Many thanks to the awesome Mandarin Oriental Hotel Spa in Buckhead for sponsoring this post and being such a gracious host.
If you are a busy mom or a woman on the go, sometimes you just need to slow down and take the time to relax. I’ve been moving like crazy lately and traveling a ton. With all of my traveling, my skin started to act up just a bit. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone, spa day!
My skin is dry and during the warmer months, it tends to be dry on my cheeks but oily only on my nose. This is a recipe for some serious skin issues. To nip those issues, I headed to the Mandarin Oriental Spa for a Customized Essential Facial. There are two options for the timing of the facial: a 50-minute facial or an 80-minute facial. I received the 80-minute facial.
When I say that I was in serious need of a facial, I’m not joking. I arrived in Atlanta from my visit to my hometown and essentially headed straight to my appointment. I had enough time to take a shower and head out. I’m horrible with directions and I was afraid that I would be late to my appointment. This was my first time at the Mandarin Oriental which is located in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, but it was easy to find. Needless to say, I arrived super early. LOL!
From the moment I stepped out of the car, I knew this was going to be a different experience. I’ve been to other spas during my travels, but the Mandarin Oriental is different, in a good way. After the doorman gave me instructions, I headed straight to the lobby to look for the elevator. Unfortunately, somewhere between the car and the front desk, I totally forgot which floor he told me the spa was on. We will blame that on my nine-hour drive. Anywho, the staff pointed me and the right direction and off I went.
I immediately noticed the difference in the spa at the Mandarin Oriental as soon as the elevator opened. When you step out, you notice the lights are dimmed. Normally when I go to a spa, the only room that is dimly lit is the room where you receive your service. This is so not the case at the Mandarin Oriental. When you enter the spa level, your brain immediately shifts to relaxing, which is something that I totally needed. The site mentions their tranquil ambiance and I’m here to say that the ambiance was perfect. It definitely put me in the right state of mind to fully enjoy my experience.
The only areas that are brightly lit are the spa store and the dressing areas. Both are understandable areas where you would expect bright lighting. You want the products to be front and center and there is nothing worse than dropping your keys or an earring in a dimly lit area and having to hunt without great lighting. The setup totally makes sense. We won’t talk about how I still managed to forget the items that I wanted to purchase. I’m so upset with myself for forgetting.
When you walk into the reception area for the spa, the lighting is still dim. You check-in and have a seat in the reception waiting area. Can I tell you how super nice their staff is and I love that they explain everything thoroughly? No, they did not give me special treatment because I have a blog. The ladies that were assisting me had no idea who I was, so I can safely say, this is their normal and I loved every bit of it.
While I was waiting, the young lady from the front desk came to take my heels and give me a pair of spa shoes. I know they thought I was crazy but I put on socks with my spa slippers. If you’ve been around for a while, you know I’m anemic and I get cold super easy. So, I came prepared!
After she took my shoes, she came over with a cool Jasmine tea and a cool cloth to apply to your face or to clean your hands. We all know I have OCD, so you can guess what I did with the cloth. LOL!
If you follow me on SnapChat, you got to see me walk through the process and show you around the spa. But just in case you missed it, let’s take a quick tour. Our first stop is the vitality pool. My photo doesn’t do it justice. Note to self, use my other lens!
Here is a great photo of the vitality pool
Just off of the vitality pool and before the dressing area is the shower area. I didn’t take pictures of shower or dressing areas for obvious reasons. I did my best to take photos to share my experience, but I wanted to respect the privacy of the other ladies who were there enjoying the spa.
Right off of the dressing area is the terrace. If you don’t want to wait in the Lady’s Relaxation area, you can wait on the terrace and enjoy a little sunshine while reclining in the lounge chairs. I went out there for a bit and shared my experience on SnapChat.
Just a note, they do have separate relaxation areas for men and women but they do offer couple’s services in the Couple’s Suit.
After I spent a few minutes on the terrace, I decided to head into the Lady’s Relaxation area. My short little legs and I hopped up on the chair and kicked backed. Let’s just say watching this was a sight to behold. I didn’t really relax while I was in the area because there were three slightly older ladies in the Relaxation area chatting about the latest event in their social circle. I have to admit, they did make me chuckle. Which brings up a great point, the Mandarin Oriental Spa is the perfect place for a “Girl’s Spa Day”. That’s exactly what they were there for because only one of the ladies comes in on a regular basis. She said that the Mandarin Oriental’s spa is her “spot”. LOL!
