Where to go to escape the winter blues and reinvigorate mind, body & spirit
Courtesy of Herrington Inn & Spas
For thousands of years, people around the globe have journeyed to places where they could partake of the healing properties of warm mineral springs. Some of the earliest of these were located in and around the town of Spa, Belgium, the name of which eventually became synonymous with a range of establishments offering health and beauty treatments. While today’s spas are no longer tied exclusively to thermal waters, they still beckon guests seeking relaxation, rejuvenation and a renewed sense of purpose.
At the basic level, spas offer therapeutic treatments like massage, body treatments and facials, which improve your sense of well-being. But they also offer a brief respite from the stresses of daily life, much like a mini-vacation, which is especially welcome at this time of year. With many suburban spas to choose from, at varying price points and levels of service, there is truly something to suit everyone, whether you’re looking for an afternoon mom-cation, a couple’s night out or a girlfriend getaway.
Why to Go
Photo courtesy of Herrington Inn & Spas
While visiting spas has long been seen as a special indulgence and certainly can be, those in the industry say it’s time to stop looking at them purely as such, and recognize their contribution to health and wellness. As Debbie Wisla, spa manager for The SPA at Eaglewood Resort in Itasca points out, “It’s more about wellness and taking care of yourself, so it shouldn’t be a splurge. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.”
“In today’s busy world we don’t take enough time to connect with ourselves or loved ones,” says Andrea Argy, manager of the Kohler Waters Spa in Burr Ridge. “Spending time at the spa gives you the space and time to disconnect with the outside world and focus without distraction.”
Connecting with friends and family is certainly another great reason to head to the spa, as a spa visit can make for a memorable part of a birthday or anniversary celebration, a couples or friends retreat, pre-wedding festivities and more.
Spas located within hotels or resorts can add another dimension to the experience through an overnight or weekend stay paired with spa package. The SPA at Eaglewood offers several packages, such as the Girl Time Spa Getaway for two, which includes overnight accommodations, a wine and cheese platter upon arrival, credits for spa services, a breakfast buffet at one of the resort’s restaurants and more. And since the spa is located in the resort’s recreation building, both day spa and hotel guests are able to enjoy all the amenities there, including a relaxation room, an indoor pool, a hot tub, a steam room, a sauna and three fitness rooms.
The Spa at The Herrington, located on the banks of the Fox River in Geneva in a luxury boutique hotel, also is a sought-after setting for both day spa and overnight stays.
As part of their visit, guests often take advantage of the spa’s distinctive location, enjoying a meal at the hotel restaurant, Atwater’s, or taking a stroll through the nearby downtown shopping district, says spa director Mercedes Reyes.
What to Do
Photo courtesy of Herrington Inn & Spas
Like its mineral-springs predecessors, the Kohler Waters Spa is all about experiencing the healing powers of water — a natural fit for Kohler Co., a global leader in bath and kitchen fixtures that is known for its innovating showering products. While aromatherapy and bathing are among the highlights for many guests, Kohler Waters also offers massage therapies, facials, nail and body treatments, makeup and waxing.
Another mineral known to have health benefits is pink Himalayan salt, which has led to the growth of spas centered around a salt cave. Primal Oceans Salt Cave in La Grange welcomes guests to relax in a cozy, unique space where the walls and ceilings feature salt boulders and bricks and the floor is a thick beach-like layer of crushed salt. Breathing in the salt particles helps soothe the upper respiratory system.
Within in the salt cave, no talking or electronics are permitted, which allows you to fully relax and focus inward. Karen Stoelinga, who co-owns Primal Oceans along with Peggy McDonald, says “I think that one of the things that sets us apart is the environment we create. It’s an atmosphere where you can escape the world for a period of time and enjoy a relaxing holistic experience.”
Salt cave sessions start at $35, and Primal Oceans offers other services as well, among them a foot detox treatment as well as an Aquascape sensory immersion bed and Aquamassage, both of which are experienced fully clothed. Packages combining a variety of treatments are also available.
Whether as part of the environment or the treatments themselves, most spas incorporate some natural elements, from botanicals to hot stones, into the experience for a beneficial effect.
If you are unsure of what services to book, consult the experts at your spa of choice so they can guide you to something that will suit your needs. Those new to spa-going might consider starting with a 30-minute or express massage. Several spa professionals recommend Swedish massage, which features light to medium pressure, as a good choice for spa newcomers.
At ME SPA, which has six locations across the country including one in Naperville, a guest favorite is the Signature Pedicure, during which guests relax in a zero-gravity lounge chair with a blanket, robe, heated neck wrap, and eye pillow, says Nicole Gallego, social media and public relations coordinator. Other popular picks include organic facials, deep tissue massage, CBD oil treatment, an anti-aging eye lift and aromatherapy enhancements.
