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Washington's coolest day spa, Red Door honors beauty icon Elizabeth Arden

Red Door Spa at The Willard InterContinental Washington


Washington’s coolest day spa, Red Door at The Willard celebrates beauty icon Elizabeth Arden with a new look for today’s woman and man.

Arden created a global brand more than a century ago. So it’s natural to have the Red Door at Washington’s historic Willard InterContinental Hotel. But this DC outpost is completely original.

Entering the Willard lobby on Pennsylvania Avenue is like returning to the golden age of hotels. Gilded columns, grand floral arrangements, and an air of elegance lets you know this is a special place.

Two floors up, the modest Red Door entrance leads to a spacious fitness center full of LifeFitness equipment, open to all hotel guests. The busy receptionist barely had time to check my reservation, much less find me a robe in the men’s locker room.

Space is the real luxury behind the Red Door. At the end of a long corridor you discover
lounges and refreshments. Therapists check your health details, adjust treatment if desired. Ryan told me to relax while we selected aromatherapy massage oil.

The Signature Stress Melter Ritual is a total body treatment that combines a scrub, wrap, and massage. Perfect antidote to Washington weather, the “ritual” included cleansing mud slathered on my body, followed by a shower. While enveloped in mud to detox, my scalp was massaged. Then a regenerative massage, and final touch of moisturizer.
(110 minutes, $235)

The spa opens to a terrace above the Willard courtyard, allowing you to soak up some rays or snooze under an umbrella. Lunch can be ordered from the hotel’s room service menu, served on the terrace. Even drinks. Which makes this a great party space.

Anothr reason to visit prior to an event in town are the locker rooms. Having both sauna and steam room with showers and big towels is rare in downtown DC. All that’s lacking are amenities for shaving, i.e. disposable razor and toothbrush.

Open daily, current promotions include Mother’s Day packages (through May 11), and a 20% discount for high school prom-goers (through June 30).

Seasonal specials include facials for men and women, as well as nail treatments and hair shampoo with blow dry. Prices range from $99, plus tax. Gratuity is left to your discretion.

The finishing touch for ladies: a makeup bar where you can get professional advice.

A no-nonsense hideaway, Red Door Spa at The Willard is the go-to place for a fast fix or full relaxation in downtown DC.

Contact: Red Door Spa at The Willard InterContinental Washington, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. Reservations: 2022/942-2700

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