When I want luxe, I think spa.
Keep your Jimmy Choos—I’ll take a beautiful space, soothing music and an aesthetician whose only job is to make me look and feel better than I did when I walked in the door. So if you’re looking for a holiday gift for someone who deserves a lot of pampering this December, we’ve got you covered!
600 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago
Owner Tamara Wills designed a luxurious urban escape that offers traditional massage and facial options, but the unique luxury offered at this spa is Chakra Balancing. “People are very responsive to it,” Wills says. “It really does go to a different level, and organically, it’s becoming something we’re known for.” Each practitioner has her own style, but most incorporate Reiki, gentle massage and visualization. At the end of the treatment, Will says clients find the frenzy is gone and they’re in a peaceful, balanced state.
Elysian Spa & Health Club
Waldorf Astoria Chicago
11 E. Walton Ave., Chicago
According to Melissa Jansma, spa director, their Perfect Lift Facial is results driven, but the end result of glow plus lift is what makes it so pampering. The 90-minute treatment uses plant stem cells and microcurrent lift give you a gentle exfoliation and glow that makes it a perfect pamper the afternoon before a big event.
The Heartland Spa
1237 E. 1600 North Road, Gilman
The Detoxifying Herbal Duo is Salon Manager Tiffanie Caputo’s personal favorite. The 80-minute treatment starts with a detoxifying herbal exfoliation. While your body is wrapped and swathed in warm oils, your aesthetician performs your facial. “Truly from head to toe all new again,” she says.
Kohler Waters Spa
The American Club, Kohler, Wisc.
775 Burr Ridge Parkway, Burr Ridge
These water-focused spas, offer the Hammam Ritual, which is based on Turkish bath and uses copper tas bowls to slowly pour water over your shoulders, arms and back. Kohler’s Linda Machtig emphasizes that this is a warming, relaxing treatment. “It’s great for winter,” she says. The exfoliation and scalp massage complete the treatment.
The Spa at Trump
401 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago
The Signature Gemstone Spa Treatments are super luxe because the oils used are infused with rubies, sapphires, diamonds or emeralds. According to Grant Bruce, director of spa and fitness operations, the oils come from Dubai and are unique to Trump. If the oils aren’t pampering enough, the 90-minute massage is long enough to relax and recharge.
Stone Drift Spa at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
444 Eagle Ridge Lane, Galena
Patricia Lee, who manages the spa, recommends the Bamboo Thai Massage. Instead of using oils, the massage uses warmed bamboo tools to ease muscle tension and knots. “It’s luxurious, but also therapeutic,” says Lee, especially if you’re stressed and overscheduled.
Sundara Inn & Spa
920 Canyon Rd., Wisconsin Dells, WI
If autumn winds dry your skin, consider the pampering of the Shea Body Butter Indulgence, recommended by Sundara’s Carla Minsky. The 90-minute treatment includes a salt rub exfoliation, shea butter body wrap with a head, neck and hand massage, then a full-body massage to work in the shea butter.
To fully pamper yourself with one of these treatments, give yourself the luxury of a little extra time. Each one includes the use of the spa’s facilities—wonderful baths, saunas and relaxation areas—so don’t rush in; rush out. Instead, relax and steal away a few hours for yourself.