Sunlight streams through the windows, and the spare reception area gives off a modern vibe. Though this is an Aveda salon and spa, it’s less cluttered and frenzied and perfumey than some of the other Aveda addresses in the area.
Downstairs is the salon, with one of the cleanest, prettiest manicure and pedicure areas around. Upstairs, in a loftlike aerie, are four treatment rooms and a tiny waiting area that makes me wonder whether I’ll have to fight for the one chair. But on a Monday afternoon I’m the only client in the place.
I was dragging a bit that day, so of the choice of oils for my stone massage ($100 for 60 minutes), energizing peppermint seemed the thing. I settled on the heated and padded massage table.
In a stone massage, stones and pebbles are used two ways: They’re placed under and on top of muscles, and they’re used to massage as well. So instead of the flowing, uninterrupted movement of a traditional massage, there’s constant placing, removing, and repositioning of stones. Just as I’d be drifting into a relaxed state, stones would be shifted, and I’d thud back to reality. At times they were searingly hot, and though the therapist cooled them down apologetically, that was disruptive, too.
Granted, those tiny pebbles found muscles in my temples and along my sinuses that I never knew existed, and the larger smooth stones worked my shoulder and back muscles. But if I had to do it again, I’d go for a traditional Swedish massage.