Rescue Me: The Spa at Four Seasons Westlake Village
Though the resort, which opened late in 2006, is only about a 40-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles, it s a different world. The scenery along the way changes dramatically, with mountains clearly outlined in the distance and a sky that seems clearer and brighter.
At the end of a long hard week at work, I really needed some relief from stress and fatigue. I found it at The Spa at the Four Seasons Westlake Village.
Though the resort, which opened late in 2006, is only about a 40-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles, it s a different world. The scenery along the way changes dramatically, with mountains clearly outlined in the distance and a sky that seems clearer and brighter. I drove into a nine-acre oasis of landscaped gardens, ready to unwind.
The 40,000-square-foot spa is opulent, with 28 treatment rooms, private gardens, and a Mediterranean-style indoor pool with calming views of the gardens. Even the fitness center is a relaxing place, with garden and waterfall views. Outside there is a heated pool and ten poolside cabanas.
I arrived early for my Men s Rescue Facial (50 minutes, $150) so I could enjoy all that the spa has to offer. The locker room was much more upscale than I d experienced in any health club or gym, with a lot of good products including Pinaud s talc for after-treatment grooming. I was presented with a nice robe and slippers, and a large fluffy towel: The attendant took my shoes for a shine. After a quick shower, I headed for the steam room, which was really spacious about the size of my living room. The steam was powerful, just the way I like it. Within 45 seconds of pressing the button, I couldn t see a thing. The sauna was almost as big and the Jacuzzi was the size of a small swimming pool. I sampled them all.
The description of my facial in the spa menu promised 50 minutes of pure bliss and relaxation. After I chose the music I wanted classical my esthetician Sheena kept that promise. She gave me a treatment on a massage table that included pressure-point modeling massage on my face, neck, upper back and scalp. She used essential oils a blend of black pepper and oliban that enriched and enhanced the experienced.
The facial began with a thorough cleansing, followed by a gentle enzyme exfoliation which was not at all abrasive, even though I had shaved earlier to give my skin the full benefit of the products. Also gentle was the steam that warmed my skin and opened my pores. While cool cucumbers soothed my eyes, Sheena did the extractions: I don t enjoy this process, but I like to have it done. Sheena then massaged my face, hitting the pressure points, which is similar to what my acupuncturist does with needles.
Next, she applied the energizing mask of Vitamin C and Ginseng and placed moist cotton pads on my eyes. While the mask firmed up, Sheena massaged my hands and arms using a light moisturizer. At this point I was very relaxed. I was startled when she put my hands into warm paraffin mitts I d never experienced a paraffin hand treatment but then the warmth felt very good.
After the mask came off, a warm towel compress was applied to my face. Sheena massaged my back, neck and chest, pressing on my chest. She removed the paraffin mitts. Then came the products, all by Sothys (except for the mask), a de-stressing eye contour care on my lids, hydrating active care on my face, and sun protection to finish.
This was much more than a simple facial; it was almost a full body experience. I moved on to the relaxation area, which had a skylight as well as some well-designed architectural light, glass textured walls, waterfalls and orchids. The women s area on the other side had the same elements. Between the two sections was a Japanese-style bridge over water a kind of buffer zone where couples could meet.
After a refreshing drink of lemon-mint water (there was also bottled water), I stretched out on a wide daybed and vegged out until it was time to leave.
For information on The Spa at Four Seasons Westlake Village, visit:
www.fourseasons.com/westlakevillage or call 818-575-3000.