If your aim is to truly unwind and relax, de-stress and detox (and no, not in the Lohan sense of the word), this assortment of LA-based spas will have you uttering soothing mantras and resetting your chakra in no time. But a fair word of warning: some of these places are pretty pricey, so be prepared to loosen those purse strings along with your limbs.
656 N Robertson Blvd
West Hollywood, CA
Given its rather ironic namesake (the word ‘kinara’ is Hindi for “on the edge”), this Tinseltown-based spa has earned a wide-hailed rep for being a glossy, low-key, sun-dappled den of tranquility. Helmed by renowned Yugoslavian skin care guru Olga Lorencin-Northrup, this urban oasis offers discerning patrons everything from wraps, rubs and body waxing to firm-fingered shiatsu and soothing scalp massages. Above all, it provides privacy on the shower and steam room front to those who would rather steer clear of communal saunas and whirlpools. And if you’re seeking complexion perfection, Kinara is quite well known as a “go-to” place for famous females aiming for a great glow on the facial front, including Christina Applegate and Halle Berry. Gift certificates and custom packages are readily available through the Kinara website for both singles and couples, among them the “Summer Daydream” which gives buyers three-hours of high-end bliss, including a salt scrub, Swedish massage, foot rub, facial, pedicure and manicure. If you don’t go home on a cloud after that, there’s no hope for you.
3127 Santa Monica
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Take one step inside this wonderfully out-of-place tropical paradise, and you may feel like you stepped backwards in time and onto the set of Memoirs of A Geisha, and with good reason. From its Japanese enzyme baths to its exotic floral displays to its cut-stone walks, Willow Spa is a holistic haven ideally suited to anyone who’s looking for a lush and laid-back escape from the frantic L.A. pace. Among the services offered include a variety of deep tissue massage, fresh fruit skin care, and enzyme baths. As for those of you “hard to convince” types, just go there and enjoy a complimentary citrus flower foot soak and foot massage. You may just be sold into the idea of staying longer.
Brooks Massage Therapy
7619 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
For those of you low-maintenance, non-luxury seekers looking to release a little negative energy and just loosen up the kinks, your best bet is Brooks Massage, whose back-to-basics storefront belies a humble and courteous rubdown team famous for waiting on their patrons hand and foot, in every wonderful sense of the expression. A variety of massage techniques are available (Swedish, reflexology are among them), sessions are booked by the hour or the half-hour and, thanks to the lack of high-end bells and whistles, very affordable. There’s also a lovely sauna / steam room where you can relax in the essence of eucalyptus and, oh yes, rumor has it they serve CHOCOLATE (though likely not in the steam room). The only downside is dealing with parking, which is confined to the street and hence, can be a pain in the neck. The upside: going face down on one of their comfortable tables after you pull a tight parallel job out of L.A. traffic can only be of benefit to that same neck. The massage team will also do off-site calls (home, hotel room, etc), and group rates are available.
Thibiant Beverly Hills Day Spa
449 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
As the saying on the L.A. spa scene goes: “Everybody who’s anybody knows all about Aida.” And if that isn’t enough (or you’re from out of town), all you have to do is get a gander at Aida Thibiant’s long-standing and diverse roster of loyal and lovely clientele (Ali McGraw, Hayden Panettiere among them), and you’ll soon see why this now-retired Beverly Hills legend earned her rep as “the Face Saver to the Stars.” Now run by the renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Harry Glassman, the spa itself still provides an assortment of massages, skin treatments, wraps and nail care options originally offered by Aida, and customized for anyone looking to unwind and freshen up after a rough day or week. As for those of you interested in Botox, peels, laser hair removal, or other high-tech anti-aging methods, Dr. Glassman & Co. are available for consults. An assortment of emollients and moisturizers created by Aida are also available for purchase on site or online.
7700 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Voda blends a day spa experience with old-world Russian traditions of banya, saunas and steam baths, and platza, the massage technique of tapping the skin with bundles of oak, birch and eucalyptus. You can also book everything from a caviar bodywrap to a glycolic skin peel, and all the typical massage and skin services as well.
The Huntington Spa at The Langham Huntington
1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106
East meets west at this luxury spa with its Chuan Body & Soul Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies. Revitalize with acupuncture or a massage designed to balance your unique qi (life force). Have a seashell facial or indulge in the full-service hair and nail salon.