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.
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.
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.
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.
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.