A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Although they’re greeted by the sound of snipping scissors and the sight of a light-yellow room filled with black leather stylists’ chairs, guests of Natural Image Salon and Day Spa can get much more than just a haircut. In addition to stylists who specialize in creative hair color and keep abreast of the latest trends—such as the feather hair extensions that secret agents use to blend in while spying from trees—Natural Image staffs aestheticians who perform a full range of spa treatments.
These experts dab skin with products made with natural ingredients, relying on botanical plant peels and Swedish body wraps that blend herbs, minerals, and sea clay. As well as pampering skin with Aveda facials and sea-salt-glow exfoliations, the aestheticians render it hairless during waxing sessions. Nail technicians add the final touch to appearances with gel manicures or layers of OPI polish.
Tova Yaron brings 40 years of international skincare training to her full-service health and wellness spas. Tova has spent her time perfecting her skills in the beauty industry before opening Tova Day Spa in early 2000. Less than a decade later, she established a second location in The Fairmont Hotel, where her team pampers clients from all walks of life?including locals, tourists, and celebrities such as Jon Lovitz, Carrie Fisher, and Jay Mohr.
From within the tranquil spa, aestheticians keep skin radiant by employing 11 types of facials along with a roster of skin enhancements?from an exfoliating peel to wrinkle-reducing LED light therapy. Antioxidant-rich ingredients such as green tea and Dead Sea mineral mud draw out toxins during body wraps, and a complimentary scalp massage squashes tension and errant thought bubbles. The staff also tends to nails and coifs, and combines many treatments for full-day spa experiences. Between sessions, guests can make use of the spa's luxurious facilities, which include men and women's locker rooms, relaxation lounge, heated whirlpools, steam rooms, and sauna.
After working at other beauty establishments, aesthetician Angelica Carr wanted to create a space where she could both pamper her guests and pay homage to her Mexican heritage. She has accomplished both of those goals at La Choza Day Spa. As she told KRON 4 in 2009, La Choza?which translates to "the little hut"?is meant to recreate the ambience of a cozy, south-of-the-border village. In the reception area, red Spanish-tile accents and paintings of cacti and beachside scenes promote an atmosphere of rustic tranquility.
Besides offering facials, massages, nail services, and body treatments individually, Carr and her team bundle them into spa packages; for example, the romance package for two includes spa pedicures and candlelit side-by-side massages on rose-petal-dappled treatment beds. And there are treatments for all ages here?together with her daughter, Carr designed a menu of teen services specifically designed to combat issues such as stress or acne caused by thinking about algebra too much.
A community-concept salon, Lipstick & Bullets Beauty Bar is home to a network of salon professionals who perform high-end cut-and-color services. These stylists specialize in the latest color-and-texturizing trends, but they're also well versed in classic 1950s-pinup and bohemian-inspired styles. In addition, they provide a specialty line of hair extensions, "X-tensions," which lengthen hair more effectively than that time you spiked your mousse with Miracle-Gro.
Following appointments at Lipstick & Bullets Beauty Bar, customers can stroll around the corner to Sherman Cellars, the official tasting room of Creekview Vineyards. There, they'll find gourmet pairings of wine and chocolate. The tasting room's specialists guide guests through each pairing, explaining the complementary flavors of the treats.
The aestheticians at Suzie Skin Care pamper clients with a comprehensive slate of image-enhancing procedures. Visitors relax as specialists polish exteriors during services ranging from facials to mani-pedis at the boutique's nail bar, where feet soak in maroon baths while backs decompress against plush pillows stuffed with Big Bird's feathers. For gallants, therapists tend to masculine mugs by tailoring select treatments for men. To further fortify healthy appearances, the studio's shelves present an array of products for skin, hair, and body.