Trend on the Rise: Men-Only Spas
BEST MEN’S SPA
Maybe its this new obsessions with the environment and going green, but this spa-and-wellness thing has exploded all over the world in a way it never has before; it’s because of this that men-only spas have had a surprising growth. While many men might feel as if gender or sexual orientation might be at risk by getting a massage or a facial, we’re here to say once and for all that we will not judge, but rather praise anyone for taking care of his or her body. Men might claim that they enjoy going to a regular spa so they can sneak a peak at the females every so often, which isn’t surprising as some spas are co-ed right down to the sauna – yet truthful men would admit that they enjoy time away from the opposite sex every once in a while to do an activity on their own or with other men in the manliest way possible – like playing poker and watching the game. Women flock to the spa, both with girlfriends or alone, and come back rejuvenated and refreshed, as well as educated on the most recent gossip. Why can’t men do the same? Men should not feel uncomfortable taking care of themselves and maybe getting a little pampering, just like women should be able to play rugby is they want without feeling like it’s “weird.” These new men-only spas that I’m talking about are actually aimed at straight men -the “straight” part is the reason these spas are so groundbreaking because of today’s ideologies of what makes a man “manly;” Stigmas are often attached to men who indulge themselves, which has caused many men to avoid pampering themselves altogether… but the time has come for that to change.
Some regular spas are taking initiative by making men-only time periods, so the spa caters to both genders (although it’s obvious in most of these spas that the design is sleek, light and one could say feminine). The Agua Spa is atop the Delano Hotel in Miami on the roof, enhancing the spa-experience with mind-blowing views. This place is first on the list because it has been ranked number 1 in the Top 10 Celebrity Frequented Spas. Celeb hotspots are usually ahead of the times, and Agua doesn’t disappoint, with mixed schedules accommodating both men and women at different times of the day: 9am-7pm daily is women only, while 7:30pm – 11pm is men only.
Another celebrity favorite is the Golden Door spa in California. While this place is definitely pricey, you get what you pay for, and you get a luxury resort. This place offers week-long stays in their paradise, including certain weeks specifically for men only. The focus at this award-winning resort is going back to nature, personal growth and a place of relaxation away from the pressures of the daily routine of life. Just like women like to get away from men’s antics for a little while and hang out among fellow women with whom they can relate, men enjoy that as well, and can now do so in a luxury environment specifically designed for them.
China is usually ahead of the trends, and catering to men’s well being is no exception. Hong Kong’s Chuan Spa is a unisex spa, but offers special treatments specialized for men; in 2006, the spot received a Men’s Spa Treatment of the Year award at the Baccarat AsiaSpa Awards for a facial treatment called A Man’s World, which combines exfoliation, therapeutic massage and a facial treatment specifically designed for male skins and complexions to cleanse, replenish and purify.
Calgary’s Spa Europa even set aside a whole day dedicated to men – Mondays are all XY for those men who need to feel that going to the spa isn’t only the for the ladies, but many men do attend the spa on other days after going on Monday for the first time. Spa Europa offers a spa package specially suited for men called the Apollo Men’s Pack, which includes a full-body relaxation massage and a European Pedicure. The ambiance is Roman-style so it doesn’t have fluffy pink frills, or anything distinctively feminine so that both woman and men can feel comfortable.
Another Canadian locale is the Absolute Spa at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver – even the chains are catching on to the trend. This upscale hotel’s spa not only has specific treatments intended for men only but their décor is very male-centric with dark colors and no fluffy pinks; of course one of their treatments is a sports massage, and the other is the Y-Spa Facial, which uses products specifically chosen to suit male skin. They also have packages for men; the Great Guy package includes a deep tissue massage and foot-care treatment, and the Absolute Man package includes a facial for men and a relaxation man’s massage, hand care and a foot care, which is altogether 4 hours of pure pleasure. The foot care will probably be the men’s favorite part of the experience because while they are getting it done, there are 6 TVs set up as well as Playstations so customers can get their game on while they’re beautifying.
Some spas really go all out by making themselves full-out men’s-only, no-women-allowed spas. Men-only spas aren’t discriminating… they’re giving men a chance to experience the wonders of a worry-free experience that women have had for so long. A spa has always been a place where a woman could get away from her significant other and family for a while to have girl time, and men deserve to have that opportunity available to them as well. It’s no surprise that most straight men think about women 24/7 – surely it must get tiring to have all those fantasies, so going to a men-only spa will ensure that he will have zero distractions from his relaxing experience.
For a city that is usually rampant with new trends, it’s surprising that Montreal only has one men-only spa, called Mann: Grooming for Men. Mann offers a luxurious environment in a loft-like setting with white walls, light-colored wood flooring and immense vaulted ceilings that make the black leather chairs seem tiny in comparison. The walls are spotted with colorful artwork, but besides that, the vibe is minimalist, vast and clean. Mann offers standard massages from deep tissue to Swedish, as well as a long list of skin treatments, from a standard, refreshing facials to specific acne-prone skin treatments. The spa considers waxing to be a precise art of sorts and calls it “Manscaping,” but don’t expect to leave there sporting any floral designs – their waxing is simple, professional and to the point, albeit its fun name. Maybe the cute name will make the waxing experience a little less painful. Maybe?
