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 SF, 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 is open until midnight while the bar and dining area stays open as late as 11:30 pm.
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.
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.
At Zazen, students relax their bodies and focus their minds during sessions of Zen Buddhist seated meditation, the soothing practice for which the center is named. But both Zazen locations work to cultivate calm with other services as well. Sensory-deprivation tanks block out distracting external stimuli as guests float in 10 inches of warm saltwater, a practice many say helps them grow their awareness of the present moment. Massage sessions focus on freeing the body from tension, so it can be experienced as spaciousness rather than constraint. Yoga classes also help guests become mindful, filling hearts and limbs with enough calm energy to quiet a bawling infant with a single, whispered "shhh."