Bliss (spa)

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Blissworld, LLC.
Limited liability corporation
Genre Spa and Retail Product Company
Founded New York City, U.S. (1996)
Founder Marcia Kilgore
Headquarters New York City, United States
Number of locations
Area served
North America, United Kingdom
Products Bath, Body and Skincare
Services Facial, Massage, Body treatment, Manicure, Pedicure and Waxing
Parent Steiner Leisure Ltd.

Bliss is a multi-channel spa and retail product company founded in 1996 and headquartered in Downtown New York. The company retails its own line of bath, body and skincare products through its Bliss catalog, website, Bliss spa stores and at international luxury retailers including Bloomingdale's, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Selfridges and Sephora.[2]


Bliss spa was founded by Marcia Kilgore, a Saskatchewan, Canada native who moved to Manhattan in 1987 to attend Columbia University. During college, she became a personal trainer to make money. Soon after she decided to take a course in skincare, largely because she had personally suffered from acne since her preteen years. Inspired by her classes, she began giving facials to her friends out of her East Village apartment.[3][4] She opened her first single-room office in New York’s Soho district in 1991, followed by the opening of a three-room mini-spa called Let’s Face It! in June 1993.[5] To accommodate increasing demand, Kilgore opened the first Bliss Spa in SoHo in July 1996.


  • July 1996 - Bliss’ flagship spa, Bliss Soho, opens on Broadway in New York City
  • March 19, 1999 - LVMH acquires Bliss
  • December 17, 1999 - Bliss opens Bliss 57 on East 57th Street in New York City
  • November 26, 2001 - Bliss opens its first international spa, Bliss London
  • October 2002 - Bliss launches its first QuickBliss spa service station at Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge in London, offering an abbreviated menu of fast facials, waxing and nail services
  • January 2004 - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide acquires Bliss
  • November 2004 - Bliss 49 opens in the W New York in New York City
  • July 2005 - Bliss San Francisco opens, located in the W San Francisco
  • October 2005 - Bliss Chicago opens at the W Chicago – Lake Shore
  • March 2006 - Bliss Los Angeles opens in the W Los Angeles – Westwood
  • April 2006 - Bliss announces partnership with JetBlue Airways, in which Bliss amenity kits are given to passengers on overnight flights
  • June 2006 - Bliss Dallas openes at the W Dallas – Victory
  • March 2008 - Bliss Atlanta-Midtown, openes in the W Atlanta-Midtown
  • September 2008 - Bliss Scottsdale opens at the W Scottsdale
  • October 2008 - Bliss Hong Kong opens at the W Hong Kong
  • January 2009 - Bliss Atlanta Downtown opens at the W Atlanta - Downtown
  • February 2009 - Bliss Doha opens at the W Doha
  • March 2009 - Bliss Hoboken opens at the W Hoboken
  • April 2009 - Bliss Ft. Lauderdale opens at the W Fort Lauderdale
  • April 2011 - Bliss St. Petersburg [6] opens at the W St. Petersburg

The brand[edit]

Atmosphere Bliss spa is known for introducing its spa atmosphere[5] and is often credited for starting the mid 1990s spa boom.[7] A “sense of humor” is evident throughout the brand, with whimsically named spa treatments and products, such as “Quadruple Thighpass” for an anti-cellulite treatment.[5]



One of the most definitive images associated with the Bliss brand is their Blissgirl character, an illustrated girl who appears throughout Bliss-branded channels, including Bliss catalog covers and She is usually depicted using beauty products in playful ways, to align with Bliss’ playful brand personality.

Since her introduction, she has undergone several different illustration styles and characteristics, evolving over the years. She has been shown with almost every hair color, and has appeared as different races. She is almost always dressed in a signature white towel and Bliss’ Softening Socks and Glamour Gloves.


The products are inspired by the company’s spa treatments, and many of them are meant to allow customers to recreate the spa experience at home.[5][8] This is evident in such products as the Poetic Waxing Kit (the kit contains the same wax used during in spa waxing treatments) and the Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask (a foaming mask that’s based on their Triple Oxygen Treatment facial).


