Welcome spring with a Cherry Blossom ritual at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC. As our spa-goer finds out, it's a unique and deeply reviving head-to-toe experience

The Spa's reception area

The Spa's reception area

The American capital is abloom in spring, with showy blossoms adorning thousands of cherry trees, many of which were given to Washington DC as a gesture of friendship by the mayor of Tokyo. And the 80-minute Cherry Blossom treatment at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC promises skin as soft and radiant as those photogenic pink petals that draw more than a million visitors yearly to the city’s National Cherry Blossom Festival.

After a welcoming cup of chamomile flower tea in The Spa’s calming, candlelit reception area, a therapist leads the way to a treatment room, where the lighting is appropriately rosy-hued. As soothing string and flute music from Oriental Wisdom plays, a gommage comprising cherry blossom, rice powder and lotus is applied to each side of my body, with massage strokes in a choice of styles – from light and feathery to deep and strong. I feel a tingle as the potion sinks in and does its job of preparing dead skin to be easily sloughed off.

Guests love the head-to-toe experience and the treatment is popular year-round.

Full body massage

Full body massage

Then the therapist exfoliates from chest to toes using a gentle yet abrasive mitt, leaving skin as touchable as a baby’s cheek. And there’s more pampering in store. Next comes a full body massage featuring an aromatic shea butter-based cream. Heated towels are placed on my back to help deepen relaxation. To complete the treatment I enjoy a sublime scalp massage, with warm towels swaddling each foot. And the therapist suggests that I avoid having a shower for several hours to let my ‘thirsty’ skin soak up the nourishing moisture.

The treatment, I am told, is suitable for everyone, but is especially good for those with delicate or dry skin, since it is gentler than a salt or sugar scrub. It is also restorative for those who have spent hours on a plane and feel dehydrated.

Amethyst crystal steam room

Amethyst crystal steam room

According to the hotel’s spa director, Brandon Coffing, the Cherry Blossom ritual was created ‘as an homage to the gorgeous flowers.’ Guests love the head-to-toe experience and the treatment is popular year-round.

Tip: take a rainforest shower or use the satisfyingly sultry amethyst crystal steam room with simulated stars on the ceiling beforehand. And keep the moisturising cream on, so that you will be guaranteed to exit with skin as silken as the blossoms on display around the Tidal Basin, just a short stroll away.

To make a booking, email mowas-spa@mohg.com

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