Salon Nordine and Day Spa

There are spiffier spas in Washington, although long-timer Nordine does a lot right.

Spa decor tends to have a sameness: These days, new spas are mostly sleek and white, often with Asian accents. In that regard, Salon Nordine and Day Spa in Reston is a welcome change.

The spa has a Moroccan flair, from the light fixtures and decorative mirrors to the customer lounge, with its low-slung silk-upholstered couches and an arched doorway framed by heavy blue drapes. The Reston spa is large—the ground floor is devoted to hair services, while the lower level is for nails and spa treatments. In the spa area there’s not only that lounge, where water and tea and a bowl of snack mix await, but also a small locker room where you can stash away valuables and, if you’d like, take a shower before or after a treatment.

Nordine salon has been around for years—its six-year-old sister salon, with Mediterranean decor, is in Gainesville—and the staff I encountered was professional though not overly friendly. We also noticed that the Reston spa, only four years old, seemed a little frayed around the edges, with some ceiling tiles that could use replacing and some upholstery and carpeting that looked worn. (A manager later told me that the Reston salon is so busy that it gets an unusual amount of wear and tear.) That lounge that had looked so inviting at first had just three magazines to flip through, including a House & Garden and Domino. In the locker room, it took several minutes for me to find slippers that fit—there was an odd assortment of sizes, and I found a pair only by opening each available locker.

I had signed up for a one-hour massage. The deep-tissue massage was fine, and the therapist barely said a word throughout, which I liked. The use of elbows and thumbs was a bit too deep at times, but I didn’t ask for less pressure because I wanted to see how I’d feel afterward. My mistake: My neck was sore for more than a week. I also found the price—$95—slightly high. The massage was, in my mind, like the spa itself: There were some things I liked and some things I didn’t.

Executive Editor

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986. She is the editor in charge of such consumer topics as travel, fitness, health, finance, and beauty, as well as the editor who handles such cover stories as Great Places to Work, Best of Washington, Day Trips, Hidden Gems, Top Doctors, and Great Small Towns. She lives in DC.