A critical part to any good girl's weekend is the spa component. Thankfully, we were able to choose from not just one, but two top-rated spas during our visit, MGM's G SPA, an offshoot of the Boston-based brand, and Foxwood's Norwich Spa, a second outpost of the famed Norwich Inn.
Located several floors above the casino, the spa and fitness center took up an entire section of the result. Score one point - so often, spas are considered an afterthought.
G SPA is owned by Boston-based entrepreneur Gretta Monahan and specializes in offering results-based treatments using only the highest quality botanicals and products. Like the original, the vibe is hip and boutique-y, but still relaxation-focused.
The spa receptionists were exceptionally friendly and helpful, escorting us to an oversized locker room and providing us with fluffy white robes and sandals. We took full advantage, relaxing in the heated whirlpool and indoor pool and enjoying the sauna, steam and Jacuzzi in the women's relaxation lounge. While the spa doesn't provide food, locker rooms were stocked with tea, water, coffee and juices, plus fresh fruit. The best part?Private terraces in the women's and pool area that afforded relaxing views of the reservation.
Despite being booked in for a couple's massage (a "romantic" angle had become a "girlfriend getaway" at the last moment), the spa was quickly able to assess that we were not traveling on a romantic weekend and offered us two rooms for the treatment. K confessed to loving her therapist and enjoying one of the best massages of her life. Mine was slightly less awe-inspiring, but quite good nevertheless. Afterwards, I enjoyed the spa's signature Green Tea facial, a treatment that include paraffin for the hands or feet, a soothing shoulder massage, and a thorough facial with enzyme peel and extractions. It was one of the better facials I've ever had - and despite having a cold, my once puffy skin looked glowing and smooth for two days post treatment. K opted to utilize the gym and raved about the state-of-the-art equipment and integrated television / iPod systems.
As we left, we noticed that the spa was filling up rapidly, as it was now Friday afternoon. Those hoping for privacy should book early appointments or opt for a weekday.
End verdict? G Spa is a must visit, either for much-needed "alone time" or a girlfriend getaway afternoon. We'll surely return, either to this outpost or one of the Boston locations.
The next morning, we headed to Foxwoods' other spa, a second location of the famed Norwich Inn that had opened only several months prior. We were booked for an 80-minute luxury pedicure, a blend of hot stones and massage that we would have to see to believe. The spa itself is located on an upper floor, again, high above the buzz and noise of the casino proper. Once simply a Foxwoods-branded spa, the Norwich name had taken over the property in late April and made several changes to incorporate a more resort-like environment. They had added in a specialized boutique (offering chic yoga apparel, candles, and the spa's products), a couple's treatment room, and were in the process of upgrading the locker room facilities. Like G SPA, the spa boasted a pool and outdoor terrace, sauna and whirlpool as well as a fitness center. The overall ambiance was slightly less 'zen' like than the G SPA, but may be partly due to the fact that the spa was not originally designed for the space, and rather was forced to work with what was left by the previous tenant.
Still, the front desk staff was personable and warm, and the therapists all seemed knowledgeable and eager to assist in any way possible. Debbie, my nail technician, assured us we were in for a treat - the pedicure, a blend of exfoliation, clay mask and a hot stone massage, was called the "Down to Earth" treatment but may as well have been called the "Toes up to Heaven." Not only was it near a full hour of massage, but Debbie, a 20+ year industry veteran, couldn't have been nicer. We had a blast chatting about our mutual lovs (romance novels!) and discussing area spas. After months of cheap pedis at my corner location in Arlington, it was pure bliss to experience a truly first-class pedicure. If we could import this therapist to DC ASAP, we'd never leave her side. If the Norwich location offers a treatment half as good, it's well worth the trip.
Bottom line: though the spa has some kinks to work out in terms of decor, the treatments are truly first-rate... we'll be back for the pedicure!
*Deacon's trip was sponsored by MGM Grand at Foxwoods, but the writer's opinions are her own. Images courtesy of G SPA.