While I was there I decided to try the orange water, but I decided against snacks. Yes, on the other side of the relaxation area is an area with refreshments. You know I couldn’t resist the water because I love fruit infused waters.
When it was time for my treatment my therapist, Kellie, came out to greet me. Now this is where the fun begins. LOL! I couldn’t have paired me up with a better person. She was perfect for my personality and quirks. When I first entered the spa suite, she started by asking me if I had any allergies or sensitivities. I explained them to her and I also gave her a quick rundown of issues I was having so that she would know what to look out for during the skin assessment.
The Mandarin has an interesting assessment process because your therapist will ask you to smell two essential oil scents, first on a cloth and then on the back of your hand, and you pick the one that is most flattering to you. The first scent on the cloth helps pick your cleanser. While the second, on your hand, picks your SpaFresh toner. The funny thing about the assessment process is the oil blend that you pick tends to go with your current skin issues. Amazingly, the fragrance I picked was for dry skin. How cool is that?!
After I finished the assessment, it was time for my therapist to take a look at my skin. Oh boy! Luckily, I forewarned her about the issues I was having and my problem spots. She noticed all of them and found a few that I hadn’t noticed yet. We also chatted about my current skincare regimen and she recommended that I up my exfoliation to three times per week. I normally exfoliate once per week because I was afraid my skin would get highly upset and revolt. LOL! However, I did increase my exfoliation per her recommendation. So far, so good! Yay!
My therapist was seriously awesome! She walked me through the process and explained which products she was using and why. We started with the Nourishing Cleansing Balm. She then moved to the scrub to exfoliate my face. I have to say I love the scrub. It’s made of crushed sea shells and you would think it would be too abrasive; however, it was not. Did I mention that it felt great? Love it! Yeah, I already said that but…
After each cleansing step, she used hot towels to remove the product from my face. Remember those socks that I mentioned? This where they came in handy because each time she applied the towels, I was freezing. See, y’all judged me and my socks, but I knew it was going to happen. Kellie was great because each time I would get cold she asked me if I wanted her to increase the temperature on the bed. I was shaking like a puppy fresh out of the tub. LOL!
During the process, I was asked if extraction was okay. The way my pores looked after traveling, I was all for it…please and thank you. No, the extraction process didn’t hurt.
Towards the end of the experience comes the toning and moisturizing. My wonderful nose picked the Balancing Herbal SpaFresh for toning to clarify and balance my skin’s pH balance. After toning, she applied a bit of PROSERUM and moisturizer.
Kellie also noticed the dryness that I mentioned under my eyes and applied the 24hr Replenishing Eye Moisturizer. My eyes were super dry before my facial. I almost forgot what my real under eye texture looked like because recently, the skin in that area had the texture of an orange peel. I know that is normally a sign of dehydrated under eyes and that was indeed the case for me.
I’m so bummed that I forgot to pick up the products she recommended because the eye moisturizer was everything! My eyes look sooo much better. I have some eye creams but none work as well as the one they have at the spa. All of their products are from the ESPA Skincare line. Oh! I almost forgot, the products she used did not irritate my skin. I have sensitive skin, but I did not have any issues after my facial. Now that really makes me happy!
I almost forgot about the scalp cleanse. Yep, you read that right! They have a scalp cleansing treatment that is the bomb! I almost fell asleep because it felt so dang good. She told me about the treatment when we first started and I was down because I was going to wash my hair later that day. Perfect timing!
Whew! That about sums up my spa day. No matter if you are traveling and looking for a great spa to hide away for a bit or if you are local to Atlanta but need, I would highly recommend the Mandarin Oriental Spa. It is definitely a 5 Star organization and I enjoyed every moment of my visit. The staff is phenomenal but more importantly, the level of care that goes into your individual experience is unparalleled.
The Mandarin Oriental Spa offers other facials but I recommend the Customized Essential Facial. Your therapist will not only take the time to get to know your skin but get to know you. I think building a rapport with a client is a must because it allows for the best experience possible. My therapist was able to see that I’m a very fun loving and easygoing person and she matched my personality. She was professional at all times but she didn’t “put on airs”. Most of the experience was based on her personality because she truly made it enjoyable.
This was my first visit to the spa at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel but it won’t be the last. I can’t say enough positive things about my experience. If you are ever in Atlanta, please do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment. If you are like me, make sure you ask for Kellie. 🙂