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Minimal decor, natural surfaces and tones, curated crystals and treatment rooms redolent of breezy cabanas __ these are just a few items that make The Now in Santa Monica, Calif., less like your average spa and more like the idyllic haven you've been dreaming of.
The ambiance of the concept spa, which first opened in West Hollywood, Calif., in late 2015 and then added a Santa Monica location this past June, has been consistently likened to that found in Tulum, Mexico. In other words, a trip to The Now will surely evoke the irresistible vibes of vacation bliss and overall wellness of body and mind __ without the loud crowds, the delayed flights or the lingering jet lag.
Of course, the actual massage helps, too. As someone who sits down almost all day __ either on an office chair or an airplane seat __ I jumped at the chance to experience The Traveler, a deep-tissue treatment that promised to restore mobility and increase vitality. In the ensuing 50 minutes, I felt all of my worries, concerns and stress disappear, washing away with the waves that gently crashed on the spa's soundtrack. (The Traveler has since been removed from the menu, but it is essentially replicated during the spa's signature treatment, The Now, with the addition of a Deep Tissue enhancement.)
Other treatments include The Glow, recommended for expectant mothers of 12-plus weeks; The Healer, an energy-balancing, restorative massage; The Stretch, best for athletes; and the above-mentioned The Now, the spa's most popular option. For an extra boost toward nirvana, consider enhancements such as crystal healing (chakra placement of crystals), aromatherapy (essential oils, including the popular option of the chamomile- and lavender-scented Baby Jiva blend); and more.
And the best part? Unlike the high prices associated with most spa services, massages start at just $35 for 25 minutes; $60 for 50 minutes; and $90 for 80 minutes. Enhancements are an additional $10 each.
Walk-ins are welcome. A third location will arrive at Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood in late 2016.