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, 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 stylists at City Looks Salon spangle head-threads with feathers, colored hair extensions, and shimmering tinsel. Plumage-inspired extensions lift fashion senses to stylish new heights and fulfill every hat's dream of someday becoming a nest ($20 for one; $35 for two; $45 for three). The adornments remain perched on tresses for up to six weeks, even withstanding shampoo storms and blustery blow dryers. Stylists harvest strands of tinsel in a variety of hues from orchards on supernovas before each sparkling strip is woven into follicles ($3/strand), whereas colored hair pieces change ’dos back to the lustrous blue they were before autumn ($10/piece). Not to be left out, City Looks Salon pampers the insides of heads with a grownup beverage.
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.
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.
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.
Luxury sheets and a heated massage bed help visitors sink into relaxation after stepping inside The Peppermint Room, a studio located inside Swan River Yoga. Once they've settled in, licensed massage therapist Dee Pittman kneads away stress and tension from the muscles. Meanwhile, the organic jojoba and emu oils that she uses condition the skin and emit a pleasing natural peppermint scent.
Spa Laje pampers bodies with a number of services designed to ease tension, maintain appearance, and soften signs of aging. Finger and toe helmets clean up during the 100-minute spa mani-pedi treatment as a file smoothes rough nail edges and creates round, square, or javelin-like tips, and paint splashes onto polished surfaces. Arms and legs then receive a rubdown, while hands and feet relax under the shelter of a mask. Legs also undergo a good scrubbing to remove any evidence of mud wresting before customers stop in for an astronaut-suit fitting. The 60-minute Masquerade of Radiance facial nourishes and hydrates skin, diminishing signs of aging. Fine lines and wrinkles soften under the treatment, which maintains the skin's optimum balance and restore its youthful appearance to ensure patrons easier admittance into G-rated movies.