Even though the county is on lockdown this month, it that doesn’t mean we can’t do some major self care until this forced homestay is lifted. We’ve gone to a few local spas to learn from their top people how to do some serious pandemic pampering.
The Spa at Casa Madrona, Sausalito
Where: The Spa at Casa Madrona is a 3,000 sq ft space that includes four treatment rooms, for individual or tandem (couples) spa sessions, an indoor lounge, a fitness room, steam rooms, and two open-air courtyard spaces, one with fire pits. The spa program focuses on providing guests with transformative wellness experiences, that include holistic approaches to classic spa treatments and immersive wellness journeys, centered around water, sound, spirituality and astrology.
Who: Spa Manager, Qadiri Zebrowski, brings two decades of wellness experience to her role with career highlights including overseeing Healing Arts at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and working as a craniosacral technician, massage therapist and esthetician.
What (pro tip): “My favorite at home, DIY wellness ritual is a bath. This wellness water journey has the power to allow the body and mind to heal not only physiologically, but emotionally as well. Depending on your needs, short duration hot water baths are stimulating and detoxifying, while long duration warm baths are calming and relaxing. Cool water baths help to refresh and renew. For my bath ritual, I start with a self-massage of nourishing oil from head to toe, while I wait for the bath to fill. In the water, I like to add Epsom salt and/or CBD soaks, as well as crystals and semi precious stones that infuse energy into the water. Then I light a candle, set an intention and soak in the tub for at least 20 minutes. This is a ‘spa time’ I treat as sacred and make time for weekly, taking at least two baths every week.”
How: The Spa at Casa is extremely focused on safety during Covid-19. Guest protocols include filling out a consent form, taking temperatures upon arrival and requiring all guests to wear a mask throughout their visit to the spa, including during their service. Staff protocols include taking temperatures upon start of their shift, wearing masks and face shields when performing services, as well as changing into clean uniforms after each service. Guests are currently encouraged to enjoy their spa treatments al fresco style in our two outdoor treatment spaces, built specifically to observe social distancing measures during this time. Treatment spaces are also left vacant, for at least an hour in between treatments, to allow spa staff to change over every piece of linen in the treatment room and sanitize, with attention to safe and clean protocols.
Cavallo Point, Sausalito
Where: Designed for nurturing and renewal, this contemporary oasis of serenity integrates the finest cultural healing practices from around the world. Onsite facilities include a heated meditation pool, eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, outdoor Jacuzzis, indoor and outdoor showers, a relaxation lounge, an outdoor firepit and a Zen garden. Cavallo Point’s Healing Arts Center & Spa was named Sustainable Spa of the year by Green Spa network.
Who: Before being the Spa Director for Cavallo Point, Matt Turner was the Senior Spa Director of the Americas at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts where he oversaw nine spas. In 2017, Turner relocated to live in his hometown in the San Francisco Bay Area to work at Cavallo Point in Sausalito.
What (pro tip): “Create a spa experience at home by taking a warm bath in a lavender bath soak or a CBD bath soak to relax your muscles. Listen to at least ten minutes of a meditation to relax your mind. Pamper yourself with a nightly skin care ritual by washing your face, apply an anti-aging serum, night cream and don’t forget to use the eye cream to prevent bags under your eyes in the morning. And most importantly, if you have partner at home, trade off giving each other massages.”
How: All guests and employees are required to wear masks. All guests will be asked our Covid-19 questionnaire (same questionnaire as our property arrival). Guests will be invited to arrive no sooner than 15 minutes before their treatment time. When the guest parks their car in the parking lot they will open their spa confirmation email and click “check in.” Book4time will send the guest their locker number and inform the guest to head straight to the locker room. Therapists and guests will wear masks during the entire treatment. When departing, guests will have the option for a touchless checkout that they can complete by clicking “check out” on their confirmation email. The guest can check out at the spa front desk if they would like to purchase retail. The floors will be marked to ensure guests are waiting in line at least 6 feet apart.
Where: Spa Montage Healdsburg, situated above the Alexander Valley, offers 11 appointed treatment rooms and thoughtfully designed relaxation spaces, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a zero-edge adult pool. Spa Montage will feature both signature and seasonal treatments showcasing the region’s finest indigenous ingredients combined with the industry’s most exclusive products and highly trained experts.
Who: Carrie Sotebeer brings more than a decade of experience to her new role at Spa Montage where she will oversee all spa and fitness operations. Joining Montage from The West Hollywood EDITION, Sotebeer has led past teams to great success including securing the prestigious Forbes Five-Star rating for The Phoenician Spa in 2019.
