In 2005, UNESCO awarded Buenos Aires with the City of Design distinction. The abundance of fashion and architectural designs throughout the city inspired this prestigious award. A study in architectural splendor, Buenos Aires instills in its residents and visitors a desire to blend with its graceful lines and coordinate with its colorful barrios. Glamor prevails. You notice it in the cafes, in the parks, and among the milongueros and milongueras.
Indeed, the fashionable porteños of Buenos Aires understand pampered beauty at the deepest levels. As such, a potpourri of luxury day spas and hotel spas grace its streets, each boasting its own special brand of beauty secrets. While all of these spas have their merits, some offer treatments that are uniquely Argentinean. Here are just a few of them.
The Spa at Four Seasons: worshipping the Incan goddess
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires, a frequent recipient of the Spa Finders Reader Choice and other prestigious awards, occupies a prime location in the heart of the upscale Recoleta district. Its three distinctive signature treatments are unparalleled, and definitely worth a try.
The Porteño Tango
The Porteño Tango consists of a massage choreographed to the rhythms of tango music. This particular type of tango music praises Pachamama, the Incan goddess who blesses her followers with nourishment while providing protection against illness. This treatment includes a back exfoliation, which uses a signature product infused with red wine and vitamin E.
This treatment uses your body to represent the map of Argentina. Your lower body represents the cold South, while your back and arms symbolize the warm northern Argentina. The specialists begin in “Patagonia,” and use cold emulsions, along with movements that represent the cold and windy climate and the mountainous landscape. Upon reaching the northern regions, the specialist switches to local products such as yerba mate.
When you need a bit of sweetness, indulge in this Lomi-Lomi massage treatment, which incorporates an aromatic sweet almond oil. A chocolate-based anti-aging facial follows. The luscious treatment concludes with a brown sugar hand exfoliation. Bossa nova music plays in the background. How sweet it is.
Faena Hotel and Universe Gym, Spa and Hammam: preen and be seen
The blue lights in the Faena Spa‘s meditation room hint at the zen-like ambiance that prevails throughout most of the facility. This Buenos Aires fashionista favorite provides a combination of private treatments and sessions that offer an excuse to socialize or be seen during the beautification process. Imagine the spa featured in the George Cukor film, The Women, and you get the picture.
The hammam, for example, a marble, a Turkish-style steam bath with eucalyptus-infused vapor, is shared experience. Locals and guests chat and gossip in the whirlpool, or while working out in the state-of-the-art gym. Some guests prefer to take their reflexology treatment by the pool, while another spa therapist applies sunscreen. Since the private treatments are more personalized, they require a private treatment room.
The private beauty treatments
Beauty, style and spirituality are the themes of the treatments offered at the Faena Spa. Examples include pranic healing, designed to instill new life into your body’s energy aura, and ayurvedic massages, for bringing balance to the mind and soul. The spa also has a range of La Prarie facial and body treatments, as well as a hair salon and a manicurist.
Both the Faena Hotel and the Four Seasons have spa treatments for men and women, but sometimes, a guy just needs a place of hie own.
Markus for Men: for the caballeros
Why should women be the only ones allowed to bask in glorious glamor? Markus for Men, founded in 2005, was designed to create an ambiance of luxury and tranquility, while maintaining the subtleties that inspire us to define a specific décor as “masculine.” It’s a throwback to the private mens clubs of yesteryear. Invite your business associates to join you in the marble Jacuzzi. Savor a glass of Champagne while your spa technician performs a transformative reflexology treatment.
Speaking of Champagne, if the words “Sparkling Bubbles” evoke images of Doris Day in The Thrill of It All, don’t worry. Nobody is going to make you take a bubble bath. Like the Ambar treatment, which uses wine for its exfoliating capabilities, the Sparkling Bubble body treatment maximizes the antioxidant properties of champagne.
Other treatments have equally creative names. For example, “Little Sin” is a massage performed by two people. Without going into too much detail, is a massage that takes its inspiration from the ones performed on grooms to be in India. The massage, which tales place three months prior to the wedding, was designed to awaken sensuality, enhance virility and stimulate the erogenous zones.
In addition to their spa treatments, Markus for Men also has a trained medical staff, whose members are licensed to perform Botox, hair implants and other aesthetic procedures.
Visiting a day spa
While many day spas are located in hotels, you need not be a guest of the hotel to use their services. In fact, visiting the spa of a different hotel from your lodging venue is an excellent way to get an overview of the thriving luxury hotel culture in Buenos Aires.
Jim Lutz is the Founder of Vaya Adventures.