Guests who come inside any of Malibu Tan?s many locations are greeted with a handshake. Though that might seem like an old-school approach to customer service, Malibu Tan?s owner encourages it as a genuine way for his staff to connect with each client and provide them with customized services. For more than 15 years, Malibu?s friendly staffers have also connected with higher-profile clients?including the Houston Dymano Girls team?by helping them choose the best of each facility?s tanning options for their skin types. With UV tanning, regardless of whether a client prefers a supine or standup system, they are bound to get a strong tan, as all UV bulbs are changed 200 hours before they hit capacity or finally crack open and release a butterfly. There are also plenty of UV-free options such as VersaSpa sunless tanning, which darkens exteriors with a hydrating DHA-based solution. Each location also offers tan-enhancing products from Designer Skin and California Tan.
At more than 30 locations in the Houston area, clients check in at marble-fronted reception desks to meet with a member of Darque Tan's International Smart Tan Network—staff trained to determine the best path to their bronzing goals. Sessions take place in private rooms that line a column-flanked hallway, where five different levels of UV beds give skin the perfect level of tanning. Mystic Tan and VersaSpa sunless-tanning systems imbue clients with a hydrating, natural-looking glow, which can be customized according to skin tone, desired shade, and spirit animal. A full-time cleaning staff keeps each center in pristine conditions by referencing a 50-point inspection system. Most locations have books, televisions, and kids’ play areas to keep children entertained while adults are bronzing.
Inside the climate-controlled Sun Angel tanning bed, a mist carries calming scents while a sensor automatically measures the tanner's UV light sensitivity to reduce the chance of sunburn. E-Z Tan provides a customizable tanning experience to the greater Houston area with four locations, furnishing each bronzing shop with four types of UV beds, which also include the Affinity 950 Ultra Power bed which helps patrons obtain the darkest results possible. E-Z Tan clients also have a sunless option in the form of the private, self-serve Mystic Tan spray-tan booth that uses automated technology to mist bodies uniformly, from contours to crevices to extra sets of knee joints.
At Fit Spa, massage therapists and aestheticians work in tandem to soothe muscle aches and clarify complexions with a full roster of day-spa services. Hot-towel-enhanced reflexology or a pore-cleansing facial revive clients more effectively than a wake-up-call from a swarm of yellow jackets.
The tanning specialists at SunKissed Tan know that beautiful skin isn't only about healthy color—it's also about softness, smoothness, and hydration. That's why they work to improve the overall health of each client's skin with advanced treatments. Their Hydration Station, for example, showers pelts with liquid vitamins, restoring moisture lost during UV tanning or week-long walks through the desert. FIT Bodywrap treatments detoxify skin and kick-start metabolisms with the power of infrared heat.
Once skin is vibrantly healthy, it's ready for summery color. Customers can deepen skin tone in German tanning beds with features such as mp3-player docks. For a UV-free tan, head to the Mystic HD booth for a spray-tanning session.
A mom-and-pop-shop transplant from New York, Pizza King infuses its East Coast pies with authentic flavors and fresh ingredients taken from 40 years of familial recipe know-how. Small 9-inch pizzas ($5) satisfy diminutive cravings, but the monstrous 30-inch pie ($30) feeds whole block parties and was once used to blanket the entirety of Manhattan as part of Rudy Giuliani’s One City, One Pizza campaign. For an additional cost ($0.50–$4), taste DJs can spin their own mixings by choosing from a plethora of pizza toppings, such as meatballs, jalapeños, and olives. Specialty pizzas come capped with a variety of meat hats, including chicken wings ($12–$15), and The Legend pie fuses pepperoni, sausage, ham, beef, and bacon with onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and black olives to produce an omnivoric lovechild ($14–$18). Customers indifferent to pies can avail themselves of the nondiscus options adorning Pizza King's menu, such as calzones ($5+), stromboli ($5+), salads ($5+), wings ($6–$7), and garlic knots ($3).