After a luxurious treatment at the Four Seasons Spa, further decompress with a poolside siesta. (Photo courtesy The Four Seasons Philadelphia)
As the holiday season sets in, there is no better time for a reminder to take a step back and relax.
Whether enjoying a vacation, a staycation or just an hour or two of pampering, Philadelphia day spas and salons are well equipped to provide an urban escape, offering clients a variety of luxurious customized services to refresh both body and spirit.
They feature the latest in body treatments, relaxation therapy and beauty services — from the most basic of mani-pedis to deeply transformative Thai yoga massages to rejuvenating facials.
Read on for our picks of spas and salons in Philadelphia, and let us know which dens of relaxation you rely on.
• AnaSa Day Spa: Washington Square West, 204 S. 12th Street, 2nd floor, 215-829-1009. AnaSa Day Spa focuses on total body health with its mix of traditional and non-traditional offerings, including massage therapy, facials, waxing, eyelash extensions and treatments just for female private areas. AnaSa features a number of packages, including a bridal option that covers six months of wedding beauty prep.
• Bluemercury Apothecary and Spa: Rittenhouse, 1707 Walnut Street, 215-569-3100; University City, 3603 Walnut Street, 215-222-2366. With a location in a 19th-century brownstone near Rittenhouse Square, another in University City and two on the Main Line, Bluemercury draws high-end beauty enthusiasts. Estheticians combine products from a range of brands to create a customized service for each client. Guests come here to pick up their favorite products from chic makeup and skincare lines such as Bliss, NARS, Bobbi Brown and Darphin.
• Body Restoration: Rittenhouse, 1611 Walnut Street, 215-569-9599. A skin and body day spa in Center City, Body Restoration’s specialties include vinotherapy, the art of using grapes and wine-making ingredients as spa therapy. The signature “Crushed Chianti Scrub” features a mix of finely ground grapes grown at vineyards in Pennsylvania’s countryside, honey, wine yeast and grapeseed oil to improve circulation and slough away dead skin while moisturizing dry spots. The spa also offers a range of other specialty massages, in addition to facials and waxing.
• Eviama Life Spa: Midtown Village, 109 S. 13th Street, 2nd floor, 215-545-3344. Designed with eco-friendly decor, Eviama Life Spa provides an innovative mix of wellness treatments, including organic facials, transformative massages, restorative body therapies, non-irritating waxing and light and color vibrational therapies to improve mood, bring on sleep or reduce stress. Estheticians work with mostly all-natural, paraben-free products, and the boutique sells earth-friendly and fairly traded gifts.
• Rescue Spa Philadelphia: Rittenhouse, 1601 Walnut Street, 3rd floor, 215-772-2766. An urban oasis neighborhood, Rescue Spa Philadelphia is the brainchild of Polish-born beauty Danuta Mieloch. Among the signature services: the instantly transformative “BioLift” facial, impeccable waxes and nail services and great massages. Rescue’s technology-oriented beauty treatments include eMatrix, a fractionated bi-polar radio frequency that helps reduce hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and acne scars. The spa has received numerous awards, including a “Best of Beauty” nod from Allure.
• Spa Four Seasons Hotel: Logan Square, 1 Logan Square, 215-405-2815. An all-day, everyday refuge for relaxation, the subterranean Spa Four Seasons Hotel features Naturopathica holistic skin and body products. Mani-pedis and waxing join an extensive array of massages, facials and body treatments for men and women. Inspired by the season, specially created signature treatments such as a cranberry antioxidant treatment to revitalize dull winter skin, celebrate the weather outdoors. As a bonus, spa guests have access to the hotel’s adjacent indoor pool.
• Terme Di Aroma: Old City, 32 N. 3rd Street, 215-829-9769. A Mediterranean-inspired day spa, Terme Di Aroma blends the enchantment of the past with an fantastic selection of aromatherapy skincare, Thai yoga and hot-stone massages, microdermabrasion and other body treatments. Mentioned in Allure and O, The Oprah Magazine, Terme is a Philly favorite.
• 3000BC WellMed Spa: Chestnut Hill, 8439 Germantown Avenue, 215-247-6020. At 3000BC WellMed Spa, a medical day spa in Chestnut Hill, facials begin a six-part skin evaluation and can include everything from gentle help for sensitive skin to Sculptra and Restylane injections. Body treatments range from basic sports massages to cellulite-vacuuming procedures. Practically no one leaves without picking up one of 3000BC’s own products.
• Adolf Biecker Spa/Salon: Rittenhouse, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, 3rd floor, 215-735-6404; University City, 134 S. 34th Street, 215-418-5550. Open daily in The Rittenhouse Hotel, Adolf Biecker Spa/Salon offers a full menu of hair, nail, facial and body-care services and packages like “The Energizer,” including an exfoliating spa-glow treatment, a re-energizing aromatherapy massage and a customized facial. The spa/salon uses Aveda products exclusively, and its modern Adolf Biecker Studio in West Philadelphia boasts lower prices and a full menu of hair, nail and waxing services.
