In honor of spa week: The Natural Body Spa & Shoppe

Apr 13, 2009 by

In honor of spa week: The Natural Body Spa & Shoppe

So in honor of spa week I am reviewing a spa I have been to everyday this week.  I have been to a lot of nice spas.  I love to spa.  I judge spas by their massage, scrub and salon services.  I don’t like those hocus pocus seaweed wraps or non-sense like that.  And since I have very even, clear skin I rarely get facials.

Today I am reviewing the Natural Body Spa and Shoppe.  I went because of the fabulous Washingtonian special which runs through April 15, where you can get three services for $99.  They have several locations in the metro area, the Arlington branch in the Ballston Mall just happens to be closest to me.  You wouldn’t expect being located here that it would be as peaceful and tranquil as it is, but when you walk inside, you forget you are inside a mall, inside a busy city.

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Included in the Washingtonian special was an express manicure and choice of two of the following: body scrub, facial, deep-tissue massage or pedicure.  I got the pedicure and scrub and added a 60 minute swedish massage. But don’t fret if you can’t get there that quickly, they have other specials, just check the web for their coupons and specials, or join their mailing list.

Let’s start with the overall experience:  While the space is small it is nicely laid out.  They don’t have quite all the facilities of a big spa, but they are very nice.  It doesn’t have a big lounge space, but there aren’t a lot of customers so it is comfortable.

The Massage:  the thing I noticed about this spa was the great use of heat.   They have a heated table, they quickly pull warm towels off your feet and dry your skin so you don’t get cold.  They use warm neck supports and scented eye pillows.  The use of heat mixed with just the rigt pressure really made me relax from the very start.  A lot of other spas overlook the issue of warmth and relaxation.  They asked about the temperature to adjust it to your preference.  The oil used was moderately applied.  Overall it was one of the better massages I have had.

The Scrub: The scrub started out with some time in their steam room.  This was the weakest part of the whole experience, the steam room did not stay hot enough and the steam dissipated quickly and left you staring at dripping walls a little cold.  You next went into a service room where they began the scrub.  A lot of scrubs are applied like a massage.  This scrub was really just that a scrub of your body.  I missed the massage like moves; however, it was a very good exfoliation.  I really enjoyed again the use of heat to make sure you were warm.  I loved the hand washing of your feet, they really should expand upon that, as that part of the service was really heavenly.  For me as spas go for scrubs this was somewhere in the middle.  Not the worst not the best.  I also felt a scented scrub would enhance the experience.  You then showered off and they had very nice quality lotion for you to apply afterwards.  I did appreciate that their scrub did not have oil in it, and therefore, did not clog your pores once it exfoliated.  The lotion provided left yoru skin soft without the oil.  Also perhaps this was because of my impending pedicure, but they used the disposable flip flops instead of sandals that could be cleaned.  This seemed against their message.

The Pedicure:  At first I had a little trepadation as I was lead to put my feet in a run of the mill footbath you can buy for yourself to use at home.  But then after my cuticles and feet has softened they titled you back in this chair so you were almost laying on your back with legs and feet elevated somewhat.  They gave you a warmed neck pack and again a scented eye pillow and then did the remainder of the pedicure while you laid back.  It was actually a very relaxing pedicure and you didn’t really pay as much attention to what was going on.  All in all, I really liked this better than pedicures in the big machine.  Although they should upgrade the foot bath, it was a weak version my Mom has better.

Express Manicure:  This was a quickie manicure without all the thrills, but the polish has stayed on well, my nails were trimmed, filed and buffed nicely.  The service was professional and my nails look great.

For a day spa I highly recommend this little place.  It is relaxing, they pay attention to your needs, and they are very friendly and personable.  For me they rate above some of the bigger name spas in our areas that try to be spa destinations because they paid attention to what things people find relaxing.  I left after a half-day feeling completely rejuvinated and ready to handle the world, after perhaps a nap, because I was sooo relaxed.

Another feel good:  They use as many recycled products as possible and carry lines that do not have really harsh chemicals.  You can even drop off old cell phones here for recycling.

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