August 2 2014

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guerlain spa

As iconic New York spots go, few can rival the cachet of the Waldorf-Astoria, whose roster of notable tenants includes the likes of Cole Porter, Marilyn Monroe, and gangster Bugsy Siegel. Another reason to add the fabled hotel to your Big Apple itinerary? The Guerlain Spa, which, perched on the nineteenth floor, now holds a special spot in this jaded New Yorker’s heart. After successfully bypassing the ground-floor Guerlain boutique, I headed upstairs to be received in what is arguably one of the most opulent salon foyers in Manhattan, where guests can shop the brand’s skincare—though you’ll probably prefer to make your way to the Grand Salon, where a well-curated selection of glossies and Prosecco await. The labyrinthine spa offers all the intimacy and meticulous sense of detail of a well-hidden gem on a much larger scale (think fourteen-thousand square feet and fifteen treatment rooms). My indulgence of choice? The deeply nourishing, eighty-minute Abeille Royale Youth Facial, a new addition to the treatment menu. Its star player, royal jelly, has been prized since ancient times for its healing and renewing properties. Guerlain ups the ante of the time-honored ingredient with its Royale Jelly Concentrate, collected from the house’s signature bees (which are kept, dreamily enough, on the French island of Ouessant). In addition to no fewer than two masks, steam, light extractions, and a paraffin hand wrap, the facial’s apian theme continues with the recently launched Abeille Royale Face Treatment Oil—a luxurious, amber-hued oil that firms and hydrates skin simultaneously. What could be sweeter?

$295, 100 E. 50th St., New York, (212) 872-7200;