San Antonio Day Spas


Aveda Institute San Antonio

Aveda Institute San Antonio

312 Pearl Parkway, Suite A San Antonio, TX 78215; Tel. 210.222.0023
A culinary school and retail facilities will soon join the Aveda Institute, giving new life to the historic Pearl Brewery site. Those in the know are already smitten with the discount services provided by the Institute’s beauty school trainees (who are supervised by instructors). With manicures from $11 and facials from $45, even college students can afford a little pampering.
a.r.t. Massage Body Spa & Yoga

a.r.t. Massage Body Spa & Yoga

215 West Sunset San Antonio TX 78209 210-832-0892
In tony Alamo Heights, just off Broadway, you can find complete relaxation at a.r.t. (advanced, relaxed, therapeutic) spa. This day spa, converted from an old home, has been in operation for 5 years but only recently opened its new West Sunset location. The service menu is somewhat limited, but what a.r.t. lacks in variety it makes up for in quality. Standard massage offerings can be combined with body polish treatments or wraps. A yoga studio is being built in the rear of the property and is expected to open in spring 2005. In area of town known for its overpriced boutiques, a.r.t. massage is surprisingly reasonable: a 90 minute Pamper Package is well worth the $95, considering everything included. The package starts with a full body dry brush treatment in which two small, soft-bristled brushes are drawn briskly over arms, legs, back and stomach in circular motions. Sound like something only Seabiscuit would enjoy? Not so. The dry brushing gently exfoliates and removes dead cells – and it feels groovy. Next, a mint marine foot mask is applied and your feet are wrapped in two cool, wet towels. The mint causes a pleasantly intense tingling sensation that lasts a few hours. Then comes the herbal steam treatment. Ever wanted to linger in a sauna but couldn’t because it was hard to breathe? With a.r.t.’s “Steamy Wonder” (a tent-like apparatus lowered from the ceiling on pulleys) you can enjoy the purifying benefits of a good steam without choking on hot air. Steamy Wonder is velcroed to the massage table while your neck and head remain outside. With the aid of a fan and the cold foot towels, you will not notice that steam inside the tent reaches up to 120 degrees, though you will feel the beads of sweat as they run down the length of your body. Near the end of the steam treatment, a very thorough face and scalp massage (they actually go inside your ears!). Finally, just when you think you couldn’t be more relaxed, an hour-long therapeutic massage turns contentment into bliss. a.r.t. is everything day spas should be: quiet, serene, and well-priced. Open 7 days a week.
Blue Hills Inn and Spa

Blue Hills Inn and Spa

21455 IH 10 West San Antonio, Texas 78257; Tel. 210.687.1110
For casual spa-goers, a brief lesson in spa categorization: A "destination" or "resort" spa is connected to a hotel or other property such as a health club and has as its main clientele travelers who spend an extended amount of time getting pampered on the premises. A "day" spa is usually freestanding and designed for locals, who can spend an hour or the whole day. Blue Hills Inn and Spa is technically a destination spa but also offers day spa services, making it an ideal getaway for locals or visitors. Across from the exclusive Dominion residential community and golf club, this hill country spa is pricey and worth it. A café, hair studio and fitness programs are also available. Private personal training: $65/hr. Moroccan Rassoul Wrap: $135. Swedish Massage: $80/hr. Endermology: $125+. Inn Rates: $179/night+
Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon & Spa

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon & Spa

650 North Star Mall, San Antonio, TX 78216; Tel. 210.341.5110
Customers pay a premium at this day spa for the Elizabeth Arden brand and plum location inside Saks at North Star Mall, but in return get above average service and organic beauty products. This compact spa also has a full service salon. Try the Red Door Signature Facial with Prevage ($100, 50 min) for the standard routine (cleanse-exfoliate-extract-mask-massage) with pleasing results. A warm mitt hand treatment is thrown in for good measure. Consistently good makes spas great, as any frequent spa-goer knows.
Integrative Healing Institute

Integrative Healing Institute

7979 Broadway Suite 107 San Antonio, TX 78209 210-829-1106
Some of the most effective bodywork isn't found in a run-of-the-mill Day Spa; many small shops set up by Registered Massage Therapists offer exceptional services for good value. Owned by RMT husband and wife duo, the Integrative Healing Institute is one of these. Ignore the corporate setting — the treatment rooms look like every other spa, complete with rainforest music and soft lighting. Once on the table, it becomes clear that this is not a standard massage. Natural Reflex Therapy™ (soft tissue techniques and reflex points) is combined with the typical broad, flowing strokes and pressure point manipulations of Swedish massage. An outstanding approach to alleviating stress and pain. 5 minutes from airport in front of The Collection at Broadway (see Shopping).
Mon-Fri 10-7, Saturdays by Appointment Only
Introductory 60 minute massage session for new clients $60
Aromatherapy $70
Natural Reflex Therapy $70/hr
Isabelle's European Day Spa

Isabelle's European Day Spa

17851 Rogers Ranch Parkway (1604 & Bitters) San Antonio, TX 78248 210-493-5544
"Like a trip to Europe." Forgive the overstatement: Isabelle's eponymous owner is French, and therefore prone to hyperbole. Besides the tasteful fleur de lis wallpaper, any European ambiance gets lost in a tacky mish mash of cosmetics, candles and Hello Kitty merchandise which crowd the lobby, reception, and even the hallways. Some of the desired aesthetic thankfully exists in the treatment rooms: a white and black antique dresser, countless smartly packaged bottles and jars lining a lovely old table, silk flowers and lace all lend warmth to a typically sterile space. Choice boggles the mind at Isabelle's: 250 pampering services in all. The oxygen facial ($75) is a stand out: 2 masks (one enzyme, the other clay) are painted on with soft, delicious strokes. The climax comes with a mixture of air and serum gently blown all over the face and neck in a concentrated stream. Every facial is accompanied by a hand massage, followed by the application of large heated mitts, which provide an intensive moisture treatment with their penetrating warmth. Not quite a trip to Europe, but definitely an escape from the everyday. Other notables: Pulsed Light (for aging, discoloration & rosacea, $100/session), Permanent Make Up ($345 and up, if you like that sort of thing), Airbrush Tanning ($35) and LeWrap (supposedly gets rid of cellulite and slims you down, $70).
K. Charles & Co.

