IMG 4776The Glow spa at the newly renovated Tropicana hotel, is gorgeous. it’s sleek and immacculate, with white floors, black granite coutertops and glass partitions everywhere. The staff was courteous and reserved and I had high expectations for this particular spa. I’ve tried three other Mandara spas; two in Las Vegas - the spa at the Paris hotel and the one at Planet Hollywood, and one in Hawaii at the Hilton Waikiki Village. On this trip, I was staying at the Tropicana, so I thought I should give it a try.

What I found was not exactly what I had expected. This is definitely NOT to say that it was bad. It was not bad. It was simply not what I’ve come to expect of a day spa.

 IMG 4780As with other spas - Spa Mandalay and Qua, for example, I was hoping for a space where I could hang out, use the sauna, steam room and hot tubs, relax on a chaise lounge and grab a snooze and pass a few relaxing hours away from everything. The Glow spa, is really a treatment-based spa. It’s more of a space where one can sit and wait for their massage, facial, body wraps or mani-pedis. There is no men’s spa, so to speak. There is a men’s locker room, with a steam room with lighting that goes from red to amber to green to blue, a couple of showers, a couple of bathroom stalls and a grooming area with two sinks and some facial and hair care products. There is no sauna and if you’re looking for a hot tub, you need to leave the spa and go outside to the pool area and use the hot tub out there.

 IMG 4782There is a unisex relaxation lounge with some comfy sofas, soft lighting, ethereal music and three nice overstuffed chaise lounges. There is a mini-fridge stocked with bottles of water and fruit juices and a sideboard with tea and coffee urns on it, in case you’d like a hot beverage.

 IMG 4786Now, originally I went to Glow thinking I would just hang out and use the men’s facilities for a few hours of relaxation. The young woman at the front desk told me about a special they were having that day on a facial called the Glow-to Facial - a 90 minute, complexion-reviving facial which featured, among other things, glycolic and salicylic peels, extractions, and an oxygen spray at the end, to prevent bacteria from entering the open pores.

This particular treatment also included a brief hand, foot and scalp massage, while nouveaux jazz style music played gently over the sound system and lighting which cycled through the colors of the various chakras. The facial was done in a friendly manner, with each step explained along the way.

 At any rate, once I had finished my treatment, I had no desire to hang around anymore, as, really, there is nothing else to do there. I dressed and went to my room with wonderfully glowing skin.

 IMG 4793IMG 4784So I guess the upshot of my experience here is that if all you want to do is hang out and “bliss out” for a few hours, while using the steam, sauna, hot tubs and showers, then you might want to seek out one of the larger day spas. However, if you’re in the market for a blissful facial, a massage, body scrub or pedicure, and you happen to be a guest of the Tropicana, then Glow, by Mandara is definitely the place for you.

 *One thing more I should mention. My usual ritual on the days I’m leaving Vegas, is to check out of my hotel, check my bags at the bell desk and then relax in the spa until it’s time to get a bite to eat and head to the airport. After checking my luggage, I went back to Glow, and asked if I could simply use the spa for a couple of hours. I was told that the $18 fee to use the facilities would now actually rise to $25, as I had checked out and was now no longer a guest of the Tropicana. I found that to be quite unfair and a bit of a price gouge. I still payed it, as I didn’t have many options at that moment. I think this policy was put in place by Mandara Spas however, and NOT by the Tropicana hotel, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth.