Urban Renewal

Relaxation and rejuvenation are raised to an art form in the City by the Bay. Here are six spas you may want to try for a massage, facial, or soak.

Imperial Day Spa, 1875 Geary Blvd. (imperialdayspa.com; tel. 415/771-1114), is my hands-down favorite place to unwind, thanks to wonderful Korean-spa-style treatments, clean facilities, and extremely reasonable prices. Its men-only and women-only areas offer clay sauna rooms, a steam room, hot and cold pools, as well as massage. Then there’s my favorite scrub treatment, where spa attendants literally scour off your dead skin and leave you baby-smooth. Admission is $25 for 4 hours of R&R, but the entry fee is waived if you get a treatment ($60–$140). 

Kabuki Springs & Spa, 1750 Geary Blvd. (kabukisprings.com; tel. 415/922-6000), was once an authentic traditional Japanese bathhouse. After the Joie de Vivre hotel group bought and renovated it, it became more of a Pan-Asian spa with a focus on wellness. You can still get access to the deep ceramic communal tubs (offering co-ed, women-only, and men-only days, for $25 per person) as well as private baths and shiatsu massages. The spa is open from 10am to 10pm daily; joining the baths is an array of massages and Ayurvedic treatments, body scrubs, wraps, and facials, which cost from $75 to $200.

Onsen, 466 Eddy St. (onsensf.com; tel. 415/441-4987), is a unique package: Pass through the restaurant to the absolutely “om”-inspiring bath house and indulge in a soak and a treatment before returning to the front to dine on Japanese-inspired fare, healthy yet luscious. Date night, anyone?

International Orange, 2044 Fillmore St., second floor (internationalorange.com; tel. 415/563-5000) offers a more posh and modern experience. The self-described spa yoga lounge offers just what it says in a chic white-on-white space on the boutique-shopping stretch of Fillmore Street. They’ve also got a great selection of clothing and facial and body products, including one of my personal favorites, locally made In Fiore body balms.

Remède Spa, 125 Third St. in the St. Regis Hotel (remede.com; tel. 415/284-4060), has two whole floors dedicated to melting away all your cares, worries, kinks, and knots. Expect wonderful massage, facials, manis and pedis, waxes, and more.

Bliss Spa, 181 Third St. in the W Hotel (blissworld.com; tel. 877/862-5477), an outpost of the hip New York spa, offers a similar treatment menu to Remède’s, including wedding specialties.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.