What (pro tip): “I like to get up early and my morning regimen helps me to not only start the day on a positive note, but helps me to remain grounded throughout the day. I find keeping to a routine is the most important thing; it helps keep me sane! In order to start the day clean from the inside-out, I will not do anything before I have my glass of warm water with lemon. After that, I will sit quietly and meditate for about 20 minutes before I begin my daily yoga practice. I try to do yoga for at least 30 minutes. I always finish the day with some quiet time and gratitude. I like to reflect on the day and all the things for which I am grateful.”
How: At Spa Montage Healdsburg, our primary goal is creating a safe place for our guests and associates. Upon opening the resort, we are implementing Montage International’s Peace of Mind Commitment, which enhances our company’s already stringent health and safety protocols to ensure compliance with the highest standards, certifications and state and county regulations. Temperatures will be taken prior to entering Spa Montage. Social distancing will be adhered to in public spa areas, with each treatment scheduled to allow additional time between guests to allow treatment spaces to be deeply cleaned and to manage capacity in the building. (Steam room will be temporarily closed and we will not be using steam in any treatments.) There will also be increased cleaning and sanitation procedures, as well as masks and gloves to be used by spa therapists. Hand sanitizers, masks and gloves will also be made available for guest use.
Redmint, San Francisco
Where: Redmint recently opened an urban wellness sanctuary in San Francisco’s Marina District. Inspired by time-honored Eastern beauty rituals and traditional herbology, Redmint features holistic skincare collections, wellness remedies and restorative health treatments. Services balance the mind-body connection and help with pain and inflammation, insomnia, stress, digestion, headaches, hormone imbalances and more.
Who: Founder Helina Fan, an entrepreneur and incoming doctor of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), blends together ancient wisdom, nature’s power, modern science and a holistic approach to skin health. She created Redmint to share and educate people about the transformative effects of TCM, rooted in the notion that the key to health is a balanced approach to body, mind and spirit.
What (Pro tip): “I love using our herbal-based facial treatment masks. Our Pearl Brightening mask is particularly great in the winter to slough away dull skin cells and reveal a brighter, more luminous complexion. Goji Berry enhances absorption to improve clarity, balance and radiance to restore a revitalized, newfound freshness and youthful vitality to the skin.”
How: Redmint is extremely focused on safety during Covid-19. Guest protocols include filling out a consent form, taking temperatures upon arrival and requiring all guests to wear a mask throughout their visit to the spa, including during their service. Staff protocols include taking temperatures upon start of their shift, wearing masks and gloves when performing services. All treatment rooms have air purifiers and windows open. There is a 20 minute period in between treatments for the staff to sanitize.
Spa Alila at Ventana, Big Sur
Where: Located at Ventana Big Sur, Spa Alila is proud to provide guests with eco-lux products crafted by passionate local artisans. Here you’ll find both a holistic and organic approach for treatments and products alike — among the organic skin and body care lines used at the spa are ARCONA Los Angeles, Laurel Whole Plant Organics, Java Coffee-Infused Skin Care and Body Bliss.
Who: Sophia Baca has been overseeing the Spa Alila operations for over 2 years. With 7 years in the hospitality industry, Baca is very passionate about health, wellness, and overall wellbeing.
What (Pro Tip): “Nothing beats the Balinese Foot Bath Ritual which we begin all our treatments with to dissolve tension and detoxify the body. Start with warm water, add ½ cup of sea salt or epsom salts, ½ cup of baking soda, 3 drops of lemongrass essential oil, 4 drops of lavender essential oil, a whole lime sliced into wheels, and a spring of fresh rosemary (optional).”
How: Spa Alila enforces mandatory masks and gloves for therapists and makes it mandatory for guests to wear masks, as well. Face shields are also available upon request. Social distancing tables have been set up for couple massages and hand wash stations and hand sanitizer pumps are present in all treatment rooms. Restrooms/showers have been limited to spa guests only and there are longer times between treatments to allow for detailed cleaning and sanitizing.
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Mimi Towle is a Marin-based writer and editor. Currently the editor of Marin Magazine, she enjoys the various perks of her job, which include meeting chefs, winemakers, and inspiring characters. As a volunteer philanthropic advisor for the EACH Foundation, she focuses on needs in her home state of Hawaii. Some of her favorite nonprofits include City Beat, Hawaii Land Trust, and University of Hawaii Cancer Center.