Spa Noa

Although the services aren’t consistent, they try hard.

Spa Noa in Reston seems the ideal spa: No hair services means no noise from blow-dryers. And a recent renovation has made this six-year-old spa—until recently, it was called Beaux Visages—pretty, with comforting green walls and rich dark woods. Everyone is pleasant; when you arrive, the receptionist offers tea or bottled water.

If only I had liked the services. In a space this nice, even an average facial or pedicure might have been enough to lure me back.

My facial was fine, and the aesthetician seemed very experienced, but after an hour and $85, my skin didn’t feel as plump as it has after other facials. Two bright spots: The facialist didn’t try to sell me a single thing. And, unlike with other facials I’ve had, I didn’t break out after this one.

The real disappointment was the pedicure. My nail technician, who never introduced herself, was really rough—even the way she filed my nails with an emery board made me wince. She manhandled my feet and made me yelp in pain at one point. Was she rushing because all I could get when I booked the appointment was the 30-minute “Presto Pedicure” versus the full hour?

To be fair, her working conditions weren’t ideal. While the spa finishes its pedicure room, she was squeezed into the back, in a drab area near the bathroom.

After my treatments, as I waited for my polish to dry, I overheard a woman checking out. “You guys have really improved,” she enthused. “I came here years ago and had an awful experience. You’ve really gotten better.”

One thing that impressed me: A few days later, I received a call asking whether I was satisfied with my services. When I told them I found the pedicure rough, I received another call a few days later, asking how they could make it better.

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.