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.
Inside a private treatment room, licensed massage therapist Alexandria consults with clients before administering her signature Swedish, deep-tissue, or Hawaiian lomilomi massages. They talk about the clients' specific issues, from chronic pain to tense muscles. Based on that information, Alexandria customizes a massage that integrates elements from any of these modalities—even specialized techniques, such as craniosacral balancing and prenatal massage.
At Matrix Spa & Massage, a relaxing escape doesn't have to end once you leave the massage table. Helmed by Julieta Hernandez, a former reporter who moved to the United States to learn English but soon discovered her calling for massage therapy, she founded Matrix Spa & Massage in 2001, and has since received many accolades, including from the staff of Salt Lake City Weekly for "Best Magic Fingers" as well as from the government of Salt Lake City for sustainable environmental practices. When clients step inside the walls, the spa is immediately set apart from others by its meditation cave. Here, technicolor sconces illuminate plush recliners within the soothing space. Sessions in the meditation cave can be booked with or without any other service, ensuring anyone can stop by to find a quiet space to read or shout "Echo!"
Though the meditation cave sets the spa apart, the massages have won its loyal client base, who range from professional athletes to federal judges. Available massages include classic Swedish and deep-tissue sessions along with more specialized modalities, such as the expertise massage—a mix of 10 different techniques, including acupressure and Thai massage—and the four-hands massage. And, in addition to its signature muscle-soothing services, the spa also offers a private steam room, facials, and body scrubs.
Heavenly Hands Massage & Spa’s strong-thumbed therapists dissipate their clients' tension with the same massage techniques they have used to unwind professional athletes from the Utah Grizzlies, Blaze, and Bees. With this veteran experience, the staff focuses on alleviating chronic pain or injury-related discomfort through therapeutic methods that range from the standard modalities of Swedish and deep-tissue massage to the Eastern practices of Thai massage and ashiatsu. Ashiatsu—a centuries-old method born out of discomfort from pillows not being invented—evicts deep-seated tension by having massage therapists steady themselves on a bar anchored to the ceiling and apply pressure with targeted footsteps. To iron out energy kinks, a team of yoga instructors orchestrates classes that stretch and strengthen muscles while centering the mind. Hairstylists and aestheticians round out the bodily bolstering with expert styling and nine varieties of facial.
Located in a historic building in downtown Escondido with two floors and 11,000 square feet of space where romanesque white columns and archways, Renaissance paintings, and a sparkling chandelier invoke the parlor of an Italian palace. Relaxing music puts guests at ease as they sit in antique-style armchairs, awaiting custom facials, body treatments, and salon services performed with herbal and botanical products. Duos can de-stress together in the couples massage room, and a garden room allows humans to get the sun they need for their stalks to grow.
During each of Divine Massage’s therapies, heated tables set the stage for relaxation while licensed therapists shoo away stress using hot towels and coconut oil. Swedish massages employ long, gliding strokes to comfortably kick-start blood flow and dispel tension for an experience as relaxing as a slow-motion hug. Stress sluggers delve below surface-level muscles during deep-tissue massages to uproot embedded knots. Deep-tissue massages often incorporate the muscle-lengthening motions of sports massage as well, stimulating recovery from athletic injuries. With a one-hour couples massage, pairs of friends, partners, and sports-team mascots sip cider before lying side by side while therapists promote relaxation with Swedish massage techniques. Clients can upgrade any massage to include hot stone, reflexology therapies, or four-hand massage, in which two therapists work simultaneously, for an additional cost.