The soft white spa robe was one of the plushiest I’ve slipped myself into, but I soon slipped out of it and into the small Roman bath.
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The resort opened in 2016. In addition to its spa and salon, the MGM boasts a casino, an entertainment theater, and a range of restaurants.
National Harbor is a fun waterfront district in Maryland, just across the Potomac River from Alexandria, Virginia. It features lots of shops and bars and restaurants and the Capital Wheel, a big Ferris wheel inspired by the Roue de Paris.
Early on a Friday morning, I had the whirlpool to myself amid the spa’s soothing palette of dove grey and muted aqua. There is also a steam room, though the dry sauna wasn’t working. No problem, I love whirlpools.
After about 20 minutes, I stepped out of my pink bathing suit and back into the white robe and waited on a soft chaise lounge in the quiet relaxation room until an aesthetician came to get me for my facial. She began by digitally examining my skin, noting that it’s very sensitive, which I knew, with good elasticity, which I didn’t. The sensitive-skin facial was on par with most high-end spas and left my eye area much less puffy. MGM uses Clarins products, which I’ve long loved for their cool comfort, pretty aromas, and reliable effectiveness. I mentioned that I’ve used the line’s Eye Contour Gel for years. The facialist recommended adding the Multi-Active Yeux cream.
Next it was downstairs for a top-notch haircut in the stark white salon with windows overlooking the resort’s main entrance. Someone mentioned having seen Cher arrive wearing a baseball cap and no make-up, so unrecognizably Cher that she only realized who it was because she knows which car the resort sends for her. The stylist did exactly as I asked on my long-but-not-as-long, dark-but-not-as-dark, as Cher’s hair, and I followed her recommendation for layering the back.
With my wild tresses well tamed, I walked over to the nail area for a mani-pedi, also in line with most good spas. The manicurist let me keep the disposable tools and the bottle of essie’s ballet slippers that she used on my fingernails, though not the darker shade I’d chosen for my toes.
I thought I’d be leaving the MGM soon after my nails dried, but I lingered in the relaxation room before primping in the well-stocked vanity area. The snack mix was unfortunately irresistible, with generous pieces of rich dark chocolate. And the attendants kept offerring complementary sparkling wine — definitely not typical of casino spas. It’s a good thing I Ubered.
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I fell in love with travel on a trip to Mexico when I was nine years old. Since then, I’ve travelled the globe from Israel to El Salvador. I’ve skied the Swiss Alps and hiked national parks like Acadia, Zion, Shenandoah, and Virgin Islands. I’ve marvelled at masterpieces in the Prado, the Uffizi, the Huntington, and the National Gallery of Art. I’ve stayed in a cabin on a mountaintop in Norway and on a kibbutz along the Sea of Galilee, and been kicked out of the Ritz at the Place Vendôme. I’ve taken cooking classes from New England to the Caribbean, and watched a chef prepare traditional shakshuka in the kitchen of his restaurant in Tel Aviv. I weave historical research and my personal experiences together in writing this blog. I hope you find it helpful. Read more …