On the second floor of a rowhouse on Capitol Hill’s busy Pennsylvania Avenue, Anü Day Spa isn’t beautiful. You climb steps covered with shabby blue carpet to get to the front door. But inside you’ll be treated like royalty.
After welcoming me and hanging up my coat, the friendly receptionist offered me tea. She led me to the waiting area, a soothing room painted beige with white trim. Ella Fitzgerald played on a CD player, which for some reason was on the floor. I sunk into a brown leather couch and filled out a skincare questionnaire. I liked that it asked “What type of treatment did you have last?” and “What did you enjoy the most and the least?”
Since it opened a year ago, the spa hasn’t done any major renovations to the building it’s in. When April led me down a hall to one of three treatment rooms, I felt like I was following a friend to a bedroom in a group house. The paint on some of the trim was cracked. Nearly all of the furnishings looked like they were from Ikea. There were no lockers, and I wasn’t offered any cushy slippers.
Somehow all of this made Anü charming to a twentysomething spagoer like me. There was no pretension—Anü felt like the spa next door.
I was signed up for Anü’s Classic Facial, which the receptionist had suggested when I called. April lathered my face in a soft citrus scrub. She tenderly wrapped my cheeks in hot washcloths. When she realized how dry my skin was, she painted on a hydrating face mask.
While the mask dried, April gave my neck, shoulders, and arms a thorough massage, which makes Anü’s Classic Facial a great value. For $85 plus tip, I left with my cheeks rosy and soft, my upper body loose and relaxed.
By Brooke Foster