According to surveys, Americans' number-one bucket-list item remains: "skydive from an exploding space station into the Serengeti and let a lion massage lotions into my face with its paws." Today's Groupon is as close to the experience as you can get without leaving Philly. For $60, you get a therapeutic massage ($62) and express facial ($45) at Spa Bavu (a $107 total value), an African-themed retreat in Old City. Spa Bavu is an intriguingly different sort of spa that's been mentioned for its tantalizing treatments in Essence's "Day Spa City Guide."
An express facial prefaced with a 30-minute therapeutic massage is an even more relaxing way to bliss out than a cheese-sandwich eatathon or local park-bench interlude. Spa Bavu's therapeutic massage is similar to a deep-tissue massage and uses pressure and slow strokes to release the tension from muscles. During your 30 minutes of ministration, one of Spa Bavu's therapists will target your back's specific bugaboos and melt muscular tension like a dropped scoop of ice cream in the Sahara. Spa Bavu's express facial will finish things off with a quick skin boost that cleanses and clarifies your complexion. You'll be back from Africa before your lunch break is over.
The warm, welcoming atmosphere at Spa Bavu has a tribal African motif that's inspired by the mother continent's beauty and strength. You'll leave the serene retreat feeling as pure and peaceful as a lake full of sleeping fish atop a meditating mountain. Call ahead for an appointment, or roar it from Pride Rock.
- Bavu —a Swahili expression meaning "inner strength and power"—is also the mission of this sister-owned establishment. – Essence
- The only thing i regret about going here is I got a 1/2 hour massage, instead of a an [sic] hour! haha Very relaxing & VERY personal... its a SMALL spa, so if youre looking for Big & Busy, this is not the place for you. It small & quaint..but the service is extraordinary! – Hellllllo, Yahoo! Local
- The spa is small and quaint, the atmosphere is very relaxing and if you want to be pampered this is the place to go. The prices are reasonable for the quality of service provided. They will not disappoint. – aprilsunrising, CityVoter
The owners of Spa Bavu take their business' name from a Swahili word meaning "inner strength and power". This idea permeates the atmosphere of their small, private spa, where African décor mingles with internationally inspired treatments. Therapists combat aches with six massage modalities, using the long, gliding strokes of the Swedish technique or the heated basalt rocks that ply muscles during hot-stone massages. To exfoliate skin and melt tension, they perform body treatments— aromatic steam baths, Israeli mineral mud and warm French seaweed wraps, and chocolate-infused scrubs. They also help clients ease off stuck Halloween masks with six facials using lavender and green tea blends and oil-balancing formulas.
Center City East
124 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106Get Directions