It’s obvious that The Barbershop Lounge in Boston is catered specifically to men from the décor alone. The shop’s emblem has the letters “BL” in the centre of a white shield logo with two red lions on each side – not feminine to say the least. The name itself is screaming “rugged and male.” All the furnishings in the hotspot are black leather and red suede, and the magazine racks are filled with Gentlemen’s Quarterly and Golf Digest. The Barbershop Lounge is making sure their customers don’t feel like pampering is unmanly; as much as it would be great if all men could feel manly regardless of the circumstances, unfortunately, ideologies still prevail in our society, and some men need a stereotypically male environment in order to feel comfortable.
Nickel Spa for Men in London, England is not rugged, but it manages to pull off manly while maintaining a sleek style at the same time – if only all men could pull off such a look. The furnishing is very simple, mostly white and different shades of blue, and the same goes for the walls, and the vibe is clean, fun and fresh. This spa has the looks and the brains – they mean serious business and do the job right, from facials, massages, manicures or pedicures, getting something waxed or even having a technical procedure done such as Botox. Their website is also very helpful for those who are newbie’s to the pamper-scene with tips and faux-pas men should know about before going in for a treatment.
Another popular male-only spot in trendy London, which also has a second location in Belfast, is Jason Shankey, which was actually voted as the number one male grooming hotspot in London. The award-winning salon has a rich, rustic feel, with dark wood floors, black leather chairs, and pale walls with white crown molding. The main room is what we used to refer to as a barbershop, but now call “male grooming.” What’s different about this place from a barbershop, though, is that it offers skin treatments, bronzing, massage, hair removal and hands and feet treatments. Now we know why all the British lads are so smoking hot.
Even Germany’s joining in the fun with the country’s first ever men’s-only spa, which opened two months ago in Munich. Media Spa’s concept is that men are different than women (shocker). Their skin is different, their bodies are different, and therefore regular, traditional spa treatments typically aimed at women just won’t cut it. They do everything, from aesthetic improvements to make you look better, to wellness treatments to make you feel better. Media Spa is transcending the German barrier of needing to be “manly” men and embracing that physical and emotional wellness – looking good and feeling good about yourself – is manly too.
With a name like The Men’s PowerSpa, how can a man not feel manly, even as he has his skin exfoliated or has a layer of clear nail polish swept across his toenails. This Toronto spa has been offering the same great relaxing services of other top-notch spas since 2005, yet with a very evidently-butch décor covering up what might seem like feminine services (since when is luxurious feminine? I’m sure the women don’t mind). A great element that this spa offers is the opportunity for clients to bring in their own music to play during their treatments. This spa offers every service you could think of from standard massages and facials, to hot-towel shaves (which include a pre-shave facial treatment, post-shave mask and aftershave application) to Brazilian waxes… yes; many men endure that painful experience for beautifying purposes (ouch).
You have to admit that sitting back in the barber’s chair while you have your scalp massaged and hands manicured sounds appealing. John Allan’s Club in NYC does just that, and at a reasonable price! This men-only spa doesn’t look like a traditional spa in the least, but rather more like a gentlemen’s club, with traditional and simple décor, and a bright and airy feel. They even have a billiard’s room, lounge and café so you can really make visiting John Allan’s an experience. Instead of a spa transformed to appeal to men, this place is more of a barbershop with an extra hint of class and many additional spa services. Their most popular package is called The Full Service, and includes a scalp massaging shampoo, conditioning treatment, hot towel, haircut, manicure, shoeshine and a beverage. John Allan has figured out the secret to a man’s heart – pampering with a side of pool.
A brand new men’s-only spa opened up in Coral Gables, Florida called Monsieur. The name implies a sophisticated service, but the names of the packages they offer imply that the locale has a sense of humor – something that’s usually important for most men who are going to a spa. The Dad Gets Dapper, for example, includes an hour-long Swedish massage, followed by a mini facial and hand and foot-rub. Other funny names include Like Father, Like Son, Daddy Devine and Papa Royal, clearly emphasizing the spa’s hope that their services will make for great father’s day treats. These enjoyable treatments range in price from $95 – $375, so you can decide based on how much you love your daddy. And the best part of all? Monsieur really knows its customers because each package includes a free beverage, such as water, tea, coffee and even wine or beer! I wonder which one he’ll choose…
So there you have it, the absolute best men’s-only spas from around the globe. All you men out there: you see? Being pampered doesn’t make you weak or feminine at all! Taking care of yourself and looking good shows that you care about your body and mind; there needs to be a change of pace in this world, and we’re getting there… slowly. All these ideologies about what men and women should and should not do is just inhibiting us from being the best we can be, so go out there and do what makes you feel good!