Answers from Our Experts (3)
For a little Windy City relaxation, Chicago has a quartet of Four-Star spas primed to massage, wrap and steam any and all stress away.
The Peninsula Spa Chicago is an Asian-inspired sanctuary with a full list of spa treatments from aromatherapy to facials. After walking through the large oak door at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa, you’ll enter the relaxation lounge featuring plenty of plush seating begging to be sunk into separated by individual curtains, immediately creating an atmosphere of personalized pampering. The Spa at Trump Chicago mirrors the luxury of its top-shelf hotel (the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Trump International Hotel & Chicago) in every way. Blond wood creates a calm atmosphere at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa while beautiful orchids help bring a small touch of nature to the booming metropolis of the city outside. For a taste of Greek-inspired heaven, Elysian Spa & Health Club is a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa featuring a mosaic-tiled pool, gorgeous walnut wood throughout and a masculine men’s atelier with old-fashioned shaves and other barber services. Marble floors and fountains will bring you into a zen-like state at The Spa at Four Seasons Chicago. This Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa runs the gamut of treatments such as the gemstone therapy, champagne paraffin pedicure (which ends with a glass of its namesake) and a wide range of massages such as the Harmony Massage for Couples.
Most of the city’s very best spas are found within the confines of a luxury hotel. And that’s just fine by me — who else really knows how to pamper, indulge and cater guests (Frette robes, free bubbly, fab lounges) like a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spot?
Among my personal favorites is The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. It’s an old-school luxury spa with a classic, comfy lounge, effective treatments and impeccable service. I book appointments here when I want to splurge. The spa also has a long history of unique seasonal treatments (pumpkin scrubs in the fall, scotch-fueled pedicures for Father’s Day), so there’s almost always something new to try on the menu.
The Peninsula Spa Chicago is a lovely space with an Asian-inspired vibe that is as warm as it is exotic. The treatments are indulgent and range from Eastern specialties like Thai and Balinese massages to a salt and oil scrub that’s anything but basic. Hit the fitness center’s indoor pool and outdoor sundeck post treatment.
Treatment rooms and the fitness facilities at The Spa at Trump Chicago take advantage of the hotel’s stunning views — head to your appointment early to get in a workout while you look out at the Chicago River and beyond. The locker room is as luxe and roomy as they get, and this spa is the only one in the city that features treatments by Kate Somerville, Hollywood’s go-to skin guru.
The boutique spa Allyu is away from the hotels in River North but still close enough to book for a quick visit. I simply love to Zen-out here. It’s a gorgeous health-driven, eco-conscious spa with primo services without primo prices. The tented meditation area is worth a trip alone. Treatments range from traditional hot stone massages to reflexology to firming facials.
One more spot I can’t wait to check out is the Chuan Spa at the new Langham Chicago (the spa set to open in August 2013). This place will be unlike any other in the city, with an herbal sauna, a salt stone sauna and an oriental steam room. When I finally get in for an appointment I plan on showing up as early as possible to take advantage of all the fancy facilities.
Most of the best spas in town are attached to luxury hotels. The Peninsula Spa Chicago, The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, The Spa at Trump Chicago, and the Elysian Spa & Health Club at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago are all Forbes Star-rated winners, and deservedly so, offering unique body treatments, a wide array of services for men, and top-notch standard services like manicures and pedicures.
With a nod toward Asian treatments, the Peninsula Spa offers a traditional Thai Poultice treatment focused on muscle relaxation as well as Ayurvedic rituals and experiences meant to balance spirit, mind and body. The spas at Trump Chicago and Four Seasons Hotel Chicago are both more traditional, offering seasonal facials, body treatments and hand and foot maintenance and massages. The Elysian & Health Club also offers traditional services, as well as some pre-natal services and a wide variety of men’s grooming options, all in a luxurious setting.
Beyond the Forbes Star–rated spas, Bliss is a steadfast go-to for excellent day-spa treatments in a relaxed environment with a take-home line of products to match. Finally, if you’ve got wheels, the tantalizing Kohler Waters Spa at Burr Ridge is worth the trek for booking a full day’s relaxation. The little sister of the Forbes Five-Star rated Kohler Waters Spa in Kohler, Wis., the Burr Ridge location features several of the same treatments in an easy-to-get-to suburban Chicago location.