Washington, DC is home to scores of foreign embassies, so it’s only natural that the city’s spas feature a host of internationally inspired beauty treatments, from European facials to Thai massages. Just a short walk from the 16th Street embassies, TuSuva specializes in the latter. The spa’s soothing Thai massages incorporate stretching, muscle compressions, and acupressure to balance the body’s energy channels.
Up in the appropriately named Friendship Heights district, the staff at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa have no trouble making friends with a service menu that includes Swedish massages and swift Brazilian waxes. The Swedish-inspired Hela Spa feels right at home amidst the embassies in Georgetown, one of which actually belongs to Sweden. The spa’s multifaceted approach to beauty includes injectables and laser vein therapies along with holistic approaches such as acupuncture.
Behind a quaint brick storefront on the opposite side of the Potomac, Circe of Alexandria’s team calls forth smooth skin with naturally derived Aveda products. The spa’s signature Caribbean Therapy body treatment intrigues and relaxes the senses with its warm seaweed exfoliants and mango-and-lime body cream.
Washington’s ambassadors don’t always hail from foreign countries. Take Michael Canale of Violet Salon, the city’s resident emissary of Beverly Hills fashion. Canele spends most of his time in California, where he’s been the trusted stylist of Jennifer Aniston since her days on Friends. Once a month, he comes to this DC spa to share his styling prowess with those lucky enough to snag an appointment.
DC’s urban layout lends itself to more intimate day spas, but locals and visitors alike can also indulge their senses at some of the city’s luxurious hotels. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is home to an expansive, 10,050-square-foot space awash in a sea of blues. Cerulean water murals flow across the back wall of the whirlpool area, and turquoise waters ripple in the two-lane swimming pool. True to its name, the spa looks to Chinese doctors to formulate its Eastern-influenced therapies.
Whether locals need a break from the daily grind or a new haircut to stay current, a visit to a Washington, D.C., day spa can provide a welcome respite from the city's chaos.