Named one of this year's top 100 salons in the country by Elle magazine, Kinetix Spa Salon submerges guests in a pool of pampering services. For 50 minutes, licensed massage therapist Michael Mikolajewski helps uproot body aches with the deep-tissue massage's firm kneading or the hot-stone massage's soothing game of spinal checkers. Surrounded by exposed-brick walls, spa technicians rub 98 percent naturally organic Comfort Zone products into skin surfaces to help bolster complexions during the Purify facial and quench parched pores during the Sacred nature facial. Afterward, relaxed guests can bask inside a steam shower, sip complimentary wine or champagne, or shout out ATM PINs in the private courtyard.
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 that 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.
In 2011, Ellen DeGeneres surprised the audience on the final day of her 12 Days of Giveaways show with a trip to New Orleans. Their stay included pampering at Serenity Spa New Orleans, voted one of the best mani-pedis by Gambit?s Best of New Orleans. Away from the daily grind of life, experts swaddle clients in a body wrap of Baltic mud collected from a 30,000-year-old lake in Eastern Europe. Heated basalt stones or pet rocks enhance any massage, facial, or pedicure, and warm wax gently removes unwanted bros hairs and lip fuzz.
The technicians at 1401 Massage Therapy knead muscle knots and ease tension with a variety of modalities. Inside the private rooms bathed in warm lighting, the therapists tailor their techniques to suit their clients, drawing on deep-tissue massage, neuromuscular therapy, sports massage, and orthopedic traditions.
The ocular aestheticians at Klutch Cosmetics enhance peepers of all colors with professional eyebrow and eyelash treatments. Over the course of 10–15 minutes, a waxing wizard gently eradicates excess fringe from brows using an organic wax fused with cocoa for long-lasting hairlessness. Newly groomed brows earn deeper distinction after a sculpting with brow definer and makeup powder. Alternatively, the skilled beauticians luxuriously elongate lashes with extensions applied to the top lids. Four-strand bundles latch onto natural eyelashes with a professional bonding agent, enduring for two to three weeks before cascading from eyelids like mascara after a Super Soaker attack.
Balance Spa at the Loews is like a social mixer for spa services: East meets West, water meets air, modern science meets time-tested treatments. And all of these convergences happen under the skilled eyes of aestheticians. In four treatment rooms they apply self-heating mud-packs to the spine and feet while aromatherapy calms the senses. The sea's bounty also becomes apparent with Phytomer products made from underwater plants that combat aging and help reduce the depth of wrinkles to keep people from filling them in with cement. The East meets West massage, meanwhile, combines muscle-soothing techniques from both hemispheres, readying the mind for a rejuvenating facial that mixes glycolic acid and proteolytic enzymes. Afterward, clients can draw on age-old hubs of well-being: the hotel's pool, fitness and wellness center, sauna, and whirlpool.