At the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa, guests will soon be getting five-step Turkish massages.

At the Peninsula Beverly Hills, guests will soon be able to walk across heated limestone on the rooftop garden to their private poolside cabanas, where they can watch flat-screen TVs while getting massages.

The Renaissance has added a $10 million spa to its repertoire, and the Peninsula is making a $4 million upgrade to its rooftop garden, which includes outdoor spa amenities. The deluxe facilities will roll out in the coming weeks.

A great spa, of course, has been an important offering at upscale hotels for years, but lately the drive to offer an opulent spa has taken on new urgency. Several upper-end L.A. hotels are unveiling luxurious spas and poolside cabanas in an effort to keep up with, or outdo, each other.

"To have a spa in a hotel is absolutely essential and it must be a great physical product and provide a great experience," said Offer Nissenbaum, managing director of the five-star Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel.

Indeed, the Beverly Regent Wilshire, the Beverly Hilton and Sofitel LA opened spas when they remodeled in 2006. The Peninsula revamped its offerings that year but didn't stop there. The Peninsula rooftop garden will reopen April 15. Close behind will be the Renaissance Spa Luce, which will open May 1.

The craze extends to hotels in outlying areas, too. The Pacific Palms Resort in Industry Hills, recently spent $5 million on a new spa.

Hilton Hotels Corp. is spending $200 million to launch 135 state-of-the-art, full-service luxury spas at its upscale hotel brands, such as its Waldorf-Astoria Collection and Conrad Hotels & Resorts.

Alexander Marza, the company's senior vice president of corporate development, said luxury spas are necessities at its higher-end hotels.

Constant renovation

Just creating a spa is not enough. Hotels must continuously revamp their amenities. "You have to reinvent yourself and you have to keep investing in your property," Nissenbaum said.

New services include reflexology, precious gem treatments and extended moonlight massages on the rooftop garden. Some of the other new features include the installation of heated limestone tiles around the pool and a dozen spacious cabanas, which can be used for private minispas or couple's massages. The cabanas are also equipped with flat-screen TVs, fax machines and Wi-Fi.

At the Renaissance, the $10 million Spa Luce was financed by CIM Group Inc., which owns the property. The hotel, which is operated by Marriott International Inc., is adding the suffix " & Spa" to its name.


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