Between the midwinter temperatures and the focus on feeding a flame this Valentine’s Day, we could all use a little hottening up, especially if you don’t have a beach getaway on the books. Now is the time to indulge in a little spa-teneity: book a few luxe appointments for you (or for two). Want to really wow him or her? Here’s a guide to some of the finest in the Twin Cities.
The Hawaiian Lomi Lomi with Spot Spa owner Nell Rueckl continues to be one of my favorite massages in town, several years after my first. Nell infuses her treatments with the spirit of aloha in this traditional Hawaiian technique—which is more fast-paced and full-body than your typical plodding, part-by-part Swedish massage (no knock on the Swedes, of course). $95 and up. Spot Spa, two locations, including 21 SE 4th St., Mpls., 612-331-4182, spotspas.com
Serenity Seaweed Wrap
There’s something so very soothing about being wrapped up like a hot little burrito. At Fusion, they’ll start with a dry-brush exfoliation to remove any extra dry skin, and get your lymphatic system moving. A sugar exfoliation scented with geranium, thyme, cypress, rosemary, and lavender follows. Then, it’s to seaweed burritoville for you—or maybe a sushi analogy is more appropriate?—plus a relaxing scalp and foot massage while you brew in the botanicals. $125. Fusion Lifespa, 18142 Minnetonka Blvd., Deephaven, 952-345-3335, fusionlifespa.com
Blink Facial and Threading
Brook DuBois and Christina Snead continue to collect accolades for their superlative facial services, even nabbing a coveted Allure magazine Best of Beauty award. (They’ve also been one of our Bests, naturally.) Why? Their edited menu gives you all the skincare you need: luxurious, relaxing facials with Brook will put you on another plane—and leave you with an otherworldly glow. Her use of hot and cold stones during the service is a treat for the senses. And Christina will thread or wax your brows into the most perfect, alluring shape with minimal irritation. It’s like a face lift without anything icky, including products sans toxic ingredients. Psst: make sure to check out the lovely product and retail offerings. $190. Blink for Beauty, 700 Washington Ave. N., Ste. 215, Mpls., 612-338-5211, blinkforbeauty.com
This is the all-out full facial for a total stress rescue: when you absolutely need either the ultimate relaxation, the curative skin effects, or both. Spend nearly two hours getting a gorgeous glow and choose an add-on: Will be it be hot stones? Aromatherapy? A custom request? The world is your oyster and you’ll emerge with the visage of a pearl. $149. pH OREM, 718 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-339-1905, phorem.com
Sometimes, what a person (or a couple) needs is a day at the spa, with all the bells and whistles, fancy vocabulary, exotic ingredients, and specialized techniques. And sometimes, what you really, really need is an excellent rubdown, getting back to the basics: with a good, solid massage from an experienced therapist. The best there is. My favorite right now is Bethany at Nature of Beauty. She has a psychic’s intuition about pressure, location, and technique—I felt like she read my mind, really—and a compassion and peace that will bring you serenity now. $90. Nature of Beauty, 750 Main St., Ste. 109, Mendota Heights, 651-222-3127, natureofbeauty.com
The Ivy is the place you go when you want to hear something like “let us take you on a warm and spicy escape, including a massage with warmed bags of Balinese pebbles.” I mean, they basically said that. This year’s newest treatment at the Ivy comes with Sothys product, scented with ginger and cinnamon. Start with a marmalade scrub to smooth out your winter-rough skin. Then come the Balinese pebbles, which are soaked in warmed, spiced oil and are used as extensions of the massage therapist’s hands during a 50-minute massage. $165. Ivy Spa Club, 201 S. 11th St., Mpls., 612-343-3131, ivyspaclub.com
Ayurvedic Body Balancer with Shirodhara
For something really, truly different (at least to our Western minds), one set of services comes to mind, and that’s the Ayurvedic Body Balancer treatment at Solimar Wellness Spa, with a Shirodhara session tacked on. First, your provider will determine your Ayurvedic dosha, which is part personality test, part chemistry lesson. Then, you’ll receive a body-brush exfoliation with herbs and oils customized for your dosha. Then begins an Abhyanga and marma-point massage. Add shirodhara for something special: warm oils are funneled onto your third eye, which may lull you to sleep and bring on extra-vivid dreams. Perfect for relieving mental tension in times of stress and change. $188. Solimar Wellness Spa, 1121 Town Center Dr., Eagan, 651-686-6686, soli-marspa.com
If you have joint pain, arthritis, are pregnant, or just are looking for something a little different and easier on the body, this is for you. Available at Ruth Stricker’s wellness center, The Marsh, aquatic bodywork translates to floating in a 94-degree pool (surrounded by windows that let natural light in and offer views of the actual marsh upon which the spa is situated) while a therapist stretches your spine and joints and kneads out any tense spots. It’s a massage and stretch you could never get on land. $85 and up. The Marsh, 15000 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, 952-935-2202, spaatthemarsh.com
Blowout at Blowdry!
Charlie Brackney and Jessica Reipke’s second outpost after Haus is the darling blowout boutique Blowdry. Sometimes a good style is all you need to feel like a million bucks—especially after a killer scalp and neck massage. Pick from several different smooth, curly, and big styles, then let them work their magic. Add on a wax or makeup application for a night out on the town. $35 for blowout. 1203 Lagoon Ave., Mpls., 612-824-4878, blowdryblowdry.com
Signature Mani and Pedi, Plus Foot Reflexology
Get polished from the tops of your fingers to the tips of your toes. The signature manicure and pedicure from Juut includes an essential-oil aromatherapy massage, exfoliation, treatment masque, and a polish, all provided with their Daymaker philosophy—that means you won’t just look great, you’ll feel great. Add on an extra reflexology treatment to melt stress bodywide, or a hydrate treatment for extra quenching power. $35 and up per treatment; $25 per add-on. Juut, seven metro locations, including 857 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-222-4121, juut.com