IMG 4538This is definitely one of my favorite spas on the Strip; possibly my very favorite.

There’s not much bad I can say about Spa Mandalay. I love pretty much everything about it. From the minute you check in at the front desk, you’ll find the friendly staff ready to help you with just about anything you need. Rachael, Miranda and various other attendants are always on hand to book appointments, give you information on any of the treatments, or sell day passes - day passes are only available for guests of Mandalay Bay Hotel, anyone else must book a treatment in order to use the spa.

 Now, I’ve had treatments in quite a few of the Vegas spas, but I keep coming back for more at Spa Mandalay. I’ve had massages - both the mini-massages which are 25 minutes long as well as the longer, full body massages. I’ve had mini-facials and full facials, body scrubs, foot massages, and pedicures and they’ve all been excellent. In my opinion, the masseurs, masseuses, and aestheticians are all very, very good at what they do. If you do decide on a facial, ask if Marielle is working. I think she’s amazing - professional, friendly and so good at what she does. If she’s not available, however, don’t worry...the entire staff is terrific!

 Obviously, I’m only able to comment directly about the men’s side of the spa, but a couple of years ago, I took my friend Dana to Spa Mandalay andIMG 4535 she indulged herself with a full day of beauty - three treatments: Full massage, full facial and a mani-pedi, and she loved the place. Not only did she enjoy the treatmants, but she told me she felt very comfortable in the spa itself.

 Anyway, now that you’ve purchsed a day pass or booked a treatment, it’s on to the spa itself. First, you’ll find a comfortable lounge area, with large, deep chairs and overstuffed chaise lounges, in which you can relax and watch the flat-screen televisions, or enjoy some coffee, tea, bottled water or juice, while waiting for your treatment. There is a smaller check-in desk, manned by the attendants who will assign you a locker, give you some sandals and take you on a tour of the facility, if necessary.

 Next you go through glass doors into the “wet area” - the largest room in the spa, which consists of the dry sauna, the steam room, and four large tubs: hot, hotter, hottest, and a cold plunge. At the far end of the room is a big semi-frosted glass window, to let in lots of natural daylight during the daytime hours. That, along with the high ceilings, light colored stone walls, the various sconces and recessed lighting fixtures, and the sound of falling water coming from the waterfall-style fountains that separate the hot tubs, make for an open, bright and relaxing space. Flanking the wet area, are 7 chaise lounges in which you can relax, read a magazine, or even grab a nap - which I’ve done on MANY occasions! The sauna and steam room are both very large and clean, and there are usually iced cucumber slices by the entrance of the steam room, for reviving tired, puffy eyes...which really works, by the way!

 Beyond the wet area you’ll find a spacious grooming area, with 12 sinks and plenty of mirrors. Each sink is equipped with a variety of grooming products, razors, combs, brushes and blow driers. To one side of the grooming area is the large locker room, with blond wood lockers - each one containing a large, soft robe, and comfy benches on which to sit while changing. To the other side, you’ll find the showers - 10 stalls in all, including two larger ones for handicap access. At the far end is the men’s room.

 Throughout the spa, you’ll find plenty of clean, fresh towels, iced washcloths, and bottles of water, and if you happen to get hungry, you can even have room service deliver a meal down to the men’s lounge, where you can eat in quiet comfort.

 IMG 4513If you’re a guy who’s into boxing or if you’re a UFC fanatic, this is also the spa for you. Mandalay Bay hosts a lot of professional fighting events and I’ve been surprised to find myself in the sauna, watching Manny Paquiao shadow-boxing. I’ve been napping on one of the chaises and woken to see Evander Holyfield walk in, waiting to indulge in a treatment or just relax with his entourage. A little bonus, if you’re a sports fan.

 One thing I should stress: If you want to book treatments, do so in advance, if at all possible - especially on the weekends. Weekdays are usually quieter and less crowded, making for a more relaxing experience in general. As you get closer to the weekends - Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays - attendance tends to increase. Still, regardless of the size of the crowds, Spa Mandalay is a wonderful way to escape the craziness of the Las Vegas Strip.