The 1 Percent have a tendency to do strange things with alcohol that doesn’t involve simply putting it into their mouths, like bathing in bubbly and, more recently, having vodka and 24K gold facials. But they can afford to use booze in ways normal folk would deem wasteful. So a tequila massage at a ritzy hotel seems par for the course. Yep, Four Seasons Los Angeles‘ spa actually has a treatment called the Punta Mita Retreat which uses tequila on the OUTSIDE of your body. For shame!
According to them, the tequila offers “healing, detoxifying effects,” which seems contradictory considering the many tequila hangovers the whole world has had to detox from. But I can attest to the fact that the massage using the tequila, sage oil and traditional Mexican healing techniques is legit. I was actually walking on air after my 90-minute session on Sunday. I basically wanted to hug the world, I felt so good. Can’t say for sure that sole blame falls on the tequila for this “I love you, man” effect but it certainly helped.
The Punta Mita Retreat originates from the Four Seasons resort located in Punta Mita, Mexico. And FS Los Angeles is the only other hotel in the chain that offers it. There are actually two ways to enjoy the tequila massage: either the massage itself ($170-$240) or as part of a scrub-massage treatment ($260).
If you have the dough (or are lucky enough to get a hosted visit like me), definitely splurge on the whole treatment. It’s 90 minutes long and starts with a thorough and luxurious exfoliating application with margarita salt and essential oils of lime, orange, apple and tangerine.
Before you go asking for a wedge of lime to go with your margarita, know that they simply use the salt as it’s pretty abrasive. You’ve seen those big crystals. Because of its abrasiveness it’s not recommended for seniors. And definitely don’t shave the day of your appointment. Owie. But it’s not as abrasive as, say, the brushdown at the Korean Olympic Spa. And if you want, you can choose a less-abrasive scrub.
The spa technician scrubs down nearly every inch of your body. Afterward you jump in the in-room shower to wash it off. There, you have the option of also washing your hair. But since the entire treatment is a strict 90 minutes, I suggest getting in and out so that you will have more time on the massage table. Trust me.
In short, this is a 90-minute ticket to becoming a human margarita.
For the actual massage, the tequila, which is 2 ounces of Zavano Tequila Blanco, is only applied to the back, feet and the belly. Which, frankly, was fine with me since alcohol on skin tends to be collld. And, according to the masseuse, an all-over application would be overkill and apparently may get people drunk. By the way, pregnant women and those in Alcoholics Anonymous are prohibited from booking the tequila massage. And those under the age of 21 are required to get a signed waiver from their parents.
The tequila application is followed by the sage massage oil, filling the air with a mouth-watering aroma. Based on a survey you fill out before the treatment, the masseuse will concentrate on any area you want as well as apply gentle to deep pressure.
When your treatment concludes, the technician takes you to a cushy armchair in the dimly lit waiting area where she/he presents you with a, kid you not, chocolate truffle and a cold face cloth. I highly recommend sitting there for a bit relishing in how unbelievably relaxed and good you feel. Also, you might just want to continue your little nap.
Afterward, either roll down to** Culina for its new morning juice menu (breakfast 6:30-11am)** where you can customize your own healthy concoction or grab some brunch (and maybe hit up the make-your-own-Bloody-Mary bar, available Sunday). Either way, you’re gonna want to take it easy.
Four Seasons says the Punta Mita Retreat is the best treatment for jet lag but I’m thinking it could also possibly be the best, most awesome hangover cure.
Four Seasons Los Angeles
300 South Doheny Drive
Los Angeles, California 90048 (map)