Though the bright colors and mod furniture of South Beach Tanning’s numerous salons may tempt clients to kick back for hours, that’s not the staff’s goal. Instead, they strive to provide swift, hassle-free tans that get clients out the door quickly to enjoy the day. Each of the chain’s salons boasts a floor plan that is twice as large as the average tanning salon, which increases the likelihood that a bed will be free and therefore reduces annoying wait times. Guests can choose from five tiers of UV beds, whose successive levels beget increased bulb output and more amenities to imbue swifter, more comfortable tans. For a UV-free glow, customers can opt to hop in the salon’s automated VersaSpa booths, which guide jets of pigmented formula from head to toe in only 46 seconds to grant a look as summery as boat sails composed of stitched-together bikinis.
Planet Beach is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the services. These friendly automatons facilitate everything from hydro massages and oxygen therapy to spray tanning and luminous facials, as well as Planet Beach's signature take on tantastic UV therapy. Each machine is designed for a specific service, which makes it the ultimate expert and keeps it from developing the ability to cry. Advanced spa services, such as hydro-derma fusion, sauna time, hydro massage ($40 per session), and luminous facials ($40 per session) provide opportunities for sweating, moisturizing, and photoskinthesis.
At Crush Tan Spa's three locations, a very knowledgeable staff administers dozens of tanning beds and spray tan systems, including UV-free options. Their four different levels of tanning boast such features as Ergoline equipment, air conditioning, and standup tanners. On top of beds and spray-tan systems, each Crush Tan Spa location presents a variety tanning accessories including Designer Skin tanning lotions, Chynna Dolls bikinis, and a spray that protects skin from really severe TV glare.
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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 that 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.
Low lighting glints off a wall covered in glitter as toes curl on a zebra-striped rug, with feet bare from kicking off flip-flops to climb into one of Tan Lounge's tanning booths. The cocktail-lounge décor helps transforms what could be considered a chore—routine maintenance in a UV bed or a quick spray-tan session—into a glamorous self-indulgence. With the eagerness of the town gossip's town crier, staff members lavish tips on patrons that are informed by an understanding of skin chemistry. Staffers will helpfully direct those concerned about claustrophobia to airy, standup UV booths and wryly describe the collection of color-enhancing lotions in terms of "tingle factor," which tells you how intensely they stimulate blood and melanin flow in the skin. Cleaners sterilize beds and booths after each guest, and bulbs are replaced once they burn below 80% capacity to avoid weak sessions.