Robert Andrew, the Salon and Spa

The spa, 20 to 30 minutes from the Beltway, is worth the drive even from downtown DC.

Housed in a large, airy space decorated to look like a lavish Tuscan villa—but feeling like a department store—Robert Andrew is more than a place to get a massage. Hair is styled under a tent. In between hair and nail treatments, ladies read beside a stone fountain. Rows of cosmetics and skin and hair products sit below windows fitted with flowerboxes. A grand staircase leads upstairs to a nail salon.

Tucked behind glass doors, the spa is more intimate. A bubbly receptionist greeted me in the lobby, lit partly by a fireplace. She led me into an immaculate locker room, colored in warm beiges. Glass bowls, holding roses floating in water, were scattered about. A basket on the sink offered iced cucumber washcloths.

I could’ve stayed in the cozy relaxation room for hours. (Another nice touch: Men have a private relaxation and treatment area.) Several large rattan chaise lounges with squishy cushions were clustered near a second fireplace. Tea, water, and fruit were set out on silver platters. A few spagoers talked about how glorious their massages and facials were. I grew excited for my Aroma Classic facial ($70).

My aesthetician, M.J., cleansed with a rosy scent, exfoliated with a paste that smelled of lemons, and applied a mask she said had lavender, thyme, and rosemary. Halfway through, she decided my skin was dehydrated and tailored the rest of the facial to my needs. When she was done, I didn’t apply an ounce of makeup: My skin was rosy and glowing.

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