Relax…

The right spa is a refuge from real life. Here are 20 day spas designed to cater to your every need.

If it seems as though there’s a day spa on every corner, you’re not far off. Once reserved as an indulgence for the elite, spas have gone mainstream in recent years and Sacramento is definitely caught up in the trend.

Why all the fuss over massages and manicures, you ask? Well, after my sybaritic tour of duty to the frontlines of the local spa scene, I discovered that the experience is about more than primping and pampering (although I happily indulged in both). For me and my sauna-loving comrades, it’s about feeling relaxed and reconnecting with oneself. The right spa can be a refuge from life’s troubles, even if just for a lavender-scented hour.

In the past, spa treatments were generally solitary activities; you got a massage alone with the massage therapist and interacted little with other spa-goers during the visit. As the mother of an energetic 2-year-old, I must confess that the time alone is a big part of the allure for me. Nevertheless, spas today are the new social hubs. From bridal showers to employee appreciation days, spas are where people go to socialize with friends and colleagues and reinvigorate relationships with loved ones.

Spas also can enhance people’s spiritual and cultural lives, especially when establishments emphasize healing and a connection to nature. Sure, there’s a glam factor to most spas (who doesn’t love getting the star treatment now and again?), but spa-going also can encourage personal reflection and foster a sense of calm—something this fatigued mom can’t get enough of. 

Whether you’re interested in looking good or feeling good (I suspect it’s both), there is an eclectic array of spa services to choose from. Read on to learn about some of the more unique offerings I uncovered on my blissful journey through the Sacramento area’s burgeoning spa scene.

Luxury Getaway—Without Leaving Town

Sure, we all fantasize about jetting off to a romantic hideaway, but sometimes real life gets in the way. If figuring out who will feed the dog while you’re gone is interfering with your great escape, Spa Bloom may be the destination for you. Tastefully appointed with exquisite Eurasian-themed furnishings and original artwork, the surprisingly tranquil Inn at Parkside in downtown Sacramento will make you feel as though you’ve been transported several time zones away. 

Whether you slumber in one of the cozy rooms at the main mansion or next door in a newly constructed and more contemporary suite, you can choose from multiple spa packages (though you don’t need to stay overnight to book a spa visit). Looking for something totally different? Try the Chocolate Romance package: a full-body chocolate exfoliation, milk-chocolate bath, and chocolate massage. Another great bet: the Pure Bloom Passport, which includes an aromatic body scrub, warm stone massage and facial.  

Overnight guests also are treated to a sumptuous breakfast and afternoon wine-and-cheese hour. Those special perks—plus the gracious, attentive service—will keep you coming back.  

2116 Sixth St., Sacramento; (916) 658-1818; innatparkside.com

Bring the Kids

Your energy is spent, your nerves are frayed and your normally good grooming habits have, well, slipped a little. These are the telltale signs of parenthood. But don’t fret. There is finally a full-service spa that can restore your humor and make you feel whole again—and even watch your kids while working magic on you.

The Spa at Natomas, located in the sprawling Gold’s Gym complex, offers child care for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years for a reasonable $5 per hour (per child) at the gym’s kids’ club. The children’s space is cheerful and clean, its staff affable. Just be sure to check that it’ll be open during your appointment.

As for the spa, this place has it all: skin treatments, hand and foot care, waxing, hairstyling and, of course, the massage you so deserve. Service at the salon is personable and the staff is eager to please. And they’ll give you a complimentary workout pass in case you want to hit the treadmill or unwind in the steam room or hot tub before your appointment. For frazzled moms and dads, it doesn’t get much better.

1900 Del Paso Road, Sacramento; (916) 928-3000; thespaatnatomas.com

Girls’ Night Out

That sacred ritual known as the all-girl beauty fest long celebrated at teenage slumber parties doesn’t have to disappear just because you’re all grown up. This time around, however, you and your girlfriends can bypass the bad perms and sparkly blue nail polish and instead bond over massages and facials performed by the friendly, competent team of professionals at Rejuvenate Day Spa in Loomis. They’ll even provide an assortment of healthful and not-so-healthful snacks to munch on during your session. Of course, Rejuvenate doesn’t cater only to groups, but its comfortable setting—a cleverly converted barn—
is refreshingly low-key and ideal for a laid-back afternoon with friends.

