Who doesn’t want to lap up a l’il luxury when they’re on vacation? One of the things I love about the Northeast is its tradition and the fact that so many of the luxury hotels and establishments are housed in historical brick buildings and have a sense of grace and charm that so many modern hotels lack. We were fortunate enough to spend time at The Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia on a recent trip East where we not only dined well (Lacroix is suburb) and slept well (decadence at its best), but was rejuvenated at their luxury spa.
The hotel and spa is located on a square, which was named after celebrated Philadelphian David Rittenhouse, and its modern layout was completed in 1913 to the design of Beaux-Arts architect Paul Cret although I’d call it an updated classic look, where you still feel East Coast elegance all around you. Apparently, the Academy of Notre Dame was also established there. Imagine a spa among such history?
The Rittenhouse Spa & Club is its official name and beyond their luxurious spa and spa services, they have a gym and health club stocked with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment, a range of top-tier cardio machines and an extensive menu of health and fitness luxury amenities. What’s also nice is that after a workout, you can relax poolside in their sun-filled atrium or take a swim in their sparkling indoor pool. Since it was extremely warm when we were there, we had a chance to bask on their sunny outdoor terrace for a shorter stint than we had hoped since Philly was such a short stop for us.
Below is the indoor pool – calming and relaxing.
The gym itself has everything you need. Even though I’ve been getting into Zumba and other Aerobic classes lately, I’m finding that I burn more calories on an Elliptical Trainer over the course of an hour and every gym has them, even smaller hotel gyms. At the Rittenhouse Spa & Club however, they also have Technogym Cardio and Strength Training Equipment, Kinesis One, Realryder & Peloton Cycling Bikes, Women and Men’s Sauna and Steam Facilities (a GODSEND – loved it), Personal Training Featuring The Rittenhouse Club’s Three Tier Training Progression (for those with longer stays), Fitness Programming, Technogym Treadmills, Vario, Bikes & Elliptical Cardio Training equipment with 16″ full-screen interactive Web-based monitors, a Yoga Studio which I wished I had time to try and as mentioned above, an outside sun and fitness Deck and an Atrium indoor heated pool.
You don’t find a salon at every luxury hotel however Rittenhouse has you covered. Paul Labrecque is behind the salon and they do it all, from special occasion styles and cuts to professional hair color treatments.
It was the personal level of detail that I loved most about the Spa & Club however as well as the amusing and lovely personal stories from my esthetician. The fine touches. The above and beyond level of service. The organic teas. The dim relaxing light in the waiting lounge. The candles. The zen-like ambiance around every corner. Even the locker rooms were done in a neutral and calming earth tone motif — everything was warm and of course, I loved the fact that the steam room was hot. How many of you have been in one of those lame steam rooms that is rarely turned on so you need to wait an hour before it’s hot enough to whisk you away.
They also had a number of eye and lip treatments as well as a scalp massage. (Ahhh yes, how relaxing is that?) You can add one at the end of any of our massages to round off your Spa experience. While it would have been lovely to have a massage as well, the facial was so full of luxurious pampering, that I left feeling as if I had a massage anyway. She worked on my arms and neck while the mask was on which was simply blissful!
While I didn’t have time to try a body treatment either, there were plenty to choose from, from a Detox Marine Algae Wrap and Citrus Drench to an exquisite exfoliating Honey Scrub. I’m a huge fan of natural ingredients, so was thrilled to see that they had a honey treatment on the menu. Crystallized honey particles exfoliate your skin, removing accumulated dead skin cells and impurities. As the honey crystals melt, the cream that is remaining is then gently massaged into your skin. The treatment is finished off with an application of a highly nutritive C+C Vitamin Body Cream. They also offer couples massage as well!
Because it’s the East Coast, I wasn’t surprised to see an anti-aging airbrush tan on the menu, which is made of antioxidants and pure botanicals that will leave your skin with a natural-looking golden brown glow. They actually have 30 levels to choose from and apparently they last around a week to ten days. Since we were heading south and were planning to be on boats for the subsequent two weeks, we didn’t even consider, but it seems like it would be a nice treatment to do right before the holidays or in the dead of winter when the weather is getting too much to handle and you’re cooped up indoors every day and evening.
Two thumbs up!
Rittenhouse Club & Spa
210 West Rittenhouse Square
Philadelphia, PA, 19103
T. 800.635.1042 or 215.546.9000