• East End Salon: Old City, 219 Arch Street, 215-592-6486. Sometimes guys want to get lavishly groomed, but in a place that feels a bit more masculine. Old City’s East End Salon features a whole floor, decorated in heavy wood and antiques, where men can get a shave, haircut and hand-and-feet attention—all while watching the game and sipping a beer. Women, of course, are regular customers too, but most prefer the facility’s lower floors for great cuts, classic facials, mani-pedis and a beauty boutique.
• Giovanni & Pileggi: Washington Square West, 258 S. 11th Street, 215-568-3040. After spending 15 years in Philadelphia’s posh Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, Giovanni & Pileggi made the move to Washington Square West in 2012. The salon’s top-notch service continues though, with a variety of hair coloring, cuts, styling, specialty treatments and bridal packages.
• Jay Michael Salon and Spa: Logan Square, 1600 Arch Street, 267-514-8000. With two locations — Center City Philadelphia and Radnor in Delaware County — Jay Michael Salon and Spa offers a full range of hair services (precision cuts, extensions, Keratin treatments), plus nail and makeup services and waxing. Also on the menu at Jay Michael’s downtown location: relaxation and stress relief through customized massages, facials and body treatments.
• Juju Spa, Salon & Organics: Queen Village, Salon, 713 S. 4th Street, 215-238-6080; Spa, 728 S. 4th Street, 215-922-3235. The petite Juju Salon & Organics and Juju Spa & Organics mix modern equipment with organic, plant-based and, in most cases, vegan products for revolutionary spa and salon treatments. Besides nail care, hair care, massages, waxing and organic microdermabrasion facials, Juju specializes in acupuncture and Reiki, an ancient method of transmitting healing energy through the resting of hands.
• Laurentius Salon: Bella Vista, 815 Christian Street, 215-238-0764. Celebrity stylist Laurentius Purnama believes anyone can be beautiful with the right stylist. And his clients — famous or not — feel like stars at his ultra-modern Laurentius Salon in the Italian Market area. Regulars know to book appointments well in advance for luscious Keratin treatments, as well as bamboo pedicures that rejuvenate feet with raw sugar and fresh lemongrass.
• The Parlour: Fishtown, 1339 Frankford Avenue, 215-278-7613. In Fishtown, report to The Parlour for conceived-in-house hair and skin services in a charming space that has a hip, unpretentious vibe. Book a service a the year-old spot for a gentle Ayurvedic facials, a sharp razor cut or an all-natural makeup application. Keep an eye out for local beauty lines, too, including the essential oil blends of Hollow & Ridge.
• Pileggi on the Square: Washington Square West, 717 Walnut Street, 215-627-0565. Pileggi on the Square, located on historic Washington Square, houses a full-service spa and salon with an upscale fashion boutique adjacent to the spa. The favored services here include intense 60-minute Elemis facials and body treatments and the family spa experience — a mini-facial for parent and mini-mani-pedi for child.
• Richel D’Ambra Spa & Salon: Rittenhouse, 10 Avenue of the Arts, 215-523-8035. Richel D’Ambra Spa & Salon at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia creates a comfort zone for body, hair and skin treatments. Special services include couples’ massages and aromatherapy treatments incorporating seasonal natural flower essences and a four-handed massage.
• Toppers Spa/Salon: Rittenhouse, 117 S. 19th Street, 215-496-9966. Toppers Spa/Salon has be providing massage therapies, hair services, facials, waxing and nail treatments, as well as bridal packages, for decades. Its multiple locations cater to both men and women, and each is meant to feel like a sanctuary inspired by a specific destination — the Center City outpost evokes the charm of Tuscany and the Almafi coast.
• American Mortals: Washington Square West, 727 Walnut Street, 215-574-1234; Graduate Hospital, 2101 Christian Street, 215-519-2325. American Mortals’ (a.k.a. AMMO) twin locations cater to the young (and young at heart) through cuts and color with a hipster edge. Named one of the country’s top 100 salons twice by Elle, the self-proclaimed “unsalon” produces its own line of coveted hair and body products with tongue-in-cheek names like Hair-o-in and Rev-o-lotion.
• AMS Luxury Salon: Rittenhouse, 262 S. 16th Street, 215-569-1515. For an expert cut, color or blow dry in minimalist surroundings, visit AMS Luxury Salon. Owner Alex Molchadskiy — “The Dry Cutting Wizard” — has more than a decade of experience, and surrounds himself with highly trained stylists and colorists. Plus, the salon offers super-sanitary nail services and hosts festive happy hour blow dry specials, offering a blowout for just $25 on Thursday evenings.