3431 Taylor Road, Loomis; (916) 652-4024; rejuvenatedayspa.net

 
Another great excuse to get the girls together: Mellow Me Out’s group packages, where you can choose three indulgent spa treatments for $99 per person—and each person need not choose the same three. (There must be three or more people to comprise a group.) Make an occasion of it by bringing your own drinks and appetizers. Or enjoy a massage, facial or pedicure during the popular margarita nights that take place at the Fulton Avenue location. (OK, so the drinks are nonalcoholic, but you’ll never leave the cantina feeling this good.) There’s no better way to stay best friends forever.

1120 Fulton Ave., Sacramento; 555 Capitol Mall, Suite 276, Sacramento; and Sacramento State Student Union Building, First Floor, Sacramento; (916) 482-2772; mellowmeout.com

Where To Drop After You Shop

The aching, throbbing feet. The strain of rifling through sale racks while Muzak pours from speakers overhead. The rise in blood pressure as you dodge cars on your trek through the parking lot. These symptoms can only mean one thing: mall fatigue. Next time you plan an all-out shopping excursion to the Galleria at Roseville, why not treat yourself to some well-earned downtime afterward?

Spa du Jour
, a quick jaunt from the mall in nearby Rocklin, could be the ideal place to set down your shopping bags and say “ahhh.” Open for business less than six months, the vast 4,000-square-foot facility is immaculate without feeling the least bit cold or sterile. The interior, bathed in soothing tones of tangerine and honey, is a welcome contrast to the hectic world that lies outside.

From expertly administered facials and waxes to massages and body wraps, Spa du Jour’s extensive menu of services includes something to please and pamper everyone. There are locker rooms, saunas and showers for men and women, plus a cozy “quiet room” for those who decide to linger awhile.

6011 Stanford Ranch Road, Suite 105, Rocklin; (916) 435-0755; spadujourrocklin.com

Home Away From Home

For the times when you’re craving a bit of down-home TLC, a busy mega-spa just won’t do. Thankfully, there are tranquil spots to rest your weary bones, such as the unpretentious Smooth As Silk Day Spa in Davis. From quarters in a quaint, old house across the street from Central Park (site of the popular Davis Farmers Market), the pleasant, approachable staff knows how to make you feel at home. Starting with the front entry, with its inviting candlelit hearth, each room possesses a genuinely homey ambiance that seems to say “we’re glad you’re here.” Of course, the real comfort is in the services: massages, facials, waxing, nail therapy and makeup artistry all administered by a gifted team.

310 C St., Davis; (530) 753-7455; sasdayspa.com

Another hospitable option: Kintara Day Spa in midtown Sacramento. Housed in a beautiful Arts and Crafts bungalow, the cozy spa oozes Old World charm while providing an array of modern skin-care services.

2110 P St., Sacramento; (916) 930-9002; kintaradayspa.com

Mama Nirvana

As the saying goes, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” No one understands this better than the team at Glow, where new and expectant moms can find a much-needed respite from the physical and emotional demands of parenting. For those seeking relaxation and the touch of someone who understands pregnancy’s toll on the body, the massages here are a must. Sure, many spas offer prenatal massage—a treatment Glow excels at—but where else can you come after the baby’s born and bring your new bundle of joy along, too? Such are the special touches that make this pretty, intimate spa in midtown Sacramento a standout.

Whether you’re a mom or not, Glow also is a place to come when you want to lift your spirits and feel beautiful. The facial treatments and corrective peels are first-rate, and the hair-removal waxing techniques are gentle, thorough and precise. Glow also offers customized makeup applications for special occasions such as weddings.

2114 N St., Sacramento; (916) 441-2231; myglowspa.com

Looking for another terrific choice for pampering before baby arrives? You won’t regret a prenatal massage from the experienced team at Blue Sky Day Spa.

4250 H St., Sacramento; (916) 455-6200; blueskydayspa.com

Give the Guy a Break

There was a time not long ago when the presence of a man in a day spa—long the domain of the fairer sex—would have turned heads, to say the least. For most guys, the steam room at the gym was the closest they got to the spa experience. Chalk it up to enlightenment (or maybe they’re simply following the advice of the ladies in their lives), but more and more men are discovering the benefits that a little pampering can bestow on both body and mind.

