Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Spa Day!

Wow... I just got back from a very enjoyable afternoon of self-indulgence. Kelly and Melissa were spending the afternoon over at the spa at Aladdin, leaving me and Dane with nothing to do. Instead of pissing away more money at the dice tables, we decided to have our own spa day. The original plan was to go to the Art of Shaving salon there at Mandalay Bay, but they're a little too proud of themselves and their prices reflect it. But Kelly had found out about a place called Whiskers over on the west side of town that sounded like a pretty good alternative, so we decided to go there instead.

I picked up Dane out in front of the Aladdin around 12:30, and we made our way out to the west side. The salon is out on Durango, between Desert Inn and Sahara. Basically, it's so far out there that on my map of Vegas, it's location is denoted by the warning Here There Be Dragons! It only took us about twenty minutes to make the drive, and when we arrived we were the only customers. Lucky for us, because we didn't have an appointment.

I was expecting a glorified barber shop, but no, this place was much more than that. It was a full-on men's grooming spa. The first thing they did was offer us the grand tour and showed us all of their facilities. And there were no men working there--it was all women. Anyhow, it seemed to be a very nice place, so we were sold--the dealmaker being the widescreen tv's where they give you the remote while you're getting your treatments done.

We went over their menu of services and each picked out a few. Dane opted for the shave and pedicure, and I splurged a little and had the manicure/pedicure package and a head & face shave.

We split up, him getting the shave first, while I was led to the private room where they did the nail treatments. Yes, once again I was treated to the hedonistic pleasures of a pedicure and foot massage--from an attractive gal named Tracy--and unlike the Vietnamese places that only have Jerry Springer on the tv, she let me watch the NFL network.

A few minutes into it, the owner/manager of the place popped her head in an offered me a beer! I couldn't believe it. Talk about being in Heaven--it was Heaven with free beer!

Anyhow, Tracy took her time and I was just about ready to pass out and start drooling when she finished up. I hopped down out of the jacuzzi chair and Dane came over and raved about his shave while I was starting on my manicure.

Once that was finished, I left her a generous tip and Dane and I changed rooms. I have never had a straight razor shave before, so I was a little nervous. But as much as I enjoyed the pedicure treatment, the shave was even better. It was done by an older Latin lady (I've forgotten her name) who was an expert with the straight razor. But it was more that just a shave, it was more like a head massage and facial, and oh-by-the-way the closest shave ever thrown on top. Lots of hot towels and moisterizers, plus hot lather (which she hit me with FOUR times). I will admit it that it was tough to relax a few times when I thought about the fact that there was a complete stranger holding an extremely sharp razor up to my throat, but knowing that I was a virgin, she was gentle.

I certainly got my money's worth, as I was in the chair for an hour. They didn't rush us along at all, and by the time we finished up, it was 3:30 in the afternoon. Talk about a relaxing afternoon--I loved every minute of it and can't wait to do it again next month.

But the best part were the prices. It was much cheaper than the place at Mandalay Bay, and they gave me a couple of discounts for combining treatments. And they certainly didn't rush us out of there. So between the relaxed atmosphere, the great prices, and the excellent treatments, overall the visit was much better than I anticipated.

The only downside is the location. If you're visiting Vegas, you're going to need a rental car because it's easily a $30+ cab ride from the Strip. But it's worth it. Next time I have some of my boys in town, I'm gonna take them out there one afternoon for a little diversion from the tables.

Yeah, I'm sold on it. I've been a fan of pedicures and manicures for a couple of years now, and I need to keep my hands looking nice because they are my moneymakers. But the shave--the shave was so smooth that I can't quit rubbing my head. I swear it feels just like a bowling ball, except that I have a nose instead of a big thumb-hole.


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