Best New Day Spa in Maryland

Treatment we had: Hydrating Facial Treatment, $100.

What we loved: The spa has been open only since April 2008, so everything seems new and fresh. The changing area is beautiful—water in the sink flows over river stones. There are lovely extras, too: Every guest gets a robe and slippers, many treatments start with a foot bath, and my facial came with a terrific neck-and-shoulder massage. Because there’s no hair services, Blu Water has the soothing feel of a destination spa.

Before the facial, my aesthetician, Teresa, talked to me about what I wanted, looked at my face carefully, and modified the facial to deal with my “mature” but still oily-in-places skin. Afterward, I was encouraged to sit and enjoy herbal tea and fruit in the relaxation room. I walked out glowing, and my pores looked smaller the next day.

What you should know: There are facial “rituals” that have more to do with relaxation and rejuvenation and “treatments” geared to specific skin problems such as acne, hypersensitivity, and extreme dryness. There are also à la carte extras such as gel peels and microdermabrasion, which raise the price. Products and services are recommended, but there’s no pressure to purchase.

Bottom line: A terrific facial in an atmosphere much plusher and more serene than at most day spas. But be clear about the treatment you’re getting before you start so you’re not surprised by add-ons when presented with the bill.

Blu Water Day Spa, White Flint Plaza, 5234 Nicholson La., Kensington; 301-984-6245;

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