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 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.
Seven days a week, Tahiti Tans keeps spa-goers looking svelte and sun-kissed at locations in Cypress and Katy. A diverse mélange of tanning beds target fair epidermises with varying degrees of intensity, and airbrush tanning uses technician-applied mist in place of UV rays. Beyond tanning, the staff also administer infrared body wraps that send heat waves deep into skin to smooth cellulite, help dissolve fat, and detoxify bodies after vacations to Venus.
At Image Sun Tanning Centers, certified staff members bring out patrons' darker sides with custom spray tanning and strictly maintained tanning beds. A free skin-type analysis provides tanners with information on solar-simulation dosage, recommended products that help to prevent sunburn, and strategies for avoiding subsequent awkward run-ins with Ra, the sun god. During 14-minute tanning sessions in Level 1 beds, sun-seekers can cultivate even tones. Under the strict maintenance schedule, the staff regularly changes tanning lamps and bulbs to ensure each solar-simulation chamber meets its potential. Alternatively, 10-minute Mystic Tan sessions imbue skin with an evenly bronzed shade without ultraviolet exposure or days spent bathing in a tub of melted pumpkins.
Gold's Gym began more than 45 years ago and today features an impressive array of next-generation fitness gadgets, a results-oriented focus, clean facilities, and certified personal trainers. Hop on a cardio machine, possibly including a built-in TV, pump up in a controlled manner on strength-training machines, tighten up in the abdominal and functional stretching area, or stick with lifting huge, heavy pieces of metal and commercial chest freezers. Facilities and classes vary by location; weekly classes include Zumba, BodyCombat, yoga, Pilates, group cycling, and lion punching.
The staff at The Solar Lounge takes the guesswork out of sunless tanning. They evaluate each client's skin type upon request, to help determine how he or she can attain the most natural-looking tan. UV tanning beds are available in six configurations, some with air conditioning and misting systems to keep tanners cool so they don't have to put ice cubes in their bathing suits. VersaSpa spray tanning steeps skin in long-lasting color. Finally, the hydration station seals in moisture to keep skin supple and detoxified.