Associate editor Kimberly Scholz soothed away the aches and
pains of travel at the Mandara Spa at Aruba's Marriott Ocean Club,
the sister property of the Aruba Marriott & Stellaris Casino.
Her report follows:
PALM BEACH, Aruba -- A potpourri of scents enveloped me as I
entered the Mandara Spa, while soft, therapeutic music and burning
incense added to the relaxing effect.
The scents were the spa's signature aromatherapy blends:
Mandara, Tranquility, Island Spice and Harmony.
Containers everywhere overflowed with the blends, enabling
guests to sample them and make a choice before venturing off to the
locker rooms and treatment area.
The 16,500-square-foot spa opened in the Marriott Ocean Club,
adjacent to the Aruba Marriott, on Dec. 22. Guests at each resort
have access to the other's facilities.
Treatments at Mandara Spa cover the spectrum, from a selection
of massages and facials to body scrubs and wraps as well as
hydrotherapy treatments and hand- and foot-care.
I chose the Caribbean Coffee Scrub, a full-body treatment
consisting of a blend of Balinese coffee and pumice scrubbed into
The treatment is designed to stimulate and elevate the mood,
according to spa director Nicky Wood.
The treatment began with a lavender body wash, followed by a
scrub with the coffee/pumice concoction, applied in a massage. Next
came a five-minute wrap to allow the mixture to seep deeper into my
A cold paste made from a blend of carrot and aloe topped it off,
and that was the best part of the treatment.
The coldness of the paste counteracted the heat generated by the
wrap and left my body tingling.
I felt invigorated yet pleasantly relaxed.
Although the coffee scent wasn't as strong as I had expected
during the scrub, as the day went on the effects got more
I found it acted like a high-octane kick, and I smelled like a
steaming cup of java for the rest of the day.
Mandara Spa also features a special menu of treatments derived
from other local ingredients. Among them are the Aruba Salt Glow
wrap derived from sea salts and the Aloe Cucumber wrap.
The ingredients used in all treatments are fresh cut and used
the same day.
The spa also uses machinery sparingly, according to Wood, in
favor of more hands-on treatments.
"Our guests get to feel the benefits of human touch and get to
see part of the Aruban culture," she said.
The Mandara Spa is equipped with 14 treatment rooms, including
four double treatment rooms and four wet rooms.
The facility also features a spa shop and an outdoor lounge,
complete with a hot tub and lounge chairs to relax in after a
Items for sale include incense and holders, scrubs, aromatherapy
items, candles, hair items and toiletry bags and kits.
Prices start at $85 for body treatments and $35 for hydrotherapy
For the active guest, the resort features a 2,000-square-foot
health club, open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
A beauty salon also is on site.
Fitness classes are held each day. The latest offering is a Tai
Chi class, taught by a martial arts expert once a week on the pool
deck near the beach.
A minibasketball court and two lighted tennis courts round out
the resort's fitness facilities.