CACI Beauty by Mandarin Oriental

CACI Beauty by Mandarin Oriental

Amethyst Crystal Steam Room at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC

Amethyst Crystal Steam Room at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC

Everyone needs some “me time”; don’t pretend like you don’t.  And by “me time”,  I mean actually doing something that is healthful, mindful and restorative for your body, brain, and soul.  Since “me time” is all about personal satisfaction, people pick and choose their poison.  Some need more than others and some care to do certain activities on some days and others on other days.  One of my favorite “me time” methods of choice is going to a spa – ALONE.  Granted, girlie groups and mom/sister/friend things are fun, but when I want to gain the most out of my time at the spa, I go han solo and I don’t feel alone. I feel at peace, present, and in the moment.  Actually, back in 2009 and 2010, I went to Miraval Resort in Tuscon, AZ by myself and both times turned into life changing moments.

One of my latest spa excursions in D.C. was to the Mandarin Oriental, still one of my top choices for day spas in the area.  I love it for a number of reasons, one of which is the way guests are greeted in the reception area with a bamboo tray holding a tiny cup of hot tea next to a warm white wash towel. Visitors remove shoes there and they are placed on another tray and are presented with slippers.  It’s very respective and traditional.  I also appreciate the spa’s calm serenity.  Everything from the coloring to the quietness, to the orchid blossoms left here and there and the Asian influence brings a sense of pure peacefulness.

Within the spa, one can do the heat & water experience, the women have the Amethyst Crystal Steam Room (love this room, it’s like a mosaic tiled living room), Color Experience Shower, Vitality Pool with Hydotherapy Jets, Ice Fountain, and Relaxation Lounge, which by far, is one of the nicest I’ve been in.  The only other relaxation room that compares is The Peninsula in New York City where it was literally like being in a bedroom, tucked in, nestled, perfect for not only relaxing but downright sleeping. I wanted to ship the bed to my home in a Queen size.  Men get the Dry Sauna and Warm Plunge Pool.  Yes, men enjoy spas too!

At any rate, I was about to go on a journey within the Mandarin Oriental, which I’d never yet been: CACI Non Invasive Face Firming Treatment for 80 minutes.  Ok, before you start in with, “face firming” let’s be real here. I’m no spring chicken and with the career path I’ve chosen, late nights and radical behavior can happen early and often. So add that up and suddenly it’s like HELLO face … WHO, er WHAT are you?  I am not alone in this thinking hence the multi-billion dollar industry of firming up one’s face.  Moving right along….

So what IS CACI? And don’t get it mixed up with the large government contractor based in Arlington please. CACI stands for Computer Aided Cosmetology Instrument. It’s been used for over 20 years and has earned a fine reputation with clientele and the industry.  Think extremely advanced type of treatment.

About CACI: During a treatment tiny electrical impulses stimulate muscle tone and enhance the appearance of skin tissue, lifting the face and smoothing away fine lines and wrinkles. It is a relaxing and pain-free treatment, providing you with instant, dramatic results.  The CACI program consists of a course of weekly treatments, followed by a monthly maintenance session, but we also offer the treatments individually as a one-off for that special occasion.  CACI has attracted a unique celebrity following and been acclaimed by the international media, making it the most publicized beauty treatment in the industry’s history.

When I entered the softly lit treatment room with my aesthetician (after spending some serious much needed time in the the Amethyst steam room and relaxation room) I was still a little unsure as to what I was about to endure.  I’m more experimental when it comes to body treatments, like wraps, scrubs, and hot stone massages, but when it comes to my face, I’m a bit more timid partly because I’m scared to death of rashes, breakouts, and blemishes and because I’m finally just now realizing age is NOT just a number.

I was going to under go the 80 minute treatment and my aesthetician told me that I was most likely going to fall asleep because amazingly, the technology is not scary, it’s soothing.  “Most of my clients fall right to sleep, it’s a very relaxing process,” she explained to me in her own calming voice.  After the normal disrobing and me climbing under the sheets and blanket, she came back in and pushed the button that allowed the bed to have me sitting up straight.  “Let’s have a look. You have beautiful skin,” she said nodding approvingly as she pored over my face, lightly touching my cheek, as she examined.  “Ok, so no one has a 100% even face and I see here where we can with this procedure, bring you to more of an even, sculpted look.” She went on to tell me my cheeks could be, with one session, different, but it would take several times until it would look totally even.  “But, you should be able to tell a difference.  And, let’s open up your eyes, make them more awake and youthful.”  I seconded that emotion.

The cleansing process began and while it seemed like in the beginning to be a normal facial, when she pulled out the equipment and the light (my eyes were covered of course) I got a bit nervous, but true to her word, I was for all intents and purposes, passed out.  The buzzing sound wasn’t annoying and in fact, it felt like my face was being lightly massaged for quite sometime, hence why it’s easy to fall into a state of total relaxation.

When I awoke and I was brought to a sitting position in the bed again and we looked in the mirror together so we could determine if my cheeks were more sculpted, my skin rejuvenated and my eyes more awake and youthful. My skin felt firm, yet soft and definitely tighter.  I couldn’t really tell exactly the cheeks and eyes, but I wasn’t expecting within one session of a serious to view some serious modifications.  I felt great and felt like I looked a hell of a lot better than before entering the spa.

We talked about what went into buying a package and I politely thanked my lady and left feeling like a new woman.

Prices for the CACI Non Invasive Face Firming Treatment for 80 Minutes are priced at $320/350.  Package are available and there is a CACI Express Lift that lasts only 50 minutes for $175/195.

To learn more, please go to or call 202.787.6100 or email  The spa is located at 1330 Maryland Ave, SW in Washington, D.C.

The Mandarin Oriental Relaxation Room

The Mandarin Oriental Relaxation Room

About Pamela Sorensen:
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a platform for profiling people who "make it happen" in the Capital region, reviews & topical blog posts. She launched Punch Enterprises, a connector consulting business in 2015 and Pacific Punch based in LA, in 2012. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, VA. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.
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