Get Inside The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental

by Diana Burell courtesy of The Luxist

When you step into the reception area of The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Boston, a 16,000-square-foot day spa four floors above busy Boylston Street, you can’t help but leave your stress at the door. The soothing sound of the Asian-inspired wall fountain and the tantalizing aroma of the spa’s signature scent, Quintessence, wafting gently through the air banish any thought of the mundane world below you. You’re greeted and presented with a beverage specially selected for the season — a warming cup of herbal tea for the winter, a cooling drink for warmer months — and a pair of spa slippers replace your street shoes. Your treatment hasn’t even begun, and already you’re approaching Nirvana.

The spa asks that guests arrive 45 minutes before their scheduled treatments, and when you’ve slipped into one of the spa’s plush robes in either the men’s or women’s dressing room, you see why. You’re led into the spa’s “thermal experiences” area where you’re encouraged to relax on a surprisingly comfortable tile bench warmed by radiant heat, loosen your muscles in the vitality pool or the crystal steam room (a healing quartz crystal geode presides over the enclosed space), or refresh yourself with a splash from an ice fountain. Then you can recline and relax in a meditative lounge area until your therapist summons you for your treatment.

The treatment rooms, with their golden anegre wood walls, bamboo flooring, and a choice of natural lighting, inspire yet deeper levels of Zen-like calm. Every spa treatment begins with the ringing of tingsha, Tibetan cymbals that produce different sound frequencies that resonate with the body. A complimentary foot treatment blends Asian rituals with oils formulated with essences of New England herbs, like soothing calendula or invigorating mint. As for treatments, you can choose the services you want ahead of time — an aroma stone massage, a detoxing body wrap — or pick the treatment that suits your mood at the moment: most of the Mandarin Oriental’s on-staff therapists are dual-licensed. Your treatment ends with a final ringing of the tingsha.

If you’re looking for an even more luxurious day spa experience, there’s the 700-square-foot Mandarin Suite, which spa director Sharon Holtz says is the choice of Boston’s elite, visiting celebrities, and privacy-hungry guests with its separate entrance and “thermal experiences” area.

To book a treatment at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Boston, call (617) 535-8820.

This post was contributed via, AOL’s new platform for freelance writers.

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