The 6 Best Spas In Chicago
By Lisa White in Best Of on Apr 23, 2015 8:45PM
As Chicago starts to shed another long and cold winter, now is the perfect time to treat yourself to a little TLC. The dry, frigid weather can wreak havoc on our skin, leaving us cracked, parched and needing a bit of pampering. Add in the other stressors of daily life and you're more than worthy of a little (or big) spa indulgence to treat yo' self.
Today we share some of our favorite places in the area where we can slip into a robe, relax and refresh. From facials to salt caves or soaking in a hot tub, we've got a few options for every price range. As always, share your favorite spa finds in the comments and don't forget to book an appointment soon.
Balance Spa & Fitness
Inside the Palmer House Hilton away from all the downtown noise is Balance Spa & Fitness, a combination spa and fitness center. For you gym rats, we’ve heard wonderful things about the clean and bright facility but we’re sticking with the pamper instead of pain side of things today. But for those who want a workout before your mani/pedi, you’ve found your spot. The spa invited me in to enjoy a facial earlier this year and I found it tucked away on the 5th floor overlooking State St. They offer a variety of treatments but one option I like to enjoy on the regular, especially on a time crunch, is their express facial. Enjoy a few rounds of different treatments to help soothe your tired skin, a vitamin C rich exfoliation, a few mask applications tailored to your skin type, a calming steam and a nourishing moisturizer applied at the end. You'll also get to enjoy a rejuvenating neck and scalp massage during the facial and the specialists are always super helpful when I have questions about skin care. I always leave with a glowing complexion and feeling completely relaxed and calm. Somehow they pack all of this into just under 30 minutes, so you’ve got enough time to run over for a facial during your lunch hour if you work in the loop. It sure beats waiting in line for lunch and the price won’t break the bank either. Nothing wrong with a little workday treat. — Lisa White
Balance Spa & Fitness is located at 17 E. Monroe St. in the Palmer House Hilton. The spa is located on the 5th floor and the fitness center on the 8th floor.
The Peninsula Spa
I never quite understood the allure of spas until I received a gift package to the Peninsula Spa for Christmas during a particularly stressful and brutally cold holiday season. After taking the elevator up to the 20th floor of the luxury hotel, I knew I was about to be seriously spoiled. My package included a de-stress massage and intensive facial. I left completely unwound, forgetting exactly what it was I was so stressed about and with radiant skin. As a bonus, you can sit in their “relaxation room” in comfy chaise lounges, eating snacks and drinking cucumber water while overlooking the pool. Trust me when I say it’s as extravagant as it sounds and once you get settled in, you’ll be incredibly sad to leave. — Gina Provenzano
The Peninsula Spa is located at 108 E. Superior St.
Galos Cave is not any type of traditional spa, you’ll find no fruit enzyme facials or mani/pedi combos here. But you will leave feeling relaxed and calm and it can’t be beat for a unique experience to enjoy. Galos Cave is a salt-iodine cave, a popular health treatment in many Eastern European countries for a variety of ailments. If you have sinus issues, especially with the always fluctuating Chicago weather, it’s worth giving it a try. Regardless of the health benefits, relaxing in a dimly lit salt cave for 45 minutes is a lovely sensory experience. The surroundings are calming and it’s the perfect place to rest your eyes, focus and meditate. Children are allowed but they also have adult only sessions. And make sure to bring white socks to wear, although they provide booties onsite. Sometimes you’ll encounter some chattier clients but just close your eyes and tune them out. For $15 for 45 minutes, it’s one of the most affordable and more serene ways to spend some time decompressing in the city. — Lisa White
Galos Caves is located at 6501 W. Irving Park Rd.
Looking to go somewhere divine not far from the Brown Line? Allyu Spa is the place to be if you’re looking for serious relaxation, beautification and balance. Offering mani’s, pedi’s, waxing, chakra balancing and other treatments, the space has an array of services. The one that caters the most to your needs might be their facial care. Before starting the session, you speak with your esthetician where you explain your facial problems, such as dry skin, acne and they shape your care around your specific concerns. While they offer many options in the FC department, their Soothing Rosehip may be the best as it is designed to tackle even the most sensitive of skin, including people with rosacea. Addressing skin irritation and congestion, Allyu even claims this facial has benefits in anti-aging as well. — Ben Kramer
Allyu Spa is located at 600 W. Chicago Ave.
IVme Hydration Clinic
As weird as it sounds, there are times when I’ve never felt better than leaving the hospital. It’s those damn IVs that clearly pump the drippings of rainbows and unicorn tears into my tired veins. But there’s only so many times you can fake heat exhaustion until you have a hypochondriac case file. This is where IVme comes to the rescue. Developed and administered by physicians, it’s a hydration clinic spa that provides the beneficial fluids and vitamins in IVs in a non-clinical setting and with way more affordable prices than your local ER. It takes about an hour to absorb the full bag, but once done you’ll be fully hydrated and feeling restored. The treatment is great for athletes and hangover champs as well as cold & flu sufferers, jet lagged travelers and for overall beauty—after all water and fluids are the key to staving off premature aging. IVme also offers Oxygen Therapy and a mobile service that can bring the relief to you. —Selena Fragassi
IVme Hydration Clinic is located at 1347 N. Wells and 16 N. Peoria St..
Kohler Waters Spa
One of the most relaxing things to me is a soothing soak in a deep bath. Unfortunately, most cramped city apartments aren’t doling out expansive bathrooms filled with deep soaking tubs, so I’ve got to find outside sources to get my fix. Kohler has long been a trusted brand in home appliances, including some pretty swank bath tubs, so it’s no surprise their spa would not skip out on providing some seriously gorgeous and luxurious bath fixtures. The suburban day spa location isn’t as expansive as their Wisconsin one a few hours away, but it more than does the trick when you’re looking for luxury. They have a variety of services, but I’d suggest one of the hydrotherapy treatments. I’m partial to the Citrus Reviver, which helps clears my sinuses especially during the painful change from winter to spring with allergies acting up. It combines a bevy of citrus scents like grapefruit and lime with a warm Vichy shower, a facial massage hitting all those pressure points to help with congestion and a cool stone eye treatment. My favorite part is before the treatment, when you get to visit the “circle of tranquility” water “experience.” Corny names aside, the “self-guided water tour” includes multiple showers with tricked out heads, sprays and columns of water from every angle, a steam room and sauna, an 8-foot waterfall you can sit under, a cool dip pool and a pretty massive whirlpool to relax in. And that’s all before your treatment even starts. You might leave Kohler Water Spa with some serious shower envy but most important you’ll leave feeling completely relaxed and refreshed. — Lisa White
Kohler Waters Spa is located at 775 Burr Ridge Parkway in Burr Ridge, Illinois.