• Beehive Hair Salon: Fairmount, 2323 Fairmount Avenue, 215-235-4483. Beehive Hair Salon, a funky shop in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, mixes an old-fashioned feel with down-to-earth retro chic to produce sophisticated styles for the whole family. Co-owners Ev Aslanova and Diana Bogrett also offer in-demand services like nail and skin care, body waxing and bridal hair and makeup.
• Fringe Salon: East Passyunk, 1728 E. Passyunk Avenue, 215-339-1778. In the heart of the traditional and trendy East Passyunk neighborhood of South Philly, Fringe Salon draws clients for modern cuts, cool art shows and free, unlimited visits with Uli, the resident cat.
• Groom: Washington Square West, 1324 Locust Street, basement, 215-545-2626. Hidden below a ho-hum Center City apartment building, Groom is a totally old-school barbershop owned by thoroughly new-school barber Joe McMenamin. Friendly as can be, Joe and his team expertly guide guys through their first straight-razor shave and haircut, applying hot towels and wisely wielding clippers (and providing ample reading material) along the way.
• Moko: Old City, 55 N. 3rd Street, 215-922-MOKO. Natural and organic scalp and hair treatments, razor cuts, hair color, waxing, makeup and Ayurvedic facials populate the menu at Old City’s sleek Moko. Using non-toxic, soy-based wax, Moko’s waxing services have received “best of” mentions from Allure and DailyCandy. A beauty boutique rounds out the chic-yet-holistic experience.
• Salon Royale Court: Rittenhouse, 215 S. Broad Street, 215-893-3800. Encompassing 3,000 square feet, the newly relocated Salon Royale Court overlooks the iconic and buzzing Avenue of the Arts from a freshly remodeled second-story location. Clients can get the royal treatment through the modern salon’s comprehensive menu of services, which includes mani-pedis, eyebrow waxing, up-dos and precision cuts and color using shampoo and styling products from Kerastase, Redken and Moroccan Oil. The in-house Makeup Bar makes it a one-stop beauty shop.
• Salon Sugar: Queen Village, 711 E. Passyunk Avenue, 215-922-5522. A bubble-gum pink beauty parlor with a laidback retro vibe, Salon Sugar caters to nontraditional beauty types looking for affordable, edgy razor cuts, dreadlocks, hair extensions and custom dye jobs in any color imaginable. The tiny one-chair salon, owned by Candace “Candi” McNerney, also sells funky accessories like brightly hued hair clips and purses made by McNerney and other local artists.
• T.R.I.M.: Rittenhouse, 1701 Spruce Street, 267-908-5334. For men in search of a head-to-toe makeover, there’s T.R.I.M. (Tradition Restored In Men), a full-service, old-school grooming studio housed within Henry A. Davidsen Master Tailors & Image Consultant’s Rittenhouse showroom. Within arm’s reach of the custom wardrobe and styling services, men can sit for a classic straight-razor shave, haircut and hot towel steam facial, all while sipping a complimentary cocktail from T.R.I.M.’s premium bar.
• BLO/OUT Blow Dry Bar: Rittenhouse, 1804 Chestnut Street, 215-305-8245. No cuts and no color are offered at this salon. The Center City location of BLO/OUT Blow Dry Bar specializes in one thing only: blow outs. No appointments are necessary, either, for gals to arrive for a wash, blow dry and expert style for $35.
• F.A.N FriendandNemesis: Fishtown, 2472 Frankford Avenue, 267-687-8848. Part salon, part boutique and part photo studio, F.A.N FriendandNemesis is a one-stop-shop for hip beautification in an industrial space in Fishtown/East Kensington.
• Lacquer Lounge: Queen Village, 501 Fitzwater Street, 215-987-3656. Tucked away just off 4th Street’s busy business corridor, Lacquer Lounge is worth seeking out for its superior commitment to sanitation (including disposable pedicure bowls), an excellent selection of on-trend polish, complimentary bubbly or wine, an awesomely affordable costume jewelry selection, and beauty services like blowouts and braids.
• Tierra Mia Organic Nail Spa: Rittenhouse, 328 S. 17th Street, 215-735-7980. Mango, coconut and other South American flavors figure strongly into the menu of nail and waxing services at Tierra Mia Organic Nail Spa. The laid-back-yet-cutting-edge business prides itself on all-natural beauty solutions, from its non-toxic, water-based nail polishes infused with natural, aromatic oils to its soy-based waxes. Floor to ceiling, the organic spa boasts VOC-free, sustainable and recycled building materials.
• Ursula’s About PHace: Rittenhouse, 1700 Sansom Street, Suite 201, 215-557-1562. Before opening her Rittenhouse makeup salon, Ursula Augustine worked for some of the top names in the business, including Bobbi Brown, Stila and NARS, and she was the resident makeup artist at Adolf Biecker Spa/Salon. Today, the cosmetics connoisseur services individuals and groups at Ursula’s About PHace. Augustine prides herself on the exceptional service and real-life makeup knowledge that she offers to women in her studio.