First Look: The Spa at the Jefferson

By: McLean Robbins

Guests of the ultra-luxe boutique hotel the Jefferson are in for a treat: The 99-room Beaux Arts hotel, recently reopened after a two-year, top-to-bottom renovation, now has an exclusive spa.

Designed just for hotel guests and selected VIPs (those who frequented the hotel before its closing, frequent guests, and select others who are granted lifetime memberships), the three-room spa features a full beauty salon as well as massage, facials, and body treatments with touches inspired by Thomas Jefferson.

Located on the hotel’s second floor, the spa features design elements found in the hotel: soft marble floors, muted lighting, and period furniture to evoke both Jefferson’s time in Paris and his home at Monticello.

Spa manager Camille Rouget says that the treatment menu was designed around three product lines: Darphin, a Paris skin-care company known for its high-quality botanical products; Red Flower, a boutique bath-and-body company based in New York that designed the hotel’s toiletries; and Olavie, a wine-based skin-care company whose antioxidant-rich products are intended to remind users of Jefferson’s love of wine.

Instead of a waiting area or relaxation lounge, guests begin their treatments in their hotel suites. A light refreshment from the Jefferson’s executive chef, Damon Gordon, is offered before the guest is personally escorted to the spa.

Treatment rooms are spacious. The massage-and-body-treatment area features a full powder room as well as a steam shower and ample area to change. The smaller facial suite still offers guests plenty of room to disrobe as well as mellower lights.

The spa suite, just down the hall from the main spa, is slightly larger than the hotel’s ample deluxe suites and includes a couples massage room and powder room. Guests can reserve the suite for 12, 24, or 48 hours, and the price of reservations includes unlimited on-call spa treatments.

The extensive menu focuses on botanical therapies designed to evoke Monticello. In addition to a standard menu of facials and massages, guests can book appointments for up to two hours.

Our favorite treatments are the couture massages and facials, where guests can choose the duration, scent, type of treatment, and area of focus. Rouget says that the treatment was initially designed for newbie spa-goers who weren’t as knowledgeable about treatment types, but she says the program has been equally appealing to veterans who know exactly what they want. Prices for these treatments ranges from $90 to $285, depending on time.

The spa is smaller than most, but Rouget says that instead of adding more rooms, the spa focused on offering a top-quality menu of treatments with the best therapists possible.

Our only complaint is the super-small hairstyling and manicure/pedicure areas. While guys will be comfortable enough to enjoy hot-lather and straight-razor shaves, women will likely want to forgo the beauty services in lieu of more indulgent spa treatments.

Visit jeffersondc.com to reserve a room. The hotel is offering a 20-percent discount on rooms for a limited time to celebrate the reopening. View the spa menu here