Bliss spa positions itself as "the young, modern antithesis to stuffy, intimidating spas",[4] that includes rhythm & blues music, a brownie buffet, "movie-while-you-manicure" nail stations, and other features.[9][10] The spa has attracted celebrity clientele including Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Lopez and Madonna.[4]

Acquisition by LVMH[edit]

In March 1999, the luxury products group, LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Bliss spa for a reported $30 million.[11] It was LVMH’s first North American acquisition,[4] and a break with their previous strategy of pursuing European prestige brands.[12] In December 1999, LVMH christened its office tower at 57th Street and Madison Avenue in New York City by opening the second Bliss Spa, Bliss 57.[4]

Acquisition by Starwood Hotels and Resorts[edit]

In January 2004, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide acquired Bliss spa from LVMH for a reported $25 million in cash.[13] As part of the acquisition, Starwood launched Bliss Spas in several of its W Hotels in an effort to move its W hotel brand into the resort business. The first W Hotel to premiere a Bliss Spa was the W New York in New York City in November 2004.[7] All W Hotels also feature Bliss in-room amenities,[14] regardless of whether or not the hotel houses an actual Bliss Spa. The “Bliss Sinkside Six-Pack” includes a face wash, body wash, body butter, shampoo, conditioner and a bar of soap. Starwood’s Sheraton and aloft hotel chain will also feature Bliss amenities.[15]

Partnership with JetBlue[edit]

In April 2006, JetBlue partnered with Bliss spa, hoping to fill seats in fiercely competitive transcontinental markets.[16] On JetBlue’s overnight flights from the Western United States, called Shut-Eye Flights, customers received an exclusive Bliss-branded amenity kit containing breath freshening mint lip balm, lemon+sage body butter, an eyeshade and earplugs.[17][18] The kits were distributed only on flights between Western states and the East Coast for a one-year period.

Acquisition by Steiner Leisure Limited[edit]

In January 2010, Steiner Leisure Limited completed its $100 million acquisition of Bliss from Starwood.[19]


Best Brand 2007[20]
Hot List 2006 - Bliss San Francisco[21]
Hot List 2007 - Bliss Los Angeles[22]
Best Body Scrub - Super Minty Soap n’ Scrub[23]
Best Hotel Day Spa - Bliss 49[24]
Best Beauty Buy 2007 - Baggage Handler[25]

Best Spa in middle east 2010 : Bliss Spa Doha


  1. ^ Bliss Spa Locations
  2. ^ "Starwood Follows Its Bliss With Spa Chain". HighBeam Research Inc. September 3, 2004. Retrieved May 23, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Make a statement. Your own". Karastan. Archived from the original on March 13, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Marcia Kilgore's Spa". Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d Pumphrey, Angela (2005). CoolBrands. 
  6. ^ "Bliss Spa St. Petersburg official website". 
  7. ^ a b "Industry News - Starwood Acquires Bliss from LVMH; Bliss Spas to Debut in W Hotels as Part of Acquisition of Spa, Catalog and Beauty Products Company". Hospitality Net. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  8. ^ Susan Lee (View Profile). "DIY Spa Guide". Archived from the original on October 6, 2007. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Bliss Opens Its First West Coast Spa At The W San Francisco; Bliss Continues to Grow with Spas Set to Debut at W Hotels in Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas | Business Wire | Find Articles at". July 19, 2005. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  10. ^ United States. "W Hotels Los Angeles: W Los Angeles - Westwood - Hotel Rooms at". Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  11. ^ "LVMH Acquires Majority Stake in BlissWorld. | Banking & Finance > Financial Markets & Investing from". Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  12. ^ Maneker, Marion (December 13, 1999). "Marital Bliss". Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Starwood buys Bliss spa to build W resorts". USA Today. January 21, 2004. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Starwood Hotels Starting to Increase Promotion of their Bliss Spa Brand? « Passions Of A Zealot". November 7, 2007. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  15. ^ "aloft(SM) Hotels Prepare for Takeoff - Reservation Lines Open for Business: Business Wire Business News: HOT - MSN Money". July 27, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2010. [permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "JetBlue adds spa amenities on redeyes - Aviation -". MSNBC. April 4, 2006. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  17. ^ "About JetBlue | Shut eye". JetBlue. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  18. ^ "About JetBlue | CEO David Neelman's flight log". JetBlue. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Steiner Leisure Buys Bliss". January 4, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Outstanding in a Particular Category 2007 at SpaFinder". Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  21. ^ Conde Nast’s Annual Hot List Hotels, Spas & More Archived November 15, 2006, on Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Hospitality Trends. "Conde Nast Traveler Unveils its Annual Hotels, Restaurants, Spas, and Clubs Hot List :: Hospitality Trends". Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  23. ^ Nivea. "Beauty". Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Bliss 49 at W Hotel New York - bliss". Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Details - Best Beauty Buys 2007 - Product Finder - Products". In Style. Archived from the original on February 22, 2008. Retrieved August 10, 2010.