Wednesday, September 10, 2014

REVIEW ~ Spa 42 Swissôtel Chicago

(A Stunning Spa 42 View)

A few blocks east of the Magnificent Mile, the upscale Swissôtel Chicago now offers guests a restorative experience in its new Spa 42, which opened in the spring of this year.  Spa 42 is an urban oasis from the frenetic pace of day-to-day living.  Located on the forty-second floor, Spa 42 is adjacent to the Fitness Center, which includes a co-ed Pool, and Whirlpool; guests have access to these amenities, plus a spacious Dry Sauna in the shower/locker room area.  Swissôtel Chicago also has the distinction of being the only upscale Swissôtel location in the U.S.

Spa 42 offers a peaceful setting to its guests in an acoustically perfect setting, where sounds from the cacophony of the outer world can’t permeate the space, nor intrude on their senses, assuring guests an experience that is both restorative and relaxing.  Spa 42 guests can also unwind in the restful Relaxation Area pre or post treatment; post treatment, guests can also order healthy food fare from a specialty Spa Menu.  In addition to the Relaxation Area, there’s also a Facial Room, Massage Room, and Couples Massage Room.  The location of the Fitness Center and Spa 42 offers guests stunning views of Chicago, which further enhances the sensory experience.

(Fitness Center Co-Ed Pool)

~ The Treatment Experience ~

Jet Lag Recovery Treatment ~ The Jet Lag Recovery Treatment is a full-body, comprehensive relaxation treatment that includes elements of inhalation therapy, dry brushing, moist exfoliation, moist heat compresses, traditional and hot stone massage, and hydration.  Following is a recap of each individual step of this exceptional multi-layered body treatment that was administered to me by the Spa Director.

(Hot Stone Massage Treatment Element)

Step One ~ Inhalation therapy using the Lavender Bath & Body Oil; a few times, I deeply inhale the Bath & Body Oil, which primes my olfactory and stimulates relaxation.  Step Two ~ A dry brushing using Loofah pads in a circular motion, begins the treatment; this helps to stimulate circulation, opens pores, and slough off any dead skin; after the dry brushing, a bit of water is rubbed onto the skin to moisten it and then the pads are used to go over the skin again; moistening the skin helps minimize any irritation, while further priming skin for the next step.  Step Three ~ A thorough application of the Turkish Body Scrub is applied, which is left on the skin to penetrate and hydrate the skin.  Step Four ~ An application of hot compresses onto the skin follows, which intensifies the exfoliation and hydration properties of the Turkish Body ScrubStep Five ~ Using hot toweling, any residue of the Turkish Body Scrub is removed.  Step Six ~ A full body massage follows that combines traditional and hot stone modalities; the Bath & Body Oil is used to thoroughly hydrate the skin and as a carrier oil for the massage strokes.  Once on my back, Fuß Balm is massaged into my feet, which are then covered with hot toweling; my body is also covered with a sheet and warming blanket.  A soothing eye compress is added and my scalp is lightly massaged.  Step Seven ~ After all toweling and covering is removed, a light misting of my body with the Body Spray completes this restorative and indulgent full-body treatment; total treatment time was one hundred twenty minutes.

After the treatment, I spent some time in the Relaxation Area sipping citrus-infused water for re-hydration.  I also enjoyed looking out the windows and feasting my eyes on the fabulous vistas of Chicago, while appreciating being totally relaxed, refreshed, and restored.

~ The Treatment Products ~

All products used in each individual treatment phase were from the iconic Kerstin Florian line, which is based on traditional European formulations of natural and botanical sustainable ingredients; products are gentle, restorative, and replenishing.  Products used throughout the treatment included Turkish Body Scrub, Lavender Bath & Body Oil, Fuß Balm, and Lavender Body Spray.

Turkish Body Scrub ~ This extremely gentle and aromatic scrub thoroughly exfoliates while stimulating circulation; provides a mantle of anti-microbial and anti-bacteria cleansing properties as well; calming, balancing, while invigorating the olfactory.  Key ingredients include sea salt, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, cinnamon bark oil, hyssop oil, ravensara oil, safflower oil, and basil oil.  Recommended twice weekly applied to clean moist skin; use circular motions to stimulate circulation; concentrate on dry-prone areas; thoroughly rinse and gently pat dry; not recommended for overly sensitive, irritated or sunburned skin.