For those seeking a well-priced and well-rounded package tailored especially for men, The Sanctuary Salon and Spa in Citrus Heights is hard to beat. Its Gentlemen’s Retreat includes a one-hour sports massage, facial, manicure and pedicure for $155—a steal for a four-hour-long indulgence. Don’t be put off by the cute slipcovered sofas and other feminine touches—Sanctuary knows how to put even the manliest of men at ease.

5925 Birdcage Lane, Suite 100, CitrusHeights; (916) 967-1212; thesanctuarysalonandspa.com

Whether you’re looking for a customized spa package or need just a single treatment, the popular Esthetics by Jeanette Salon & Spa also offers a full array of spa therapies tailored to men.

2322 Butano Drive, Suite 103, Sacramento; (877) 459-6019; ebjspa.com

 
 

Biggest Bang for Your Benjamin

Everyone needs a little pampering now and again, but living a luxe life can place a major strain on your pocketbook if you’re not careful. Thankfully, there are some affordable options available to savvy salon-goers who like to live large without spending big.

The helpful and down-to-earth team at SKINsations Spa in the heart of midtown Sacramento offers a deal of a spa package with its 4 Mini Treatments—30-minute massage, mild facial, herbal soak and paraffin hand dip—all for $95. The treatments, which take a little less than two hours, may carry a bargain price tag, but they’ll leave you feeling like a million bucks.

2115 J St., Suite 214, Sacramento; (916) 443-5299; sacskinsations.com

Another option for the budget-minded: The cheerfully appointed Strands Salon and Spa in East Sacramento offers a $100 Rejuvenation Package that includes a facial and a massage, each 30 minutes long, plus your own personal blend of Aveda body cleanser to take home.

3271 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 451-4949; strandssalon.com

Urban Oasis

City living can be tough on the modern woman. The demands of working hard and playing hard in the concrete jungle can be enough to send you running for the hills. Byüti Salon and Spa in downtown Sacramento can help you stay grounded and gorgeous. With its concrete floors and airy warehouse vibe, the space itself encapsulates all the best that urban living has to offer; it’s bold, energetic and edgy. 

One thing is certain: Byüti is not your grandmother’s beauty shop. This is where hip Sacramentans come to be groomed and indulged by a talented staff that’s fashion-forward but not off-putting. Haircuts here are decidedly modern; stylists pride themselves on their technical expertise. On the spa side, Byüti offers the usual array of waxing, facial and massage treatments.

1414 H St., Sacramento; (916) 441-2000; byuti.net

Another winning salon with a great urban feel and a full range of spa services: Mosaic Salon in Sacramento’s perpetually hip midtown district.

2700 J St., Sacramento; (916) 558-2700; mosaicsalon.com

Scent-sational

Scents can trigger some of our strongest memories. We may take it for granted, but the nose knows what’s worth remembering. In this case, it’s the Waterfall Salon and Day Spa. Step in the door and the divine aroma of essential oils will send you to another place. The wonderfully fragrant ambiance and the warm staff make for a most peaceful spa experience.

Housed in a quaint brick building in downtown Placerville, Waterfall offers—what else?—aromatherapy massage in addition to a full menu of beauty, skin and nail treatments. The pace is unhurried at this small spa, so sit back, relax and breathe it all in.

2716 Coloma Road, Placerville; (530) 626-1571; waterfallsalon.com

More Mileage Than a Box of Chocolates

Sometimes even a 5-pound peace offering of Godiva is not enough to smooth things over with your sweetheart. When you really need to make amends, try treating the both of you to a couple’s spa experience that might just make you forget all about that silly spat.

At Serenity Spa in Roseville, you can create your own unique package or try the humorously named Ball and Chain couple’s special, which includes foot facials, one-hour massages and lunch for two. While you’re there, don’t forget to browse the boutique, which is full of candles, body products, jewelry, mugs and knickknacks.

8300 Sierra College Blvd., Roseville; (916) 797-8550; serenityspaonline.com

Another way out of the doghouse: a visit to the Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa, where the two of you can indulge in the Deluxe Romance Package, which includes mini-facials, herbal body wraps and side-by-side aromatherapy massages. The $440 price tag may seem hefty, but it’s cheaper than a divorce attorney.

