An Afternoon of Pedicures and Picassos at the Conrad Spa Indianapolis

Last updated June 13, 2024

I snuggle into my spa robe. The air smells of cucumber water and lavender. The room is cold, but not too cold. I walk over to a table to pour myself a cup of pre-treatment tea. Using one hand to push down on the spigot, I watch the tea pour into the paper Dixie cup. As I lift the cup to my lips, I already know this is going to be the best cup of tea I have ever had. I sip on the warm drink. It’s official. The relaxation room at the Conrad Spa Indianapolis is going to give Aveda a run for their money.

Then I saw something I’d never seen in a spa before.

I strain my neck to look upwards. Above the table was a sketch by Picasso. The sketch is hanging on the wall. If it wasn’t Picasso’s, the art would look out of place. The cubism of his abstract art blends perfectly with the relaxation room’s interior.

Welcome to the art and relaxation oasis that is the Conrad Spa Indianapolis.

A Trip to Indianapolis

I was lucky enough to be in Indy to attend the College Football Playoff National Championship. Excitement filled me as I watched my alma mater (the University of Georgia) bring home their first national championship in decades. Go Dawgs!

Before the delightful chaos ensued, I wanted to enjoy a little R&R (a.k.a. Rest & Relaxation).

In my research I came across the Conrad Spa Indianapolis. The Conrad is one of downtown Indy’s only hotel spas. The hotel offers a full art-themed menu of treatments; all ranging from dermaplane facials to deep tissue massage. The amenities include a sauna, steam rooms, an infinity pool, a jacuzzi and a fitness center.

So Many Choices!

The variety of choices have me feeling a little underwhelmed. Normally I take my time making a decision. Even if it is a decision that is as simple as picking a peanut butter brand. In spite of my indecisive quality, I make a quick decision.

Perhaps the spa resort atmosphere is rubbing off on me. I decided on a 60-minute signature pedicure and a 30-minute express massage. I have a feeling this is just what I need to prepare for my big weekend.

FYI: if you are short on time, I highly recommend one of the express treatments the spa offers, which are available for massages, facials, and manicures and pedicures.  

Before we get into my treatment experience, let’s revisit the Conrad Spa’s art gallery. The art collection is expansive, given that this is a spa. Once I enter the reception area, I am in awe of the works that decorate the space.

The sculptures and art that hang on the walls are curated by the Long-Sharp Gallery. Artworks are on the first floor of the Conrad Hotel Indianapolis. Spas often represent relaxation, rejuvenation and new life. With this in mind, the pieces are replaced with new ones regularly.

During my afternoon of treatments, I spied the work of Picasso. I also noticed other pieces by Warhol, Basquiat, Haring, Frankenthaler, Indiana and Lichtenstein.

The Spa’s “Personal Brand”

Here’s the thing. I didn’t feel like I was in a museum. Instead, the beautiful art actually brought warmth and peace to the space. Somehow, the art gallery brought the spa full-circle. The various paintings and sculptures gave the Conrad Spa a personal brand. To put it another way, the art made the spa unique. The uniqueness has made it all the more alluring.

The pieces do not only decorate the walls. I found a booklet on the art pieces in the relaxation room. This booklet provides details about all of the artworks found throughout the Conrad Spa.

The Warmth of Welcomes

The warmth that the art brings to the space is only enhanced by the friendly welcomes of the spa team members. The team members at the Conrad Spa will act above their pay-grade to ensure that a guest is comfortable.

For example: before I arrived at the spa, I’d intended to stop by the hotel’s restaurant (Capital Grille) for lunch.

Lunch at The Capital Grille

Everyone loves the Capital Grille just like everyone idolizes The Cheesecake Factory. For my lunch at Capital Grille, I had my heart set on a bowl of French onion soup. For my side dish, I was set on a Caesar salad with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time. I arrived at my appointments feeling famished. The spa director must have noticed something was off. After receiving the green light to speak, I mentioned my intended plans to the spa director.

Capital Grille & Pedi

I was beyond thankful when she offered to go above and beyond. In a few minutes, she had a to-go order secured for me. My French Onion Soup, Caesar Salad, and Sauvignon Blanc were on the way!

 Note: you can also order a variety of healthy bites, ranging from smoothies to salads, from in-room dining.

So knowing that lunch was on the way, I was able to relax and enjoy my first treatment, which was the pedicure. The nail studio is tucked away into a peaceful corner of the spa, and that’s where my therapist treated my feet to a much-needed hour of scrubbing, massaging and nail maintenance.

As we were finishing up, my soup and salad arrived, which were just as delicious as they would have been if I’d enjoyed them in the restaurant—no easy feat when it comes to French onion soup!

I settled into a chaise lounge in the sun-dappled pool area and savored every bite. It was the perfect way to pass the time as my nails dried, and I waited for my 30-minute massage to begin.

30-Minute Massage

Right on time, my massage therapist escorted me to a therapy room. After a quick chat about how my muscles were feeling, we decided to focus our time on my upper back and neck.

Using the Conrad Spa’s Ambre Blends Aromatherapy oils (I chose the Ahnu scent, which mixes tuberose and lotus flower with myrrh, tobacco and magnolia champaca), the massage therapist coaxed the stress out from under my shoulder blades and forced the muscles running from my shoulders up my neck to finally surrender and release.

Post-massage, I settled into the coziness of the relaxation room for a final cup of tea before beginning what would be one of the most exciting weekends of my life.

As I took my last sip and walked toward the door, I stopped to take a look at the piece that captivated me earlier in the day and reflected on the unexpected peace and curated art pleasures I’d found in this urban oasis. I wished the Picasso well until the next time I could return to the Conrad Spa Indianapolis for a pedicure.

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