Downtown Providence has a lot of hotels, but only one of them has a spa: the Providence Biltmore. And while it’s not a destination spa in the conventional sense, it has become a magnet for Providence visitors and residents alike who are looking for an hour or two of serenity and pampering in Downcity. Late hours make the spa especially convenient: this is the rare spa that keeps evening hours, with treatments offered until 7 or 8 p.m. on most nights.
Rather than being buried deep within the hotel, the Spa at the Providence Biltmore is right off the lobby, just past the reception desk. Once greeted, guests are escorted to an elevator — treatment rooms and the spa salon are located one floor up.
The spa is compact: there’s a pair of small relaxation rooms (both co-ed, with magazines to read and citrus water to sip), men’s and women’s changing rooms (shower, vanity, toilet, a two-seat rest area with a TV, and a few lockers), and a total of 10 treatment rooms, including one couple’s room. Low lighting and soft music impart the requisite sense of peacefulness, and soon enough you’ll be led to your treatment room by one of the spa’s expert therapists.
My visit was during Spring Spa Week, so I went for the 50-minute Biltmore Signature Massage, normally $125 but discounted to $50. As advertised, the treatment was a mix of light and deep pressure massage preceded by relaxing aromatherapy (you get your choice of three scents); my request for some stretching was happily accommodated, and my therapist was adept at mixing up his techniques so that anything that induced mild pain (sports leaves me with some chronic trouble spots) was offset with something soothing. On a rushed, busy day, it was a testament to his skill that I was on the verge of a massage-table nap within an hour.
The Biltmore Spa offers seven types of facials (including special therapies for men and teens), seven varieties of massage (such as my personal favorite, hot stone, as well as prenatal), body treatments using cane sugar from Fiji, aromatherapy, and wraps with essential oils, nail services, waxing, hair care, and sauna sessions. The spa is open Mon.-Thurs. from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Spa at the Providence Biltmore
11 Dorrance St., Providence, RI 02903