Blissful retreat inside Mall of America, the No. 1 tourist destination in the United States.
By Hope S. Philbrick
It’s hard to believe, but the wondrous splendor that is Mall of America (MOA), an all-ages playground and the nation’s No. 1 tourist destination, actually was missing something when it first opened in 1992. It didn’t have a full-service spa. That void was filled in 2015 with the opening of Solimar Spa, which is located inside Radisson Blu Mall of America, an upscale hotel attached to MOA.
Solimar Spa is a haven that you can reach without stepping a foot outside MOA—a crucial benefit during the coldest winter and hottest summer days, since inside the Mall it’s always a comfortable 70 degrees!
Solimar Spa’s service menu includes massages, body therapies, facials, make-up applications and lessons, waxing, mani- and pedicures, and hair styling (including cuts, color treatments, up-dos and more).
A hushed ambiance inside the Spa envelopes you the moment you open the door to it. Check-in with the friendly receptionist, who will then escort you to the locker room. Change into a robe and slippers—there’s a steam shower to enjoy before and/or after your treatment—and then wait in the lounge.
The windows in the Spa’s hallway lounge overlook stressors like traffic and the MSP airport, so the glass is draped in blue (perhaps officially they’re “blu”) sheers that filter the light and help keep your focus on the cushy chairs and pillows, infused water, herbal teas, granola, M&Ms, and magazines in the relaxation area. Read, snack, or sit with your eyes closed and listen to the soft music until you’re called into your session.
On my first visit, I chose a 60-minute Solimar facial ($110). The treatment is personalized, so whether your skin is dry, sensitive, dehydrated, oily or combination, the focus is on bringing it back to a healthy, balanced state. The esthetician can do extractions or not, massage your scalp or not, and make other adjustments as suits your needs and personal preferences.
On my second visit, I chose a 75-minute specialty massage ($137) that incorporates some hot and cold stones into a Swedish massage. The therapist will use soft, medium or hard pressure as you prefer. The oil used has a seasonal scent (which at the time of my visit included relaxing lavender). Tension that had built up during my road trip to Minnesota was released with a massage mix of long and short strokes, customized pressure, and thumbed pressure points.
Some treatments incorporate honey. Solimar works with Worker B to develop seasonal spa treatments exclusive to the Radisson Blu Mall of America location.
Whatever treatment you choose, the goal is improved health and wellness, relaxation, and in general to feel better when you leave the Spa than you did when you arrive. On both my visits, those goals were met.
After each treatment I lingered in the locker room’s steam shower for a few minutes to let all the lotions sink even deeper into my skin. I then showered, dressed and strolled out into the Mall of America where it was easy to pop into Sephora, Ulta and/or Aveda for quick makeover tips and touch-ups before shopping then heading up to Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy for dinner and a show.
It’s usually sort of an ordeal to leave a spa feeling super relaxed and then have to get gussied up for an evening out. I discovered that since Solimar Spa is attached to MOA—and thus to the hotel, shops, restaurants, entertainment and more that was on my agenda that day—it actually made the transition from pampered oasis to reality much easier. It felt as if I was walking around in my private little bubble of bliss and since I never had to step outside and get back into my car, that feeling didn’t burst as quickly as usual.
Odds of Encountering Children: Possible, but low. Children are permitted in Solimar Spa when accompanied by an adult, but on both of my visits I never saw one youngster or teen, just other 21 plus ladies in search of pampering.
@21plusTravel Tip: Solimar Spa is not directly affiliated with the Radisson Blu, though it is located inside the hotel. It is a pleasant amenity for hotel guests, but you need not be a hotel guest to enjoy the Spa.
Radisson Blu Mall of America
2100 Killebrew Dr.
Bloomington MN 55425
– Photo Credits: Spa images courtesy Solimar Spa Radisson Blu Mall of America; hotel exterior © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Thanks to Solimar Spa Radisson Blu Mall of America for a complimentary massage on my birthday.