EDITED BY SHERRI DALPHONSE
at the new Blu Water
spa begins with a
foot bath. Therapists
custom-mix the scrubs
and masks used on
hands and feet.
Shapes Salon & Day Spa in Virginia.
Spas are trying to drum up business by
offering specialsand starting frequent-user
clubs in which regulars earn points that are
redeemable for discounts and free services.
No matter how stressed you are, you
want to spend wisely.We tested dozens of
area spas, getting polished, pummeled, and
splurges and Steals pampered. We mostly chose spas geared to
relaxation rather than medical spas.
spas can be expensive-a facial or massage can cost $100 or more. Here are 30 experiences we felt were
worth the time and money. For full re-
We tested lots of area spas to come up with these 30 treatments views of most every spa in this article-
that are worth the time and money. and reviews of spas we didn't feel were
worth the expense-go to washingto-
Stocks are down. The economy's in re- opting for a 50-minute massage instead of nian.com/greatdayspas.
cession. What's a stressed person to do? 80 minutes. There are fewer impulse buys,
Apparently, get a massage. like $60 moisturizer, in spa boutiques. Best New Day spa in Maryland
"Even though people are cutting back, Still, says Sue Page of Elizabeth Arden Blu water Day Spa, Kensington
requests for massage therapists are in- Red Door Salon & Spa: "They won't give This spa has been open only since April
creasing," says JoAnna Hawthorne of up hair services or maintenance services 2008, so everything seems new and fresh.
the Spa at Mint, in DC's Adams Morgan. like waxing and pedicures." The changing area is beautiful-water in
"Instead of traveling, people are finding
it more economical to stay put and treat
themselves to a spa."
Some business has tapered off. Clients
are getting less-frequent facials. They're
While spa services aren't cheap-facials
can cost $120 or more-for some custom-
ers the expense is relative. "People don't
have money for plastic surgery, so they're
trying to get quick fixes," saysSam Lane of
the sink flows over river stones. There are
lovely extras: Every guest gets a robe and
slippers, and our tester's great facial-she
walked out glowing, and her pores looked
smaller the next day-came with a terrific
MAY 2009 I WASHINGTONIAN I 133
There's only one waxing room and a small
curtained area for eyebrows. But it's pleas-
ant and friendly and quick.
Sisters3 Boutique,2729 Wilson Blvd., Ar-
lington; 703-525-3333; shopsisters3.com.
Nail Studio & Day Spa, Reston
Istanbul native Lucy Yilmaz recently ren-
ovated her bright, modern salon, which is
home to eight other well-trained nail-and-
brow technicians who practice the Persian
art of threading. While the process is not
without pain, the friendly, no-nonsense
staffis expert at creating beautifully sculpt-
ed brows ($15) and removing unwanted
facial hair-often done while customers
are getting a manicure.
NailStudio & DaySpa, 1484 North Point
Village Center, Reston; 703-481-6245;
Best E-mail Specials
Rejuvenations in Herndonspecializes in massage-and its eight therapists, includingStacy Fountains Day Spa, Alexandria
Clevenger,are all well trained. This Old Town spa, in a lemon-yellow
rowhouse, has a cozy atmosphere you can't
eral couples the day our tester visited. Andre Chreky, Downtown DC help but love. Comfy chairs in the waiting
Amenity Day Spa, 44365 Premier Pla- Waxing expert Anisa Ghafoorzai is fast area are a nice spot to sip tea-in ceramic
za, Suite 120, Ashburn; 703-726-8100; when it comes to bikini lines but takes spe- mugs with saucers-or cucumber-infused
amenitydayspa. com. cial care with brows. Her elegant shaping, water while waiting for your treatment. We
plucking, and snipping often earn her clients recommend the facials-especially those
Best Spa Stimulus package compliments. One day every three months, done by owner Suzanne Olsen. Need more
Shapes Salon & Day Spa, waxing services are discounted 50 percent. reason to visit? Daily e-mail specials-you
Herndon and Fairfax Station Andre Chreky the Salon Spa, 1604 KSt., can sign up at the front desk-offer 10 to
The federal government has nothing NW; 202-293-9393; andrechreky.com. 25 percent off a variety of treatments.
on Shapes when it comes to encourag- Fountains Day Spa, 422 S. Washington
ing spending. Its "stimulus" deals include Erwin Gomez, Georgetown St., Alexandria; 703-549-1990; fountai-
$1-a-minute massages-a 50-minute mas- Star brow and makeup man Erwin Gomez nsdayspa.net.
sage, normally $80, is $50; a free manicure has built a national reputation for his deft
with every pedicure; and a buy-four-get- touch and effusive demeanor. His expert Most Earthy spa
two-free special on massages and facials. waxi.ng,though, comes at a price: $75 for an The still Point, Takoma park
Also check the spa's Web site for monthly initial visit, $50 thereafter. The salon's other This spa's decor is not at all slick; after
coupons. Popular massage therapists in- brow magician, Kari Slansky, has flown all, this is earthy, low-key Takoma Park. If
clude Sam Yoon in Fairfax Station and Es- under the radar but deserves a turn in the you leave a message asking for an appoint-
telle Kuldell in Herndon. spotlight. It is easy to get an appointment ment, you may not hear back for hours.
Shapes Salon & DaySpa, 2435 Centreville with Slansky; she's quick and professional, If you're a regular at Elizabeth Arden Red
Rd., Herndon, 703-713-0222; 5622-K and her rates-$45 for a first visit, $35 af- Door spa, this is not your kind of place. But
Ox Rd., Fairfax Station, 703-250-0000; terward-seem reasonable by comparison. i.fyouprefer a "green" spa with natural treat-
shapesdayspa.com. Also impressive: her eyebrow tinting ($40), ments and down-to-earth specialists who
which left our reviewer looking as if she'd never push products, it's a great bet. We
Best Brows gotten a good night's sleep. especially recommend massages by Fanny
Bluemercury, ErwinGomezSalon & Spa,1519 Wisconsin Mandleberger-60 minutes cost $80, 90
Georgetown and Dupont Circle Ave., NW; 202-333-7290; erwingomezs- minutes just $llO-and treatments at the
It might be the quickest $35 you'll ever alon.com. Sole Door, a room used for foot, hand, and
spend, but Lance Etchison, spa director at leg treatments such as massages and scrubs.
the Georgetown Bluemercury, will have Best waxing The Stillpoint, 7009 Carroll Ave., Lower
your eyebrows groomed and ready in just Sisters3, Arlington Level, Takoma Park; 301-920-0801; stillp-
a few minutes. He doesn't over-pluck-he This bright Clarendon shop is owned by, ointmindandbody. com.
left the tops of our tester's arches alone, just you guessed it, three sisters-Arlie Morgan,
cleaning up the lower line-and the result is Abby Hayes, and Alexandra Fisher. The Best spa Food
natural and polished. waxing is the most pain-free of any we've te Pap ilion Day Resort, Winchester
Bluemercury,3059 M St., NW, 202-965- found, and the job is thorough. Appoint- In sleepy Winchester lies a gem-Le
1300; 1619 Connecticut Ave., NW, 202- ments can usually be booked just a day or Papillon Day Resort, a salon and spa that
462-1300; bluemercury.com. two in advance, sometimes on the same day. understands the meaning of "day spa." You
MAY 20091 WASHINGTONIAN 1135