Allyu Spa, Chicago

Check out the spas that are making waves with their superior service and style!
What’s makes a day spa a “standout”? Hospitality experts and spa consultants have their checklists but, in the end, it’s what the public has to say that really matters. And this goes double for neighborhood day spas, the businesses that can’t count on a steady stream of tourists but rather, must survive on their ability to become staples in their communities, winning over locals time and again and retaining their invaluable loyalty. DAYSPA editors scoured the country to come up with this list of 25 day spas that are doing just that. New or well established, expansive or petite, in urban metropolises or small rural towns, these spas consistently draw accolades.

Allyu Spa, Chicago

Allyu Spa, Chicago

Founded: 2007
Owner: Tamara Wills
Size: 6,050 square feet

  • Recognized in 2012 among the top few spas in Chicago by Chicago Magazine and Chicago Reader
  • Plush space built using sustainable and recycled materials
  • Private Moroccan-style shower rooms
  • Extensive treatment menu that includes chakra balancing and separate mother-to-be/new mother menu

Why locals love it: Soothing, earthy atmosphere; quality services; attentive staff

Apple Day Spa

Apple Day Spa, Honesdale, PA

Founded: 1990
Owner: Karen Houshultz
Size: 5,300 square feet

  • Received the Healthy Workplace Award from the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce in 2011
  • Progressive services include shirodhara, infrared sauna and nutritional counseling
  • Offers a wellness calendar for staff, clients and community with each month focusing on a different aspect of wellness
  • Works closely with local schools, hospitals and fundraising organizations
  • Runs a mobile spa service, “Apple Day Spa A La Road”

Why locals love it: Friendly and accommodating staff; cozy atmosphere; good for parties

Beyond Beauté

Beyond Beauté Day Spa & Wellness Retreat, Houston

Founded: 1986
Owner: Shirley Terry-Lopez
Size: Deer Park location 5,600 square feet; Clear Lake location 3,100 square feet

  • Since 2005, voted one of the Top 10 Day Spa’s by Houston Business Journal
  • Deer Park location is a two-story Victorian-style house, with mani/pedi stations overlooking a natural landscape of trees and seasonal flower gardens.
  • Deer Park location’s in-spa library offers motivational and inspiring books for clients to read between treatments

Why locals love it: Friendly staff; picturesque surroundings; extensive service menu

Chill Spa

Chill Spa, Manchester, NH

Founded: 2006
Owner: Crissy Kantor
Size: 2,000 square feet

  • Voted “Best of the Best Spa” four years in a row by readers of The Hippo Press, New Hampshire’s weekly pub
  • Extensive boutique of products and fashion accessories, plus beauty bar
  • Chill Cancer Crusade fundraising activities
  • Sponsors local schools, events, causes
  • Extensive bridal menu

Why locals love it: Quaint and like a “hidden gem”; exceptional service; reasonable prices

Dragontree Spa

Dragontree Spa, two locations in Portland, OR, and one in Boulder, CO

Founded: 2003
Owners: Briana and Dr. Peter Borten
Size: 4,500 square feet (downtown Portland location)

  • Best Spa awards in recent years from,, Portland Monthly, Boulder Weekly and Willamette Week
  • Downtown Portland location has Sangha room for foot, hand and head treatments
  • Downtown Portland donates used oil from oil treatments to local bio-diesel company; spa is working toward being completely carbon neutral
  • Trendy, artsy downtown Portland neighborhood

Why locals love it: Total wellness-oriented massage therapists; convenient Portland Airport location; Boulder location hosts health-focused lectures

Drew Patrick Spa

Drew Patrick Spa, Bayshore, NY

Founded: 2007
Owners: Drew Allt and Dr. Richard Byrnes
Size: 10,000

  • Housed in a former bank building, maintained unique design elements
  • Helped revitalize downtown Bayshore
  • Large retail section
  • Supports local agriculture, arts and theater

Why locals love it: High-end amenities, especially for the area; nice café with great food; clean and pleasant environment

Earthbody Spa

Earthbody, San Francisco

Founded: 2005
Owner: Denmo Ibrahim
Size: 1,000 square feet

  • Credited with having one of the five “Best Facials in San Francisco” by local blog 7×7 in 2013, and the “Best Massage” by SF Weekly readers
  • Committed to organic, ayurvedic ingredients used in the spa’s own products, handcrafted in small batches and contained in eco-conscious packaging
  • Menu of transformative Rituals designed to maximize clients’ overall well-being
  • Housed in a converted Victorian house in lively Hayes Valley neighborhood

Why locals love it: Superb attention to detail, such as pre-service hot towels and post-service take-home bag; relaxation time extras such as tea served in exquisite glasses, elegant snacks and inspirational books/quotations to read

