The Other Vegas, Baby

Far From The Madding Crowd At The Trump Hotel And Spa


By Rena Dictor LeBlanc

There was no Indonesian prince eagerly awaiting me when I emerged from the Royal Lulur Ritual at The Spa At Trump in Las Vegas. The 17th Century Ritual was created to pamper brides to be of royal Indonesian families. I'd just immersed myself in two hours of utter Lulur pampering. And no one even bothered to check my DNA (or whatever one checks) to determine if there was any Indonesian royalty in my bloodline.

I wasn't really expecting the Indonesian prince as a finale to my two-hour treatment. All I knew was that the Ritual was supposed to send me into "an exquisitely fragrant state of bliss". And it came pretty close with two fragrant oil massages and a spa bubble bath with bursts of water so powerful and exhilarating I clung to handle bars on either side of the tub until I got my bearings. To me the experience was part Lulur and part Disney ride.

There's another Vegas, baby, that's far from the madding crowd. It's an oasis of luxury and tranquility called the Trump International Hotel and Tower. What the new hotel doesn't have is gambling or smoking.

I've experienced assorted stages of "bliss" on some of my previous Vegas vacations, including an all-too-rare big gambling win. But this time my plan was to veer off my usual beaten path and explore whether Trump really hits the jackpot when it comes to providing a tranquil haven. And, one of the key places to experience that was at The Spa at Trump.

Steve Shalit, the hotel's vice president and managing director, explained that the Spa staff takes the time to match your intentions to your treatment instead of just being a spa production. "You know when you enter the treatment room that your therapist knows what you're looking for." The Spa offers nine treatment rooms.

The 64-story hotel opened in March of this year. It's gleaming exterior is 24-karat gold-laced glass. There are 1,232 luxury suites, 50 penthouse suites and even condos for sale.

The hotel offers gourmet dining at its DJT restaurant, an outdoor heated pool with a sundeck, bar and daybeds scattered among the lounge chairs. The fitness center features state-of-the-art equipment and the services of a personal trainer on request. There's 2,400 feet of meeting space for executive gatherings and social affairs.

According to Jim Palank, vice president of sales and marketing, "People don't have to fly to Hawaii or other destinations to get a resort type feel. And they'll still be steps away from shopping and gaming."

The Spa features an exclusive arrangement with Kate Somerville, the CEO of Kate Somerville Skin Health Experts with headquarters in West Hollywood, California. Kate's celebrity clients include the "machoist guy" she knows, actor Robert Patrick, as well as Debra Messing and American Idol's Simon Cowell.

The Lular Ritual, convinced me that all of us should be treated like royalty from time to time (as long as it doesn't include paparazzi stalking you).

My treatment started with the therapist "quenching" my body by rubbing jasmine and frangipani scented oil into my skin. I was silently purring when it was followed with a Javanese Lulur scrub containing turmeric, rice and spices, mixed with a traditional splash of yogurt to exfoliate and refresh the body. What came next was the invigorating hydrotherapy. The finale was a jasmine and frangipani moisturizing treatment.

I came away knowing those Indonesian brides of royal families were on to something delightful for the body and spirit, even before the wedding night.

The Utimate Kate facial treatment was the closest I've come to a science fiction episode in real life. The purpose of the treatment is to calm and heal. It starts with a super-hydrating oxygen treatment, plumping the skin with nutrients. After a relaxing pressure point massage, there's DermaLucent LED light therapy to protect the skin from free radical damage.

I was fitted with goggles, closed my eyes, and the light was aimed at my face. Even with my eyes shut tight I still could "see" a blazing red glow. Kate Summerville had forewarned me, "It's very bright. Don't be afraid. It cannot hurt your eyes." The only thing missing was an eerie sound track. During the light therapy there was a relaxing foot massage with a rich lotion.

Kate explained that basically what the LED light accomplishes is "It helps to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles." Kate believes that Trump's vision for his hotel is the beginning of a new kind of Vegas. "It's relaxing. It's not the ching, ching, ching and the smoke."

I also indulged in the Sun Worshipper Body Wrap. I put a wrap on my sun worshipping years ago. But, I couldn't resist the Spa's enticement of "restoring moisture to dry and dehydrated skin".

The treatment started with a misting of my body with lavender and sea algae extracts. It was deliciously relaxing as my body then was covered with an aloe glaze mask. A hand-massage and foot treatment followed.

Special treatments for men include the Cleansing Back Treatment, Men's Recovery Facial, and Men's Elemental Experience.

Natural ingredients are used in the Spa treatments combining ancient and modern techniques. The treatments are geared to creating tranquility, restoring depleted energy, cleansing, enlightening the body and mind, renewing the spirit, uplifting the inner self... When was the last time you experienced that at a poker table or slot machine? (Sure, a big win can "renew the spirit and uplift the inner self," but the Spa is far more likely to deliver than a poker game..

Shiffa products used at the Spa include oils in which precious gems are placed. These include rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. According to Shiffa lore many cultures around the world use gemstones for healing and spiritual purposes.

An unexpected tribute to the Spa occurred when I first arrived at Trump and my room wasn't ready. The man at the front desk asked if I'd like to get a complementary drink at the bar while I waited. It was there that I met a businessman who assured me, "The spa treatment makes you feel like Superman."

World-class service is the goal when you're Trumped in Vegas. As Donald Trump put it, in words embellished on a floor to ceiling mirror in the casual poolside restaurant, "AS LONG AS YOU'RE GOING TO BE THINKING ANYWAY, THINK BIG."

The hotel's credo of service to guests is played to the hilt beyond the spa as well. Its Attache Guest Services seeks to grant virtually any request. Among the possibilities are arranging every transportation need from limousine service to private planes, pet accommodations, outfitting suites for the special needs of children...

Lead Concierge Rishi Shukla described how he made one female guest's seemingly impossible dream come true.

"I had a guest that had been unable to find a pair of designer shoes," Shukla said. She told him her sad tale about the muted gold shoes with rhinestones just about three hours before she was going to depart for the airport. After some fast detective work he was able to locate the shoes at a major department store. The concierge from that store delivered the shoes. And the two men actually placed the $1600 shoes on her feet as she ate in the dining room.

"She was so excited she was crying," Shukla recalled. "She really, really wanted those shoes."

Pampering in got it, baby.


Las Vegas Trump Hotel and Spa


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