Great Day Spas 2013: 3 Spas Where the Price is Right

If price matters, try these spas where you get great bang for your buck.
Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.
Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

The Spa at Mint

1001 16th St., NW; 202-638-6468. Also at 1724 California St., NW; 202-328-6468.

Although it’s somewhat overshadowed by the huge ground-floor gym, the 16th Street
location of the Spa at Mint is a hidden gem for eco-conscious spa-goers: The floors
in the downtown DC branch are made from repurposed sneakers, reclaimed wood, and natural
fibers; at both locations, shower products are organic and treatments emphasize wellness
from the inside out.

We tried the 50-minute Deep Tissue Massage ($105) and found the minimalist facilities
small but relaxing. Iced water comes with—you guessed it—mint leaves, and both the
men’s and women’s changing rooms have saunas and steam rooms.

Of note: The spa is best appreciated by booking one of its specials. It offers occasional
$50 deals via Twitter and Facebook, and 30-minute facials and massages are $49 on
Tuesday. On weekends, pay $119 for any 50-minute massage or facial and get access
to the gym for both Saturday and Sunday.

Online booking? Yes.

Spa World

13830 Braddock Rd., Suite A10, Centreville; 703-815-8959.

Warning: Don’t go to Spa World if you’re not comfortable being naked around strangers.
Nudity is mandatory in this massive facility’s “wet” areas: single-sex spaces with
hydrotherapy pools of every temperature and size, from cold plunge pools to intense
pulsating jets. You start your experience here and can even get a skin-renewing—i.e.,
rough—scrub ($55 and up) from a therapist wearing little more than a bra and panties.

Then you don stiff pajama-like shorts and a T-shirt to venture into the coed sauna
areas, where eight “poultice” rooms surround a central relaxation area. You can lie
on clay balls, said to increase well-being and focus, or try the Blue Onyx Room, designed
to help with insomnia and high blood pressure.

A $35 fee gets you 24-hour access to this stay-all-day spa, where it’s not uncommon
to see families and couples. It’s the closest in this area to an Asian or European
bathhouse.

Of note: Don’t miss the food, which ranges from Korean barbecue and bubble teas to sushi.
Other services include massage.

Online booking? No.

The Tea Spa

2424 University Blvd W., Suite 202, Silver Spring; 301-942-1222.

In a dated strip mall at the busy corner of University Boulevard and Georgia Avenue,
Tea Spa makes getting a massage convenient: Unlike many spas, it’s usually easy to
book an appointment on short notice.

After checking in, you’re offered—what else?—a cup of tea. In the dimly lit waiting
area, a comfy sofa faces a TV playing an oddly soothing video of tropical fish.

We tried several of the spa’s massage therapists, who were all skilled. If you’re
really stiff, try Myriam Coimin, who uses traction and gentle stretching during a
massage to limber up joints as well as work out knots.

Of note: A $49 yearly membership discounts hourlong massages to $49—they normally range from
$70 to $90—with no cancellation fee up to three hours before an appointment.

Online booking? Yes.

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