Facial bliss at Tropicana’s Glow, a Mandara Spa

Written by on February 5, 2012 in Reviews, Spas - 14 Comments

Review of Glow, a MANDARA Spa, at Tropicana Las Vegas’ Glo2 Facial

“It’s been, uh, awhile, since I had a facial,” I tell my esthetician, Jacqueline Zayed, when she comes into the dimly lit room at Glow inside Tropicana Las Vegas.

I search the corners of my mind to try and remember the last time I surrendered my face to someone else’s hands. October … 2009?

Yeah. It’s been awhile.

Laying in the room inside the megaresort of Tropicana marks my first treatment — ever — at a major Strip hotel.

Sure, all of the facials I have had in my life have been in Las Vegas, but never inside one of these behemoths.

Needless to say, knowing what I’m walking in to, and why others visit, I have high expectations.

Glow, a MANDARA Spa, is awash in mid-day sun when I check-in for my appointment. The hotel, which was recently renovated to emulate a South Beach vibe, added Glow in late 2011, so it’s pretty new to the Strip spa scene.

It a Blackberry photo, which means it’s no good. But, you get the point. The lobby of Glow.

Like the hotel and it’s new white wash overlay, everyone on staff here is clad in white. For some reason, seeing all of the staff in white instantly transports me to a place that is not Vegas. (Perhaps because it’s winter and white and winter don’t go together, even if I am smack dab in the middle of the Southwest and the desert.)

The man who checks me in hands me a mini bottle of ice cold water and instructs me to take a seat on the couch while I wait for my escort back.

Outside, the huge windows show a stunning late January Las Vegas day. The pool below glistens, even if a few stray leaves have begun to gather at the bottom and ropes announce it is closed for the season.

After a few minutes of waiting, another staff member greets me and takes me back into the delves of the spa. Which, in reality, isn’t that big compared to other Strip spas I have ventured through. Absent are the hot tubs, the sauna and other little touches that leave you elated to have access to the spa for the entire day.

“You have until 7 p.m. to enjoy the facilities,” she says to me. I look around. There’s the gym, a steam room and a shower (which looks divine with numerous jets coming out of the walls and the rainshower spout above).

It won’t keep me entertained for seven hours, but it’s still nice.

I am given a locker, a robe, some sandals, and then told to wait in the Relaxation Lounge, a dimly lit room filled with day beds and couches, for my esthetician to meet me.

The Relaxation Room at Glow. Photo courtesy of Tropicana Las Vegas.

Jacqueline is really nice, and seems to know what she’s talking about. Once I’m tucked into the spa bed, she asks if I have any allergies.

No one has ever asked me that before when getting a facial.

I explain I am allergic to Penicillin, but it shouldn’t matter. It’s a facial. Not medication.

“Thank goodness you told me that,” she says. “The chemical peel I was going to use has a derivative of that so we have to change it.”

Well, then. Glad I said something.

I close my eyes and let her work her magic.

First, she wipes my face clean, then applies the chemical mask — a glycolic peel. While the peel sinks into my skin, I get a scalp massage. I’m a sucker for scalp massages, and this one feels great as she runs her fingers up and down my scalp, applying pressure.

When the peel is done setting and tingling, she removes it and then preps my skin for extractions. While cream begins to penetrate my skin, she wraps plastic around my face and covers it with a warm towel. During this process, I get a hand and arm massage.

After about 10 minutes, it’s time for the extractions. Unlike other extractions, this one uses a metal spatula of sorts, called the Bliss Porefector Gadget. It pulses and glides along the skin, extracting and pushing the cream deeper into my skin to help give it a deep clean.

I then get a face massage, a nice once-over that helps send me further into relaxation.

Following the face massage, Jacqueline applies a combination of a triple oxygen mask and triple oxygen energizing cream. While it soaks, I get another massage. This time from my knees down to my feet.

Ahhhh.

I get distracted momentarily when the music, for some reason, gets louder. It’s not the typical spa music, but actual tunes with lyrics. It’s not music I’d like to hear in a spa, so I try to tune it out and just concentrate on her hands working out my legs and feet instead.

Then, it’s on to a daily detoxifying toner, an application of vitamins and a thin piece of gauze soaked in enzymes, left on my face below a hot towel.

During this, she gives me a décolletage massage.

Finally, the last big step in the 75-minute facial is the nebulizer with sea water and oxygen. It’s a light mist that showers my face for five minutes. Refreshing. Invigorating. My skin feels ridiculously clean and revitalized.

The last step in the process is the application of moisturizer and eye cream.

“You’re all done,” she says softly.

I slowly get up and wrap my thick spa robe around me. When I meet Jacquline outside, I go to touch my face to see how smooth it feels.

“Don’t!” She warns. “Wait until you wash your hands. It’s really clean!”

I oblige, then head off to the steam room for a few minutes.

The air is incredibly thick when I walk in and sit on one of the heated ledges. I close my eyes, but the rotating color of lights distracts me. I wish it would just stick on one relaxing color — maybe blue — instead of rotating through the rainbow.

