Getting Pampered by the Bay

Writer Catharine Nicol | December 24, 2014


With light and dark interiors, hard woods and soft white silk leaf ceilings, modern high-tech facials and body treatments harnessing the ancient benefits of tea, Qua Spa is a journey of contrasts. Take, for example, their eclectic array of skincare lines, which includes botanical Astara, French luxury line Decléor, scientific Dr Dennis Gross and cosmeceutical Cosmedix. Their signature Qua Massage eases you into the treatment with a foot bath of salt and tea, grounding while delivering antioxidants, before a green tea clay foot mask. Only then does the full body massage start, therapists listening to your body’s aches and pains and delivering exactly what is needed there and then. The Qua Oxygen Facial applies an oxygen mask and also sprays pure oxygen onto the complexion, adding LED light therapy or microdermabrasion with the Oxygen Plus Facial. And their Qua Tea Manicure and Pedicure soaks hands and feet in tea and scrubs them with sugar – all that’s missing is the milk (almond of course).


Within one of America’s most established department stores, Spa Nordstrom takes the exhaustion out of retail. Escape to the rich chocolate brown decorated interiors, change in a private changing room – clothes go into a special clothes bag and you go into a cashmere robe and slippers – and then start your downtime in the lounge with a foot soak, complimentary with all treatments. Facials top the menu and they mean business. From oxygen infusions, alpha beta hydroxy or resurfacing peels, epidermabrasion, lifting and advanced repair, plus enhancements like light therapy, micro- current technology, collagen eye infusions and more, it’s clear their guests are looking for results. Massages include the Organic Aromatherapy massage, wraps focus on slimming and toning, and other body treatments include acupuncture, Raindrop Essential Oil Therapy, Shirodhara and several packages, including the Moroccanoil Ritual of dry body brushing, hot stone and scalp massage. If you’re in town for a while, don’t miss their beauty events in conjunction with the department store.

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”