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 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 $109, 90 minutes for $155 and 120 minutes for $205, tip included. No cash is exchanged, since your account is linked to a credit card. It's that simple.
Recommended for Spas because: This is the first vetted on-demand massage service available to visitors and locals in New Orleans.
Beth's expert tip: Most therapists welcome an additional gratuity however - it's really up to you.
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.
Recommended for Spas because: The Hotel Monteleone is a gem and Spa Aria makes it even better.
Beth's expert tip: Daily hours from 9 am to 8 pm is a plus for busy travelers.
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. There's also a location on Canal Street.
Recommended for Spas because: Serenity Day Spa offers a well priced option in another area of town.
Beth's expert tip: Check online for seasonal specials.
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.
Recommended for Spas because: It's a great little day spa in a super neighborhood.
Beth's expert tip: On street parking can be limited, so consider Lyfting or taking the bus.
Walk into the Valencia orange building on St. Claude avenue and say ahhhhhhhhh. Funky and community minded, The Healing Center is an umbrella of lots of makers and practitioners,from MoeJoe Joseph's bounce dance workshops to Wild Lotus Yoga, Two Guys Cutting Hair barbershop, a vet, PT studio, food co-op, performance space - this place is amazing. Then there's AHA! Affordable Healing Arts, a collective of healers on the second floor that includes Asian body work, massage therapy, chiropractic, reiki, acupuncture and even something called conscious connected breathing. Each therapist sets her or his own fee and the approach is especially caring and personal. Before you leave, check the Island Salvation Botanica on the ground floor for all things voodoo.
Recommended for Spas because: Loews is one of the best hotels in town that caters to the business traveler.
Beth's expert tip: Check the bulletin board across from the Food Co-Op in the back of the Healing Center for all kinds of off beat activities.
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 from 3-6 pm weekdays during happy hour at Domenica at the hotel's lobby level.
Recommended for Spas because: This gorgeous spa is well situated between the Central Business District and the French Quarter.
Beth's expert tip: Spa clients receive complimentary valet parking with each appointment.
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.
Recommended for Spas because: Both Spa Atlantis locations are within walking distance for most visitors.
Beth's expert tip: Couples' massage is a special treat.
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.
Recommended for Spas because: Accessible and east to get to, Woodhouse is a good fit for travelers.
Beth's expert tip: Woodhouse specializes in girlfriend getaways complete with food and drink.
"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 incorporate the flavors and scents of New Orleans, from coffee and praline to southern citrus and absinthe, cypress and moss. Try 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.
Recommended for Spas because: The Ritz is a known brand that always delivers.
Beth's expert tip: Louisiana residents always receive a 20 percent discount Monday through Thursday.
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.
Recommended for Spas because: In a city like New Orleans, who doesn't need some VIP pampering?
Beth's expert tip: If you're local, ask about discounts on services Monday through Thursday.