As Los Angeles's first oceanfront hotel established in 1989, The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is a true landmark - and a favorite among locals and visitors alike seeking to relax, unwind and enjoy ocean-side. This is exactly what drew me to Loews during a recent trip to Santa Monica.
I received word the venerable hotel had put the finishing touches on some of its newly-renovated amenities, including its overtly eco-conscious Ocean Spa & Fitness
club that debuted in April 2009. Having established a reputation as a premiere hotel brand dedicated to helping sustain the natural environment, the recent overhaul at Lowes Ocean Spa exemplifies the property's commitment to lessening environmental impacts and reducing its overall carbon footprint. Based on my visit, I can attest this is not just lip service or marketing fodder, but rather a palpable philosophy that becomes evident the moment you step foot inside.
Designed and managed by Plus One Health Management, Lowes Santa Monica's Ocean Spa & Fitness center is a 7,000 square foot commitment to conservation, relaxation and revitalization. Concern and reverence for the environment is the overriding theme throughout the spa's interior design and service options. Earth-friendly design elements abound, including Ecoresin panels constructed from post-industrial recycled resin, sustainable ceiling tiles, reclaimed-wood furniture, recycled rubber floors, and carpet constructed from sustainable materials.
The company has also incorporated its environmental sensitivity into the spa "wellness experience" with many treatments boasting organic elements in the form of essential oils and organic botanical skincare products that utilize sustainably harvested ingredients, biodegradable and recycled packaging.
As part of its comprehensive menu of services, Ocean Spa does offer a number of unique treatments delivered throughout its four refurbished treatment rooms. Highlights include Moor mud wraps, anti-aging facials, and its signature "beachcomber" massage that uses heated kelp and sea water-infused tiger clam shells to enrich your skin and melt away your tension. Other treatment options include a range of facials, skincare regimens and service upgrades, manicures and pedicures, a full-service hair salon with styling and coloring, dry saunas, and eucalyptus steam rooms. Cozy men and women's lounges are available for pre- and post-treatment relaxation while a retail boutique allows patrons to benefit from the fine spa products at home.
For my part, I opted for the "Aroma Synergy" deep tissue massage with a eucalyptus and peppermint essential oil blend, which was expertly executed by my therapist who sincerely went above and beyond to work out my kinks. It was evident she took the task quite seriously, which I greatly appreciated-and desperately needed. I was a new woman. My friend who had accompanies me on the trip raved about her "Buff Body" body polish scrub treatment, which she followed up with a Synergy massage of her own. When treatments were complete, she emerged from the locker room with soft, incredibly smooth skin, a radiant glow and a very big smile.
The highly rated Ocean Fitness center, which I used just prior to my spa service, has also been updated with the most advanced cardio equipment by Technogym. The decidedly large workout space, bright and airy with windows along the full length of its facade along Ocean Avenue, is amply equipped with treadmills, elliptical machines, exercise bikes, a rowing machine, an Excite top hand machine, and cardio waves, each complete with iPod docking station and personal television. Expresso bikes allow for a fun, interactive "side-by-side racing" experience while a group studio offers regular yoga, spinning, dance, mat Pilates, and body sculpting classes. Personalized training and fitness programs, nutritional coaching and educational seminars are also available.
I left this spa and fitness experience not only feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, but also extremely gratified about patronizing a facility that so clearly embraces both nurture and nature.
Learn more about Loews Ocean Spa & Fitness online at
The Luxe List product, service and travel review editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for new and captivating "musts." Product submissions accepted via e-mail at Merilee@JustLuxe.com.
- Merilee Kern
JustLuxé.com's "The Luxe List" Executive Review Editor