We Tried Mandarin Oriental's Year of the Earth Dog Spa Experience

Every year, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group celebrates the Chinese New Year by creating a unique spa treatment inspired by the Chinese Zodiac.

Every year, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group celebrates the Chinese New Year by creating a unique spa treatment inspired by the Chinese Zodiac.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit the spa at what is now the former Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, as I was eager to try the Year of the Earth Dog Spa Experience, which was on their menu for a limited time (until December 6, 2018). However, the treatment is still available at Mandarin Oriental Hotels worldwide until February 4, 2019—so there’s still time to book this unique service before it’s too late!

The 80-minute treatment features in-depth, hands-on massage techniques combined with hot stones for stress reduction, relaxation, and easy pain and muscle tension. Plus, what dog lover wouldn’t want to pay tribute to man’s best friend—especially in the form of a spa service? I sat down with Director of Spa Chelsea Dorgeist, who provided more insight about the Year of the Earth Dog treatment:

The spa reception area in Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta.

The spa reception area in Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta.

What inspired the Year of the Earth Dog treatment?

Each year MOHG celebrates the Chinese New Year by creating a unique Spa treatment inspired by the Chinese Zodiac. Atlanta was asked to create a protocol for the Year of the Earth Dog Spa Experience and three of our therapists collaborated to create their vision for the treatment. They were inspired by the movements of the “downward facing dog” yoga positioning and stretching, so they incorporated Thai stretching to mimic that elongation to the muscles. To ground and soothe our guests with Earth energy, our team incorporated hot volcanic stones to introduce a physical natural element, which removes stagnant energy and creates a grounding effect to the body.

What does the service include?

The lucky numbers for the dog are 3, 4 and 9. You will see these numbers represented throughout the treatment with strokes. Chinese New Year 2018, is protected by the benevolence of the sign of the Dog and by the depth and stability of Earth. This treatment is to bring grounding and balanced energy to the guest through deep, myofascial work and hot stones.

What massage techniques are used?

Effleurage to improve circulation, kneading and petrissage to relieve tension and work deeply into the muscle tissue, Thai stretching to elongate and open tight muscle groups, and hot stones are used for the benefit of heating and grounding.

Will Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group offer a zodiac-inspired service in 2019?

Yes, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group creates one of these treatments for each Chinese New Year and we are currently working to develop a treatment for The Year of the Pig beginning February 5, 2019.

The Year of the Earth Dog Experience is available at many Mandarin Oriental spas worldwide including in Asia: Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Sanya, Singapore, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo. In Europe: Barcelona, Marrakech, Milan, Paris, Prague. In the Americas: Boston, Miami and Washington, D.C. until the end of the Earth Dog year on February 4, 2019 and can be booked online at each respective hotel: www.mandarinoriental.com

[Images courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Atlanta]