Fairmont Century Plaza’s Fairmont Spa is one of the most luxurious in the city, and just one aspect of the hotel’s $2.5 billion renovation, which debuted in late 2021. While many of the treatments here — available to guests and locals alike — hit the high three-digit range, one service qualifies as an absolute bargain: the $100 Local Amenity Pass.
If you’re not yet familiar with the hotel, one good way to orient yourself to its location is to look for the two new, identical high-rise condo towers in the Century City skyline. The Fairmont is located directly at the foot of those in the heart of this increasingly bustling neighborhood (seriously, with its first-ever subway stop under construction, rumors of A-list chefs circling available restaurant space, more housing on the way, and the highest density of the city’s best shops thanks to the open-air Westfield mall, Century City is heading towards having a moment).
In the year and a quarter since the hotel’s reopening, the property has quickly established itself as a neighborhood hub and is slowly but surely drawing in locals from outside its immediate vicinity. I’m among the latter, having recently paid a visit after being enticed by their spa’s newly awarded 5-star status from Forbes Travel Guide — and the aforementioned pass. And now, I’m here to share what you need to know if you’d like to follow in my footsteps and make your way to Century City for some self-care.
The “Local Amenity Pass” & What To Expect
The local amenity pass is available to any non-hotel guest, whether you call LA home or are visiting, and includes access to both the hotel’s spa and the fitness center. To partake, you’ll first book your pass through the spa’s website, selecting the date and time you’ll arrive. When you get to the hotel, pull into the main entrance and valet your car (four hours will run you $17 with validation, adding a little more to the overall cost of your visit), then take the elevators near the front desk down one level to check in at the spa lobby.
Personally, I arrived around 9 a.m. and kicked things off with about an hour in the fitness center, which is located directly next to the spa. Upon entering, the first thing I noticed was that this is not your average hotel gym. While many hotel gyms can feel like an afterthought, slotted in out of obligation, it was immediately clear that a lot of thought — and money — went into creating this one. It’s surprisingly large and even more surprisingly well-stocked with top-of-the-line equipment from Technogym that goes way beyond weights and treadmills. There’s Pelotons and Hyperice percussive recovery devices available upon request, too.
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Pro tip: During my morning visit, a small handful of hotel guests were working out, but I’d wager if you arrived after the morning rush — say, 11 a.m. — it’s possible you’d have the whole gym to yourself.
After the gym, I headed back into the spa, where I was set up with a locker and robe. Like the gym, the spa is not an afterthought, and it’s clear a healthy chunk of the $2.5 billion renovation was used to make this space impressive. At 14,000 square feet, it’s the second-largest hotel spa in Los Angeles and includes a salon space for haircuts, manicures and pedicures, nine treatment rooms, men’s and women’s locker rooms, showers and lounges, and a co-ed lounge with complimentary light snacks and beverages. Then, there’s the reason I came: the amenities, which are grouped in two cavernous, marble and tile-filled rooms (one for men and the other for women).
The men’s amenity room features a dry cedar sauna, a eucalyptus steam room and an experiential rainfall shower, whereas the women’s features all this plus a Himalayan salt room (an amber-pink hued space that draws out impurities like environmental pollution and toxins) and a hammam (which in this case is essentially just a marble room to shower in). So, if you’re a woman, there is a little more value in the $100 local amenity pass as you’ll have access to more amenities.
During my visit, I was the only man in the spa, so I had all of the men’s amenities to myself. I went from the sauna to the steam room to the experiential shower on repeat, with the latter being an unexpected standout. It entails selecting from a gentle rainfall or mist (imagine standing near a waterfall) that comes from the ceiling, along with aromatherapy scents and relaxing, colored lights. I spent a little over an hour enjoying this space, which I believe is about the max amount of time most guys would be able to fill here. Had the spa had additional amenities like a whirlpool or cold plunge (things I’ve experienced at select luxe spas) it would be easier to spend even more time here. Still, the only time I’m in a beautiful, zen spa, and in a sauna or steam room for that matter, is when I’m traveling and staying at high-end hotels — so simply having access to the space and amenities on offer here, especially on an average, no-special-occasion-needed day in LA, absolutely makes a visit here worth it.
Pro tip: Between visiting the gym, then showering and cycling through the amenities, you can likely expect to spend between two and a half and three hours here, total. There is, however, a great way to extend your stay and make the trip here feel a little more worthwhile (see the “Pro Tip” below for more on that).
Beyond The Amenities
If you’re looking to move beyond those amenities (but still without breaking the bank), try a biohacking session. Co-designed with wellness expert Dr. Oz Garcia, it’s an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach that involves: pulsed magnetic field therapy and infrared heat (via a HigherDose Mat), lymphatic drainage compression therapy (via Normatec compression boots), neuroscience technology (via a NuCalm disc worn on the wrist which signals the body to counteract the effects of cortisol and adrenaline), facial LED therapy (via a mask that promotes cell turnover), a meditative, binaural soundscape played through noise canceling headphones, and an anti-gravity chair that relieves pressure on your body’s joints.
Pro tip: While Biohacking sessions are available for durations of 60 and 90 minutes, the real Fairmont Spa hack is to book the $150, 30-minute Biohacking Power Nap. Booking this treatment comes with access to all of the spa’s amenities and the fitness center, which means for $50 more than you would have spent on the amenity pass, you’ll also get to tag the biohacking experience on to your spa day.
Of course, if you find yourself looking for a place to splurge, the Fairmont Spa has you more than covered. While you can’t go wrong with a massage, like their 90-minute Sunset massage ($395), where this spa really excels is in high-tech and results-driven facials that’ll impress even LA’s most aesthetic-minded. For newbies, consider the entry-level Signature Harley Street Facial, which utilizes products from luxury skincare brand 111Skin ($250). For those wanting to go all out, there’s the Avenue of the Stars “Super Power” Facial from the spa’s partnership with anti-aging specialist Dr. Rita Rakus ($750).
Before You Leave
Before leaving the spa, you’ll get to create an aromatherapy crystal to take with you. Essentially, it’s a chunk of Himalayan pink salt with a few drops of the essential oil soaked into it that’s then placed in a cloth bag with dried flowers like lavender and chamomile. It’s actually very soothing and I’m currently looking at, and smelling, the one I brought home with me as I write this.
Also, before heading back to whichever part of the city you call home, consider stopping by the hotel’s French brasserie-style restaurant, Lumière. The food is excellent, and rounding out your time at the Fairmont with an order of the French onion soup and a side of baguette is not something you’ll regret (and neither would beginning your day here with a coffee or pastry from the patisserie at the restaurant’s entrance).
And lastly, if you’re not ready to end this self-care party just yet, you can always turn your day-cation into a stay-cation by checking into one of the 400 rooms upstairs to spend a night.
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