SLS Hotel and Ciel Spa

I’m not a relaxer. I don’t like to get massages. I don’t like yoga unless it’s hot yoga, which is not as relaxing because you’re so hot.

When I told my husband I was invited to the SLS Hotel on Thursday to enjoy spa treatments at Ciel and afternoon tea at Trés, he said one thing to me. “Try to relax.” Which of course made me tense.

Since my boys’ started back at school it’s been a hectic few weeks and work has been very busy. To add to that stress my sister is getting married and she asked me to write something for the wedding. Something great. Something meaningful.

Relax? Forget it, I thought. But then that day, magically, everything came together. I finished my work before I went so there was nothing hanging over my head. There was no traffic and I got there in 10 minutes making me only a little late instead of very late. And when I got there it was so nice.

The group of us were treated to mimosas and fruit salad while we learned about the Lifestyle Suite. I want to live there. There was a TechnoGym in the room, which is a futuristic looking home gym, along with a comfortable bed and giant TV.

Then we took a tour of  José Andrés’ Bazaar and Trés where everyone would be having tea in the afternoon.

The bar at The Bazaar

After that we went to the pool. It was like Alice in Wonderland’s pool with cocktails instead of hallucinogens (see picture above). We had snacks while we waited for our treatments and talked about writing, social media, and food. It was fantastic.

Even more fantastic was the Ciel Spa. It was very, very clean and very white. So white I was afraid I would spill something. Luckily, someone had the forethought to order the white wine sangria so no worries there.

Not only was the sangria fabulous, but so were the spa snacks.

But the very best part of the day was the mini facial by Sebastian. It was only a half hour, but honestly the most relaxing half hour I’ve had in a long time. We talked about Wonder Woman. That’s random I know, but very interesting. I don’t get as much sleep as I should so I often have bags under my eyes. He did something in the facial that made them go away. It was unbelievable.

When time for tea rolled around it turned out I had to leave to get a little work done before I picked up my two kids. But I had been to the Mommy and Me Tea before so missing it was okay.

Relaxing wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. I might have to try it more often.

I was not compensated for this post, but I did get an assortment of snacks, a free facial, and a fantastic day. 

Tea at Trés in the SLS Hotel

Mommy and Me Tea at Trés

I had never been to a tea in my life, until recently, but within the past couple of months I’ve been to three. Each was at a different location, but they all had their charms.

wax candle melting lamp at SLSThe first was at the Getty Villa in Malibu and it was hard to decide what was better, the food or the scenery. The afternoon Tea by the Sea included a tour of the grounds and a delicious selection of food made with ingredients from the Villa’s gardens.

The second was at Trés in the lobby of the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Swank is the first word that comes to mind. And over the top.

I went to the SLS tea as the guest of Sarah Auerswald and we were accompanied by Elise of Elise’s Ramblings and Alexandra, of Beverly Hills Mom. It was the last week before my family and I left for the holidays and I was a little stressed.

But once I sat down with the ladies there was nothing to do but relax. The lounge where we had the tea was dimly lit and very comfortable. I sat on a couch with Elise and sipped my Yerba Matte tea and dreamed of a life where I go to tea once a week.stuffed bears

Elmer, our waiter was as delightful as the beet macaroons with goat cheese, my favorite of all of the selections we were offered. The desserts were good, however, I thought they were trying a bit too hard with the chocolate with Poprocks until I remembered that we were enjoying the Mommy and Me Tea and I thought of how happy my kids would be if they were served chocolate Poprocks.

In thinking about the SLS hotel another word comes to mind: fascinating. The lounge area was sort of like Alice in Wonderland. The restaurant The Bazaar, which features world-renowned chef and PBS star José Andrés, is in the hotel. I’ve never been to The Bazaar to eat, but now I want to go back at night. There was so much to look at I don’t know how you could concentrate on your food. Hopefully, some day I’ll go back for dinner and let you know how I did.

tea at SLS hotelFinally, the third tea I went to was a amazing homespun affair. It was in Tucson with my oldest, dearest friends and their mothers, the week before Christmas. Looking back now, after the shootings that killed a 9-year-old girl and injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the memory is bittersweet, but at the time it was very special.

The SLS tea was over the top, but it had nothing on my friend’s mom’s fabulous spread in Tucson.

The house and table were beautiful and the food was fantastic. My friends’ kids, who are between 5 and 9 did the serving and they make me hopeful about the future of America’s youth, with their excellent manners and work ethic.

Everyone went home from the tea with a Christmas ornament, all of which had been specially selected and hung on a tree at the front of the house. It was a truly lovely day.