Posts Tagged ‘spa’

Larchmont Sanctuary Spa offers luxe experiences in neighborhood setting

I’ve been to large chain spas and luxury hotel spas, but sometimes a smaller, more intimate-feeling spa is just what the doctor ordered. That’s where Larchmont Sanctuary Spa comes in.

larchmont sanctuary spa outside

Centrally located in the always-cute Larchmont Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, the spa is housed in a converted bungalow on Larchmont Boulevard within walking distance of all the shops and restaurants in the area. Because it’s in a house, there’s a backyard where you can get treatments outside — a unique experience perfect for beautiful LA weather.

larchmont sanctuary spa cabana

Larchmont Sancutary Spa, which used to be called Le Petite Retreat before new ownership took over a few years ago, has just about everything you would be looking for in a full-service spa, with the exception of a wet sauna and a communal hot tub. However, there are now new Himalayan salt treatments, including a stone massage, scrub and inhaler available for purchase, and all spa products are now organic and cruelty-free. The spa also has a special ergonomic copper hydrotherapy tub that can be booked as part of a package.

As part of the ongoing improvements, the spa plans to update many of the common areas, including the Relaxation Room and the locker rooms.

“It’s all very exciting, and we can’t wait for everyone to be able to enjoy the new ambiance,” said Scott Buss, co-owner of Larchmont Sanctuary Spa. “We are [also] one of the few spas in Los Angeles with therapists certified in oncology treatments to enable individuals that are going through, or have gone through, cancer treatments to safely enjoy the benefits of a massage or facial.”

My experience

I got a Himalayan stone massage from Vivian, a very nice young woman. Because I have been suffering from neck, shoulder and upper back pain for over a year, I asked for medium to firm pressure, and boy, did Vivian deliver. She used a combination of deep tissue and sports massage, targeting my problem areas and stretching out the muscles that needed it. The salt stones were heated up and used to target those stubborn knots, loosening them up. I felt good afterward for almost a week, which is a big deal when you’ve been dealing with pain almost every day for more than a year.

I would definitely go back to Larchmont Sanctuary Spa, and I’ll probably ask for Vivian again, now that I know her massages are sure to make me feel great. The spa also has super comfy robes and luxe sheets on the massage tables. And being a smaller operation means you get more personal attention, which isn’t always the case at some of the bigger spas. There are reasonably priced memberships, too. So next time you’re going to YogaWorks or getting some Salt & Straw ice cream down the street, stop by and check it out.

Note: This visit to Larchmont Sanctuary Spa was complimentary.


07 2017

Travelogue: The Oaks at Ojai

The Oaks at Ojai

The Oaks at Ojai

Ojai, a sleepy agricultural town nestled in a valley in Ventura County, Calif., has become one of my favorite local getaways. There’s an overall feeling of community with an emphasis on small, local businesses that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. And no place does that better than The Oaks at Ojai, an all-inclusive wellness spa situated right in the middle of downtown.

The Oaks offers traditional spa amenities along with fitness classes, meals, wellness activities and overnight accommodations all for one incredibly reasonable price (rates start at $199 per person per night, but you may have to share a room). As the focus is on wellness here, your daily caloric intake is limited to 1,000 calories a day via three meals, snacks and beverages. Chef Christine Denney creates high-fiber, no-sugar and no-salt menus that will help you lose weight and generally feel better.

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09 2012

Relax at Larchmont Sanctuary Spa

Le Petite Retreat Day Spa

Larchmont Sanctuary Spa

Sometimes going to a spa isn’t as relaxing as you’d like. Sometimes there are just too many people, too much foot traffic. If you’re looking for a truly relaxed spa experience in a more intimate setting than, say, Burke Williams (no offense, Burke Williams; I like you just fine), Larchmont Sanctuary Spa, formerly Le Petite Retreat Day Spa, in Larchmont Village might just be the spot.

