At Morningstar Healing Center, muted lighting and soft music work in unison to create an oasis from the outside world. In a tranquil and calming atmosphere, the staffers work to relax and beautify the body with a range of services for the corpus and face. They specialize in seven types of massage, including exotic treatments such as Polynesian massage, which combines pressure from the hands, thumbs, and forearms with soothing coconut oil. They also smooth faces with microdermabrasion and facials that harness the power of vitamins and special antioxidants to help reduce wrinkles and obscure fine lines.
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Korean spa's massive 40,000-square-foot facility houses multiple floors, which each feature saunas aimed at providing visitors with relaxation and health benefits. Heated to a pore-opening 200 degrees Celsius from burning oak-tree wood, the dome-shaped hot-steam room—bulhanjeungmok in Korean—features floors made of yellow soil and salt that replicate a 500-year-old therapy designed to treat illness and pain. On the complete opposite side of the temperature spectrum, the ice sauna uses freezer-like frosted walls to cool the air around patrons sitting on log stools or standing on their hands. In between hopping from sauna to sauna, visitors may hang out in one of the lounges, get a haircut, or even grab a warm Korean meal or refreshing dessert.
Opulent chandeliers hang from the ceiling, reflecting light off the gilded mirrors that decorate Jolie Toi Salon & Spa. Clients can recline on the leopard-print sofa in the waiting area before having their hair tousled, snipped, and braided into Celtic knots by owner-stylist Charbel Mousallem. With 15 years of styling experience in London, Lebanon, and the United States, Charbel’s haircuts, conditioning treatments, and professional styling have enhanced the heads of celebrities such as Elton John as well as contestants on America’s Next Top Model. Aesthetician Sylwia Gorzkowska rounds out the spa’s beautifying services and brings 10 years of experience to the table, having worked with the renowned Elemis and AmorePacific skincare companies. Her cleansing facials and waxing services have spruced up the faces of celebrities such as Tiki Barber and have found their way onto the printed pages of Vogue and Elle.
Chains of papery, white disks surround ceiling lamps at Element Salon and Spa and scatter golden light over the mod, spacious studio. A black-and-white color scheme permeates the space, which houses a row of stand-alone styling stations that resemble the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but with more hairspray. In this space, stylists update hairdos with cuts and coloring treatments, and aestheticians and nail techs tuck into quieter corners for waxes, facials, and mani-pedis. In the waiting area, flat-screen televisions roll footage of fashion shows as iPads entertain patrons who await appointments.
The massage therapists and aesthetician at Spa Dew perform treatments that combine Eastern and Western sensibilities—all within a tranquil, nature-inspired ambiance. The 5,000-square-foot space boasts a reception area with a waterfall and groupings of plants and flowers bring the outdoors in, as does a wall decorated with variously sized tree cross sections. The water fountain in the hallway further nods to nature, and leads to a steam room and spacious relaxation rooms for women and men.
A privacy suite allows couples to share time in a sauna and get a side-by-side Korean-style scrub or a massage with heated stones. The beauty experts also use nature-based products including sea salt, Dead Sea mud, and Decleor essential oils, which are free of harsh chemicals and animal derivatives such as unicorn tears.
Facials were meant to be relaxing—something the proprietors of Beau Esthetics try to infuse into every service at their spa. It begins the moment a client walks into the clean, white space and continues through each facial treatment and waxing service. Aestheticians use fine Decléor aromatherapy skincare products to even and tone the skin during each facial, taking care to keep their client in a peaceful state all the while. But skincare is really at the center of each service. Skincare therapies come with their own customizations to suit individual skin types and the unique microneedle therapy system (MTS) offers an intense anti-aging treatment that promotes collagen production.