Santa Monica Health & Beauty
700 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
Perhaps the most luxurious part of the exquisite, Kelly-Wearstler-designed Proper Hotel is the adjacent, also-Wearstler-design Surya Spa. The cleansing Panchakarma detox wellness programs that last anywhere from 3 to 28 days are the biggest draw: For up to four hours a day, you go for custom restorative treatments, detox, and healing experiences like private yoga, sound baths, Qigong, breathwork, energetic healing, and more. The Nasya treatment isn’t like any facial you’ve had before: You sit as your face, neck, and shoulders are cleansed and nourished with herbalized oils, vigorous massage, aromatic steam (to help clear nasal passages), and the wood and bone tools of traditional Ayurveda. The treatment can help relieve brain fog, stagnant energy, tension, headaches, and congestion. The spa shop is worth a few moments on the way out: The collagen cream is hands down the richest cream we’ve ever tried, the bath soaks are the ultimate luxury (the whole box equals one fantastic bath), and the almond-flour-based spa breads are the among the most delicious things you’ll ever eat.
702 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica
This studio is made for that in-the-zone feeling: The instructors teach a few guided flows over the course of class and build in time for students to do their own thing. It’s dark, with loud music and no mirrors. And it’s hot as hell. (Relief comes in the form of a cold towel, dropped at your mat before savasana, and it feels like you’ve been blessed by God.) It’s great for athletic yogis with a regular practice. True beginners, however, may get lost or find it too intense.
Altus Health (Closed)
1934 14th St., Santa Monica
If you didn’t know it was there (right off Pico), you could entirely miss Altus. It’s less a gym and more a healthy-lifestyle community hub that comes with trainers, chiropractors, alignment experts, massage therapists, and more. They take it seriously: Altus requires a membership, so you need to commit. Once you’re signed up, expect a full-body assessment followed by a thorough exploration of your goals and how to achieve them. Far from being terrifying, Altus adopts more of an old-school, hand-holding approach. They don’t want long-term members: Once you’ve gotten to where you personally want to be health-wise, you’re set free.
Breedlove Beauty Lab (Closed)
1728 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica
Infrared saunas are an incredible way to get a great sweat. At Breedlove Beauty Lab, each sauna is customizable, so you are in complete control of your experience. We love sweating it out in the Sunlighten 3-in-1 mPulse infrared saunas, and Breedlove has three of these. There is also chromotherapy—or light therapy—which draws on the hypothesis that color affects how we feel. Before you leave, check out the bright and airy apothecary—it stocks plenty of aromatherapy, beauty, and wellness products.
1030C Montana Ave., Santa Monica
This is a one-stop shop for healing—whether you are in the market for Reiki, craniosacral bodywork, or even just taking a group napping class. Amanda, co-founder and Reiki Master will meet you where you are in journey of self-exploration. Jenny is an amazing bodywork practitioner focusing on craniosacral therapy. And, it’s never too early to learn to take care of yourself—Cocoon has Body Care for Newborns class as well Self Care for Girls (so your daughter can come). Nourish your soul, evolve and transform in this beautiful environment.
Face Haus Santa Monica
1426 Montana Ave. #6, Santa Monica
The idea and execution here are brilliant: Face Haus is a facial bar with treatment chairs spaced evenly apart in one huge, airy room. The therapies are excellent and varied, ranging from peels and eye-area pampering add-ons to more intense sessions that include LED light and microdermabrasion. Renowned Beverly Hills–based dermatologist Harold Lancer is the consulting physician, so you can rest assured your face is in great hands. Bonus: You can rent out the whole place for private bridal and baby shower facial parties. (The OG location is in West Hollywood.)
The Raven Spa
208 Pier Ave., Santa Monica
This spa is fairly no-frills, yet totally transportive once you walk through its Santa Monica doors. There’s amazing Reiki, traditional Thai massage, and they have a small infrared sauna you can use before or after your treatment. Everyone who works here is kind and accommodating: They’ll offer you tea, dates, or apple wedges if you want to stay and relax for a bit before heading out.
2021 Main St., Ste B, Santa Monica
The space is an eco-haven, designed with renewable, sustainable flourishes (the walls are made of cork, seagrass, and recycled wood)—and the facials are healing, pampering, and just: beyond. The Custom Superfood Facial floods skin with nutrients from tamarind, acai, turmeric, and manuka honey, while the Light “Isun” facial features a miracle trifecta of microcurrent, LED light, and nurturing essential oil blend that thoroughly revives skin. The infrared saunas are each tucked into a cozy private room with a shower—and they aren’t hooked up to Bluetooth, which means the promise of a genuine digital detox, too.
Plumb Line Pilates and Physical Therapy
1913 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
Allison Oswald wants to help women feel better. As a physical therapist, a board-certified women’s clinical specialist, and certified Pilates instructor, she’s uniquely equipped to take on that task. Many of her clients find their way to her bright, whitewashed studio with pelvic health issues, often during the postpartum period. She works with clients one-on-one and for as long as it takes to get them feeling confident and pain-free. Once they feel up to it, she—or one of Plumb Line’s excellent instructors—may suggest clients keep up their work with a Pilates regimen.
Shirley's first career was in comedy, and so she brings a certain amount of levity to her readings (in fact, she played the role of Psychic Housewife on a call-in comedy show back in the day). Her incredibly precise readings are both light-hearted and profound, and full of astute insight and advice. She's particularly great at relationship and career advice, as she will evaluate the auras of everyone who surrounds you and highlight the most favorable path forward. She typically reads in person at her space in Santa Monica, though don't be offended at the lack of eye contact as she will be reading your aura and not your face. She also reads Tarot, though she uses them to offer a loose framework, rather than a more literal description of what might be going on.