The vitality virtuosos at MedAesthetics Spa & Wellness treat clients to a sundry menu of spa services performed in a 3,000-square-foot facility. A botanical peel ($110) exfoliates faces with a heady blend of glycolic and lactic acids, which helps alleviate uneven pigmentation and diminishes fine lines attributable to stress or years of sleeping on pleated pillowcases. Kinked muscles flee the scene during one of five massage services ($45–$140), and aestheticians sculpt svelte figures with 50-minute detoxifying body wraps ($85), which shape contours and inspire pottery-making hobbies using a trio of drawing clays and Klamath blue-green algae. Clients can supplement each spa session with a 20-minute soak in a hydrotherapy tub seeped in calming, balancing, or energizing bath powders and oils ($35). Warm colors dominate the spa, where the gentle gurgle of a waterfall whispers in a tone that’s softer than a lamb swaddled in an even softer lamb's wool. Complimentary robes and steam-room access further enhance the day's relaxing treatments.
Both soundproof and lightproof, the fiberglass capsules at Float Spa San Diego simulate a world without gravity, and more importantly, a world without distractions. Eight hundred pounds of Epsom salts intermixed with warm water?heated between 94 and 95 degrees?fill the tanks. As a result, clients lose all sense of external stimuli, ultimately leading to unmatched relaxation and a greater empathy toward rubber duckies. The water, harmonized with the skin's temperature, erases the sensation of touch, and the salt allows the body, including the head, to literally float without effort. Researchers have given this phenomenon the moniker REST, meaning Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique, as it has been shown to effectively reduce the brain's workload and enhance the mind and body's ability to relax and self-heal. A tank the size of a full room is also available for clients who feel they need more room to relax.
At Float Spa San Diego, the capsules are located inside private rooms equipped with showers for use before and after the session. Appointments kick off with 10 minutes of soothing music before all sounds and stimuli are shut off for 50 minutes of supreme silence and relaxation. With their modesty guarded by the locked rooms, clients are free to enjoy their flotation clad in a bathing suit, scuba-diving gear, or, for even less restriction, without any clothing at all.
Pearls, crystal chandeliers, and white roses grace the country-chic interior of The Sanctuary Day Spa, once a 1950s cottage. But as attention grabbing as these embellishments are, it is the lack of patronage that is more noticeable. To make each guest feel like a VIP member, owner Tracy Duhs and her team only schedule one client at a time. This approach, coupled with cups of hand-blended organic tea, has earned the private spa high praise from local and national press. DiscoveredSD.com, for example, gave high marks to the spa?s ultimate facial, which blends vacuum massage, microdermabrasion, and red-light therapy with fragrant skincare products. Numerous publications have raved about the spa's Synergie vacuum-massage treatment, which can reduce cellulite as it detoxifies the body.
The spa space is also packed with high-end products, from herbal-infused Jadience creams, used during customized massages, to Jane Iredale mineral cosmetics, used to cover imperfections and age spots that relay one?s true birth date in Morse code. Clients are also invited to browse a collection of Arcona, Enessa, Bella Luxx, and Fenton Fallon products, which Tracy handpicks from around the world.
Led by medical director Dr. Ariel Cortes, owner and founder Gita Izadi and the rest of the medical team at Neu Look Med Spa & Skin Center help people feel youthful and confident. Izadi opened the business in 2003 with that very goal in mind, drawing upon her more than 25 years of experience as a registered nurse. She started out with clinical services?ranging from Botox to advanced laser procedures?before adding an array of relaxing spa treatments to the lineup in 2009. Now, patients can schedule a fractional CO2 laser skin-resurfacing procedure to combat signs of aging and follow it up with a fragrant pumpkin-apple-spice facial or a soothing body scrub with mineral-rich sea salt.
The waiting area welcomes guests with a soft, pale-blue sofa next to an iridescent wall flanked by twin waterfalls. Patrons nosh on complimentary refreshments as they enjoy fragrant aromatherapy, while a centerpiece of elegant, white orchids provides a tasty snack for any visiting toucans.
Instead of a bar and a jukebox, Karma Relaxation Spa has East Asian art and plush beds between gold and red walls. But, it still has that after-work panacea known as happy hour?from 6 to 7 on weekdays, guests can pay $20 for 25 minutes of a soothing service. Available treatments range from a scalp and neck massage to a paraffin treatment with a facial mask, and they even come with a champagne-based beverage.
Outside of that slice of time, the spa still sets muscles at ease with several types of massages. Therapists utilize Swedish, deep-tissue, and Thai kneading techniques in addition to acupressure work, hot oil, and hot stones. They also combine several treatments into packages named after important titles. The President, for example, includes a massage, ionic detox, fruit skin-conditioner, Vichy shower, and time in the sauna, with or without headphones that only blast the national anthem.
Many spas treat dull skin, but Zenspa has more ambitious aims in mind?it seeks to undo the effects of dull office meetings. And not just meetings, but all the sleep-depriving defects of modernity: long lines, overstuffed calendars, and any other sources of stress that leave your shoulders perpetually bunched around your ears.
It's easy to forget all that when you're inside one of Zenspa's private rooms. Harsh office candlelight is replaced with soft candlelight, plush robes stand in for stuffy workplace attire, and the din of traffic gives way to a serene quietude. The outside world fades even further away with each stroke of the massage therapist's hands. Here, more than a dozen modalities run the gamut from Thai massage to classic Swedish massage. The options often don't limit you to just one sensation, either. The Zenspa Signature Care Massage counterpoints a 30-minute foot massage with a 60-minute full-body massage. Similar serenity can be found via Zenspa's anti-aging facials, exfoliating scrubs, and herbal saunas.