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Chicago's Best Spas
Chicago's spas run the gamut from the super-luxe to the more simple and elegant. Many are located in hotels but there are also several stand alone properties.
Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Comfort and relaxation are taken seriously at this Four Seasons spa, where the private treatment rooms are soundproofed for maximum serenity; in the lounge guests can stretch out on daybeds and snack on fresh fruit and tea for as long as they like before and after services. A lovely, large pool and hot tub are also a part of the options here. Global influences include an an herbal mud wrap from Hungary and a wrap that uses cane sugar and honey from Hawaii. There's a flip-flop pedicure—including a new pair of shoes—to get your feet ready for spring, and treatments that use bourbon in the spa and end with a drink of bourbon in the bar. The mini-spa escape package includes manicure, mini pedicure, 55-minute massage, and 25-minute facial for $290. Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware Pl., Near North, Chicago, IL, 60611. 312/280-8800. www.fourseasons.com/chicagofs. Daily 8-8.
Spa at Trump. The one thing most Trump hotel spas have in common is that they're likely the swankiest places in their respective towns to relax and rejuvenate, with luxe locker rooms tricked out with multi-jet showers, signature gemstone massages with the essences of rubies, diamonds, emeralds and sapphires (you can see the tiny stones in the oil bottles), and your every need addressed. What makes each location unique, though, is its emphasis on treating the particular concerns created by the locale's environment. In Chicago, the spa combats the harsh effects of pollutants and stress. There are also "urban defense facials" and body treatments available only at the Chicago location. Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, 401 N. Wabash Ave., River North, Chicago, IL, 60611. 312/588-8000. www.trumpchicagohotel.com. Daily 8 am-9 pm.
Sir Spa. There's nothing pretty or poufy about Sir Spa, and that's the way the clients who come to this men's spa—awash in black leather, exposed brick, and marble—like it. The 5,000-square-foot Andersonville space is also well appointed, with locker rooms outfitted with heated tile floors, rain showers and a steam room, and a Grooming Club Lounge with arm chairs, a plasma TV, and beer-stocked fridge. Sports and deep-tissue massages are among the favorite treatments here, but there's also a full menu of facials, body wraps, and skincare treatments. Members of the opposite sex aren't excluded: there's a private treatment suite just for the ladies here, too. Three-hour Monarch sampler package ($195) includes massage, express facial, and hand and foot detail. Date Night packages start at $150 per couple and include massages, wine or beer, and optional add-ons. 5151 N. Clark St., Andersonville, Chicago, IL, 60640. 773/271-7000. www.sirspa.com. Weekdays 11-8, Sat. 10-8, Sun. noon-8.
Simple and elegant
NoMi Spa at Park Hyatt. This simple and elegant spa offers big-time customer satisfaction by operating with the mantra: "Eat well, live well, be well." NoMi, whose name is derived from its North Michigan location, has just two spa treatment rooms. But each has its own steam shower and bathroom, so there's no need for traipsing through the locker room to extend your ultra-private indulgence. Spa-goers also have access to the hotel's swimming pool and fitness center, both with cityscape views. The products used include lavender and citrus, grapefruit and neroli (from the bitter-orange tree), and ground olive grains. Park Hyatt, 800 N. Michigan Ave., Near North, Chicago, IL, 60611. 312/239-4200. www.nomispa.com. Daily 8-8.
The Spa by Asha. It pays to be early at this spa on the lower level of the James Hotel so that you have time to take advantage of the complimentary pre-service aromatherapy foot bath in the darkened lounge; a therapist will also tuck a heated pillow behind your neck and massage your feet and calves with a scrub of walnut, lavender, and herbal extracts. It may feel like a shame to leave for the actual treatments, but services that include Aveda plant-based facials, body wraps, and massages will only up your relaxation factor. Special services catering to moms-to-be include a hydrating belly treatment; there are massages and facials designed exclusively for men; and a Himalayan rejuvenation treatment is meant to boost your immune system during the change of seasons. Jams Hotel, 55 E. Ontario St., Near North, Chicago, IL, 60610. 312/664-0200. www.ashasalonspa.com. Weekdays 9-9, Sat. 8-7, Sun. 10-6.
Valeo Spa. This isn't your typical spa, although you can get typical treatments if you like. Focused on wellness, the 20,000-square-foot space includes a fitness center, pool, and elegant, understated locker and transition rooms—where you're offered a glass of wine at the end of your treatment. Men and women will feel comfortable in their separate spaces, but there's also a couples suite for those so inclined. In Valeo's "clarity chambers"—based on Turkish or Moroccan hammams—guests are warmed by a fireplace and heated stone benches and floors. At the center is an oval-shaped "belly stone"—a seven-foot-long slab of heated marble used for body treatments or just for relaxation. It's big enough to service some of Chicago's professional athletes. Among the options in the clarity chambers is an hour-long treatment ($175) to detoxify, exfoliate, and purify the skin with a clay compound from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Most treatments are priced in 10-minute increments, so the guest decides just how long a treatment will last. JW Marriott, 151 W. Adams St., Loop, Chicago, IL, 60603. 312/660-8250. www.valeochicago.com. Daily 8-8.
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