When to Go
Time at many spas is in high demand, especially on weekends — so you may want to make an appointment up to two weeks in advance. Because weekends and holidays are prime times, some of the express services spas offers are not available Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, weekend visits might mean slightly higher fees. For example, at Kohler Waters, a 50-minute Thai massage costs $160 during the week and $170 on weekends or holidays.
Many spas offer seasonal and holiday specials and themed packages or events that allow you to combine several treatments for savings and/or a uniquely tailored experience. If you don’t like everything offered in the package, you may be able to substitute a similar type of service. Ask about signing up for spa e-mails to get the inside scoop on specials and new treatments.
Skin Deep Day Spa in Campton Hills near St. Charles offers special pricing and packages through monthly memberships. Its popular and trade-marked HydraFacial is included in membership pricing — it’s a combination of treatments in a single session to clean, exfoliate, hydrate and correct.
How to Prepare
Before you visit, be sure to check your chosen spa’s website or ask for details about your treatments. If you are a spa novice, let your chosen spa know when you call to schedule services. “Please do not hesitate to express that this is your first spa experience — it allows us to guide you more thoroughly and give tips on what to expect and how to fully immerse in the pampering,” says Reyes.
Most spa managers recommend that you arrive early — about 30 to 90 minutes before your first appointment — so you have time to check in, change and unwind for a bit. “To make the most of a spa experience, we ask that guests arrive 30 minutes before their face or body treatments,” says Gallego. “This allows enough time for them to change into a plush robe, slippers and enjoy a cup of hot tea while they receive a complimentary Foot Soak Ritual in our Relaxation Room.”
Many spas offer extra amenities for you to enjoy while waiting for your services to begin, such as a soothing beverage and healthy snacks or a foot soak or other pre-treatment relaxation ritual. For instance, Kohler Waters features the “Circle of Tranquility” — a self-guided water journey that includes a 25-ft whirlpool with a cascading waterfall, a steam room and sauna. At Katrina Salon & Spa in Batavia every treatment starts with a tea ritual while receiving a detoxing foot soak.
Bring along a book or journal, but be sure to leave jewelry, valuables and electronic devices behind. Many spas ban the use of cell phones to assist in maintaining a relaxing environment. “The most important thing is to plan ahead and come relaxed,” says Wisla of The SPA at Eaglewood. “Leave what’s going on in the world behind and be present in the moment to get the most benefits from your time at the spa.”
After your treatments, consider stopping by the spa store to purchase some of the professional-quality products you enjoyed, which will allow you to extend your experience at home. Some spas offer exclusive products, while others partner with trusted industry brands.
Photo courtesy of Kohler Waters Spa
A new year typically brings new offerings at local spas. The Spa at The Herrington, for example, has recently refreshed its menu, including two new advanced facials (the Diamond Dermabrasion Facial and the Micro-current/LED Facial) and skin care add-ons to enhance other services. New packages include the four-and-a-half hour Tranquility Package, which includes a foot treatment, a hydrating hair and scalp massage, Swedish massage, body scrub and wrap and a signature facial for $470.
At Kohler Waters, new treatments are introduced each spring — for example, specialty massages like Thai massage and CBD-infused massage were introduced in 2019. A new menu will be out in May.
At ME SPA, new services for 2020 include a Complete CBD package, CBD Massage, and Mani/Pedi Combo. Their spa boutiques also now feature a CBD section where guests can shop CBD products such as body lotions and oil, lip balm, CBD capsules and more.
Katrina Salon & Spa boasts a full-spectrum of facials and skin care services. “As the only salon and spa with an Oxylight machine in the Chicagoland area, we offer advanced skin care services that stars like Madonna and Kim Kardashian rave about,” says Operations Manager Jamie MacDonald. The spa customizes treatments based on the individual’s current and future needs to provide better results and a skin regimen for in-between appointments.
Whatever spa or treatment you choose, the benefits are sure to enhance your well-being long after you walk out the door. “Having time to disconnect and relax is a necessity that is sometimes forgotten in our world of technology, work and busy schedules, etc.,” says Reyes.
“At ME SPA, we believe in the importance of taking time for yourself,” adds Gallego. “Self-care is health care and one of the greatest responsibilities that we have is taking care of our body, mind and spirit.”
Local Hot Spots for Revitalizing Mind, Body and Spirit
Following is a representative sampling of some of the top spa service providers in the western suburbs.
Arista Spa & Salon at Hotel Arista at CityGate Centre in Naperville.
