It's that magical time of year again -- with gifts to buy, packages to mail, cookies to bake and presents to wrap, the joy (and stress) of the holiday season is upon us, and will likely leave you with a few new nuggets of tension as a result. Give yourself a gift and take a break from the holiday madness with a deep tissue massage from one of our favorite spas below. A gift card for a massage would also make a great stocking stuffer!
The Huntington Spa with Chuan Body + Soul
The Langham Huntington
1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106
Deep Tissue Massage: 60 minutes – $160; 90 minutes – $230
The Huntington Spa offers unique massage therapies, facials and body treatments for revitalization and relaxation. It's also the only luxury hotel spa in Los Angeles to offer treatments based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), from Chuan Body + Soul, the resort's "spa within a spa." Salon services are offered as well, offering makeup lessons, manicures, pedicures and a variety of hair services.
The deep tissue massage is a combination of traditional Swedish movements and deep concentrated work that targets tight muscles caused by stress and tension. Ask for David, who is very intuitive and gives an incredible massage. His hands are magic and will help break down those knots of tension and get you on your way – feeling fabulous.
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village
Two Dole Drive
Westlake Village, CA 91362
Advanced Therapeutic Massage: 50 minutes - $165; 80 minutes - $235
Once you step foot into this spacious and luxurious spa, it's easy to see why the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village was voted one of the top spas in America by "Conde Nast Traveler." The spa is definitely a nurturing oasis and a great place to indulge, relax and unwind.
The Advanced Therapeutic Massage is a deep-tissue treatment using different massage modalities to break down the body's nodules and encourage proper muscle function. The spa offers an extensive menu of treatments and includes 12 types of massages, 30 face and body treatments, dermatology, nutrition, fitness, health and wellness and even dentistry!
For an extra splurge, enjoy your spa treatment in the privacy of your own spa suite, which includes two massage tables, a double sided-fireplace, day bed, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi spas, a bathroom with amenities, a shower with multiple shower heads and a private patio to enjoy lunch.
101 Wilshire Boulevard (entrance on 2nd Street)
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Deep Tissue Massage: 30 minutes - $110; 60 minutes - $145; 90 minutes - $195
Located inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows, the Exhale Santa Monica studio and spa offers a unique combination of mind body classes (core fusion and yoga) and spa therapies (face, massage, acupuncture, energetic and specialty), so you can work out first and indulge in a relaxing spa treatment afterwards.
The Deep Tissue Massage focuses on an intensely therapeutic massage for overworked muscles, targeting specific areas in need of relief. Ask for Paul, one of my favorite therapists and an expert in Deep Tissue Massage. He has a natural talent for finding those pressure points to relieve stress and pain. If you feel like talking, he's also a wonderful conversationalist or you can relax completely in blissful silence and let his magical hands do the talking.
The Spa at Terranea
6610 Palos Verdes Drive South
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Therapeutic Massage: 60 minutes - $185; 90 minutes - $265
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Palos Verdes coastline, The Spa at Terranea is set in an idyllic location and is my favorite destination spa in Southern California. This oceanfront retreat offers a variety of spa and wellness treatments, many inspired by the resort's coastal location.
The Therapeutic Massage I received was excellent and I could feel the tension melt away as the rhythmic waves of the ocean lulled me into a state of deep relaxation. There's nothing better than hearing the gentle, soothing roar of the ocean while receiving a massage. The stunning ocean view can be seen from some of the therapy rooms and the relaxation lounge, but is more fully enjoyed outside, at the spa pool or while having a relaxing lunch.
By purchasing a 60-minute spa treatment or salon service, guests have access to the spa pool, steam, sauna, whirlpools and both indoor and outdoor relaxation lounges. After your massage, order a customized bento box from the Spa Café and enjoy your lunch with a spectacular view of the sparkling Pacific below. Trust me, you won't want to leave!
The Spa at Beverly Wilshire
9500 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Deep Tissue Massage: 60 minutes – $170; 90 minutes – $260; 120 minutes - $330
The Spa at Beverly Wilshire luxury hotel is a chic haven in the heart of Beverly Hills. Its sleek, modern décor, music and a subtle, changing colored light in the lobby gives the spa a lounge club vibe.
The treatment rooms are quiet, warm and inviting sanctuaries. A Deep Tissue Massage is perfect for those who are physically active and have sore muscles. It is very effective and provides relief from tension while increasing your range of flexibility.
My intuitive massage therapist, Neris, was amazing. With more than 10 years of experience, he moved like an artist, finding a rhythm and using his hands and arms as different tools with varying amounts of pressure to eliminate my knots of tension. After the massage, he offered me a cup of herbal tea and dark chocolate, as I further relaxed in the soothing relaxation lounge.
If you're looking for another special treat, try the exclusive Diamond Infusion Facial from Natura Bisse (with a promotional price $295 for 60 minutes during the holidays). You can put your best face forward and have a stress-free holiday from all the tension that's left your body from the intensive and wonderful massage.
Liz Laing is a writer, web designer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Her latest projects may be followed on Liz Laing.
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