There are countless spas in the Los Angeles area that offer a variety of ways to de-stress, rejuvenate and relax. Some can be pretty pricey, but you do not have to loosen your purse strings to loosen your limbs.
In L.A., all the luxury hotels have elaborate spas, some highly touted on travel sites and some that locals frequent too. There are the celebrity haunts specializing in skin treatments (and botox). There are classic day spas with specialty treatments to provide pampering and a temporary retreat from life. There are ethnic options, such as Korean day spas and Thai massage places. And, there are the low-cost foot massage places that have sprung up around the area (and massage more than feet). There is truly something for every budget and need.
In the interest of narrowing it down, there are five particular choices I recommend checking out. To start with, here are three luxury day spas that cater to celebrities, but treat everyone else like one too:
Kinara Spa, 656 N Robertson Blvd.,West Hollywood (310) 657-9188
Kinara is Hindi for “on the edge,” but I personally translate it to taking the edge off. Opened since 2002, this urban oasis offers wraps, sugar or salt scrubs, rubs and body waxing. Kinara is a “go-to” place on the facial front for famous females, including reportedly Christina Applegate and Halle Berry.
Le Petite Retreat Day Spa, 331 N. Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles (323) 466-1028
This day spas have received a mot of fashion media attention with write ups in Elle, Cosmopolitan, Vogue and Lucky. So someone might expect a large oasis in the heart of the metropolis. Instead, the name says it all. Le Petite Retreat is a tiny, quiet place that allows a getaway from corporate craziness or paparazzi bulbs. Some write up say clients include Angelina Jolie, Will Ferrell, Gwen Stefani and Johnny Depp. That doesn’t appeal to me; what does appeal is a Jade-Stone massage both warm and cool stones or cleansing salt and herb wraps.
Thibiant Beverly Hills Day Spa, 449 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills (310) 278-7565
Aida Thibiant’s spa has been a fixture in Beverly Hills for decades with a long-standing roster of clientele that span the years (such as Ali McGraw and Hayden Panettiere). However, Aida herself retired after more than 30 years. They still offer her classic treatments. The spa is now run by well-known plastic surgeon Dr. Harry Glassman and offers Botox, peels, and other high-tech anti-aging methods. (Note: I haven’t been to Thibiant since it changed owners).
Those spas are popular but here are the two I primarily frequent for great service and an escape for how ever long my treatment is:
Phoenix Foot Spa, 17336 Ventura Blvd, Encino (818) 788-3777
Phoenix Foot Spa specializes in Chinese reflexology, a type of foot massages that targets all parts of the body. One-hour “foot” massages start at $20. Prices for other massages, such as full body, vary depending on length of time. At first, you may be taken aback by the lack of luxury (this isn’t your luxurious hotel spa). Inside the dark and quiet interior are several huge, cushy reclining leather chairs all facing the front. With feet soaking in a warm tub, they usually start with a scalp and neck massage, then focus on arms and hands before moving to legs and feet. The treatment ends with you on your belly and a back massage. (Note: you do not get undressed here. So wear light clothing they can work through, such as a T-shirt and yoga pants.) Not bad for $20 plus tip!
Burke Williams Spa , 8 California locations, (866) 239-6635
This is now my go-to place for body wraps and facials. They have some great signature treatments like my favorite during cold and flu season, Emily’s Intrique, where they wrap your body in fresh eucalyptus leaves and steaming towels. The eucalyptus helps boost your immune system. While secured in this cocoon, your face and scalp are gently massaged. I’m partial to the Sherman Oaks site for convenience and its casual feel, but go to Pasadena if I’m making a day of shopping, dining and getting pampered with a friend.
Okay, enough writing now. I want to go make an appointment!