K. Charles & Co.

18720 Stone Oak Plaza Suite #123 San Antonio, TX 78258 210-403-0955 Other locations: Spring Branch, TX 100 Knibbe Road 830-228-5652 info@kcharlesco.com
An Aveda Lifestyle Salon, K. Charles & Co.’s beauty philosophy stresses the importance of using environmentally friendly products based on botanical skin science. This Texas-sized day spa/salon is strategically situated in one of the fastest-growing areas of San Antonio. The emphasis here is on salon, but spa rooms are far enough away from the activity to ensure a relatively quiet relaxation space. One of the most popular skin services, the Elemental Nature Facial, begins with a “sensory journey”: a drop of three different scented essential oils is placed on the forehead in succession and the client selects the most pleasing aroma. This fragrance is then added to each product throughout the treatment. After the senses have been awakened, a customary steam opens and cleanses pores, followed by a mask. While the mask is drying, an unexpected mini arm and hand massage delights the upper extremities. Next, a thorough extraction of comedones (blackheads) is performed. Another mask sets during a smoothing foot exfoliation and moisturizing treatment. The final refreshing touch? K Charles is non-gratuity salon, which means a 15% savings comes automatically with each service. Elemental Nature Facial $85 Cut w/Master Stylist $40+ Caribbean Body Treatment $85

Laserfx Med Spa

Northwoods Shopping Center (1604 & 281) 18130 U.S. Hwy 281 Suite 100 San Antonio, TX 78232 210-496-2222
The coming together of medicine and spas is a growing trend, but execution of the concept is still relatively rare. One of San Antonio’s first medical spas is located in the heavy traffic and high income crossroads of 1604 & 281, where owner Brenda Pena (RN, MSN, CNS) and Medical Director John Kellum (MD) marry beauty with hard science. On the menu are 5 non-surgical cosmetic treatments: Botox, Laser Hair Removal, Medical Microdermabrasion, Intense Pulse Light Skin Rejuvenation and SunFX Tanning.

I’m scared of lasers, so I signed up for the fake tan and the microdermabrasion, also known as “the lunchtime facial”. Sans lasers and chemicals, Medical Microdermabrasion produces a surprising smoothness. It’s more aggressive than a day spa facial yet totally non-invasive. After a thorough cleansing and some extractions, 3 passes of a small vacuum-like apparatus containing aluminum oxide crystals over the face and neck exfoliate dead skin cells, stimulate collagen and reduce fine lines and discolorations. The sensation of the procedure is often compared to the soft scratchiness of a cat’s tongue licking the face, but I found that’s only accurate if the cat has just eaten Pop Rocks or some other exploding candy. A better barometer: microdermabrasion is much less painful than waxing. My very sensitive skin wasn’t even pink afterwards, perhaps thanks to the cool mask and gentle massage that followed.

As a reformed (ok, semi-reformed) sun worshipper, I’ve made it my mission to try every fake tanning product in search of the best. The all-natural SunFX tanning comes pretty close to perfect. Standing naked (bathing suit optional) in an open-faced tent, a technician hand-sprays me golden brown in about 5 minutes. The airbrush tan looks natural and doesn’t smell. Plus I won’t be paying for it in wrinkles when I’m 50. Free consults for all services.

Medical Microdermabrasion $99 SunFX Tanning $39 Purchase 5 or more of the same service and get 20% off the total price Open Tues-Sat

NEVA face + body

601 East Dewey Place, San Antonio TX 78212; Tel. 210.734.6382
Received BEST MASSAGE in San Antonio by SA Magazine and SPA WEEK voters.
Salon David Escape Spa

Salon David Escape Spa

6333 DeZavala Rd. Suite 100 San Antonio,TX 78249 210-690-CURL (2875)
In hushed voices, Escape Spa receptionists whisk clients away from the lively salon side to the inner lounge, a softly lit sanctuary where orange water and snacks are provided. The service menu here is also well-developed; selections range from stretch mark therapy and vitamin facials to massages and manicures.

Complete recovery from a long work week can be achieved through a heated stone massage (ask for Katrina - her small stature belies her strength). Smooth basalt and marble stones are warmed and coated in oils, then used in manipulations or placed on certain points of the body. Because stones hold heat more efficiently than hands, muscles relax faster and are penetrated more deeply, improving range of motion, circulation and overall relaxation. Some believe that since rocks are from the Earth, they transfer energy as well as heat. Supernatural powers or not, this massage rocks. Visit Salon David’s website for promotions and discounts. Heated Stone Massage 50 minutes, $70.
Shag

Shag

110 Warren San Antonio, TX 222-1700
While not a full service day spa, Shag the Salon offers the kind of unique beauty services that can take up to 8 hours: dreadlocks and thermal straightening are among the many diverse options. Upon checking in at the front desk/aquarium, you are immediately transported to the kind of futuristic salon where the Jetsons might get their hair cut. Owner and head stylist David Reed, along with his partner, Keith Taylor, are fabulous and friendly West Coast transplants who style clients ranging from goth to glam and even Gran. Open Wednesday-Saturday 10-6 & Sunday 12-6