During the summer of 1970, Moscow State University math student Mikhail Brodsky traveled to the Konda River in Western Siberia to log trees. While there, he visited his first banya—a public Russian bathhouse—and tried Siberian steam bathing. He became enamored of the practice, but didn't get to experience it again until visiting another Siberian town four years later. He soon started traveling throughout the world to study all the baths and hot springs he could find, earning the nickname Archimedes—for the ancient Greek mathematician—due to his habit of helping bathhouse staff members solve problems.
After moving to California, Mikhail decided to open his own bathhouse. Though design and construction took 12 years, he and a group of international friends finally opened Archimedes Banya, a coed public bathhouse that blends the aesthetics and traditions of Greek, Turkish, German, and Russian bathhouses with modern amenities. Spa staffers usher guests into steamy hardwood saunas and cold swimming pools on four themed floors, each decked out in warm cream-colored tiles or cool blue and silver accents. Deck chairs populate the rooftop patio, where visitors take in views of the bay and excise any remaining stress by screaming at boats. In private spa rooms, therapists knead guests' muscles during Russian platza massages and soak them in natural herb and mineral baths. The bathhouse and its restaurant stay open as late as midnight on weekends.
Certified therapists Hernan Goldstein and Siannan Gall named their joint practice Dryad after the mythological spirits of oak trees, which are also symbols of healing and longevity in many cultures. Hernan graduated from the National Holistic Institute, where he studied Swedish, deep-tissue, sports, and shiatsu massage. He also pursued advanced training in pregnancy and prenatal bodywork and myofascial therapy. Before joining forces with Siannan, he worked in spas and with chiropractors and cared for his own clients. In keeping with his American Massage Therapy Association membership, Hernan aims to foster both physical healing and self-awareness.
Raised by a family of dancers, massage therapists, and medical professionals, Siannan was primed early on for a healing career path. She graduated from the Institute of Conscious BodyWork, where she studied deep-tissue, sports, and prenatal massage and myofascial release. Despite being finished with school, she continues to study the human body through anatomy and physiology courses while adding new massage techniques to her repertoire. Siannan also never relinquished her love of dancing, which she fuels by performing, competing, and doing jigs on street corners whenever someone says the word "pancake."
The scents of eucalyptus, lavender, and sandalwood that linger in the air at The I Spa can be traced back to an essential-oil blending bar, where clients can customize their own relaxing fragrances. These fragrances eventually make their way into massages that cater to individual aches and pains with techniques drawn from 10 distinct modalities.
“Customization” seems to be the principle that unites and guides every treatment that takes place at The I Spa. This is evident not only in the massages, but in the skin analysis that precedes each facial, allowing the spa’s aestheticians to craft unique blends of products from Jan Marini and Eve Taylor.
Regardless of the treatment, it’s not difficult to relax amidst the spa’s tile walls, gauzy curtains, and tropical flowers. Each treatment room is equipped with a vacant iPod dock that allows clients to play their own self-recorded impersonations of Phil Collins cooing like a pigeon. After treatments, clients can enjoy access to the fitness center, salt-water lap pool, and outdoor terrace.
Each member of Orchids Beauty Salon’s team stays abreast of the advancements and trends in their aesthetic specialties, ensuring clients receive the latest in pampering from head to toe. Stylists problem solve for each head of hair, restoring proteins and smoothing down strands with Keratin and Brazilian Brushing treatments, snipping overgrown cuts into shape, or remaking a client’s image with a fresh new style. The salon’s arsenal of aestheticians include Brazilian bikini specialists, who wage an all-out war on hair, invading bikini zone follicles with a deluge of warm wax before zipping the area clean with the precision of a German train schedule in as little as 15 to 30 minutes. Clients suffering aches and pains find solace in the salon’s eclectic selection of massage modalities that range from the smooth strokes of Swedish massage to the affectionate nuzzles from pet rocks found in hot stone therapy.
From pink martini sparkle mani-pedis to signature facials, Quince Spa offers exotic treatments in an equally exotic atmosphere. This dimly lit spa exudes tranquility, offering clients a haven to plop down on a cozy massage table for a hot stone massage or let their feet soak in wooden foot baths while they sip complimentary beverages and recline in leather chairs that are partitioned off by Shoji screens. Using products from OPI, Havainas, and Essie, Nail technicians perform ginger tea bamboo sugar mani-pedis, as well as Japanese Yuzu citrus callous removal pedicures and gentlemen’s manicures. Massage therapists, meanwhile, harmonize the mind and body with massages and foot reflexology treatments. The staff also offers eyebrow tinting and facials, helping clients look younger while undoing damage caused by UV rays that whisper insults into pores as they penetrate skin.
For 25 years, Ringolevio Salon’s stylists, aestheticians, and massage therapists have been reviving appearances and recharging spirits inside a clean and modern studio space. While stylists combine their creativity and skill to craft haircuts that range from classic to cutting-edge, colorists design brilliant new hair hues using all-vegan Pureology products. Aestheticians combat blemishes, acne, and age spots with classic European facials, oxygen-therapy facials, and glycolic-acid treatments, and even offer teeth whitening to ensure newly even complexions aren't diminished by yellowed grins. As for the massage therapists, they pander to tight muscles and tense minds with a host of modalities that includes hot stone and reflexology and will gladly customize an aromatherapy treatment based on the client's favorite scents and number of noses.