Lavender Bath & Body Oil ~ Deeply penetrates while hydrating delicate skin; infuses healing and protective essential oils onto skin.  Absorbs quickly without leaving any greasy or tacky residue.  Key ingredients include organic safflower oil, vitamin E, juniper oil, rosemary oil, fennel oil, and lavender oil.  Highly aromatherapeutic.  Recommended daily use, applied to dry-prone areas; or add a few capfuls to bath water and soak for twenty minutes; not recommended during pregnancy.

Fuß Balm ~ An ideal all-over healing balm that improves circulation, while relaxing sore muscles, legs, and feet; provides wonderful hydration with protective antiseptic properties.  Key ingredients include rosemary oil, pine oil, clove bud oil, lavender oil, cardamom oil, laurel leaf oil, camphor, and menthol.  Quickly absorbed without leaving any greasy or tacky residue.  Highly aromatherapeutic.  Recommended daily use, applied to legs, feet (especially heels), and onto sore muscle areas.

Lavender Body Spray ~ This is a perfect ending to any treatment ritual, or ideal when spritzed on whenever a quick pick-me-up is needed. This mist not only hydrates the skin, but it also imparts an uplifting and stimulating aroma.  Key ingredients include organic aloe leaf juice, jojoba oil, safflower oil, vitamin E, and lavender oil.  Recommended for use daily after showering or bathing; gently pat into moist skin to maximize hydration properties.  

 ~ At-Home Adaptation ~

I’ve always enjoyed taking the spa experience to an at-home experience.  Obviously, not all treatment aspects are adaptable to this type of setting; massage given by a qualified therapist, is much more effective than a person trying to replicate some of the techniques; it’s just not the same; heat related, when an integral part of the experience, is another aspect that is difficult to impossible to replicate; the closes thing to it would be a hot shower or hot soak in the tub, but too much heat can reverse any benefits if done in excess.  How treatment products are adaptive to the home experience is another area of concern, given that many products, excluding those used in this experience, are formulated with high percentages of ingredients where only a qualified and licensed spa professional has access to them, thus making them unavailable on a retail basis to the spa guest.

In terms of the different steps of this treatment, the only ones I wasn’t able to adapt were the hot compresses while lying down on a treatment table and the massage portions.  All other steps adapted well to an at-home setting, including use of these products.  Aspects that adapted well included the inhalation portion of the Body Oil, then the drying brushing, then going into a warm shower to perform the wet brushing, then turning off the water flow and then using the Turkish Scrub; allowing the Scrub to remain on the skin for a few minutes and then rinsing it off, then towel drying, then applying the Bath & Body Oil (for better results, keep the bottle in a container of hot water to heat up the Oil, then applying it to the entire body; rub the Oil gently into the skin, then rub a generous amount of the Fuß Balm onto the feet and cover the feet with either clean cotton socks, or cotton booties; and, to culminate the at-home adaptation of this treatment, spray your body with the Body Oil, and then wrap yourself in a comfy robe.  If you’re fortunate to have a deep enough soaking tub, an ideal pre-treat after the dry brushing is to take a brief soak in a tub of very warm water and do the wet brushing while soaking; then complete the additional steps in your shower.  To further your state of relaxation after your treatment has been completed, take some time to enjoy a freshly brewed cup of calming tea.

~ In Closing ~

Adapting this as an at-home treatment a few times a week is ideal, but if your time is limited, try scheduling it into your busy schedule and make sure to keep this appointment for yourself, even if it’s once a week or every other week.  Relax and savor your at-home experience, remembering to always take some time to invest in yourself.

That’s it for this edition.  Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.

By Terry Herman

TERRY HERMAN is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In the 1990s, she authored an extensive "Glossary of Spa Terminologies" and holds two copyright registrations.  Consumer and trade publications have also interviewed her as an expert.  She also conducted an extensive nationally broadcasted interview tour on aspects of creating an at-home spa, interior design, music, stress and time management.  Her work has been published extensively in print and digital in both consumer and trade publications.  In addition to writing, reviewing and being interviewed as an expert, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.  She also served on the International Advisory Board for the former EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness; the Advisory Board was comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa.  She also served as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz.  Her social media outreach includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Cision Seek or Shout, Plaxo, Red Room, Pinterest, and Tripatini.  Be sure to read her food, wine and culinary digital magazine, TERRY’S SECOND HELPINGS.  You can email her at


(All photo credits as represented by the specific brands.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.