Like Hawaii, relaxation can be a challenging state to reach. Ensnare elusive serenity with today’s Groupon: for $50, you get a 60-minute custom oil massage at The Raven Spa in Santa Monica (a $100 value).
Many of Raven's skilled staff of licensed massage therapists honed their remedial mitts in the Far East, studying the 2,500-year-old art of Thai massage in its native land. During each 60-minute session, an expert hand healer subjects stiff joints to an ancient blend of metrical kneads and tender twists that honors its roots in primeval yoga and meditation and flaunts its influence on the modern rollycoaster. Tactical strokes, acupressure, and deep stretching are all employed to simultaneously relax and rejuvenate patrons and instill a harmonious wholeness to disorderly thought chambers and sagging psyches. The soul-soothing treatment coalesces beautifully with The Raven Spa's zen-like environs, which are fragrant with molecule-sized zephyrs of ocean air from the nearby seashore.
The Raven Spa
Guests arriving to The Raven Spa may find themselves feeling like they've traveled a thousand miles away from their everyday cares. The aesthetic is both spiritual and indulgent, with stone statues that stand sentinel beside a plush purple couch and lush, sun-drenched drapes and glistening chandeliers holding court over an eastern-inspired communal massage chamber. A colorful patio overflowing with exotic flowers welcomes visitors to sit and soak in sunlight streaming between red and white umbrellas, creating a peaceful oasis for quiet reading or self-reflection. "Whoever comes here feels like it's their own," a front desk manager told LX TV's 1st Look, "Our whole goal is to take you away from whatever's out there."
The spa's international decor also mirrors its diverse menu of services, which includes acupuncture, facials, and hammam––a traditional Turkish soak that corrals plant extracts and herbs to nourish and detoxify the body. Therapists work out imbedded muscle kinks through seven varieties of massage including traditional Thai massage, which combines rhythmic kneads with yoga-like stretches and Hawaiian lomi lomi massage, which often sees practitioners using their elbows to nudge tension until it gets the hint and leaves.