Glowing with the warmth of thousands of contented sighs, the Royal Health Spa in Hacienda Heights offers a half a hundred ways to forget about your worries. Reds and golds dominate this sanctuary of serenity, which treats clients to steam rooms, saunas, and three temperature tubs. Elsewhere in the hideaway guests can kick back in the VIP lounge, or nibble treats from the fruit and snack bar.
Sister spa Sakura ups the ante with soothing massage and aromatherapy services to complement the steam sauna. Here, an assortment of thick carpets, bamboo wall fixtures, and hanging greenery completes the tropical feel. A San Gabriel Valley fixture for more than 20 years, Sakura Health Spa heals guests with uncommonly intense massages such as the Four Hands and the Lava Stone.
Guests arriving to The Raven Spa may find themselves feeling like they've traveled a thousand miles away from their everyday cares. The aesthetic is both spiritual and indulgent, with stone statues that stand sentinel beside a plush purple couch and lush, sun-drenched drapes and glistening chandeliers holding court over an eastern-inspired communal massage chamber. A colorful patio overflowing with exotic flowers welcomes visitors to sit and soak in sunlight streaming between red and white umbrellas, creating a peaceful oasis for quiet reading or self-reflection. "Whoever comes here feels like it's their own," a front desk manager told LX TV's 1st Look, "Our whole goal is to take you away from whatever's out there."
The spa's international decor also mirrors its diverse menu of services, which includes acupuncture, facials, and hammam––a traditional Turkish soak that corrals plant extracts and herbs to nourish and detoxify the body. Therapists work out imbedded muscle kinks through seven varieties of massage including traditional Thai massage, which combines rhythmic kneads with yoga-like stretches and Hawaiian lomi lomi massage, which often sees practitioners using their elbows to nudge tension until it gets the hint and leaves.
A giant Buddha head greets every visitor to Sparadise La Brea, his wise eyes illuminated by flickering candlelight as a fountain babbles and simple greenery grows silently around him. This tranquil scene sets the mood for the entire spa, whose mission—much like the Buddha's—is to encourage visitors to reach a Zen-like state free from stress and physical pain.
The staff members work towards this goal with a slate of massage modalities and other relaxing treatments. Gentle Swedish strokes soothe surface tension with the help of warm almond, lemongrass, or eucalyptus massage oils, Thai yoga uses stretches, compressions, and gentle rocking to improve circulation and flexibility while also targeting acupressure points, and water-heated stones allow warmth to radiate and loosen taut muscles. With an emphasis on total-body relaxation, the Thai herbal foot spa includes a fragrant soak of herbs, oils, and teas that leaves the feet and legs as tension-free as a suspension bridge on the Moon.
At Wat Po Thai Spa, a 2010 nominee for Best Day Spa by Best of LA, technicians bolster well-being with services that range from traditional Thai massage to skincare. The house-specialty Thai Combo fuses Thai massage, Swedish massage, and reflexology into an international amalgamation of relaxation similar to naptime at the UN. Thai massage harnesses compression, stretching, and rocking techniques to improve circulation of vital energy along the body's pathways, and Swedish massage encompasses gentle strokes such as gliding, kneading, and stretching to increase oxygen flow in the blood and forge full-body tension relief. Patrons walk away from massage sessions with relieved stress, allayed aches, increased internal alignment, and enough flexibility to fold bodies into an empty Pringles can at the first sign of danger.
The massage therapists at Chiang Mai Health Spa knead away stress and pain with a service menu culled from the best techniques of the East and West. Like their teachers before them, the therapists specialize in Thai massage, a modality that combines vigorous massage strokes with guided stretching, and may be upgraded to incorporate warm packets of soothing Thai herbs. Traditional Western techniques include Swedish and deep-tissue massage—which help stimulate lymph flow for greater detoxification—as well as pregnancy massage, which helps ease the tension felt by expectant mothers or over-loaded storks. The spa stays open late seven days a week to accommodate busy schedules.
Stress can manifest physically as well as mentally. At Heavena Spa, the therapists dedicate themselves to alleviating the aches, pains, and anxiety that stress can cause by performing massages that provide a serene break from the hectic pace of everyday life. Gentle lighting and calming earth tones surround clients as they relax in private treatment rooms while a therapist pinpoints the sources of withheld tension. From there, the therapist can soothe knotted muscles using gliding Swedish strokes, focused deep-tissue pressure, gentle Thai stretching, or a combination of modalities.