Marengo Luxury Spa resides within The Arcade—a retail oasis formerly known as "Cleveland's crystal palace." Founded in 1890, The Arcade rises five stories high, summiting at a glass ceiling that spans the area of a football field. On the way to Marengo Luxury Spa, patrons traverse Roman marble walkways and pass gilded carvings, iron balconies, and cast-iron griffins. Upon arrival, clients consult with a spa specialist who personalizes a treatment plan that may include massage therapy or treatments for skin, hair, or nails. Throughout appointments, clients enjoy a variety of refreshments including coffee and biscotti or herbal tea and blocks of tofu. Calling itself "a perfect sanctuary in which to retreat and discover a new you," Marengo Luxury Spa exudes the palatial ambiance of The Arcade itself.
Albert Johnson leads the team of massage therapists at Turtles Massage and Wellness Studio. The team performs custom therapeutic bodywork, including circulation-inducing Swedish strokes and firm kneads that sideline muscle tension. Once sinews are loosened, guests can join high-energy dance-inspired Zumba classes, one of the downtown studio's other offerings.
At Tanya's Infinite Touch, the massage therapists call upon experience and training as they send clients on blissful breaks from mild aches and pains. Treatments such as the Swedish massage blend long strokes with gliding movements to sweep stress into the ether. In contrast, the couples massage grants friends, partners, or two-man street-paving crews the chance to relax and rejuvenate, together.
Three times a week, Just U Relax's owner and principal massage therapist paid a 90-minute visit to one of her favorite clients, an elderly Italian woman who could barely speak a word of English. One day after a visit, the woman's daughter called and asked the massage therapist if she could come back again right away, saying her mother was not doing well. She arrived and set to work massaging her client's body, much of which had collapsed inward from a previous stroke. But instead of seeing the usual results, such as the woman's hands relaxing for a short time before tightening back into a bound position, the massage therapist saw her client maintain her peaceful composure. Then, this elderly Italian woman who could speak little English, let alone speak at all due to the effects of her stroke and Alzheimer's disease, looked at her massage therapist and said with perfect clarity, "Thank you." The woman's daughter called later, saying her mother died that evening, and that she wanted to say thank you for giving her mother such comfort before she passed. It was that moment that made the massage therapist realize she knew she could help people.
Raised by a cardiologist, the future owner of Just U Relax and her brother made a pact to go to medical school together, but when she found herself disenchanted by clinical environments and desiring a more hands-on approach to patient care, she explored massage therapy. Today, she and her team of licensed massage therapists at Just U Relax assess posture, gait, and occupational stress to customize bodywork for each client. The staff sees to guests' comfort in a variety of ways, including giving visitors warm robes and plush slippers, using massage tables with triple-cotton-padded tops, and playing relaxing music as aromatherapy wafts between rooms. Therapists also offer clients snacks such as fruit smoothies and granola bars. Additionally, each therapist is required to undergo at least three hours of training each month to learn new massage techniques and stay sharp.
Michelle's Wellness & Medical/Spa is primarily a haven for massage, where soothing music plays as therapists customize preventive and rehabilitative treatments to meet clients’ specific needs, whether to relax or recover from an injury. A licensed practical nurse oversees the practice, ensuring that each session appropriately integrates conventional medical knowledge and that customers leave with after-care instructions. The wellness spa also uses infrared light to treat chronic pain, and an on-staff aesthetician beautifies faces with exfoliating microdermabrasion treatments.