The 9 Best Spas In Chicago

By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 19, 2014 10:50PM

Whether you're looking for a simple manicure or a full day of being kneaded, plied, pulled and picked until you feel like a new person, there's a spa day for everyone in Chicago.

There are scores of day spas and treatments in Chicago. These are the ones where we (and a few readers) would spend our money.

Paradise Sauna
If you simply want a no-frills, no-thrills, yet still invigorating spa experience then head to this Albany Park institution with simple and effective steam rooms, dipping pools and whirlpools. Masseuses are on hand to provide full-body massages and body scrubs to remove your crusty outer layers (extra charges apply). The only thing Paradise truly lacks on a busy day is a place to relax your mind with some peace and quiet but you should have beaten your body into submission between the sauna and pools that you're off in a tranquil space mentally. —Chuck Sudo

Paradise Sauna is located at 2912 W. Montrose Ave. 773-681-0011.

Elemental Natureā„  Facial at Douglas J Aveda Institute
If you are looking for a beauty bargain deal in Chicago, chances are you’ve visited the Aveda Institute, where you can get services from students for a fraction of the cost of regular salon treatments. I received a few mediocre and a few excellent haircuts and dye jobs there during my college days but have found the real gem at the Aveda Institute; facials. A 60-minute facial will run you $44, a 90-minute is $49 and it is the perfect price for those who are curious and haven’t had a facial before or a great deal to maximize your “treat yo' self” dollars. Besides the price being right, the multiple facials I’ve had were wonderful. The area is in the basement, away from the hustle and bustle of the hair salon. Serene music plays, you’re offered a variety of scents to choose from and besides the facial itself you also get some hand and foot massage pampering as well. There are no separate rooms so you might hear some low chatter from a neighbor, but thick curtains separate each area. This is a student situation, so expect a supervisor to stop in at some point to make sure your needs and skin is being treated correctly. You’ll lay on a comfy and sturdy massage bed, cozy enough to almost fall asleep. Each time I’ve gone I leave feeling refreshed, my skin glowing and my bank account still happy. — Lisa White

Douglas J Aveda Institute is located at 2828 N. Clark St. 312-664-0417.

Mojo Spa
You can treat yourself and then some at this Wicker Park spa that is pure decadence along with a bottomless mimosa to sip through the hot towel application—and the treatment lasts just long enough to assure you you’re getting your money’s worth. You’ll feel so relaxed you’ll inevitably buy whatever color eyeshadow your aesthetician recommends, despite the fact that you don’t wear eyeshadow and don’t intend to start. But this is beside the point, because your cerulean frost toes are still tingling with pleasure that will linger well into the afternoon and you’re a little tipsy besides. It’s been a good morning. —Melissa Wiley

Mojo Spa is at 1468 N Milwaukee Ave. 773-235-6656.

IVme Hydration Spa
Lorna Juett and Paul Leddy chronicled their shared experience at the former Revive Hydration Spa last year but you don't need to be hungover to enjoy their services. They're available for people getting over severe colds, bouts with the flu, exhaustion from working out too much, health and beauty treatments, jet lag or general exhaustion. If you don't want to be hooked up to an IV, they offer B12 injections and oxygen treatments to tide you over until the next time you decide to polish off a bottle of Jeppson's Malort.—Chuck Sudo

IVme Hydration Spa is located at 220 W. Ontario Street, Suite 450. 312-350-1822

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Allyu Spa (Photo credit: John Faier)

Allyu Spa
This River North spa blends traditional and alternative, holistic methods to create a relaxing atmosphere and one of the best spa experiences in Chicago. The massages here are top notch but Allyu offers a full range of amenities including mani-pedis, waxing and threadings, reflexology and chakra balancing, saunas and shower rooms. It may be a bit too new age for some but enough people swear by Allyu to name it the best day spa in Chicago in both Chicago magazine and the Reader. —Chuck Sudo

Allyu Spa is located at 600 W. Chicago Ave. 312-755-1313.

316 Club Barber Spa
Reader Brandi Claussen recommends this spot near the Board of Trade. "It's my go to for gifts for my brother, boyfriend, uncles, every guy I know really. I dont know any place like it where you can hang out in a cool lounge grab a drink for free and get quick haircuts, nail details and shoes shines. It makes men's grooming glamorous (but not too glamorous that they would think its "uncool.")

316 Barber Spa is located at 175 W. Jackson. 312-880-0316.

Fuchsia Nails & Spa
Neighborhood nail shops are a dime a dozen in Chicago. They might be more prevalent than coffee shops in some neighborhoods. But just like finding your favorite local cup of coffee, finding your favorite nail spot can be a tedious effort. With excess options comes a lot of subpar service; nails that chip the next day, overpriced “spa” options or dirty equipment. So when you find a place that does everything right, you remember. Fuchsia Nails & Spa in Bucktown is my standard spot for polishing up my fingers and toes. The store is bright, clean and cheery and all the staff I’ve encountered is super friendly. Their spa pedicure stations are sparkling clean and comfortable. You get to pick a scent of body scrub for them to massage into your tired feet while steamy hot jets soothe your legs. They have a large variety of colors and shaped my nails just as I requested. They even let my friend and I hang out longer at the drying station to make sure our polish was dry before stuffing our fingers back into winter gloves. They usually have specials during weekdays on manicure/pedicure deals and are BYOB which makes them a perfect option for some weekday R&R with a friend. And my finger and toenail polish took forever to chip with just the regular spa manicure/pedicure. I didn’t see a chip in my fingers for over a week and my toenail color lasted weeks before I noticed any missing. For quality and consistent nail services, check out Fuchsia Nails & Spa. — Lisa White

Fuchsia Nails & Spa is located at 1821 W. North Ave. 773-227-3462.

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Galos Caves (Photo via Galos Caves website)

Galos Caves
While not a massage, a scrub, a mani-pedi or hair removal, this Northwest Side shop provides a relaxing and healing experience through the use of Black Sea salt-iodine caves. Acquired naturally, the salt takes on a pink color, have a decided floral scent and sparkle like diamonds. Black Sea salt has long been purported to have healing properties and is used to respiratory, circulatory, digestive, neurological and skin problems. But the cave rooms here also provide a respite from the outside world and simply look fucking cool. —Chuck Sudo

Galos Caves is located at 6501 W. Irving Park Rd., 773-283 7701 and 773-283-7761.

Sir Spa for Men
Reader Matt Shimmin recommends this Andersonville spa whose amenities include a steam room and rain showers, a relaxation lounge, massage therapists, estheticians, nail techs and hair stylists. Bonus for beer geeks: it's located across the street from Hopleaf so once you're done you can cross the street and hoist a few pints. That's a hell of a day.

Sir Spa for Men is located at 5151 N. Clark St. 773-271-7000.