When Giovanni and Diana Manzano founded Solé Spa Wellness Center in 2007, they chose to focus on services that rejuvenated their clients physically as well as emotionally. They also chose to honor Giovanni's mother—Solé Manzano, a victim of breast cancer—by gracing the spa with her name. The haven of relaxation they've built blends contemporary touches with Asian-themed décor. Instead of relying on a throng of fireflies, the studio creates a warm atmosphere by filling rooms with earthy tones and the calming glow emanating from hanging lights.
Although waxing is their specialty, the aestheticians' body treatments—including a full-body sugar glow with imported sugar cane, tropical nut oils, and fruit enzymes—also helped to earn the spa a place on Jacksonville Magazine's Best of Jacksonville list in 2011, 2012, as well as best day spa of 2013 by Void Magazine. Manually applied airbrush tans imbue skin with a rich, sun-kissed hue that can last as long as seven days, much like a citywide game of hide-and-seek. Facials similarly make skin glow by slathering cheekbones with vitamin-rich salves or seaweed masks. During massages, therapists can employ a number of modalities, customizing every treatment to address clients' needs with a combination of Swedish, deep tissue, or reflexology techniques.
Crystal Fulco spent six years in the U.S. Navy as an electronics technician before she decided to start over in a career that fit with her passion for human connection. Although she only intended to work her way through college as a massage therapist, she found herself drawn to the practice and decided to commit to it fully. With only three months of professional experience, she founded her own practice, a place where she could focus on using deep-tissue, neuromuscular, and myokinesthetic techniques to treat subdermal aches and pains without surgery, medications, or costly seismograph examinations.
Now joined by two more massage therapists and a cosmetologist, The Massage Shoppe continues to treat stressed muscles and minds while boosting patrons’ confidence with its spa and gym services. The spa’s facials exfoliate countenances and imbue them with a healthy glow using organic skincare products. In the gym, Crystal’s personal-training sessions teach women how to sculpt their bodies with invigorating and empowering exercise regimens, sending them on their way to total wellness.
A lobby decked out with leather chairs, stained wood, tiles, and flowers greets visitors to Massage Bliss & Day Spa, preparing them for a spa visit that melts away the stress and responsibilities of the modern workday. Soft, low lights and gauzy curtains hang over heated massage beds, and two candlelit couples-massage suites surround pairs in a sensual glow during romantic anniversaries or ill-advised first dates. Deep-cleaning facials flush out clogged pores and stimulate blood flow with natural ingredients, such as apple pulp and flaxseed, and aromatic salts and coconut oils soothe digits during spa mani-pedis. The day spa's arsenal of sophisticated technologies beautifies and rejuvenates bodies, with its infrared sauna detoxifying and purifying skin and its TriActive laser smoothing out dimpling and cellulite.
Stylist Alena and skincare expert Natalia apply their international training to performing skin and hair services that use professional salon and spa products. Men stroll into the beach-themed salon for a customized haircut from Alena, who trims locks according to individual face shapes and the whispered longings of the clients’ top hats. Redken product accompanies the haircut and scalp massage, the gentle pressure of which eases clients into full-body relaxation. During the signature European facial, Natalia concocts a customized blend of essential oils and skin creams by Image, Beautiful Image, or Dermalogica to cleanse and exfoliate. An individualized facial mask follows, and Natalia massages the face, neck, shoulders, and arms to keep the upper body from going limp in protest in the middle of a trapeze act.
At La Bella Mi, an attentive team of licensed aestheticians invites patrons to strip away unwanted hair and blemishes in a soothing atmosphere. Treat a world-weary complexion to a one-hour European facial, and a savvy skinspert will customize a relaxing, cleansing, and conditioning service to meet each customer's unique skin type ($70). Or combat premature aging with the Repechage Signature Four-Layer facial, a 75-minute firming mask that swaddles the skin in a multilayered seaweed cocoon, hydrating and nourishing until it emerges looking as young and fresh as the most photo-worthy sushi ($90). For fans of oxymoronic beauty, a back facial flips façades over to treat acne, dark spots, and uneven skin tone on the back before relaxing the newly cleansed corpus with a luxurious hot-stone massage and purifying mask ($55).
Upon entering this luxurious but unstuffy salon, clients may be struck by any number of elements—the framed pictures of classic movie stars that line the shampoo-room wall; the modern light fixtures; the oversize vases brimming with plants; the sleek, art-deco couches and chairs. But what really sets Sutra Salon apart from its competitors is its staff. The 10 beauty experts pride themselves on their teamwork and their dedication to staying on top of trends through education, whether they are permeating strands with all-over color or performing a makeup application on volleyballs serving as companions. Equally dedicated to quality, they wield handpicked products by renowned lines including Moroccanoil, Bumble and bumble, and Aveda when lovingly styling tresses.