Downtown Banya looks and feels like an old-world bathhouse, but it's blessed with some distinctly new-world amenities, including a bistro that serves dumplings and beer and spa services such as massages and facials. The main draw is a sauna composed of two rooms—Russian and dry. A third-generation Russian stove maker crafted the Russian sauna, which has a low-humidity environment that allows temperatures to soar higher than they could in other types of saunas. The wet sauna, meanwhile, dangles the prospect of aromatherapy—clients may buy herbs in the lobby and waft them throughout the room so that no one will question why their hair smells like chicken fingers. After they’re done loafing around the sauna rooms, clients can dip into cold pools that help the skin maintain elasticity. Or instead, they can sink into a warm jacuzzi equipped with a flat-screen plasma TV overhead.
Owners Eric and Cristina Richerson care deeply for their salon and it shows in the hospitality. Their upscale barbershop Jonn Laurenz Fine Cuts specializes in precise men's scissor cuts tailored to the needs of the individual. Clients may also solicit the shop for a facial-hair trim or uber-close lineup with a classic straight razor.
At Antonio Melani Salon & Spa, there’s more to a haircut than trimming off split ends. Before each treatment, stylists fire off questions to garner information about their clients' visions for their hair, their lifestyles, and their daily routines. They then analyze their face shapes, hair types, and skin tones so they can design a look that accents their features, in addition to their personalities. And after all that, they still don’t start cutting until they treat scalps to a sudsy shampoo and purge stress from the shoulders and neck with a soothing massage. From there, their creativity and hair-cutting talent shines, as they take into account everything gathered from the consultation to create a chic, yet practical style. After ribboning locks with foil highlights or glosses, they style strands with Aveda products and teach clients how to re-create the looks at home or in a telephone booth during a superhero mission.
Though hair is clearly the bread and butter of Antonio Melani, the beauty team also caters to the skin and body with several treatments, including a gentleman’s facial featuring licorice root and hot-stone massages. The aestheticians also smooth skin with sugaring—a gentler and tastier alternative to traditional wax.
Eclectik Salon isn't a massage-therapy studio, but the staff takes particular pride in its scalp massages. In that vein, staff members start visits by washing hair with a soothing lather, then perform one of the salon’s signature hair services, which include haircuts, foil highlights, perms, updos, and extensions. Because Eclectik is a Paul Mitchell Focus Salon, hairdressers tame and style hair with exclusively Paul Mitchell products. They also participate in continuing education in ultramodern hairstyling techniques, which explains why Eclectik is the only Seattle-area salon that can properly style stainless-steel robot hair.