Earthling Day Spa

Earthling Day Spa, Charleston, South Carolina

Founded: 1990
Owner: Aby Cass
Size: 5,300 square feet

  • Global-inspired treatments including Thai Detox Ritual, Javanese Beauty Ritual and shirodhara
  • In-house Pilates studio
  • Variety of group packages available

Why locals love it: Customized treatments; extensive retail offerings; knowledgeable staff and therapists; locker rooms well stocked with toiletries and grooming appliances

Escape Day Spa

Escape Day Spa, Nashville, Tennessee

Founded: 2005
Owner: Tami Sprintz-Hall
Size: 18,000 square feet

  • Voted 2012’s “Best Spa in Nashville” by Nashville Scene
  • Treats a wide range of celebrity clients including Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Vast menu that includes everything from physical therapy to nail care
  • Medical spa procedures available

Why locals love it: Luxurious-yet-minimalist ambiance; skilled technicians and therapists; relaxation areas with refreshments (including homemade cookies)

Eviama Life Spa

Eviama (“good medicine”) Life Spa (Green Spa & Boutique), Philadelphia

Founded: 2002
Owner: Penny Ordway
Size: 1,950 square feet

  • Uses a “whole picture” approach to working with clients
  • Maintains a non-toxic, earth-friendly environment
  • Asian-influenced interior with rooms inspired by different natural resources
  • Open 7 days a week
  • Offers all basic spa services plus acupuncture, pediKarma, reiki, chakra work, color and light therapies, and Maya spiritual healing
  • Has an eclectic boutique selling skin care, candles, fashion and jewelry

Why locals love it: Zen-like atmosphere; great facials; fun boutique

Fusion LifeSpa

Fusion LifeSpa, Deephaven, Minnesota

Founded: 2005
Owner: Donna Duffy
Size: 6,000 square feet

  • Voted Best Day Spa by Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine
  • Menu of curative baths that include chromotherapy
  • Extensive menu of bodywork treatments, including Rolfing
  • Uses esthetician/owner’s self-developed skincare line
  • Natural, odor-free nail care
  • Traditional Chinese medicine, chiropractic and colon hydrotherapy available

Why locals love it: Commitment to natural products; wide variety of treatment options; holistic point of view

The Healing Touch Wellness Spa

Healing Touch Wellness Spa, Harrisonburg, VA

Founded: 2009
Owner: Kim Melkersen
Size: 1,700 square feet

  • Voted “Valley’s Best Day Spa” by the Daily News Record in 2012 and 2013
  • East meets west ambiance features five treatment rooms representing the elements of nature (water, fire, wood, metal and earth)
  • Offers “medical massage” and accepts pre-qualification by insurance
  • Owned and operated by a Certified Massage Therapist

Why locals love it: Healing atmosphere; pretty interior; great massage therapists

Koru Touch

Koru Touch, Statesville, North Carolina

Founded: 2011
Owner: Gregory Cartwright
Size: 6,000 square feet

  • Offers a facial specifically for men, the Alpha Male Facial
  • Amenities include sauna, steam and Jacuzzi
  • Performs comprehensive medical massage technique that’s a fusion of Esalen, Thai and Sports massage

Why locals love it: Professional and knowledgeable staff; superior sugaring services; warm and welcoming environment

La Bella Spa

La Bella Spa, Merritt Island, Florida

Founded: 1979
Owners: Mandato family
Size: 10,000 square feet

  • Garnered praise from Florida Today, Orlando Sentinel, Space Coast Living, Lifetime Television and Vogue
  • Strong emphasis on nurturing and growing employees; created a “Circle of Excellence” program that rewards employees for professional achievements
  • Focuses on overall wellness and all treatments (including pedicures and manicures) include a clinical and holistic component

Why locals love it: Informal, relaxed environment; staff makes clients feel extra special; seasonal décor changes keeps things interesting

Lime Spa

Lime Spa, Reno, NV

Founded: 2007
Owner: Emily Sindlinger
Size: 1,100 square feet

  • Voted Best Spa in Northern Nevada 2013 by Reno News & Review
  • Featured in variety of publications, including the Reno Gazette-Journal and the The Wall Street Journal
  • Up-and-coming midtown Reno location

Why locals love it: Attentive, accommodating staff; fun, friendly atmosphere; detailed attention to ambiance including color palette and music; menu of elegant spa cuisine and beverages

Maui Spa Retreat

Maui Spa Retreat, Maui, Hawaii

Founded: 2005
Owner: Doreena Larisch Barefoot
Size: 2.67-acre aromatic botanical farm; 800-square-foot spa cottage

  • Awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2012 and 2013, and Top Rated Spa for the Island of Maui, Hawai’i
  • Private cedarwood sauna
  • Guest/couple/group has entire spa for the duration of their visit
  • Next to the Aromatherapy Foundation of Hawaii; aroma bar consultation of organic essential oils before treatments

