Getting Pampered by the Bay

Writer Catharine Nicol | December 24, 2014


With a wonderful view over the city from its exclusive Nob Hill perch, this iconic hotel is an oasis of designer luxury. Previously The Huntington, The Scarlet brand has embraced the long-established hotel’s old school luxury while introducing dramatic designer details reminiscent of its Singaporean sister property. A calm, neutral elegance remains in the spa, leading via the lobby or straight from the street (for non-hotel guests) into a large retail and reception area. From here, head via steps overlooking the pool-with-a-view, to the sauna, steam and whirlpool hydro area before your turn in one of the ten comfy treatment rooms. With numerous regular guests, there are several package options, many featuring their high-tech facials, some including LED light therapy, or body treatments like the Alpha/Beta Peel.

But the spa is just as perfect for a relaxing experience that could include their new Decléor body polish and warm oil massage bathed in the fragrance of orange and apricot, the Ultimate Massage of completely personalised techniques, or the Nirvana of body scrub and dry brushing, hot towel wrap, oil detox massage, Shirodhara third eye treatment, head massage and hair mask. Wow. A whole host of renowned skincare lines like Aromatherapy Associates, Babor, Darphin and Voya are lined up to return you to health. End your experience in the beautifully calming relaxation room or stretch your spirit on the al fresco Observation Deck.



Although there’s a somewhat corporate sounding name to this spa, in fact, the chain is still family-owned and -operated, and can trace a history stretching back nearly 30 years. All about European comfort and elegance, San Francisco’s outlet may reside in Westfield Shopping Centre but the Parisian decor feels luxurious and exclusive from the very first moment. A host of changing rooms, their signature wet room (arrive early to relax in the whirlpool, sauna, steam, showers and cool mist), 15 massage rooms, high-tech skincare in six facial rooms and more, put it among the best equipped in town – and service comes with a smile. Take a look at their list of signature treatments and you’ll realise you’re in for something different; The Hunter’s Retreat starts with a scrub and moves on to a cleanse with wheat stalks soaked in essential oils, while Emilee’s Intrigue is perfect if you need to perk up post-long haul flight with a relaxing massage followed by a wrap of fresh eucalyptus leaves and hot towels, while your face and head are massaged. Facials are key, and all include a head, chest, neck, shoulder and face massage, while using their own line of H2V products (a mix of actives from herb and botanicals that create a results-oriented collection of products like Quench, Rescue and Transform). And if you just need to escape, A Day Beyond includes a host of spa treats including lunch from the nearby restaurant of your choice.

A sunny day in San Francisco feels like California at its best, and with all that innovative, accessible wellness on physical, mental and spiritual tap, I can’t help thinking, “I could so live here”