L.A.’s Best Kept Secret: Tomoko Spa
Between the glitzy hotel–run operations on the high-end, and the no-frill (but so, so effective) Korean bathhouses on the other, L.A. covers a lot of ground spa-wise. Tomoko in Beverly Hills, however, is in a class of its own. It’s a transformative experience from the moment you walk through the doors, where it’s likely Tomoko herself will hand you a pair of slippers before leading you into the traditionally minimalist, Japanese-style pre-treatment relaxation area—designed by Thea Home—for tea, the first of many pots they’ll brew for you. There’s no communal changing area or locker rooms, as each of the four treatment rooms is set up with all the amenities of a luxury hotel room (shower, closet, bath, vanity, etc.). A single treatment can take up to four hours with all the trimmings—starting with a foot soak and reflexology massage, and ending with post-massage herbal tea and mochi ice cream.
The focus of the actual treatments, which range from energy-readjusting Iyashi massage to a stretch-heavy massage, is on gentle healing and stress-relief rather than outright pampering. For moms-to-be, the Ninpu massage is said to temporarily but adequately alleviate the pressures and anxieties that can accompany pregnancy. If you have a significant other you’d like to spoil, spring for the Japanese Experience for Couple. Trust.
Photo Credit: Tessa Neustadt