Why locals love it: Serene, natural setting; Hawaiian specialty massages; cold saltwater lap pool and Jacuzzi (with tropical refreshments served tub-side)

Halina European Day Spa

Halina European Day Spa in Austin, Texas

Founded: 1970
Owner: Natalya Cryer
Size: 5,000 square feet

  • Has served the Central Texas area for more than four decades
  • Opened its second location in a Victorian-style mansion
  • Points-based membership program

Why locals love it: Accommodating and flexible staff; superior customer service

Nine Stone Spa

Nine Stones, Portland, ME

Founded: 2002
Owner: Pam Macomber

  • Beauty at its Best Award from Shecky’s Media, Inc.
  • Understated and tasteful décor
  • Facial menu categories for “organic” and “clinical”
  • Loyalty rewards program

Why locals love it: Top-notch massages; location in the heart of downtown Portland

Preston Wynne

Preston Wynne, Saratoga, California

Founded: 1984
Owner: Peggy Wynne Borgman
Size: 3,600 square feet

  • Covered on beauty and lifestyle sites PureWow and Daily Candy and Leopard and Lavender blog; featured in September 2013 Sunset magazine
  • Recent “luxe-lift” renovation and addition of private full-spectrum sauna therapy suite and beauty bar
  • Charming village location designated a historic landmark by the State of California

Why locals love it: Top-notch couples’ services and facilities; extensive massage menu; caring, professional staff; proximity to new wine lounge that’s perfect for private spa parties

Sacred Hour Day Spa

Sacred Hour Day Spa, Rocky River, OH

Founded: 2004
Owner: Tabitha Baker
Size: 2,000 square feet

  • Targeted, meticulously devised skin- and bodycare rituals
  • Strong commitment to local charitable causes
  • Organized retreats in far-off places (Thailand, Costa Rica)
  • Owner recently created a non-profit that provides free yoga classes to people in need

Why locals love it: Affordable, high-quality massage treatments; cozy, unpretentious atmosphere

Spa Gregorie’s

Spa Gregorie’s, with three locations in Southern CA

Founded (Rancho Santa Margarita location): 2006
Owner: Angela Cortright
Size (Rancho Santa Margarita location): 5,150 square feet

  • Newly relocated Rancho Santa Margarita spa offers creative treatments such as Fassage (facial and massage combined) and innovative “bedicures”—private manicures and pedicures performed on facial beds or antigravity chairs
  • Newport beach location convenient for shopping at popular Fashion Island mall

Why locals love it: Staff that goes above and beyond; new location’s sleek décor, use of natural light and quiet room with meditation stations

Spa Greystone

Spa Greystone in Birmingham, Alabama

Founded: 2009
Owner: Dr. William J. Hedden

  • Located within the Greystone Cosmetic Center and in close proximity to a plastic surgery clinic, health and wellness center, and dental office
  • Dermaplaning is an add-on to facials
  • Overlooks the picturesque Butterfly Lake and Greystone Country Club

Why locals love it: Delivers effective treatments with visible results; service giveaways via Twitter and Facebook; retails quality skincare products

Touch of Tranquility Massage

Touch of Tranquility Massage, Gilbert, AZ

Founded: 2008
Owners: Kathleen and Bryan Weese
Size: 1,800 square feet

  • Locally awarded 2013 Best of Gilbert for Massage and Best of Gilbert Day Spa
  • Innovative massage menu
  • Special treatments for men and for mothers-to-be

Why locals love it: Outstanding attention to detail; reasonable prices; excellent deep-tissue massages from well-trained staff

Yoga 360 Studio & Spa

Yoga 360 Studio & Spa, Frankfort, IL

Founded: 2003
Owner: Colleen Rose
Size: 4,200 square feet

  • Full day spa plus yoga/Pilates facilities
  • Ayurveda-centered body- and skincare consultations
  • Retail boutique
  • Rewards program

Why locals love it: Spacious and beautiful yoga facilities; great facials; fun and creative community events

Yuan Spa

Yuan Spa, Bellevue, WA

Founded: 2011
Owner: Zee Zhang
Size: 8,000 square feet

  • Named as having the Best Facial in Seattle in Allure magazine’s 2013 Best of Beauty list and as Best New Spa by Seattle magazine in 2012
  • Designed by renowned local interior architect Chien Chen
  • Extensive facilities include hydrotherapy pools, saltwater pool, eucalyptus sauna and cedar dry sauna (hydrotherapy area is based on a traditional Asian bathhouse)
  • Focused on green practices and organic products

Why locals love it: Feels like an urban oasis with a down-to-earth atmosphere; offers services not readily found elsewhere (tui na, acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, reiki); skilled massage therapists who love their work

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