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.
If Malo Lava Massage feels like home, there’s a good reason. The charming, naturally lit space is decorated with antique furniture, floor-to-ceiling windows, plush carpeting, and assorted flowers. But the real comfort comes at the hands of the massage therapists, who dole out relaxing and therapeutic bodywork treatments. Drapes mute the sunlight inside of private massage rooms, creating a tranquil space for Swedish, deep-tissue, couples, and sports massages. Malo Lava also offers hot-stone treatments, using bodywork and heat from the stones to soothe symptoms of arthritis, back pain, or anxiety over inheriting traits from a long line of snowman ancestors.
Hawaiian-print curtains welcome clients to Suki Day Spa's shabby-chic Fourth Avenue location, where bamboo screens flank cream-colored sofas in wicker or leather and a vast painting of a red blossom reflects punches of crimson in the throw pillows and fresh blooms. The long, lean space reaches beyond the plush pedicure chairs to a hallway with private rooms, where spa treatments such as massages, facials, and spray tans gloss clients' guises more effectively than daily slatherings of vaseline and glitter.
Even after graduating from college with a dentistry degree, Dr. Pratima Gowdar was not finished with her education. She has spent her tenure as a dentist learning advanced techniques in continuing-education courses. Those skills are employed at her practice and include extractions, implants, dentures, and Invisalign straightening.
Dr. De Meyer and Dr. Gernhofer traveled from sea to sea as dentists in the U.S. Navy, both sailing home with Navy Commendation Medals for meritorious service. Since washing the salt from their hair, they've begun treating the teeth of landlubbers and the baleen of beached whales. Drs. De Meyer and Gernhofer attend continuing-education programs to keep their general, orthodontic, and surgical services up to date. In a series of testimonials spoken from sparkling mouths, patients have praised the dentists for their skill, honesty, and bedside manner.
A trip to Dr. Ricardo Hernandez's office is a little like walking into the living room of a friend—albeit a friend who happens to be a dentist with more than two decades of experience. When patients arrive, they pick up a drink from the refreshment center. When they're called into the treatment room, they lie back and tune into a ceiling-mounted plasma TV and built-in headphones. Meanwhile, the chair's massage function blocks out any lingering reminders of the preventive or cosmetic treatment to come. Those treatments tend to be over swiftly, in any event: whitening sessions take just one hour, and tools such as digital x-rays and a cavity-finding device make routine exams quicker and more accurate.
Even kids look forward to a trip to Dr. Hernandez's dental practice—he's so focused on making them feel at ease that he wrote a children's book about visiting the dentist. On the companion CD, Captain Oral and the Toothbugs sing original songs about dentistry, rather than familiar old tunes such as "The Bicuspid Is Connected to the Jawbone."