Close your eyes. Picture a country cottage surrounded by rose gardens. Now walk in and lie down. A team of massage therapists stands at the ready to apply warm towels to your sore muscles. Just as the first whiff of lavender and peppermint reaches your nose, you feel their practiced hands press down on your knotted muscles and overworked joints. Or maybe you feel warm and soft as a layer of gentle exfoliants, botanical body butters, and moist towels wrap your body to soothe and nourish your skin. After what feels like hours, you slowly rise from the table, muscles loose and skin soft. Before you can say thank you, you're handed a free bottle of spring water to wash down a selection of sweet chocolates. The scent of aromatherapy oils fades away as you leave the spa haven, and the smell of fresh roses ushers you outside. The country opens up in front of you. Now open your eyes.
It's not a dream. The quaint country cottage surrounded by rose gardens, the gentle massage therapists, the free chocolates—it's all very real at Blue Monarch Massage, where bodies benefit from the mother and daughter team’s years of collective experience delivering pain-relief and relaxation. The duo’s attention to detail turns simple spa services into full-blown, luxurious experiences with amenities such as free chocolates, hot-towel applications, and aromatherapy oils.
Since graduating from the Milan Institute as her class’s salutatorian, Andrea Fouts, owner of Skin Essentials, has never stopped learning new, noninvasive ways to care for the body's largest organ. Adding to the aesthetician's repertoire of standard facials and waxing are technologically advanced answers to fine lines and acne scarring, such as microcurrent face-lifts, LED light therapy, and oxygen-infusion treatments. She and the technicians on her staff also spritz bodies with 100% natural tanning solutions to create bronzed looks for weddings, proms, and spelling bees.
The dedicated massage therapists at 8 Spa Massage knead stressed sinews with traditional Chinese massage strokes and nutrient-rich organic lotions. Ease into a 60- or 90-minute session that undulates between light pressure and deep-tissue kneadings through the use of chi-gong. This ancient Chinese approach focuses on energy, helping the body heal from illness and long naps inside the washing machine. Torso tamers use acupressure points, rubbing, and muscle tapping to relax the body and assist in restoring its natural balance. The treatment's unscented organic lotion soothes the skin and senses with hypoallergenic goodness in the form of jojoba, shea butter, sesame oils, sunflower, and chamomile.
A fountain bubbles in front of The Spa at Cibolo Canyon, an 11,000-square-foot, neoclassical temple dedicated to the pursuit of beauty and health. Corinthian columns decorate the arched entryway to a monumental marble lobby, whose pedimented passageways wind off into exercise facilities enlivened by HD cable channels and 12 private treatment rooms fitted with memory-foam beds. An outdoor, competition-size pool sparkles in the early-morning cool, while clouds of vapor billow from the whirlpool and the congested dragon in the steam room.
Upon arrival, the staff replaces street clothes with robes that envelop skin in softness. Products from the FarmHouse Fresh skincare line nourish complexions with natural extracts of strawberries, honey, and agave nectar.
Paradise Cosmetic Medspa owner Katrina McDaniel has opened more than 200 med spas across the U.S. during her impressive career. She has cultivated an eye for safe, effective high-tech skin and body treatments. At the clinic, licensed laser technicians consult with patients and prepare them for each minimally invasive procedure, which can range from banishing old tattoos to removing nail fungus with laser therapy. Noninvasive Zerona and Lapex treatments employ advanced laser technology to spot reduce fat deposits and set up a laser-tripwire perimeter to prevent the fat from sneaking back in.