A $44 billion industry, day spas and salons are no longer special occasion destinations. And in New Orleans, a city that can just about do a body in, day spas offer services that are especially appreciated by tuckered tourists and locals alike.
Lovers of the spa/salon experience know that pampering treatments work wonders on everything from a strained neck to tired feet.
Massage therapy relieves chronic stress and tension, headaches and tendonitis. Skin treatments slough off dead skin, tighten pores and promote skin’s natural healthy glow. And a stylish haircut can banish bad hair days for good.
What's your pleasure? At these spas, located in some of the city's best hotels as well as in neighborhoods around town, options abound. One popular treatment is hot stone massage, with the therapist placing warmed smooth stones on body pressure points, in combination with warm oil and aromatherapy.
Or you can double your pleasure with a four-handed massage, with two trained therapists coordinating tandem Swedish, deep tissue or reflexology massage for 50, 60 or 90 minutes of sheer bliss. Or opt for a wellness treatment that might incorporate alternative practices such as energy medicine, reiki, and Traditional Chinese reflexology using pressure points to relieve stress and put your mind and body at ease.
Now that stress busting massage you need is as close as your smart phone. Soothe, the leader in on-demand massage service, is now in New Orleans. Turn your hotel room, rented cottage, home or office into a massage studio by using the free Soothe app for Apple or Android or calling 800-960-7668. Within an hour, 8 am to midnight, a licensed, vetted, professional massage therapist is at the door. He or she - your choice - brings everything necessary for the service - sheets, chill soundtrack, oils/lotions and a sturdy, comfortable massage table. Launched in 2013 by L.A.-based Merlin Kauffman, who created the company while at Harvard Business School, Soothe is in 30 cities, including New Orleans as of August 2016, and expanding fast. Here's how it works: just like you order a ride share service, you order a massage, specifying Swedish, deep tissue, sports, prenatal or couples. Pricing is fixed - 60 minutes for $99, 90 minutes for $139 and 120 minutes for $169, tip included. No cash is exchanged, since your account is linked to a credit card. It's that simple.
Hidden away on the mezzanine level of the Hotel Monteleone, Spa Aria is locally owned by New Orleans native Sandy Blum and her partner Cindy Cocke. Spa Aria delivers excellent value with packaged services like the Full Monty, a 3 1/2 hour treat that includes a manicure, pedicure, custom facial, and full body massage or reflexology treatment for $295. Ask about honeymoon packages and girlfriends' retreats. Massage is a specialty. If you're not staying at the Royal Street hotel, soak in the old world atmosphere in the classic lobby and have a drink at the Carousel Bar to celebrate your pampering.
If you have wheels and are staying outside of the city - or need a break from the New Orleans hubbub, this small day spa in the heart of Old Metairie fills the bill. Along with the usual facials, massage therapy, nail care and waxing, Serenity offers the It Works!line of products for body contouring along with nutritional supplements. Ask about organic treatments and anti-oxidant facials. Service is courteous and the setting is soothing. If you're looking for a lunch spot before or after Cafe B by Ralph Brennan on Metairie Road is a popular place with the local crowd.
Voted one of the top 10 coziest spas in the country by Travel and Leisure, Belladonna is a charming, small scale day spa with lots of personal flair. Locally owned and operated, the spa offers a creative menu of services, from the Be Bamboozled zen body retreat bath, salt scrub, and full body massage to the New Orleans appropriate Be Detoxed seaweed purifying wrap and cleanse. The multi service packages are well priced. Enjoy cucumber water and champagne while you browse in the store up front. After your treatment Magazine Street is always a great spot for shopping and a nibble.
Book a treatment at this serene haven on the eighth floor of the Loews hotel in the CBD and enjoy use of the hotel's pool fitness center, pool, whirlpool and dry sauna. A favorite of locals in need of a staycation day, Balance Spa uses Jan Marini products in a wide variety of facial treatments. If you're in a rush, 15-30 minute express services can be just what the doctor ordered. Have lunch before or after at the newly renovated Cafe Adelaide downstairs, where $.25 martinis are guaranteed to continue your quest for R&R. Last minute specials are often posted on the spa's website.
Waldorf Astoria Spa New Orleans is a swank day spa in the Roosevelt Hotel on the edge of the CBD. Expect high end treatments with the emphasis on European product lines. Local ingredients are also featured, like the official state fruit of Louisiana, the strawberry. Besides bodywork and facials, hair, nails and make up services are offered. Before your treatment, you have access to the 2,300-square-foot, fitness center. If you aren't staying at the hotel, add some time into your schedule to have a drink at the Sazerac Bar, a New Orleans icon, and delish half-price pizza at Domenica, a John Besh restaurant.
With two locations, one in the French Quarter and one in the CBD, this well appointed day spa is a good go-to for busy travelers in need of some pampering. Created and run by veteran licensed massage therapist Richard Borne, Spa Atlantis offers massage, skincare, and nail treatments incorporating well regarded product lines Dermalogica, 100% Pure, CND Shellac, Get Fresh, and Orleans Home Fragrances. While you're there, get a new 'do, a make up app and a spray on tan at the salon located at the front of the day spa. Spa Atlantis caters to busy travelers and last minute appointments are sometimes available.
A locals' fave, the Woodhouse Day Spa is a full service, upscale day spa, conveniently located just two miles away from the French Quarter on the Canal Street streetcar line with plenty of onsite parking. The emphasis is on both wellness and beauty here, with more than 70 treatments on the menu and an environment that both soothes and nurtures. Fluffy robes, hot teas and serene lighting set the mood for relaxation. In a city that can wreak havoc on a body from head to toe, Woodhouse Day Spa is the RX to get you back in the game. Ask about having a catered lunch served complete with cocktails.
"First we make the world revolve around you, then we gently slow it down..." That's the mission at the luxe Ritx-Carlton spa, a place where bubbling fountains and expert service set the stage for a welcome retreat. This is by far the grandest spa in town, complete with draped chandeliers and beau monde elegance. Signature treatments include the essence of magnolia, the magnolia sugar scrub, which leaves the skin polished and glowing, and the four handed massage, a kind of synchronized swimming on your body, with two therapists lulling you into a state of transcendent bliss. Experienced therapists offer more than 100 treatments, including indigenous therapies such as the Marie Laveau Voodoo Love Bath and Massage and the Essence of Magnolia Bath and Massage.
The Spa at Windsor Court is one of the best retreats in town. Intimate and serene, the 4,500-square-foot spa has 10 treatment rooms, including one wet room and one couple's treatment room, a sauna and salon facilities. Guests can use the outdoor pool at their leisure, order from the special spa menu and sip on cucumber infused water or a glass of bubbly. Bodywork and facials spotlight products by Naturopathica. Turn back the hands of time with the Royal Facial that combines the exfoliation of micro dermabrasion, with L.E.D. and oxygen therapies, guaranteed to leave you glowing. An added bonus: valet parking is free if you're getting a spa service.