Something Borrowed, Something New

The Ciel also saw the opportunity to transform typical group spa outings into festive occasions, effectively engaging the hotel’s full services and incorporating the much-Yelped-about menus of SLS culinary director José Andrés. With offerings such as afternoon tea ($45 per person, exclusive of a 22% service charge and sales tax), spa-food lunch and/or cocktails, the spa’s salon area seems to morph into “a full-force restaurant,” serving up such memorable fare as crab sandwiches and Spanish potato salad.

Looking to add value to its spa parties, Ciel also devised unique ancillary activities: Celebrants can use the hotel’s spa-adjacent fitness center and, if they book their outing on a weekday, head up to the SLS’ Altitude Pool Deck (designed by French visionary Philippe Starck), to lounge, swim, hang out in the whirlpool and gaze down at Beverly Hills’ sparkling city lights. Offering this perk to weekday guests revs up traffic on these non-peak days.

Bringing the Brides 

The marketing team has gone to great lengths to make the bride-to-be a main priority. The spa’s Brighten facial (60 min./$175; 90 min./$240), which uses ultrasonic infusions of citrus extracts to treat hyperpigmentation, is promoted as the treatment to receive the day before a wedding or photo shoot. As a rare treat for a bride, the spa suggests the Nirvana massage (60 min./$290; 90 min./$185), in which two therapists perform a choreographed rubdown. What’s more, the hotel now offers its dramatically designed grounds for bridal party photo shoots—even if the wedding is happening elsewhere—with location fees starting at $500. Such a promotion not only draws new business to the property, it also stimulates interest in the spa, restaurants and tearoom for other wedding-related festivities.

Response from bridal parties has been positive. “The feedback I most often get is that Ciel Spa conveys an incredible sense of serenity—and that’s essential for a bride,” Bernstein says.