it is Ã¼ber-effective. Head to toe massage enhances this stimulating and warming therapy, which is ideal for muscle soreness, work stress, recovering from a cold or flu or jet lag symptoms. At the end of the treatment, delicious organic herbal teas from Asia are served in demitasse china cups. The body products and teas used in this treatment are made by Jamu Asian Spa Rituals and are Fair Trade certified. Lasting a luxurious two hours, the Boreh remedy costs $300.
Another must-have at the Island is the Organic Carrot Vitamin Facial. This perfectly customized, vitamin-rich remedy uses the healing properties of organic carrot products (which contain vitamin A and other goodies) to nourish, soothe and plump up skin. Facial massage, wild plum skin tonic, almond mineral exfoliant and creamy moisturizer complete the experience. This hour-long extravaganza can be yours for $140. It’s also worth noting that men can get a fab facial here too. The Gentleman’s Face Therapy incorporates massage, steaming, extraction, exfoliation, toning and moisturizing: one hour for $140.
Since the Island has a beautiful swimming pool, you may want to consider checking in overnight so that you can swim and enjoy a poolside spa treatment under the morning sun. The Tropical Island Massage is customized to your needs: $165 for 60 minutes or $225 for 90 minutes. The 90-minute Tropical Pedicure ($150) is a fruit and vegetable-inspired facial and massage for legs and feet.
Whatever treatment you choose at the Island, be sure to allot an entire day at the Spa. This is the kind of place where you can recharge, for the Spa at the Island Hotel really is a healing island. Hours of operation are from 7:30 am to 9pm and there is a four-hour cancellation policy.