“And these are disposable panties. For your comfort.” Stretching the paper-thin fabric between her fingers, the esthetician held up a see-through thong, smiling pleasantly as she did so. “Some clients choose to wear them because it makes them feel more comfortable, but it’s completely up to you. I don’t uncover anything on you that I’m not working on.” That’s a relief. “Go ahead and get undressed, lay face-down on the table, and drape this towel over your back. I’ll be back with you in a few minutes.” With that, she exited the room quietly and left me to my own company.
What’s it like to have a stranger touch you while you’re stripped down to your skivvies? Strangely relaxing, actually. Thanks to Spa Week, I received a fifty minute signature coconut body scrub with chocolate body butter application at LaBelle Day Spa in San Francisco, and it. Was. Fantastic. The ambiance. The service. The luxurious amenities. The environment. The fluffy robes, the soft slippers, the complimentary foot soak, the lit candles, the cheese and crackers and tea and — you get it. If ever there was a place to treat yourself to rest and relaxation, La Belle Day Spa wins the award.
Let me walk you through it.
And you’ll forgive me, I hope, for providing you with the terrible photos below. I only had my iPad Mini on me at the time to snap them, so they aren’t the highest quality. But hey, better than nothing, right?
After meeting the front desk receptionist, I was lead to the ladies’ locker room where they politely bid me undress, lock my things away, and slip into the provided robe and slippers.
A monogrammed robe? Oooh, fancy.
After safely securing my items in my own key-coded locker …
… And taking a moment to vainly admire myself in their large mirrors …
/Snap, snap! Selfiiiiies!
… I was escorted upstairs to a dimly lit waiting room with soft, comfy sofa chairs boasting an assortment of snacks for munching on while waiting. Brie cheese, grapes, crackers, sliced strawberries, cantaloupe, tea — I felt very spoiled. A complimentary foot soak was provided and a heated neck pad draped across my shoulders. Everyone attending me was soft-spoken and polite, the calming music and peaceful aromas adding to my paradisiacal surroundings.
Magazines and newspapers lined shelves along the walls, and I was surprised to see a male guest, also dressed in a robe and slippers mirroring my own, enter the room to pick up a newspaper for himself before settling down to read it. Huh. So men pamper themselves too, do they? It’s funny how I’ve always known this to be true, but it was quite another to see it for myself. I found myself shifting uncomfortably in my seat, suddenly aware of how near-naked I was and hoping he wouldn’t strike up a conversation with me. I was only too grateful when my esthetician was finally sent to fetch me, at which point I ascended with her up another flight of stairs and into yet another dimly lit room, this time, with a massage table and frosted-glass shower.
The actual treatment went something like this:
- I donned a small hair net and set of disposable panties, removed my robe and slippers, then laid face-down on the massage table, draping the provided towel over my lower back.
- The esthetician returned to the room, began first by dry-brushing and exfoliating my skin, then taking care to gently massage in the coconut body scrub, working on my body one limb at a time.
- Following this, she took a hot, wet towel, pressing it gently over the limbs covered in the coconut scrub, and carefully removed it from my skin.
- Helping me to flip over, she laid the towel across my chest and lady-bits again, pressing a dry towel-pad over my eyes, presumably to help me relax instead of staring her down and watching everything she was doing, then repeated the same process across my front.
- She then bid me to rinse off in the shower, exiting the room while I did so.
- When she returned, she applied the chocolate body butter to my freshly exfoliated and moist skin, providing a light massage as she did so.
I nearly fell asleep! If I hadn’t been so focused on committing everything she did to memory, I’m certain I would have. The whole process was very relaxing, and I left feeling completely refreshed. But I wish I had gone in for a massage instead! After having my body scrubbed down, I realized how badly I needed my muscles kneaded. The esthetician also mentioned how tense I felt. Bah. Next time.
Here I am sans-makeup and half-asleep after my treatment, standing before La Belle Day Spa’s incredible wall of beauty products.
Four floors up and with an amazing street-view! Thanks again, Spa Week and La Belle Day Spa! I plan to return for a massage, and I will definitely be gifting friends and family with treatments.
* Spa Week offers $50 treatments from October 14 to 20, and booking already started in September! They’re teamed up with spas all over the place, not only in San Francisco, so you’ll definitely find an awesome deal near you. As the wise Tom Haverford once said, treat yo’self! It’s totally worth it.