The Definitive Guide to Houston

Treat Yourself: Primp & Pamper at these Top Spas

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Whether you’re seeking selfcare or in need of pampering without apology, leave it to the professionals at Houston’s top spas. Each spa on our “me time” tour takes a unique approach to the spa experience from ambiance to special ingredients in their signature treatments. With so much variety in H-Town’s spa scene, you might have to try them all.   

Spa by Alessandra

Photo Courtesy of Shannon O’Hara

Spa by Alessandra, located in downtown’s Hotel Alessandra, is a sleek yet cushy refuge for those seeking rejuvenation and relaxation. The spa also caters to the 9 to 5 crowd with a “Healthy Hour” featuring a spa service and a gourmet lunch to-go option from Lucienne. According to Spa Director, Jennifer Brewer, the Hydrafacial is the most requested treatment that’s best described as “a spa day for your face” that instantly refreshes skin without any down time. The 13 patent technology behind the serum-loaded Hydrafacial, plus the power tool apparatus, makes it a popular choice for men who take advantage of the spa’s Power Wash special available Monday-Thursday. Seasonal specials are a unique offering at the spa with selections ranging from an organic pear and poppyseed facial for fall to the Berry Christmas full body treatment for head-to-toe holiday pampering. Enhancement add-ons like body brushing, hot stones, or a scalp treatment can be added to a spa service for a luxurious lagniappe.  

Spa treatments also provide access to the fitness center and the hotel’s pool with skyline views – instantly transforming a day at the spa into a destination. Fridays and Saturdays are often busy with blowouts in high demand for a night out on the town given the spa’s location near major concert venues and Houston’s Theater District. Bachelorettes, wedding parties, and girls’ night out crews can reserve the entire spa for a glam get-together. Room service at Hotel Alessandra also includes the spa! Hotel guests can order in-room dining along with Patchology face sheet masks and eye and lip gels for a quick pick-me-up or a bath soak blend created in-house by the spa.  

HHM Tip: For an invigorating soak, try Fire, the spa’s custom-made blend infused with cinnamon and eucalyptus. The spa also carries a line of products from Hungarian brand, Eminence, whose organic concoctions have been a skincare staple since 1958.  

Trellis Spa at The Houstonian  

Photo Courtesy of The Houstonian

A canopy of trees welcomes Trellis spa-goers who decompress upon entering the woodsy oasis known as The Houstonian – an 18-acre campus featuring a hotel, destination dining, and a private health club. Trellis boasts the only Forbes Four-Star rating for a Houston spa, a title they’ve held since 2011. It’s that commitment to quality service that makes Trellis a standout in the growing Houston spa scene. In fact, many of the staff have been at the spa for decades. A “getaway” for locals is how General Manager, Renae Cassam, a spa industry veteran who has been at Trellis for eight years, describes the atmosphere. Cassam explains that many of the spa’s clients have longstanding appointments and seek treatments providing results and relaxation.  

Many of those treatments feature the innovative Spanish beauty brand, Natura Bissé. At Trellis, clients routinely book the Natura Bissé La Alternativa facial to banish fine lines, and the Diamond Life Infusion for its fountain of youth effects. Slender silhouettes are also sought after by spa clients who come for the Slimming Body Mask and the Sea Glow Scrub. Cassam relates that men come in for skin care too with requests for the Gents and Vitamin C Facials along with pedicures in high demand. Teens are also taken care of with special treatments for their sensitive skin.   

Photo Courtesy of The Houstonian

HHM Tip: First-timers might want to make their appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday when the slower pace allows for more breathing room.   

Pampering perks with every treatment include access to the co-ed indoor float pool with chaise lounges and cucumber slices at the ready plus multiple relaxation rooms, featuring hydrating stations stocked with water, juice, and the spa’s signature snack, shortbread confetti cookies. You can even take a nature break on the property’s .8-mile designated walking trail. In addition, al fresco lounging, dining, and imbibing is available on the spa’s outdoor patios overlooking the scenic Houstonian grounds.  

HHM Trivia: The Houstonian Club opened as a health club in 1980 with a backup plan to convert the 125,000 square foot building into office space if the fitness angle didn’t catch on!  

Fiori Spa  

Photo Courtesy of Fiori Spa

Tucked away in the tony neighborhood of Tanglewood, you’ll find Fiori Spa – looking like a villa straight out of Tuscany. Your senses are immediately engaged upon arrival with the soothing sound of water trickling from a Roman-style fountain, a view of butterflies in flight over the pool, and the scent of eucalyptus throughout the spa. Fiori Spa General Manager, Brittani Pereyra, aptly sums up the vibe as “a resort without the overnight stay.” However, there’s no need to rush here with two pools, a sun deck, steam room, and several lunching and lounging areas to enjoy as part of the Fiori Spa experience. The spa’s Mediterranean accents include their very own blue-lit grotto where clients can float in a pool kept at a tepid temperature or sit in the heated jacuzzi.  

HHM Tip: Pereyra recommends a stop in the steam room or grotto to open up pores before a facial.  

