Growing up as a child in Iran, it wasn't unusual for Happy Farshid to see Turkish baths known as hammams. But when he came to America, they, like people who actually liked soccer, became significantly harder to find, according to the Orlando Sentinel. So Farshid decided to open one at his own spa, Shala Salon & Day Spa.
Shala's traditional Turkish bath surrounds guests with blue mosaic tiles imported from Italy, Moorish arches, and a domed ceiling. Guests take in their opulent surroundings while basking in the hammam's relatively gentle steam and lying down on a heated tile slab in the center of the room, where they typically receive a thorough massage and an exfoliating body treatment.
These immersive escapes are only one of the many options available to Shala's patrons. Stylists are also on-hand to design flattering new haircuts and weave honey-colored highlights into tresses. And aestheticians perform everything from waxing and basic facials using Éminence Organic Skin Care products to skin-rejuvenating photofacials and cellulite-reducing Endermologie procedures.
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 Red Light facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial but can rejuvenate and reduce fine lines. 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 detoxify the body, spray tan skin, massage muscles, and burn calories.
Planet Beach operates on a membership system where 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.
When greeting new clients, the receptionists and medical staff at Victoria Med Spa can listen to concerns, analyze needs, and talk about the weather in Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, or Greek, as well as English. These same therapists then treat injuries or bolster general well-being through custom weight-loss plans and holistic treatments backed by medical-grade equipment. Medical staffers man FDA-approved Venus Freeze radio frequency to tighten skin and reduce the volume of fatty tissue, or perform teeth-whitening treatments to leave pearlies ready to gnaw through velvet ropes. Slow sighs drift from treatment rooms in which therapists gently knead muscles during deep-tissue massages.
As part of each service, mugs of hot herbal tea warm hands and unfurl delicate floral aromas. The staff also promote mental well-being by surrounding patients with sea-foam-green walls, eclectic artwork, and candles, and by handpicking each musical note as it emerges from the spa stereo.
The Beauty Spot is not so much a spot as it is an expansive, 4,000-square-foot spa that engulfs clients in treatments for the skin and body. Founder Jenni Cornette helms a team of beauty professionals, drawing on her experience as the spa director at a five-star resort to massage tense muscles and clear skin of barnacles with medical-grade peels.
Beauty is only skin-deep, but that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing after one of The Beauty Spot’s spray tans and manicures leaves you with golden skin and glossy nails. A professional makeup application can put the finishing touches on a look or inspire a shopping spree at the in-spa boutique, which displays handbags, clothing, jewelry, and eco-friendly fashion accessories—many of which support local artists.
Amy Brock opened Fresh Med Spas with the aim of making a fresh start and taking “a new approach to the cookie-cutter med spa operations," as she said in a 2010 interview with Orange Appeal. From treating skin of all colors to giving complimentary consultations to new patients who are curious about skin-treatment options or what aestheticians look like in real life, Amy's vision is widely evident. She even tries to get away from the sterile feel of a traditional med spa by proffering decadent truffles and performing a variety of services, such as nine medical-grade facials or laser treatments to vaporize hair, tattoos, and wrinkles, in rooms with soothing candles or floral wall décor.
The staff at Eternal Youth Wellness Boutique incorporates ancient traditions into skincare services and massages to enhance health and beauty from the inside out. During an acupressure facial, for example, an aesthetician cleanses skin while targeting pressure points outlined in Chinese medicine to stimulate blood flow. Massage therapists use aromatherapy oils to enhance the gua sha stone modality, which employs age-old methods to detoxify the body and aid victory in games of rock, papyrus, and scissors. The holistically minded team also aims to correct physical and emotional imbalances with reiki energy work.