Arista Spa & Salon aims to “bring together ancient Mediterranean healing with modern innovation.” The full salon offers hair, nail and makeup services and spa offerings include massage, skin care and body treatments. Individual packages, couples’ packages and seasonal specials are available. 630 579-3650, www.aristaspasalon.com
Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa is a national chain with locations in Geneva, Elmhurst, Wheaton, Naperville, Oswego, South Elgin and Carol Stream.
Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa’s mission is to make high-quality spa services more accessible by offering them at affordable prices. It offers initial trial prices for massages or facials, starting at $60 as well as a range of services for both individuals and couples. www.handandstone.com
Katrina Salon & Spa in Batavia.
As an Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa, Katrina’s offers body treatments, facials and massages using plant and flower-based ingredients to naturally enhance, soothe, calm and heal skin. It also has an Oxylight machine for advanced skin care services and provides waxing, spray tans and nail services. 630 482-2772, www.katrinasalonandspa.com
Kohler Waters Spa in Burr Ridge.
With an emphasis on the natural restorative properties of water, the Kohler Waters Spa features a 25-ft whirlpool with a cascading waterfall, steam room and sauna. It also offers a range of therapeutic massages and results-oriented facial and body treatments. 630 323-7674, www.kohlerwatersspaburrridge.com
Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa with locations in Bloomingdale, Geneva, Naperville, Oak Brook, and Schaumburg.
When celebrity hairstylist and fashion icon Mario Tricoci opened his first salon and day spa in 1986, it was the first of its kind in the Midwest. Now a Chicago area chain, it has continued to grow by offering cutting-edge hair styling and color, manicures/pedicures, skin care, body treatments, massage, custom make-up and more. www.tricoci.com
ME SPA at Main Street Promenade in Naperville.
Part of a six -location national chain of luxury day spas that seeks to “offer a soothing place to put life on pause.” Services offered include facials, waxes, peels, hydrodermabrasion, massages, body treatments, and manicures and pedicures. 630 527-9298, www.me-spas.com
Primal Oceans Salt Cave in La Grange.
The focal point here is a custom salt cave featuring Pink Himalayan Salt, designed to facilitate relaxation and improved upper respiratory function. Primal Oceans also offers an Aquascape sensory immersion bed, ionic detox footbaths, and aqua and jade roller massages. 708 482-2505, www.primaloceanssaltcave.com
Reflexion Spa in Hinsdale.
Billing itself as a “safe haven from your daily stress through the art of alternative therapy complemented by services that make you feel and look your best,” Reflexion Spa offers everything from deep-tissue massage to specialized treatments like cupping and extractional deep-clean facials. It also provides waxing, hair and makeup services. 630 321-1772, www.reflexionspa.com
Skin Deep Day Spa in Campton Hills.
Offering a range of services related to skin care, Skin Deep specializes in facials including its HydraFacial (TM), a combination of treatments in a single session to clean, exfoliate, hydrate and correct. It also has a Zerona body contouring laser and uses LED lasers for hair removal and skin tightening.630 443-3220, www.skindeep-dayspa.com
Solaia Luxury Salon & Spa at Hotel Indigo in Naperville.
The Solaia Luxury Salon & Spa at Hotel Indigo bills itself as an “experiential spa,” allowing clients to select themed experiences designed to reflect far-flung locales like Tuscany, Tahiti or Asia. Other offerings include hair, nails, makeup, skin care massage and waxing. 630 453-5699, www.solaiaexperience.com
The Spa at Eaglewood Resort in Itasca.
Offering a full-service menu for massage, facial and body treatments, nail services, waxing, hair styling and makeup, the Spa at Eaglewood also features a relaxation room with water feature, an indoor hot tub, steam room and wood sauna to detoxify and purify. 630 694-5903, www.eaglewoodresort.com/illinois_spa_resort
The Spa at The Herrington Inn in Geneva.
Designed to indulge your senses, The Spa at the Herrington offers a variety of facials, massages, body therapies, hand and foot treatments, and waxing as well as specialty baths. 630 232-4252, www.herringtoninn.com/the-spa-at-the-herrington
ZANO Beauty Salon & Spa with locations in Batavia, Lisle and two in Naperville. Celebrating 35 years in business in 2020, ZANO Salons continues to help stressed-out suburbanites relax and recharge.
In addition to traditional salon services, specialty manicures and pedicures, facials and massage are all on the menu. 630 357-4425, www.zanosalons.com
Zazú Salons with locations in Hinsdale, Naperville (Concierge Medical & Day Spa at this location), Wheaton and coming this year to Elmhurst.
For the past 40 years, Zazú Salons have been pampering clients throughout the area with beauty and spa services that include hair, facials, waxing, lash extensions, nail care and massage. Offerings vary by location. 630 355-2230, www.zazusalons.comEdit Module