While Larchmont Sanctuary Spa is small, it doesn’t skimp on amenities. The robes are über comfy, the communal waiting room is cozy (fireplace, fountain, complimentary drinks and snacks), and the treatment rooms are appropriately relaxing. I got the signature Jade Stone Massage Therapy treatment, which incorporates the use of rubbing alternating hot and cold jade stones over your body with Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai and deep tissue massage. The hot stones relax your muscles, and the cold stones help reduce inflammation. This is no wussy massage; the therapist, who was about half my size, worked me over! But that just meant I left feeling totally relaxed.

Larchmont Sanctuary Spa offers all kinds of facials (including a caviar serum), scrubs (Ionic Detox Foot Bath, anyone?) and even eyelash extensions. The spa also caters to couples with various couples treatments and a champagne bath for two as an add on, where you’ll lounge in a copper tub surrounded by flickering candles sipping champagne. Not bad, huh?

I originally wrote about this place for Gilt City. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll find another deal for Larchmont Sanctuary Spa soon!

Note: Updated to reflect the spa’s name change.


01 2012

Travelogue: Aria Hotel and CityCenter, Las Vegas

If you’ve been following my Twitter and Facebook page feeds, then you already know that I recently spent a weekend in Las Vegas with Lindsay of LAist, Esther of estarLA and Caroline of Caroline on Crack, and that we stayed at the Aria Hotel & Casino. The property was a breath of fresh air in many ways, and not just because of the vanilla scent that’s pumped in. Aria seems to attract a more mature, yet still hip, clientele, which makes getting around a lot more pleasant than it is at many other hotels in the area (i.e., the douchey factor is a lot lower). The decor is modern but low-key (The Cosmopolitan it is not), but there’s still a nightclub and a daytime pool club for partying types. All this made for a relaxing and fun stay.

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10 2011

Green hands and feet: Recess Nail Spa

Recess Nail Spa. From Green L.A. Girl.

I recently checked out Recess Nail Spa, an environmentally friendly nail salon not far from the Beverly Center, and came away impressed. For one thing, the space is huge — it looked about three times the size of a typical nail salon — and it was much more luxurious, with plush chairs and flat screen TVs. Aside from actual spas, I have never seen a dedicated nail salon look so nice.

I got a manicure and pedicure, courtesy of a gift card I won at The Fashion Frontline launch party. I got the the Basic Manicure, which includes a mani, hot towels and massage, and the Basic Pedicure, which includes a pedi, scrub, hot towels and massage. I had two people working on me at the same time, and both did a great job. I chose a pink-coral color from SpaRitual, which according to its website, is a vegan nail polish line free of synthetic dyes. I’ve noticed that the color doesn’t chip as much as it wears away from the tips. Recess also carries Zoya, which is free of toluene, formaldehyde, phthalates and camphor. You also get your choice of lotion for your massage, with scents that are sweet, spicy or citrusy.

I was also happy with the service. Even though I came in without an appointment less than an hour before closing time, the salon accommodated me and didn’t make me feel rushed at all.

Through the end of August, the salon is offering a special on the Basic Manicure for $20 and the Basic Pedicure for $30. If you want to save $5, just forgo the hot towels. I’ve had similar manis at actual spas (and even ones that weren’t as good) for much more. This is a great deal. I just may have to make this a regular part of my beauty regimen!


08 2010

Travelogue: Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Part 1

Going to the desert usually isn’t my idea of a good time. I don’t like long drives, and heat doesn’t sit well with me. So I hesitated at first when the opportunity to spend a weekend in Indian Wells, Calif., presented itself because that’s, like, past Palm Springs.

You see, I was invited by the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, a Marriott property, to stay a night and experience its restaurants, Sirocco and CAVA. I wasn’t sure about the desert location as I knew very little about Indian Wells other than a big tennis tournament happens there every year, but then I saw this on the hotel’s website

and immediately changed my mind. Indian Wells, here I come!

In this post I’ll discuss the hotel property, and in a subsequent post I’ll feature the resort’s food, so stay tuned.

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06 2010