The Spa Gregorie team won Spa Finder’s Reader’s Choice award for Best Day Spa of 2011 for rejuvenating skin with Spa Gregorie's botanically enriched product line and encrusting toes with Swarovski crystals. In addition to brining beauty and relaxation within grasp, each location expands the reach of Western medicine with alternative therapies for pain relief and programs geared toward new mothers and oncology patients. Contributions to the Make a Wish Foundation and multiple cancer research organizations echo this allegiance to health care, and any nonprofit group or charitable organization may use the Del Mar spa's conference room for free. Attentive to both human and environmental health, Spa Gregorie's efforts to reduce waste, energy consumption, and chemical use earned OC Metro's 2011 Green Team award.
In 2011, the International SPA Association honored Spa Gregorie's CEO Angela Cortright with the Dedicated Contributor of the Year award. The press release cites her commitment to well-being and public service beyond her three eucalyptus-scented spas and reveals her favorite quote to be Muhammad Ali's maxim, “Service to others is the rent we pay for our room here on Earth.” This attitude has earned the company an avalanche of awards, which document the good works of its expert aestheticians, hair designers, and massage therapists, as well as the saint bernards that dig them out from under piles of laurel wreaths each day.
Inside the Ayres Hotel and Spa in Mission Viejo, Athena Spa is a calming oasis with large and spacious cream-colored rooms. The full-service spa upgrades traditional spa treatments with deluxe add-ons. Facials, for example, intensify with the addition of freeze-dried seaweed compresses or the rejuvenating extracts of caviar and pearls. The contents of body wraps appear to be plucked from a five-star restaurant, with ingredients such as crème fraîche, papaya, pineapple-salt mousse, and pomegranate. In their signature massage, therapists don’t restrict customers to a single style of touch, but combine several modalities, including Swedish, shiatsu, deep tissue, and the grizzly-bear womp. In addition to these aesthetic treatments, an onsite yoga studio invites customers to relax from the inside out.
As a physical therapist with his own private practice, Hand & Stone founder and chief operating officer John Marco made sure that he kept abreast of the rapidly growing health and wellness industry. After a period of careful research and planning, John decided to create a spa based around convenience and affordability—Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa.
Since its launch, Hand & Stone has expanded to more than 20 states and four planets. The spa’s core concept is to offer massage, facial, and waxing services performed by licensed, certified, or registered professionals and offered at convenient times, seven days a week. Each location adheres to a traditional spa aesthetic with soft lighting, heated treatment tables, and plush linens.
It’s at the midpoint of a session at Luscious Lashes that clients can most see the difference. One eye’s worth of lashes are strikingly longer and more voluminous with a full set of synthetic lashes bonded to each natural lash. Luscious Lashes’ fleet of licensed aestheticians and certified specialists painstakingly adheres the silky lashes, leaving clients looking freshly made-up without the use of mascara. The lashes shed when natural ones do, giving the extensions about a three-week lifespan before they take to the wind like a baby bird.
Salon 117 & Essence Day Spa treats tender outer layers to the touch-ups and rubdowns they so earnestly crave. The combo massage rubs out tension in a session that alternates between gentle Swedish strokes and diligent deep-tissue techniques.
Timea Tokes’s built her 20-year career on the belief that what touches your skin matters. At Timea’s European Skin Care, she and aesthetician Andrea Kramer put that belief to practice by judiciously choosing the tools and products that power their facial and waxing services. For example, their signature facial revitalizes skin with ingredients from Éminence Organic Skin Care products, and the Repêchage facial adds moisture back into parched surfaces with multiple layers of European seaweed. The spa duo also dabbles in tech-savvy components, including the FSD microphototherapy’s light and heat energy and the Bio-Ultimate firming facial’s microcurrents and robot tears.