Thursday, June 6, 2013

Relaxation LA Style

Warning: Once you finish reading this post, you will be overcome with jealousy.... or maybe just a slight case of envy. Groupon and I managed to come up with the best combination of spa treatments to de-stress and rejuvenate during my LA vacation.

I started my trip off with a delicious cherry tart, arugula salad and an okay brisket for lunch at the cute and very popular Huckleberry Cafe.

Then I killed some time by getting a polish change at Montana Nails (surprise, surprise my manicure from Saturday didn't last very long).

Next it was off to Exhale Spa's Fusion Fest.

I enjoyed the Core Cardio and the Core Barre classes that were on the outer balcony overlooking the pool. Both classes were intense, and yoga-based, so they were good, but I'm not a yogi.  Next I headed to the pool to enjoy some crudite, VitaCoco and healthy cocktails provided by Veev's VitaFrute . They also offered quick manis, hairstyling by Art Lab Salon and there were vendors to shop. Despite my best efforts the jetlag set in and I went promptly to bed around 7:45PM

My spa experiences continued on Friday. I started the day off with a hot paprika facial by Oksana at Skin by Oksana. Be warned this is a gruesome photo.

It actually was not as painful as I thought it would be. The technician/owner was very professional and thorough and efficient throughout the hour long treatment. Then it was off for a long road trip to the Dara Spa for a combination Swedish/Thai massage.

I probably would have balked if I had looked at images like this before hand, but I survived and my body felt...not relaxed but stretched afterwards.
Image Courtesy of Darinya Massage
Next stop the Wi Spa. I read a lot of reviews before my visit, so I was prepared for the nudity, the kids/families, the restaurant, the variety of saunas (salt, clay, bulgami (super, duper hot), jade and ice) and baths.
Himalayan Pink Salt Sauna at Wi Spa
Cold, Warm and Hot Baths in the Single-Sex area of Wi Spa
I thought I was being fancy so I even booked a body scrub, just to have the full experience. Not one review explained that during the body scrub you are scrubbed so hard that you are praying for death to come just to relieve the pain....and that nothing can really prepare you for the clumps of dead skin that fall onto the bed/table next to you, on top of you and when you turn underneath you. The good part is that despite the pain during the scrub, once they rinse you off the pain disappears, so you aren't actually harmed which is good. Unfortunately my skin didn't really feel anything but dry afterwards, and several days later it still sort of feels the same, but it's not like I had alligator skin in the first place, so I guess it was okay.

After hitting the warm bath again, I showered and brushed my teeth with salt (they have disposable toothbrushes and a large bowl of salt as well as toothpaste for you to get the complete cleansing experience). My mouth was just salty afterwards. Then I headed off to my first Pilates reformer class at Whole Body Method

I hate being a beginner at anything; I always love a challenge, but you've gotta start somewhere. I learned about the machine, and different Reformer exercises, and really liked the instructor, but I didn't love the class, only because it was a beginner level. I bought their introductory package, so I will be heading back for two more classes, so maybe I won't really be a beginner anymore...

I had to reschedule the second half of my spa experience because I got an invite to the exclusive Wolvesmouth dinner that evening... stay tuned for pics, a recap and your chance to join in on the experience!

I concluded the spa experience with a bikini wax at Piel Skin Care and a 70minute foot massage at Iped Foot Spa.


Just so you don't completely hate me, I did do some research for you, and I found a Philadelphia Korean spa, Chung Dam Spa& Fitness, (which I will certainly be checking out in the near future!). This place has pretty decent reviews, but I am sure it won't compare to the size of Wi Spa...