Some great spots where you can relax and practice self-care in your home city
The brisk fall weather is here and there’s a crispness in the air. Now that the kids are back in school, and days spent lolling at the beach feel like a distant memory, it’s time to seek the solace of self-care in your own community. Here are a few of our favorite eco urban retreats and spas, in cities large and small.
Designed by California-based interior designer Warren Sheets (of Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego), the newly opened Fairmont Spa at Fairmont Austin is appointed with black-and-white vintage photos of Hollywood starlets, a saline soaking pool with sweeping city views, nine treatment rooms, a eucalyptus steam grotto, and a lounge area with a floor-to-ceiling photo by iconic photographer Slim Aarons.
The spa features skincare lines like Voya and Tata Harper, and experiences including the Texas Hill Country Awakening (120 minutes) inspired by the local woodsy wine region. The journey begins with a soothing foot soak and scrub on lower legs to promote circulation, followed by a scalp massage with rosewood- and cedarwood-infused scalp oil. Next, rinse off in an invigorating rainfall shower and finish with a full body massage using herbs culled from Texas Hill Country applied with mesquite wood. fairmont.com/austin
We love that this perennial favorite never rests on its laurels. This year, the mini-chain founded by former massage therapist Amy Bohn opened a lovely new location (bringing its total to five spas in the Dallas area) and redesigned its handmade Clovertree Apothecary product line to feature screen-printed bottles (further cutting down on the use of paper).
They’ve also launched treatments that fans call “life changing,” including a Lavender Blueberry Foot Ritual with soak, scrub and hot stone massage; a Farm to Spa Massage with seasonal aromatherapy oils; and a glow-inducing Sunshower Brightening Facial packed with effective superfruits. But even with all the news, the core of the brand remains the same: a commitment to clean natural and organic products and eco-conscious practices—from wind-generated power and organic cleaning products to planting a tree for every service they perform. spahabitat.com
The Oxford Club, Spa & Salon
Inside the Oxford Hotel in Downtown Denver, the newly renovated Oxford Club, Spa & Salon has teamed up with nearby farm-to-table-inspired restaurant, Urban Farmer, for a series of spa treatments including Bee My Honey (80 minutes). Using locally harvested honey from Urban Farmer, with a blend of olive oil, sugar and lavender essential oil for exfoliation, the journey continues with a soothing and antioxidant-rich milk and honey body butter massage with raw, sustainable honey. oxfordclubspa.com
San Francisco, California
Founded by Denmo Ibrahim—a personal life coach who weaves bodywork, Ayurveda, meditation and other holistic healing modalities into her sessions—Earthbody has grown from a one-room massage studio to one of San Francisco’s best organic spas. Located in the Hayes Valley area, the sanctuary employs expert therapists well-versed in an array of massage styles (from Thai to trigger point) and holistic skincare techniques.Popular treatments include the signature Earthbody Facial, which uses the housemade organic, botanical-based products to balance the skin; and the 90-minute Repattern massage, which works to lengthen, realign and deepen body awareness. Clients also love the recently launched CBD Rituals and CBD oil massages, which incorporate the effective ingredient for extra pain relief and relaxation. earthbody.net
The Spa at Four Seasons
Replete with a 50-foot indoor swimming pool flanked by Roman columns and a skylight dome (it might look familiar from its on-screen appearance in the film Home Alone 2), four treatment rooms and a eucalyptus steam room, The Spa at Four Seasons, Chicago, is the ideal city refuge. Inventive treatments at the 8,000-square-foot spa include the Shoreline Satin Shimmer (50 minutes), a full-body exfoliation with freeze-dried seawater crystals and a mineralizing moisturizer to restore and revive skin; and the Skylight Swim, consisting of a moonlit couple’s massage followed by private access to the pool and housemade canapes and champagne. fourseasons.com/chicago/spa
Quebec City, Quebec
Tucked into the heart of Old Quebec City, the Auberge Saint-Antoine boasts a lovely, luxurious atmosphere and a one-of-a-kind vibe. With views of the St. Lawrence River, this Relais & Chateaux offers distinctive and comfortable rooms, farm-to-fork dining and old-world charm. Host to the Health Club, the spa at the Auberge Saint-Antoine features the Canadian spa and skincare line G.M. Collin, with natural marine and plant extracts. The Health Club also provides treatments with the Yon-Ka men’s care line, which combines powerful essential oils that are not only cleansing to the skin, but calming to the senses. saint-antoine.com
New York City, New York
If you’re in need of a thorough facial cleansing—and some relaxing downtime—in New York City, head to this intimate studio in the heart of the Flatiron District. Focusing on skincare, Pretty Please is small with a devoted following, meaning appointments can book up fast, but those who do snag a session rave about the results. Aestheticians use organic products (including the Eminence range) and noninvasive extraction techniques (no needles or lancets) to cleanse, polish, calm and hydrate. Popular services include the Triple Layer Facial, which includes some microdermabrasion, a blueberry detox peel and ultrasound waves to tighten skin; and the Back Facial, which draws out impurities with Hungarian mud, then relaxes with a neck and back massage. prettypleaseny.com
Africa-born, Sweden-raised Marie Aspling first opened the Balans (Swedish for “balance”) Wellness Studio in 2010, followed by a second location focusing on spa services. Together, the two spaces provide useful tools for an integrated, holistic lifestyle: The Studio offers one-on-one sessions in things like postural therapy, nutrition, Pilates, chiropractic and mindfulness, as well as group classes in postural yoga. The Spa provides nutrition, health and lifestyle support; waxing and organic makeup; and flotation tank sessions; along with treatments using the 100 percent organic Maria Akerberg Deepskin Organics line, imported from Sweden. Aspling also hosts three-day lifestyle retreats at a lovely spot in Rhode Island. bostonbalans.com
Vedas is a relatively new facility that opened earlier this year. The mission is to help guests attain optimal well-being through knowledge, motivation and inspiration. The luxurious facility includes 4,000-plus square feet of strength and cardio equipment areas and lavish locker rooms that will make you feel mightily pampered.Aside from fitness, Vedas doubles as a full-service day spa. After an outdoor rooftop fitness class, you can head over to the Ayurvedic Spa. The Ayurvedic Spa at Vedas offers services that will nourish you on all levels—body, mind, heart and soul. vedasfitness.com/spa