Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spa Review: Spa Montage Laguna Beach

I can cross Spa Montage off my wishlist! My first trip to a luxury resort spa was everything I could have imagined it to be... and then some! I can't begin to convey how amazing my experience was. I've always dreamed of being whisked away to a gorgeous oceanfront spa and do nothing but relax. For 4th of July this year, I skipped the family BBQ and spent the day at Spa Montage (at The Montage Resort in Laguna Beach).

(Courtesy of The Montage Site)

Jump for lots of details... 

First and foremost, service is absolutely unparalleled here. From the front desk, to the poolside attendant, to the massage therapist, everyone was so friendly. Orange County has a little bit of a reputation, but in no way did I ever feel like I was some youngin' who somehow snuck in to the adult's playhouse. 

Upon arrival, they confirmed my card and I confirmed (as I had on the phone) that they accepting SpaFinder certificates (gift from the boyfriend). Why I mention this is because they essentially show you your bill up front (20% gratuity is included) so that when you go to leave... just just sign and go. No hassling with the wallet or breaking the experience for the paying part. Instead, you essentially do it up front. I've got no qualms with that. 

I was given an extensive tour of the facility by a very kind locker room attendant. She took me through the full women's facilities, then outside to the oceanside lap pool. There was no confusion on where to go. 

Many thanks to the Oyster website for the photos that follow. Because it was a women's only area there were a couple women in the nude (I opted to keep my bathing suit on) and I was not about to bust my camera out.

First off, the gorgeous and luxe lockers were wooden. Full amenities in this area included multiple spaces for being able to get ready after your experience (lotion, blow dryer, hair spray, Q-tips, etc.) There were three spacious private showers that were fully stocked as well (gel, razors, shampoo, conditioner, etc.). I loved their lotion!

(Courtesy of GoodandWellNYC)

The top photo is the view when you walk into the main area. On the left was a dry sauna and on the right a wet steam room. In the center was the amazing waterfall jacuzzi. I'm pretty sure the initial sight of it on my tour elicited an audible response. Also, not visible from the photo is a small cold plunge pool with enough room for 1-2. Essentially, they recommend rotating 8 minute sessions of hot vs. cold. It was unfortunately overcast and even drizzled that day, so I couldn't bring myself to go into the cold plunge. Instead, I rotated between dry sauna, iced washcloth, jacuzzi,  iced washcloth , steam room, and iced washcloth. Plenty of towels, iced water, room temperature bottled water, padded lounge chairs and washcloths on ice with cucumber. 

(Courtesy of HauteLiving)

The Dry Sauna.

There was also a Relaxation Room (which is where the massage therapist meets you) that had plenty of lounging chairs, a fire going, blankets, newspapers, magazines, fresh fruit and the adorable little set up featured in the photo above. Essentially, more iced water, but also hot water with a variety of high end teas. Not tea bags... but the type with the mesh and dried herbs inside. They also had the most adorable honey pots that I really wish I had written down the name of. There was a variety of very light antioxidant rich snacks including dried apricots, almonds, dark chocolate, possibly dried cranberries and a trail mix of sorts. 

As for the treatment, I opted for the Balancing Massage (60 min $225). Pricey, but it was hands down in the top two best massages I've ever received. The massage therapist didn't do the quick and perfunctory "Any spots I should avoid?" but additionally asked when the last time I had a massage was, if I frequently got massages and from there with the knowledge that I'm essentially a massage junkie (well, as much as I can afford it) she asked if there was any type of therapy I prefer. I happen to love cranio-sacral and she really incorporated this in. Additionally, she made a point to ask a couple times how the pressure was during the massage. Some massage therapists, I don't feel the connection or comfortable enough to say if the room was too cold or a similar minor thing, but I really felt at ease before and through the treatment that if I wanted to address something, I could. That said, I didn't need to! I felt like I was in a mild daze as I walked out of there. Also, there were lots of smaller touches as well that I enjoyed like as she walked out of the room she emphasized to take my time, where there was water, where my clothes and shoes were (to the left of the table, etc). It was a sublime experience. 

(Courtesy of Image Juicy)

After my massage, I went outside to lounge by the lap pool. As you can see from above, it had a great view despite it being a chilly day. Fortunately, they offer a complimentary chair set up with huge towels. I nestled under one, ordered a drink and lunch, and relaxed with a book. At one point, the receptionist at the desk came up to me with an envelope and a little goodie bag while I'm lounging there at the pool. When I initially made the reservation, I was asked if it was for a special occasion and I honestly told the reservationist that I just really needed a relaxing break. With that in mind, the reservationist actually hand wrote me a thoughtful card and gave me a goodie bag (lotion, aromatherapy oil and a couple other little things). Needless to say, I was dumbfounded! It was completely unexpected and made me feel really treasured as a guest. 

Ultimately, I spent 6-7 hours at Spa Montage that day. It was everything I needed in a perfect pampering day. I didn't even take advantage of the complimentary classes (like Sunset Yoga or a morning guided beach walk) or the gym facilities. While this is a wordy post, I still feel like I haven't done them justice. Special thanks to Christy and Natalie for creating a memorable day!

Treatment Quality: 10/10
Service & Professionalism: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Design & Decor: 10/10
Cleanliness: 5/5
Amenities: 5/5


Disclaimer: All treatments were purchased on my own behalf. None of the links provide any compensation or affiliate bonuses for myself. The links are purely for information purposes.

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