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Getting gorgeous at Manhattan’s Guerlain Spa

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Should you find yourself in New York in need of relief and sanctuary, consider heading to the Art Deco twin towers of the Waldorf=Astoria. With a fabled history filled with illustrious characters (Marilyn Monroe lived there, as did songwriter Cole Porter), the Waldorf=Astoria has been, for years, synonymous with grandeur and glamour – and it’s fitting that the first Guerlain Spa outside of Paris is housed on the 19th floor of the Waldorf Towers.

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Reopened in 2011 after a stunning renovation, Guerlain Spa is a white marble sanctuary high in the sky overlooking Park Avenue. Elevators open onto a lavish reception area, illuminated by hanging crystals and soothing water. The 14,000 square-foot space features 15 treatment rooms, as well as fully-appointed wet therapy suites.

With private treatment suites as large as some studio apartments in Manhattan, Guerlain Spa is a sensory oasis of calm and serenity – and indulgence. Signature Guerlain treatments include 5-Senses Hydrotherapy and Impèriale Relaxing Massage, as well as signature facials such as Abeille Royal Expert Treatment and Orchidée Impèriale.

Treatment rooms feature a private bathroom, a walk-in shower with a rainforest showerhead, and a built-in wardrobe. Flowering orchids and music further the illusion of a private retreat.

The four-step, 80-minute Abeille Royal Expert Treatment utilizes Guerlain’s Abeille Royale skincare line, notable for its ability to restructure and tighten the skin. Abeille Royale is formulated with Pure Royale Concentrate, which is a blend of more than eight types of honey, including a French royal jelly from a sustainable Guerlain farm in France that raises the rare black honey bee.

The treatment commences with a gentle cleansing peel that helps prepare the skin for the Abeille Royale Serum. The second step is a healing massage with “heating stamps,” which are similar to sachets of herbs that have been warmed to release botanical essences that are beneficial to the skin. During the third step, the Abeille Royale Serum is applied to fine lines and wrinkles, which is then followed by the application of Abeille Royale Cream.

Guerlain Spa is also known for its signature foot massage, which is offered to clients before the commencement of any treatment – as is a warm paraffin treatment for hands and forearms.

As might be expected of a skincare company borne of the love of fragrance, Guerlain Spa is an olfactory paradise. As you lie on the table, your face enveloped in a bouquet of rare and natural ingredients, your nose leads you on a fragrant journey.

As in yoga, where everything is about the fluidity and flow between asanas, so, too, does Guerlain Spa smooth the transitions between the idyll and the real. As you ease back into the world you left behind, you’ll find yourself rejuvenated and relaxed – and more radiant than before. A lagniappe of freshly-baked macarons insures that a smile remains on your face as you head home.

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