Following a few minutes of steam, I hop in the multi-jet shower.

Amazing.

Then, it’s time to go.

The only down side? Having to walk through the smokey casino with my new, clean face.

The bottom line: The Glo2 Facial is $225 (including a 20 percent gratuity). The treatment includes all-day access to the spa facilities. I enjoyed the facial and even 24-hours later, my skin still feels clean and smooth. Plus, it has a great glow to it. It’s one of the only spas on the Strip to offer a medical treatment (chemical peel) with aromatherapy applications. While the spa facilities are a bit sparse, the facial will leave your skin gorgeous.

For more information on the services, visit Glow’s Web site.

Editor’s Note: I was a guest of Glow for this treatment, however all opinions are my own. If you have questions regarding this, please read my disclosure policy.

 

About the Author

Diana Edelman is a travel writer and expat currently residing in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is a former career breaker and long term solo traveler. Today, she helps promote responsible elephant tourism and is the co-founder of #RTTC, a weekly chat on Twitter focusing on responsible tourism. When she isn’t writing, Diana handles the PR and social media for Save Elephant Foundation, which runs the popular Elephant Nature Park. Her writing as appeared in About.com, Thought Catalog, The Huffington Post, Matador Network, Travel + Escape, Luna Luna, Vegas Seven, World Nomads, Viator, CheapOair, OneTravel and more.

14 Comments on " Facial bliss at Tropicana’s Glow, a Mandara Spa "

  1. Erica February 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm · Reply

    I, too, am a sucker for scalp massages and it is one of my favorite things when it comes to getting my hair cut. I can’t go to anyone else. My friend makes me jelly.

    • Diana February 5, 2012 at 10:34 pm · Reply

      I LOVE scalp massages and people playing with my hair almost as much as I love back massages and back scratches! Bliss!

  2. Ayngelina February 5, 2012 at 11:42 pm · Reply

    I always say that when I get a pedicure, that it’s been a while. I’m always so embarrassed about my terribly gross feet.

    • Diana February 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm · Reply

      Me, too! I ALWAYS apologize!

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures February 6, 2012 at 9:20 am · Reply

    Sounds amaaaaaaaaaaazing!

    • Diana February 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm · Reply

      It was really nice and relaxing, and my skin felt silky smooth and really clean after! Wait until you read about the treatment I got this past weekend. Holy cow.

  4. JoAnna February 6, 2012 at 9:36 am · Reply

    I would love to get a spa treatment on the Strip but they are incredibly expensive. I got a sugar wrap last week from the woman who trained the staff at Caesars how to do it, but since she owns her own business and isn’t affiliated with the Strip, it only cost $85. Much closer to my budget.

    Glad you enjoyed the treatment!

    • Diana February 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm · Reply

      They are super expensive. I’m working on some stories, otherwise there is no way I could afford them. It’d be great if there were some budget options on the Strip though! Your sugar wrap sounds cool! I’ve never had one of those!!

  5. Stephanie - The Travel Chica February 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm · Reply

    Ayngelina, you do not know gross feet. You have no idea the damage that occurred in Patagonia.

    D – I have actually never had a facial treatment, but I am a huge believer in regular massages. I used to go once a month, and it made a huge difference in my stress-level and overall health.

    • Diana February 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm · Reply

      Oh lord! I remember the first time I went to get a pedi after backpacking for seven months. I apologized like crazy to the woman and was so embarrassed. It’s been ages since I’ve had one again, so now I’m gearing up for another round of apologies! I loved the facial. There is something so blissful about just having your faced touched so lightly and grazed with warm towels. And massages … when I was in Thailand and they were $5 a pop, I am pretty sure I had about 10 in two weeks. If only they were that affordable in America, I would get them all of the time. I know the benefits are worth it, but I just can’t dole out money like that.

  6. Mica February 7, 2012 at 9:13 am · Reply

    I have not had a facial in so long. Actually, I’ve only had one facial in my life and it left me traumatized!
    I was working in the kitchen and I went to my wax girl for what she said would be a treatment at removing all the little blackheads on my face since I was always rubbing my face with my hands at work.
    She used this extraction machine that left me SO EMBARRASSED for the next week at work as the marks became scabs and it looked like my face had taken on a 16 year old’s in a commercial for Proactive.
    Never again like that. But yours sounds so soothing. I might go to a spa in Jordan.

    • Diana February 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm · Reply

      Oh, yikes! This thing they used on my face didn’t leave any marks. It actually felt kinda cool. I am pretty sure if I had your experience that would have been it for me. You have gorgeous skin now though, so go get one!! :) And, in Jordan? THAT’S a story!!

  7. Margo February 13, 2012 at 11:59 am · Reply

    ah, bliss. I’m the opposite and only get spa treatments when not at home! But living in Vegas, I can see why you go – so much to choose from. Most places ask about the allergies these days — I’m allergic to aspirin and the salicylic acid that is in a lot of products is a derivative. And after 7 hours, I may have still been there and they would have to have thrown me out :)

    • Diana February 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm · Reply

      I had no idea about the allergies! Glad she asked!!!

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