Bonsai trees, bamboo gardens, and trickling streams cover the five secluded acres that make up Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, which brings a relaxing piece of Japan to Northern California. But this escape from the modern world doesn't just surround its visitors with nature?it literarily immerses them in it, thanks to the cedar enzyme bath.
Osmosis founder Michael Stusser discovered the treatment in Japan, and he made it his spa's signature service upon opening in 1985. The experience begins in the tea garden, where 25 organic plants lend their benefits to a hot herbal tea. Things then move inside, where guests dip down into wooden tubs filled with finely ground cedar, rice bran, and plant enzymes imported from Japan?which create a natural warmth through fermentation. The warmth relaxes the entire body, and proponents believe it has numerous health benefits. After they're warmed through and pleasantly dozy, guests can explore the plants and water features out in the meditation garden, or stay inside for different spa treatments, from facials to massages.
Mighty redwoods tower over the Inn at Occidental, where a European-style courtyard opens out onto gardens and, in the two blocks surrounding them, the adorable town of Occidental. Folk art covers the walls inside, where guests cozy up near the fireplace and gather in the living room each evening to sample wine and cheese. And that's just the beginning of the potential activities. The Inn sits within reach of tastings at more than 100 Sonoma wineries. Fortunately, the staff are all seasoned pros when it comes to navigating the countryside, and they can map out a tasting itinerary for virtually any palate.
Prepping for a big event usually requires multiple salon stops: one for the updo, another for the nails, and the last for a spray tan. Not so at Solar Flair, where stylists perform all these services and more. They bring about bronzy glows with a choice between 11 tanning beds or a UV-free Mystic spray-tan booth. The full-service salon also polishes exteriors with glycolic peels and waxing treatments. This one-stop beautification frees up time before big events for relaxing at home or making googly eyes at the mirror’s handsome new reflection.
Shannon?s work surface is no larger than a fingernail?literally. The nail technician clips overgrown nails and curbs cuticles as she preps nails for an eye-catching paint job. She covers nails in a variety of hues, and adds 3D art from flowers to hearts to spare keys so her clients will never get locked out again. Shannon works out of The Loft at the Boulevard.
The pro pamperers at Endless Summer Salon LLC brighten faces with a seamless fusion of Old World beauty traditions and modern techniques during a one-hour European facial. Once knowledgeable beauty gurus choose suitable supplements from a trove of top-shelf skin elixirs, pores surrender their hoarded impurities to a firm but gentle exfoliating scrub. A coddling hydrating or refining mask blankets squeaky-clean cells with protective barriers against future dehydration, textural unevenness, and complexion-defiling grease from insurgent french fries before gentle massage strokes expel delinquent tension from the face, the scalp, and the shoulders.
A visit to Elements Skin Care & Massage Studio is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the senses. In each of the spa?s spacious chambers, the stark geometry of dark wood furniture complements the flowing lines of a sheer curtain, a linen-draped massage table, or a single potted orchid. These aesthetic pleasures only serve to enhance the sensory decadence that the staff of skin specialists, massage therapists, and nail technicians grant their clients. A slate of 10 facials ?including a signature service that treats not only the face to a massage, but the feet, legs, back, and scalp as well?help stave off blemishes and fine lines with Bioelements products. In private massage rooms, therapists call on several modalities to ease tension with hot stones, firm pressure, or pregnancy-appropriate strokes, as reflexology foot treatments ease tension stemming from tight shoes or arguments between toes. Feet can also bask in the spa?s many pedicures, which go beyond standard nail-salon services to incorporate heated lava shells, warm neck wraps, and even complimentary martinis.
Leading Edge's Aveda-trained stylists shape and nourish hair during services propelled by plant-based, cruelty-free Aveda products crafted with environmentally sustainable practices. Before enriching tresses with these products, the stylists begin each service by kneading the scalp, neck, and shoulders to enliven the senses and jump-start circulation. Wielding shears, they snip split ends after treating hair with a strength-infusion formula designed to prevent breakage due to frequent combing or head banging under a ceiling fan. In addition to cuts and color treatments, staffers apply makeup and remove unwanted hair with Nufree Nudesse, a nonwax product composed of skin-softening, soy-based antimicrobrials.