Find respite from San Francisco's notorious hills and bustling urban streets at the creme de la creme of spas.
Upgrade Your Manicure
Slip into serenity at Lux SF, a sophisticated new nail salon in the Hayes Valley neighborhood offering an array of five-star treatments. More than your average mani/pedi outfit, Lux SF uses Bliss products and its own ever-expanding collection of non-toxic, cruelty-free, vegan nail lacquers—all with San Francisco inspired names. For the ultimate in pampering, opt for the Delux 35 Manicure, which entails a luxurious scrub, Bliss aromatherapy hand massage and hydrating Soyaffin wrap. —Jessica Volk 490 Hayes St., San Francisco, 415.255.4589
Spanish Luxury Meets the Far East
When you leave the austere Financial District and enter the hushed sanctuary that is the Spa at Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco, you’re in for a sensory, aromatherapy-driven ritual, starting the moment you’re greeted with a hot towel and slippers on an orchid adorned tray and offered a cup of tea. There are no locker rooms here. Instead, you’ll be led to your own suite, complete with a rainforest shower. The prestigious spa, which opened little more than a year ago, recently became the first and only spa in Northern California to offer the elite, Barcelona-born Natura Bissé treatments. Choose from five cutting-edge facials and the purifying Diamond Magnetic Manicure and Pedicure. 222 Sansome St., San Francisco, 415.276.9608
One of San Francisco’s most high-profile retreats since 1975, Spa Radiance unveiled a glistening revamp last month. Housed in a converted Victorian at the convergence of two of the city’s most desirable shopping streets, Fillmore and Union, the spa interior maintains its charming period details but has a decidedly chic new look, outfitted in fresh shades of aqua and contemporary fixtures. The ambience is all plush relaxation, but the results-oriented treatments and well-qualified team (including two doctors, a nurse practitioner and three registered nurses) have garnered celebrity clientele over the years. The latest offering, a high-tech facial dubbed the Instant Natural Facelift, harnesses the power of LED lights and ultrasound waves. 3011 Fillmore St., San Francisco, 415.346.6281
On the sixth floor of the sleek InterContinental Hotel in SoMa is a relaxing slice of Zen known as I-Spa, where services range from wraps, scrubs and manicures to high-tech facials that use gentle microcurrents to contour and tone. Book a treatment here, and you might want to set aside most of the day to take advantage of the amenities. To start, get your blood flowing in the sky-lit salt-water lap pool or expansive state-of-the-art fitness center. If you’ve opted for an aromatherapy massage, make a stop at the essential oil blending bar beforehand. After your appointment, stick around to lounge in the eucalyptus steam room, Jacuzzi and rooftop terrace and take a long Swiss shower. And once you’ve worked up an appetite with all that self-care, order something nourishing from the spa menu to enjoy alfresco. 888 Howard St., San Francisco, 415.616.6597