When we asked Beau Rivage Spa Director Sara Chatham about the Biloxi, MS, spa’s philosophy, she had an instant two-word answer: “Southern charm.“I
Then, just as quickly, she praised her team: “We are so blessed with our staff. We have talented and tenured staff. The service is so special here. I don’t know if you’ve gotten that vibe as you’ve gone through, but with everybody, it’s just like they’re welcoming you to their home even though they’re one of 3,000 employees (at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.)
Oh, we got the vibe alright, from our locker-room attendants to the resplendent Couples Massage under the talented hands (fingers and arms) of Michael and Jasmine. Topping off our four-hour visit was a beautifully presented spa lunch in the Spa Solarium, (pictured), an airy-yet-cozy, co-ed spot just steps from the pool but a world away. That’s because this quiet oasis is glassed in offering some light and a view of the pool outside but through lightweight pull-down shades.
Our couples massage with Michael and Jasmine was five-star.
While you may not know Beau Rivage Spa, it is part of the MGM Resorts International family offering standout spas like Vegas’s Bellagio, Vdara, the Spa at Mandalay Bay and the MGM Grand Hotel.
At check-in, the spa director shared the massage add-on menu:
Hot stones ($25), which turned out to be Himalayan salt;
Fire & Ice, $15;
Frangipani hot oil scalp treatment, $35; and
Uniquely yours hand and foot ritual, $25.
In the women’s locker area, a bubbly, smiling Tiffany offered a warm greeting and an excellent tour of the facility and amenities.
“It’s Tiffany, like Tiffany Haddish?” I asked.
“Yes, but I’m older.”
“But your better looking,” I quipped.
“Oh, we’re going to be best friends,” Tiffany replied, laughing.
And so it began. What stood out was indeed the attention to detail. Having read on my intake form that I was experiencing some congestion, Tiffany produced a eucalyptus infused towel for inhalation as the tour started. “I can add that, too, in the steam room later if you’d like,” she offered.
The tour revealed a well-equipped and spacious women’s area with adequate lockers, a separate area for post-treatment to fix hair and makeup, plus showers, and steam, sauna areas as well as three pools at 104, 92 and 70 degrees.
For our treatment, the first thing we noticed were the massage tables, which were different than any we’d seen. “Oh, we love these tables,” masseuse Michael reported.
The face cradle is recessed so it is level with the table, which turned out to be easier on the neck. The tables were not too soft and happily, wide enough to accommodate us, but we learned there are some even wider here.
Face down, you can hang your arms out by your head because of an area that accommodates that. And - ta-da - both the head and feet ends of the table adjust upward as needed. This was a nice ending to finish face up in a sitting position, in our case.
Another nice touch was a hot pack on the back while face down to start. That way, once face up, our muscles were relaxed and heated ready to let go of some tension. Also, while face up, cozy additions were a soft eye covering plus a hot towel placed under the neck. Our masseuses finished with a hot towel freshener for the feet, which put smiles on our faces.
“Jasmine’s detailed work on my legs was especially appreciated in what was described as a Swedish approach. Hers was a very controlled, consistent pressure. She immediately found the ‘washboard’ on my back and used her forearms - never her elbows, which was great. Her work was very intuitive – finding places needing work.
“As she was helping me adjust on the table initially, she grasped my heels, turned my ankles down followed by pressing my toes upward and inward. Wrapping her hands fully around each foot, she applied great pressure to my soles. I was also glad she had time for some scalp work, too. I finally had spa hair.
“At one point, Kathy, once face up, announced, ‘Honey, I know what I want for my birthday – Michael.’ “
“After having hundreds of massages in all parts of the world, I have to say, not all masseuses understand the term 'medium' as it applies to the amount of pressure I prefer. Michael not only understood it, I’d nominate him as the poster boy for it.
“Seriously, this masseuse did one of the best jobs I’ve ever seen in terms of applying the same type of pressure consistently no matter what area he was working. That is extremely rare as I’ve often had a masseuse start out following your request, but take a turn in another direction if she or he believes it would be best, or perhaps they just zone out after a bit.
“But Michael checked in with me several times during our 50 minutes to make sure that his applied pressure was what I’d requested. The first time, I replied, ‘good’; the second time, I said, ‘perfect.’ Truth be told, it was perfect from the start; it’s just that 'good,' at one syllable, was easier to say than 'perfect' with me face down in the face cradle.
“Asking Michael about the hot stones used, he explained, ‘The Himalayan salt stone massage uses pure, hand-crafted, warm salt crystal stones that are soothing to the touch and promote healing and relaxation. The properties of the stones promote balance as well as sleep. In addition, the salt stones provide a light and gentle exfoliation for your skin leaving it silky smooth.’
“Good to know. Next time I may go for the full hot stones versus just and add-on.”
MOST POPULAR SERVICES
The spa signature massage is the most requested massage (along with the couples massage) while the hydrafacial tops the list for most requested skin care service. The spa's branded HydraFacialMD treatment uses patented technology to cleanse, extract,and hydrate to help with fine lines and wrinkles, elasticity and firmness, more even skin tone and help with hyper-pigmentation or oily/congested skin, enlarged pores and advanced signs of aging. (Prices: $170/$230/$385 for 20, 50 or 80 minutes.)
Other facials offered are Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing, Skin Brightening, Southern Glow and Southern Gentleman’s Facial. Add-ons to facials include Wrinkle-Free Eyes ($75), Pucker Up Lip Therapy ($65), Neck and Decollete Youthful Repair ($95), Fit and Firm Mask ($25), Painless Extractions ($50) and Paraffin for hands or feet ($25).
Spa packages offering a nod to this Southern location include:
Me + My Beau Couples Escape (we just love that play on words),
Mississippi Dreamin’ and
Bless Your Heart Heavenly Escape.
Details for each are online here.
We highly recommend finishing off a service with a lovely spa lunch in the Solarium, as we did (pictured). It's the perfect way to savor your spa day. Oh, and the champagne is complimentary.
IF YOU’RE GOING: Spa access is complimentary if spending $50 in spa or salon services. There’s a $25 per day fee for hotel guests without a spa appointment ($75 for non-guests). The spa serves ages 18 and up.
ABOUT BEAU RIVAGE SPA: Located on the second floor, poolside, of the 1,740-room Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, MS, the spa features 14 massage rooms, five facial rooms and a private pedicure room. Across the hall from the spa entry is the salon with five stylist stations; three make-up stations and a wide array of products displayed. The full-service gym is accessible only through the spa. Gym access is free to property guests.
Notes: Be aware that the Beau Rivage casino which takes up a lot of the resort's first level does allow smoking. The resort is also dog friendly.