Photo by Elaine and Scott Harris
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts have a reputation as some of the finest hotels anywhere, featuring glorious cuisine and world class spas promising to “engage the senses and deliver mind- and body-soothing bliss with every treatment.” On a recent visit to the Las Vegas Four Seasons, as a guest of the hotel, I was able to indulge in a facial at their newly renovated spa and enjoy an expertly prepared meal by chef Antonio Minichiello at the hotel's Veranda restaurant.
Who doesn’t like to be pampered? The spa here is popular with the well-heeled and well-coiffed of Las Vegas, offering a menu of signature massage and facial treatments that are expertly delivered. After enjoying the spa's Ultimate Facial — its most requested one — I spoke with spa director Shannon Mariani to find out about the recent spa renovations and ask for her insights into the Vegas spa scene and beyond.
"The Spa’s entrance was remodeled to create a more inviting arrival experience for our guests," said Mariani. "The retail space was also enhanced and enlarged. Inside the spa, we created two new couples suites and expanded the co-ed relaxation lounge. Smaller changes include new wall coverings, carpeting, and paint, in addition to new furniture and oversized artwork."
The reopening of the spa included a new menu of treatments. "Our Cupping Therapy Massage," according to Mariani, "has been extremely popular with guests, along with the Essence of the Seasons Body Treatment."
She added, "The spa industry is a dynamic one that is ever changing. I think we will continue to see a surge in mobile apps and technology playing a role in the spa experience. We are becoming more accustomed to have everything at a touch of a button and I see spas as being no different. Relaxation at demand is a trend that will be interesting to watch."
With my beaming new face and a more upbeat attitude, a delightful meal with some expertly paired wines seemed like the perfect way to conclude this visit to the Four Seasons. Chef Minichiello’s mission is to inspire “passion for food into every bite that you put into your mouth” — and his thoroughly seasoned, extremely well-executed dishes were plated perfection, approachable but refined.
We started with a crudo of razor-thin slices of the deepest red ahi tuna drizzled with balsamic-soy dressing and accented with creamy avocado — a dish both refreshing and tantalizing. We moved onto the Minichiello’s signature pasta cotta nel vaso — handmade artichoke pasta cooked in a jar, along with a magical mixture of dainty scallops, calamari, shrimp with sweet tomatoes and a tangy cacciucco (Tuscan fish stew) sauce highlighted with aromatic sweet basil. The plat de résistance was a combination of filet mignon and branzino with a dusting of porcini segmenting the plate into a surf and turf wonder. Filet to the right and Branzino to the left and each wonderfully representing the best sourced product that spoke of true artisanal simplicity.