Four Seasons Resort and Club
There are places where you can get a massage, and then there are the spas that are an entire experience. The ones where you arrive an hour before your appointment to meander between whirlpools, steam rooms, and saunas. The ones where someone offers you a lunch menu and brings you a hot tea. The ones where you want to turn off your phone. That’s what’s happening here. Once you’ve fully disconnected from all the stuff you should be doing instead of being here, go for the Organic Pecan Body Buffing. During this 50-minute, antioxidant-rich treatment, a scrub made of the crushed nut is rubbed over the body for an exfoliation that yields undeniably soft skin. A Vichy shower washes everything off, and then you’re given a warm oil massage. Good luck getting back to the real world.
The collective buzz surrounding the opening of spa and fitness studio Exhale seven years ago was akin to Trader Joe’s or In-N-Out Burger finally making their way to town. Locals couldn’t wait to get in and see what all the fuss was about, and that excitement has remained steady. Yes, there are the core fusion exercise classes famous for shaping obliques and glutes, but for a more passive approach to wellness, start your journey at the spa. Two standouts here: the prenatal massage for expectant mothers in their second and third trimesters alleviates back stress and swollen hands and feet; and the Craniosacral therapy, 60 minutes of soothing pressure applied to key points on your face, neck, and head relieves neck pain and recurring headaches. Hate to say it, but it’s better than those head rubs your mom gave you when you were a kid.
Like every new part of The Joule—from its boutiques (TenOverSix, Traffic LA, and Taschen) to its new penthouse and suites—the spa is dazzling. And it’s big. Enter on the street level to the 8,000-square-foot, geothermal-inspired space and sign in to a cup of ginger tea and warm hand towel. You’ll then be led down the stairs, underground, to locker rooms and European temperature play areas, including steam rooms, saunas, ice fountains, experience showers (complete with touchscreen panels), and a unisex vitality pool with massage loungers. Signature treatments are kicked off with foot soaks in hammered copper bowls with the in-house line of aromatherapy oils. You can choose from a selection of treatment options, including the signature massage or facial, but we recommend booking ESPA Time. Select either body or beauty time and number of hours, then let your therapist guide you through selecting a customized lineup of services. If you book a service Thursday through Saturday, take a shower post-treatment and bring your wet hair to the salon for a complimentary glass of Champagne and a blow-dry.
at Hotel Zaza Uptown Dallas
It may be on the small side, but the ZaSpa makes up for it with a fantastically edited menu of facials and massages. No need to stress over an overwhelming selection of offerings here. Five treatment rooms are decorated with items such as wood-carved Buddha heads and Asian tapestries, and are dimly lit by beaded sconces and chandeliers, lending a Zen vibe throughout. Pre-treatment, relax in the Chill Room with a magazine and some calming tea. Fans of therapy-induced sleep will like The Art of Being Picky Massage, a personalized 50- or 80-minute rubdown; or the Fatal Charms Body Cocoon, where your body is exfoliated, wrapped against soothing warm stones, and then given a therapeutic massage.
at The Crescent
More day spa than serene retreat from the outset, the Spa at the Crescent boasts a large gym-like locker room and a waiting area with a television. Yet there’s something to be said for watching a little Food Network before being whisked away to one of 18 treatment rooms. We opted for the signature, 50-minute Swedish massage, which sounds a bit mundane compared to other spas’ offerings. But we’d put it up there as one of the best massages we have ever received.
The Ritz-Carlton Dallas
The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton sets the bar on spa experiences. The staff is warm, lockers are neatly packed with plush bathrobes and complimentary water bottles, showers are stocked with products, and the spacious treatment rooms are immaculate. We’ve never been disappointed in a treatment here, but we favor the exotic Thai Herbal Poultice Massage with heated, organic herb applications to the skin and a Thai massage for increased energy flow. But our absolute, go-to piece of personal heaven is the Dean’s Margarita Salt Glow, a relaxing salt scrub exfoliation followed by an in-room shower and hydrating body massage. Couples treatments are top-notch, too. Extra-large suites offer bathtubs for romantic post-treatment hydrotherapy soaks. When services are finished, and we’re still deliriously relaxed, we like to curl up in a lounge chair in the peaceful quiet room with a glass of wine.
The Hilton Anatole
Pro tip: park at the Tower entrance. Do not deviate. A mistake will lead to a less-than-direct path through the hotel, back outside, into another building, up a white staircase, down a hallway, and through a set of glass doors. Also, there’s no signage to denote the location of V Spa, which is surprisingly quaint (seven treatment rooms) compared to the size of the Anatole (it sits atop 45 acres). But do make the trek. The 50-minute V Spa Manicure is worth every last meandering step. Your hands are exfoliated, dipped in paraffin, and massaged with oil, and your nails will be gussied up with vegan SpaRitual polish. Don a set of headphones during the process and select any channel on your personal television, or enjoy the sound of silence while sipping on Champagne.
Gaylord Texan Resort
Crossing over the bridge into Gaylord Texan territory is like entering a city. Step into the Riverwalk Atrium and you might think a vacation has begun. The friendly concierge will walk you to the changing area with all the amenities, including steam room, sauna, and showers full of products to use post-treatment. There are separate facilities for men and women, and a coed lounge perfect for a couple’s spa day.
We suggest putting your face into the capable hands of the spa’s lead aesthetician, Mendy Boisseau. Try the Microderm Transformation Facial, a medley of blissful facial massage, intense exfoliation with diamond tip microdermabrasion, a glycolic peel, and a slew of soothing skin products. Or try the Moroccan Ritual, a full-body treatment with dry brush exfoliation, a hot-stone massage with Moroccan oil, and a scalp massage that makes your hair shiny (but more importantly, relieves you of your constant to-do list). Treatments end with a complimentary glass of wine.
the Omni Dallas
The Omni is the largest LEED-certified hotel in the country outside of Las Vegas, so it’s no surprise that this emphasis on sustainability transfers to the stunning seven-room Mokara Spa with panoramic views of downtown Dallas. Exclusive to Mokara is Babor, an organic line of products made in Germany, and services run the gamut from scrubs to body polishes and hot stone massages. Even the locker rooms exude luxury, with chandeliers, personal vanity stations stocked with conveniences you might have left at home, and cucumber-scented towels for a pleasant pick-me-up. The dimly lit relaxation room follows the same soothing approach with a window filled with fire and comfortable couches and chairs for lounging.
Remember when H20 Plus had mall stores? This feels like a more upscale version of that—blue and purple coloring, slightly kitschy packaging, tons of product for sale. But beneath the layer of cloud illustrations is a chic, 5,100-square-foot facility on the 16th floor of the W Dallas–Victory Hotel. Signature services include the delicious-sounding 90-minute Carrot & Sesame Body Buff and the 75-minute Triple Oxygen Facial, in which your face receives a peel, enzyme pack, and three forms of skin-brightening oxygen. It’s every bit as blissful as the name claims.