1220 Arden Hills Lane, Sacramento; (916) 482-6111; ardenhills.net

Queen for a Day

For those occasions when a quick change of nail polish just isn’t enough to satisfy your pang to be pampered, there are some extravagant spa packages that come as close as most of us will ever get to wearing the royal crown. Geri’s Garden, a small, serene spa done up tastefully in tranquil hues of blue, offers an aptly named You Deserve This package, which includes a hot-stone or integrated spa massage (which is tailored to a client’s specific needs), facial, lavender buff, mud or seaweed body wrap, manicure and pedicure, plus a tasty brunch or lunch from Village Bistro next door, all for $400. The treatment lasts about five hours, though you’re invited to linger in the delightful courtyard—an enchanting retreat, especially when the weather is nice.

7974 California Ave., Fair Oaks; (916) 967-7816; gerisgarden.com

Another option for a full-day extravaganza, the expansive and popular Hoshall’s Salon & Spa—with locations in Folsom and Carmichael—offers a super Women’s Day of Beauty package, including a one-hour massage, shower and sauna time, facial, manicure, pedicure, hairstyling and makeup, plus lunch, for $395.

6608 Folsom-Auburn Road, Suite 4, Folsom; (916) 987-1995; hoshallsfolsom.com and 7330 Fair Oaks Blvd., Suite 1, Carmichael; (916) 485-4941; thecolorist.com

Salon Cuvée & Day Spa
also offers a day-long spa treatment, Téte de Cuvée, with a stone massage, facial, salt scrub, manicure, shampoo and style, and makeup application, for $520.

4601 H St., Sacramento; (916) 452-4600; saloncuvee.com

 

Should I remove my underwear?

Whether you’re a seasoned spa-goer or a newbie, it’s important to know what you can expect—and what’s expected of you—in order to make the most of your visit. Here’s the lowdown on spa etiquette:

 • Most spas are meditative spaces where customers are seeking relaxation. Turn off your cell phone and avoid loud conversations.
 • Whenever possible, leave valuables such as jewelry at home.
 • Be sure you understand the spa’s policies on nudity in semipublic areas like saunas and hot tubs. And ask your massage therapist how much clothing is appropriate to remove prior to your treatment. Most therapists will suggest you undress to your level of comfort.
 • Always let your esthetician, manicurist or massage therapist know if you have any allergies, injuries or
physical conditions that may require adjustments to your spa treatment.
 • You’re not required to chat with the practitioner during a treatment, but do speak up if you have questions or a special request, like a change in music volume or room temperature.
 • Some spas may push you to purchase their products,but don’t feel obligated.
 • If you are satisfied with the treatment you received, thank your provider and reward them with an appropriate tip, usually 15 to 20 percent of the treatment price. If you’re paying with a gift certificate, be sure to inquire about whether gratuity is included.

The ugly side of beauty treatments

The last thing any spa-goer expects to bring home with them after a treatment is an infection. But that’s exactly what can happen if the person filing your nails or waxing your brows does not take the proper precautions to keep you safe and healthy.

How can you tell if you’re at risk? Follow your instincts, says Kevin Flanagan, a spokesperson for the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

“There’s really no mystery or magic in what you should look for when you go to a salon. Just as you do when you go to a restaurant, take a look around and survey the general cleanliness of the place. If you find dirty towels lying around, equipment or tools haphazardly thrown around, then that would be a red flag to me,” says Flanagan. “Use your common sense.”

Always check to make sure that an establishment is licensed. Call the Consumer Information Center at (800) 952-5210 or visit barbercosmo.ca.gov to find out if the business has had any disciplinary action taken against it or to file a complaint. Keep in mind that the state oversees cosmetologists, manicurists and estheticians but not massage therapists, who are licensed and regulated by city and county entities.

Among the various spa treatments, manicures and pedicures are most likely to spread infection because fingers and nails often have cracks or cuts where bacteria can easily enter the body. This is a particular problem if the sharp instruments used to trim nails and cuticles are not property disinfected. Dirty footbaths also can harbor dangerous bacteria.

To keep your beauty treatment from turning into an ugly nightmare, follow these tips:

• For pedicures, don’t shave or wax your legs 24 hours before your appointment, and ask to see the cleaning and disinfecting logbook.
 • If you have broken skin or open sores on your body, do not receive a spa treatment until they have healed completely.
 • Inquire about a salon’s disinfecting procedures. If you have any doubts about the cleanliness of a spa or salon, take your business elsewhere.
 • Seek medical attention if you suspect you may have contracted an infection from a spa treatment.
 

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