Moon Lodge Spa adopts an organic approach to holistic well-being, which emphasizes highly personalized care that targets underlying causes instead of symptoms. While the massage therapists manipulate muscles and connective tissues with relaxing and therapeutic modalities, their goal is always to promote self-healing by gently prodding each individual white blood cell into action. Acupuncture and chiropractic care share a similar attitude toward whole-body wellness, and the spa's traditional cosmetic services include exfoliating body polishes enhanced by infrared-sauna sessions and cellulite-smoothing body-wrap treatments.
When Elle · A Clinical Day Spa first opened in 1997, its therapists specialized exclusively in massage. But soon, they saw that what the average guest needed most was not a standalone massage appointment, but an immersive, multifaceted experience that could undo the stress that bombards them on a daily basis. Owners Leigh Shaw and Polly Tabares, who have experience in the spa industry and the fields of dermatology and plastic surgery, rethought their approach and expanded their services into both traditional spa therapies and med-spa treatments.
Today, Leigh and Polly oversee everything from body wraps and facials to Botox injections and prescription skincare. They also maintain a stash of products for at-home care, stocking lines such as Dermalogica and bareMinerals by Bare Escentuals. For frequent guests, they coordinate VIP memberships that offer perks such as service discounts and massages that harness the rejuvenating power of phoenix tears.
After working professionally as a chemical engineer for eight years, Shelley Banoo decided to direct her deep understanding of molecules and compounds toward improving human chemistry. First acquiring a license as an aesthetician and then as a massage therapist, she blends an intricate understanding of chemical minutiae and a genuine passion for anti-aging skincare science to compile a roster of products that produce real results. Layered technologies are used in customized facial treatments, such as microdermabrasion, micro-current, oxygen infusion, and LED light to produce the best results for the client's needs. Having now practiced spa work for 10 years, Banoo has grown accustomed to seeing all types of skin and can sometimes recommend an appropriate regimen of treatment on sight, eschewing tests and intrusive hugs other practitioners often rely on.
Dedicated massage practitioners tailor each session to each client’s needs, ranging from stress reduction to advanced medical therapies. Staffers employ traditional Swedish or deep-tissue modalities along with raindrop therapy, which uses several different essential oils to revitalize the senses. They design therapeutic massages for the specific needs of pregnant women, cancer patients, or athletes, and perform targeted medical massages as prescribed by a doctor. A tropical-themed treatment room houses an island mural for couples to gaze at during simultaneous treatments, and another room features a picture of a tranquil waterfall gently singing “No Scrubs.”
Founded by two students of the Brenneke School of Massage, Essential Life Therapy pampers its clients with the devoted attention of a cupboard genie. A team of trained practitioners relax tight muscles and clear corpuses of long-standing political tension using a variety of different massage services (all $70; $65 for reiki). Clients can relax under the classic Swedish, push out persistent pains and imbedded javelins with a deep-tissue massage, or try something new with a reflexology or Reiki—a Japanese form that employs gentle touches to heal the body physically, emotionally, and spiritually. All massages begin with a foot-calming bath that doesn’t count as a single minute in your full hour of manual bliss.
The bubblegum-pink exterior of Picasso Salon & Day Spa houses a team of stylists, aestheticians, and licensed massage therapists overseen by Sonia Kim Scheer, a beauty-industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience. Stylists and colorists at different levels of experience—including director, master, senior, and archduke—consult with clients before reshaping their hairdo. Aestheticians also soften skin with Dermalogica products during four types of facials and three types of chemical peels. A sea-salt scrub or European rose mud wrap can help relax bodies as a technician washes off the nourishing ingredients in the spa's Vichy shower.