Loyal clients return for manicures, pedicures, and massages – including men who partake in the Gentlemen’s facial and nail services. The spacious nail salon can accommodate groups ready to celebrate a special occasion. In fact, Fiori Spa is a popular venue for baby showers with maternity massages for moms-to-be and a sweet selection of Jellycat cuddly toys in the spa’s boutique for gift-giving ease. In addition, there’s a full-service hair salon operated by Attitudes Paris Coiffures 

Owner Roy Horlock, who opened Fiori Spa in 2005, oversaw recent renovations to Fiori, adding 3,000 square feet to the spa. New treatments are on the spa menu too, including Letto di Fiori, a showerless, sugar scrub body treatment designed to exfoliate and hydrate the skin. Yon-Ka, Fiori’s preferred skin care brand from Paris, recently introduced aromatherapy to its line so clients can select a Yon-Ka essential oil to enhance their massage and body treatments. Techniques like hot stones, bamboo shoots, and acupressure amplify the therapeutic benefits of a Fiori customized massage. And Horlock, inspired by the nightlife scene from trips to Europe, New York City, and Miami, opened Ivy Bar & Bistro on the premises – adding yet another reason to extend your stay with plans for drinks, live music, and dancing.  

The Spa & Rejuvenation Center at Aesthetic Center for Plastic Surgery (ACPS Med Spa)

Photo Courtesy of ACPS

You immediately know you’re in the hands of experts when you walk into the bright and luxurious lobby of the Spa & Rejuvenation Center at the Aesthetic Center for Plastic Surgery (ACPS Med Spa). Their Galleria area relocation moved the facility to a shiny new location just off Post Oak Parkway, across the way from the St. Regis Hotel in June of 2018. The Kimberley Lane location near Memorial’s City Centre was renovated in 2017. Connected to state-of-the-art surgical centers and clinics, the ACPS Med Spa offers an arsenal of high-powered facials and products that give their clients serious results. According to Spa Manager, Megan Gile, unlike other med spas, the Spa & Rejuvenation Center has access to more sophisticated treatments and medical-grade product lines because the spa is part of a plastic surgery practice. Clients also feel reassured knowing they are being treated in a clinic by extensively-trained, licensed professionals. While Gile recently joined the ACPS team, the majority of the staff have a tenure of 15 or more years, all with lists of regulars who love the personalized treatments.   

Their Dermalinfusion treatment (formerly called Silk Peel) is one of their most popular facials, especially with men, because it’s a quick and easy process that leaves the skin feeling immediately smooth and noticeably improved when you walk out the door. The best part of this advanced skin-resurfacing treatment is the customized serum applied at the end to meet your skin’s needs, ranging from hydrating to anti-aging to pore reduction. This service is also included in their offerings for the Beauty Club, an affordable way to become a spa regular.  

Out-of-towners will be happy to know the ACPS Med Spa reserves a few same-day appointments in their schedule, even if they are booked, so the top-notch staff can accommodate a visitor’s last-minute skin care request. Be sure to arrive a few minutes early to enjoy the Serenity Room where you can relax in a cozy lounger while you wait for your treatment to begin.  

HHM Tip: Take advantage of your practitioner’s extensive training and knowledge with a consultation on what skin care products will keep your face glowing and youthful.  

Mokara Spa & Salon at the Omni Hotel 

Photo Courtesy of Kristy Glazebrook Photography

The Omni Hotel, a luxury lodging mainstay of the Uptown area, recently finished a $30 million “modern Texas” makeover showcasing the city’s natural surroundings and local history. Think leather, bronze, and brass set against the 13 acres of lush green space that greets Omni guests. Renovations also included the hotel’s Mokara Spa and Salon where contemporary meets zen. Whitewashed woods, stone accents, and verdant green walls provide a seamless transition from the Omni’s manicured grounds. Treatment rooms also embody the hotel’s new aesthetic with an earthy feel featuring textures of raw wood and pebbles.   

Along with the serene surroundings, Mokara Spa Director, Stephanie Smull, says the things that make the spa so special are talented therapists and quality treatments, “featuring a wide range of treatments from relaxing and rejuvenating to hydrating and anti-aging.” Spa guests can also take advantage of the Omni’s dual outdoor heated pools located next to the Swan Pond.

HHM Insider Tip: Be sure to take a dip in the mineral pool for a holistic body and mind plunge. Additionally, Mokara Salon, located within the spa, provides upscale salon services for special events or everyday upkeep. Even with the wide range of services, Smull makes clear “we always take a moment to ensure each guest’s experience is bespoke to their needs.” 

Exclusive services are in the works, including Mokara’s “SPLunches” treatment package for a weekday reboot spent solo or with friends. Guests begin with a choice of either a Mokara Facial or Mokara Massage followed by a lunch offering in Birdies Café, the Omni’s stylish restaurant where floor-to-ceiling windows provide landscaped views. You can even recreate your tranquil spa experience at home with the Mokara Spa Boutique’s vast array of home care products allowing guests to continue treatment benefits at home with curated selections from Beau Brummell, Little Barn Apothecary, Mullein & Sparrow, UGG, and Sara Happ.

Feature Image Courtesy of Trellis Spa at The Houstonian.

Dana is a native Texan who grew up in Houston and Joni is a transplant via Kansas, North Carolina, Scotland, and New Orleans. Together, they founded Trip Chandler, a two-woman team who create guides to Houston and provide tours to the city for visitors and locals!

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