I hadn't been to a Hard Rock anything since I was a kid. But the sleek, all-suite tower of the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas is a far cry from the burgers-and-guitars brand that once existed. Inside, the gorgeous Reliquary Spa is proof that Sin City can be as relaxing as it is stimulating. I was invited there for a complimentary treatment and was stunned by the luxurious space that awaited. Here's my report.
The 25,000-square-foot spa features a coed Roman bath space (pictured) for pre and posttreatment relaxing, and the single-sex changing spaces are enormous. The women's space, for instance, has a large library-style room for reading and TV watching, a jacuzzi, a sauna, a steam room, and the usual showers, lockers, and snacks. If you go, make time to enjoy the facilities, including a fitness center. Even though I arrived 30 minutes early, I wish I'd allotted more time to unwind there. Seriously swanky digs.
I had the spa's signature treatment, the Ancient Cane Ritual ($225), which combines massage with exfoliation. First, a massage therapist rubbed a mixture of oil, sugar cane juice, and sugar crystals on my body. Then, the massage! In addition to using her hands for a more traditional rubdown, my therapist used bamboo reeds to work out the knots in my shoulders. Especially when she tapped the reeds on my back, it was a more invigorating than soothing experience. Some people, especially those holding a lot of tension, will love this kind of massage; if you're looking to drift off to sleep during your treatment, though, perhaps go for a more traditional version. The Ancient Cane Ritual is a unique and enjoyable way to unwind; my only complaint is that using scented essential oil costs an additional $20, which is a lot when clients are already paying $225 for the service.
Finally, a note on the music. I really loathe Enya-style, new age warbling in spas, which is why I love this Reliquary feature: each of the 21 treatment rooms has a built-in iPod dock connected to the sound system. So you can relax to the sound of your own musical selection, whether it's soul, classical, or yes, even hard rock.