The Spa's lobby
Boston is reknowned for its institutions that revolutionise technology, science and education; and now, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Boston is offering a pioneering new treatment for feet and nails, the Soakless Pedicure, which uses warm wet towels instead of running water.
As I sip a cup of soothing tea in the 16,000-square-foot Spa's tranquil lobby, I feel excited to be trying this new type of pedicure. The nail technician leads me into the serene and lofty nail room where I settle into a reclining chair that allows me to put my feet up and make use of the aromatic eye pillow.
Nail polish by Spa Ritual
My chair is partitioned off from the rest of the nail room, providing a private and relaxing experience unlike other pedicures that I've had. As a bonus, I don't have to continually move my feet in and out of water throughout the 50-minute treatment. 'Water tends to dry the skin,' says Virginia Lara, Director of Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Boston. 'With the Soakless Pedicure, we hydrate, soften and smooth the skin through foot exfoliation, heated towel wraps, and the application of moisturising creams and masks.'
The Charles River, Boston
The nail technician removes any existing nail varnish before massaging my lower legs and feet with a cream mask mixed with an exfoliator. She then wraps them in warm wet towels for 10 minutes. As the mask sinks into my skin, she trims, files and buffs my toenails, paying careful attention to the cuticles while I drift off to sleep. After the warm towels are removed, a gel is applied to my feet to help soften calluses. My feet are rewrapped with fresh warm towels with only my toes exposed, and my nails are buffed to a natural sheen.
A callus-removing tool is used to slough off any dead skin cells before the nail technician applies a mix of cream and oil for a sublime leg and foot massage. Lara says this part of the pedicure is especially important in keeping feet hydrated. 'Feet should be hydrated daily, preferably with a good foot cream (which is thicker and more hydrating than normal cream),' she says. 'And, if possible, every night before going to bed, give them a two-minute massage.'
Walking in Boston
Post-massage, my nails are painted in a vibrant colour that I choose from vegan brand SpaRitual and I move into the adjoining relaxation room where guests can order food and drinks while they are waiting for a treatment or, as in my case, for their nails to dry.
When I leave The Spa, my legs feel invigorated, and I would thoroughly recommend the Soakless Pedicure for those who have just come off a long flight or who are simply enjoying discovering Boston on foot.